Dinard is on the coast of north eastern Brittany just across the Rance estuary from Saint Malo.
The beginning of Dinard as a fishing village were pushed aside at the end of the 19th century, when the wealthy and fashionable of that time built their luxury houses there.
Dinard has an unexpectedly mild climate for the region due to the warm gulf stream.
At the end of the 19th century Dinard was said to be considered as France’s no 1 seaside resort. It was the place to be seen and the place to go by the wealthy and the famous.
The popularity of Dinard from the 19th century resulted in a lot of attractive villas and houses being built. Many of them are now protected buildings thanks to their individual and eclectic style.
Some of the best examples of the 19th century houses can be viewed from along the seafront and there are some amazing sea views. In the port you can book boat trips out to sea and along the gorgeous Rance river. The town centre has a large range of cafes, shops restaurants and boutiques perfect for a rainy day when a day at the beach is not ideal. There are many art galleries in the centre of Dinard where there is a variety of artwork on display.
There are several other important buildings in Dinard which may attract your attention. Many are built in the local granite. These include the 14th century Maison du Prince Noir (House of the Black Prince) which is a quaint little ancient priory and dating back from the 17th century, the magnificent imposing Manoir de la Baronnais.
The Dinard tourist office can give you a map which suggests a route to follow through the town to ensure you get the best views of the imposing villas and monuments.
Opposite the Prieure beach there is the Port Breton Pak which has a large rose garden and a nice little play area for the children.
Like most beach resorts in France Dinard has a casino, found on the Plage de l’ecluse, Dinard’s main beach and many of Dinard’s most luxurious hotels can be found here too.
There are 3 main beaches in the town, which are all the beginning of beautiful walks along the coastline. Nearby there are several sandy beaches all of which are very pleasant. The two beaches in the centre of Dinard are the Plage de l’ecluse which has the most activities and facilities and the Plage de Saint-Enogat, where you can see the most imposing villas. There is the Plage du Port Blanc a little further along which has less amenities and tend to be quieter than the more central beaches.
If you head east out of the town along the coast you will get views at the end of the headland called Moulinet Point (the eastern end of the Plage de l’eluse) from here you can immerse yourself in the magnificent views of St Malo across the water.
An excellent walk is the ‘Promenade du Clair de Lune’ or ‘Moonlight walk’. The walk runs between the Pointe du Moulinet and the Prieure beach and takes you through the gardens which in the evening are lit up and have music playing.
Each morning there is a daily market in the Halles de la Concorde and in Place Crolard there is a market on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.
In early April to early September there is an antiques/ vide grenier market in Dinard at Esplanade de la Halle all day Sunday.
You can see why Dinard holds itself forward as the heart of the Emerald Coast.