Dinard first came to prominence during the 19th century and soon became the destination of choice for wealthy British and American holidaymakers in Brittany, who built the many magnificent villas in and around the town.
Getting ThereThere are two ways to cross the Rance both of which add to the experience of a visit to Dinard. A small ferry makes the short 10 minute crossing from the Porte de Dinan allowing for some refreshing views of both the river and St-Malo at a cost of 6 EUR for the return journey.
The second option is by car. While less invigorating than by boat it does allow a crossing of the Rance Barrage. This feat of 20th century engineering was the world's first tidal power station when completed in the Sixties. It harnesses the strong tides of the estuary to produce 600 million kWh annually - enough to power 250,000 homes. There's a visitor centre at one end for more information.
Town and BeachesWhilst Dinard was one of the most fashionable resorts in Europe at the start of the 19th century, today life continues at a relaxed and sedate pace. The square named after Marshall Joffre, half way along the main beach of Plage de l'Ecluse, is the focal point of the town. Here, a mixture of old and new buildings including a casino, swimming pools, hotels and restaurants look out over the large sandy beach which is backed by a neat line of blue and white sun shelters.
Dinard has strong links with the arts with the town hosting an annual British film festival in October and until recently the square even boasted a statue of Alfred Hitchcock complete with giant egg and bird. Pablo Picasso was a big fan of Dinard and painted some of his most famous pictures on the Plage de l'Ecluse.
Energetic visitors are also well catered for with an abundance of sports clubs including several for sailing, diving, kayaking and horse riding.
Coastal WalksThere are some lovely coastal walks in both directions from the town centre. The path to the east is floodlit during the summer months and leads to the Pointe du Moulinet for views across to St-Malo before descending down to the estuary shore and the beach of Plage du Prieure.
A stroll west takes visitors past rock outcrops, villas and stimulating sea views to the isolated beach at St-Enogat, a popular place for water sports enthusiasts.