© Yannick Le Gal
Nature and relaxationPEDESTRIAN CIRCUITS

The main hiking routes in Ille‑et‑Vilaine

Whether you’re walking for a day or backpacking, Ille-et-Vilaine offers numerous hiking possibilities. There are the emblematic Grandes Randonnées (GR®) paths, GR de Pays paths, Tro-Breizh paths and the St James’ Way paths, etc.

In Ille-et-Vilaine, you can put your best foot forward!

GR® 34, the customs officers’ path

This emblematic walking path covers 2,000 km of the Breton coastline. It was used until the early 20th century by customs officers to keep watch over the coast. Today it is the most maritime of the Grande Randonnée paths in France.

In Ille-et-Vilaine, it offers exceptional viewpoints : the Emerald Coast with its fine sandy beaches and steep cliffs, the Rance estuary, the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel and the Dol marshes with their lush bocage.

A little tip : plan for 5 steps of 24 km each on average per day for this part of the GR®34.


The GR® 39

The GR® 39 crosses Ille-et-Vilaine from north to south, from Mont-Saint-Michel to Redon before reaching the Loire-Atlantique.

South of Rennes, it runs alongside the Vilaine, revealing some of the most natural sites in the area, such as the Boël windmill in Pont-Réan or the site of La Courbe in Bourg-des-Comptes. In Pléchatel, admire the River Vilaine from the site of La levée to gain a bit of height.  Continue to Guipry-Messac for a well-earned break.

Then head to Saint-Just and its megalithic alignments before reaching Redon and strolling through its historic centre to discover its maritime past.


The GR® 37

The GR® 37 crosses Brittany from east to west, from Mont-Saint-Michel to Pointe de Pen Hir in the Crozon Peninsula. It covers 800 km and allows you to discover some of the emblematic sites in Brittany.

The Ille-et-Vilaine portion of the GR® 37 first passes via Antrain, then Fougères and Vitré, two cities with a rich medieval heritage. Then head to Hédé-Bazouges, Bécherel, Small Town of Character and the first Book Town in France, and Montauban-de-Bretagne.

The final step of this Grande Randonnée path in Ille-et-Vilaine is Brocéliande, with its legends and its mysteries.


The GR® de Pays – Tour du Pays Malouin

This 89-km circuit will show you the Emerald Coast and Saint-Malo. Starting in Saint-Malo, set out along the coast as far as Pointe du Grouin. From this rocky spur, there is an exceptional view of the bays of Saint-Malo and Mont-Saint-Michel.

Cross the hinterland of Saint-Malo. You’ll be seduced by the infinite wilderness of the  Dol marshes, its lush bocage and its deep granite valleys. The final kilometres follow the hilly and windy estuary of the Rance valley to Saint-Malo via Saint-Suliac.

And that completes the loop.


The GR® de Pays – Tour de Brocéliande

This GR® de Pays is a 142-km loop to discover the Brocéliande forest.

In this mythical forest, you’ll discover Merlin’s Tomb, the Fountain of Youththe Giant’s TombVivien’s Housethe Golden Tree and the Valley of no return.

You might also make other discoveries.  Such as the aquatic birds from Northern Europe, or grey herons sitting on the banks of a lake. And if you’re interested in plants, you’ll pay attention to the many protected plant species in Brocéliande forest.

The Way of St James

Since their foundation in the Middle Ages, Mont-Saint-Michel and the shrine of Saint James are among the most important pilgrimage sites in the world. Still today, lone walkers or groups set off towards these sanctuaries in the footsteps of pilgrims from centuries past.

The Way of St James is one of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe. Two ways are thus signposted in both directions, one towards Santiago de Compostela and one towards Mont-St-Michel. La Voie des Capitales, thus called because it passes through two regional administrative capitals in the same historic region of Brittany. La Voie des Plantagenêts, the name of which is a reminder that a large part of the route passes through the lands of the Plantagenêts, the counts of Anjou…

 

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