Brittany's Emerald Coast Walk

From $1640 per person

****# (94%) Based on 27 customer reviews
  • Beautifully varied and unspoiled, hardly touched by tourism
  • Deserted coastal paths, shaded forest trails, magnificent beaches
  • Traditional Breton fishing ports and unchanged Middle Age sites
  • Kingfishers, otters and a huge variety of nesting seabirds
  • Spectacular views: pink granite boulders above turquoise seas
  • Superb seafood; sweet and savoury crepes; refreshing local cider

What's included?

  • 8 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Every two days from 13 May '17 to 20 Sep '17
  • Continental breakfast and 4 evening meals
  • Managed locally by Headwater employed representative
  • Sustainability rating: 81%
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers
  • Headwater cider service

Excellent for...

Brittany's Emerald Coast Walk

Watch our exclusive video to discover more »

An outright winner from the start, this eight-night holiday allows you to experience the very best of the beautiful Breton coast. You'll enjoy simply stunning walks, taking in dramatic scenery, a wealth of colours and a multitude of mediaeval influences.

During the first few days of your holiday, you'll be walking along the magnificent paths that hug the northern coast. It's a landscape of pinky-gold cliffs, secret coves, deserted, heather-backed beaches and traditional Breton fishing villages untouched by tourism. It's perfect for exploring on foot and, at every turn, you're rewarded with fabulous panoramic views of the entire Emerald Coast. Heading inland, the route takes you along the banks of the River Rance and on through the majestic Hunaudaye forest. Highlights include the feudal Fort la Latte and the beautiful stone-crafted town of Dinan. In the Middle Ages, Dinan served as one of the main strategic strongholds of the Duchy of Brittany and much of her mediaeval charm remains today.

Your accommodation is full of contrasts too, including a lovely seaside hotel in Sables-d'Or-Les-Pins and a superbly located 4 star hotel built into the ramparts in the heart of historic Dinan. In Dinard, you'll stay in the upgraded sea-view rooms looking out across the idyllic Atlantic expanse to the old port town of St-Malo.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive at Lamballe

Your holiday starts at M. Jamin's C16 manor house in the countryside, just 3kms outside the market town of Lamballe. With only fourteen rooms, it's a lovely, intimate place to stay. The courtyard opens up onto beautifully kept gardens and an elegant terrace for al fresco dining on fine summer evenings.

Day 2 - Lamballe to Sables d'Or-Les-Pins 17km/11mi/5hr

You take a short transfer to the tiny Breton fishing port of Dahouet. From here, it's coastal walking at its best: extensive views, aquamarine seas, white sandy beaches and rocky coves - don't forget your swimming things! Lunch on the beach at Caroual then head inland and on to your lovely hotel at Sables-d'Or-Les-Pins.

Day 3 - At Sables d'Or-Les-Pins

Sables-d'Or-Les-Pins is a lovely seaside village with magnificent golden sand beaches. It would be easy to just spend the day here, however we strongly recommend following our suggested circular walk (route notes provided) along a spectacular coastal footpath around the cliff and on to nearby Cap d'Erquy, a delightful fishing village with some outstanding seafood restaurants for lunch.

Day 4 - Sables d'Or-Les-Pins to Dinard 17km/11mi/5hr

Deserted beaches and heather-topped cliffs provide the colourful backdrop for today's walk which leads you via the Cap Frehel Lighthouse (look out for nesting seabirds) to the famous C14 feudal stronghold of Fort la Latte. Perched on a rocky promontory over the ocean, this castle occupies one of the finest sites in Brittany. Climb up the tower for magnificent coastal views, out as far as Jersey on a clear day.

Day 5 - At Dinard

Once a sleepy fishing village on the estuary of the Rance, the English transformed the town into one of the most famous and upmarket resorts in Europe during the C19. Although a little quieter now, it has not lost any of its charm and many of the Belle Epoque villas have become historic monuments. Walk out to the Pointe des Etretes for views of the off-shore islands, or take a 10-minute water taxi across the bay to St-Malo and lose yourself in the narrow cobbled streets within the Intra Muros (fortified walls) of this ancient mediaeval city.

Day 6 - Dinard to Dinan 19km/12mi/6hr

Starting with a transfer to the picturesque Breton village of Langrolay-sur-Rance, today's route takes you inland, mostly following the course of the River Rance. It's wonderfully tranquil walking through shady forests, fruit orchards, and along peaceful riverside paths. Your 4 star hotel in Dinan is superbly located within the ramparts of the mediaeval old town.

Day 7 - At Dinan

This beautifully preserved ancient walled town, with its riverfront port, is an absolute gem. Wander round the splendidly restored ancient squares and ramparts, visit the imposing C13 castle, admire the flamboyant Gothic basilica and stroll along the cobbled streets packed with authentic artisan workshops.

Day 8 - Dinan to Plorec/Lamballe 18Km/11.5mi/5hr

You take a short transfer then it's off through the Pays du Tour du Penthievre where shady woodland paths skirt the river as far as the impressive C13 Chateau de la Hunaudaye, the ruins of which date back over 800 years. Then it's on across farmland, past ancient standing stones, to Lamballe, where you can relax in the hotel gardens before dinner.

Day 9 - Leave Lamballe

Walking information

Varied walking following well-marked GR routes along coastal paths, river banks, country lanes and shady forest tracks. Some steep, but short, ascents and descents, but a good head for heights is not necessary.

Walking information

Varied walking following well-marked GR routes along coastal paths, river banks, country lanes and shady forest tracks. Some steep, but short, ascents and descents, but a good head for heights is not necessary.

For a longer tour, why not consider combining this with our Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

Le Manoir des Portes, Lamballe   (3 Star)

Le Manoir des Portes, Lamballe

Situated just 3km outside Lamballe in the little hamlet of La Poterie, this charming C16 manoir, run by the affable M Jamin, is the perfect place to get away from it all.

All the 16 cosy rooms are individually decorated and have lots of character. In the main, they overlook the beautiful gardens, where you can relax with a good book or enjoy an apéritif before dinner.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • Swimming pool

Hotel de Diane, Sables d'Or-Les-Pins   (3 Star)

Hotel de Diane, Sables d'Or-Les-Pins

This lovely little hotel is located 100m from the large beach of Sables d'Or. The hotel is traditional in style and dates back to the 1920s, although it has had extensions and modernisations to the rooms since this time!

Rooms are located in 2 buildings; the first building has a far more traditional feel to it in terms of décor, compared to the new rooms, which are modern in style. All rooms are well decorated and some rooms have balconies.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television

Nearby facilities:

  • Market

Hotel Printania, Dinard   (3 Star)

Hotel Printania, Dinard

With its superb location a short 50m stroll from Dinard's main beach and situated right on the sea front looking out towards St Malo, the views from the Hotel Printania are fantastic! The hotel seems more like a museum in style: its quintessionally Breton public rooms - including a sitting room with piano which guests are welcome to play! - all feature the carved wooden furniture typical to the area, as well as paintings by local artists and Henriot Quimper porcelain.

All 55 rooms are ensuite and all are individually decorated with characteristic Breton detail. Headwater customers stay in the delightful upgraded sea view rooms.

Please note that the triple rooms at this hotel only have a double bed and a single bed; 3 bedded rooms are not available.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television

Hotel Le d'Avaugour, Dinan   (4 Star)

Hotel Le d'Avaugour, Dinan

We are delighted to have found this lovely hotel right in the heart of mediaeval Dinan. All the rooms are en suite and individually decorated with stylish soft furnishings.

The hotel has a small bar and a beautiful garden where you can have breakfast or enjoy a pre-dinner drink. Walk to the end of the garden and you find yourself on the ramparts of the town.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television

Extra nights and stop over hotels

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Hotel St Louis, St Omer   (2 Star)

Hotel St Louis, St Omer

A traditional hotel in the town centre - very convenient for the channel ports and also for exploring St Omer itself - an aristocratic town that boasts the finest Cathedral in Northern France.

The hotel has two restaurants. One of these has an airy modern feel, the other is more intimate with low lighting and a brick 'cellar' feel. There is also a residents' bar: le Flo.

The rooms are furnished in a simple but appealing style and all have an en suite bathrooms.

The hotel also has private parking for its guests.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Hotel Le Senat , Paris   (4 Star)

Hotel Le Senat , Paris

The 4* Le Senat is simply stunning! There are just 41 rooms, all stylishly furnished and a couple of suites with terraces, if you really fancy splashing out! All have satellite television, mini bar, air-conditioning, safe and hairdryer, plus Internet access.

The hotel has its own small bar - adorned with photographs of eminent artists, being in the heart of the artists' quarter - plus a reading room with complimentary internet access.

Breakfast is taken in the basement, where you'll find a copious buffet of viennoiseries, cereals, fruit salad, ham, cheese, bread, yoghurt, bacon, eggs, sausage, fruit juices, tea or coffee. If you prefer, you can have a continental breakfast served to your room at no extra charge.

Le Senat is perfectly located on a quiet side street just a stone's throw away from the Luxembourg Gardens and metro, and a 5 minute walk from the vibrant Latin quarter, where you'll find a plethora of restaurants to suit all budgets.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Travel options

Transfers included from Lamballe train station at 15:12 Sat & Sun, 17:33 Mon-Thurs, 17:27 Fri and back to Lamballe train station at 08:45 Mon-Fri, 09:15 Sat & Sun.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mrs Monk on 08/08/2016

A well structured, walking holiday on the Brittany coastline .

Reviewed by Ms Gordon on 14/07/2016

Stephen is a great asset to Headwater, he is outgoing, helpful and informative.Thank you again to the online staff of Headwater for a glorious 9 days!

Reviewed by Mrs High on 14/07/2016

A much enjoyed and excellent holiday giving us the opportunity to see some spectacular scenery. we did appreciate the days restbetween each walk as the walks were fairly demanding and the miles covered were probably to our limit.

Reviewed by Mrs Lynn on 13/07/2016

Good food, good walking and good organization.

Reviewed by Mrs Moffett on 03/06/2016

We enjoyed it. very much. Steve was very good at adapting to our limited capacities.

Reviewed by Mrs Ing on 31/05/2016

A relaxing holiday in an unspoilt part of France. The coastal scenery is fantastic and the uncrowded stretches of beaches a joy to behold. What really made the holiday was Steve. He was so helpful and accommodating we were made to feel quite special.

Reviewed by Mr Ingram on 24/05/2016

A varied walk, first days along the magnificent coast and latterly along the river and into the forest. Comfortable Hotels and excellent food!

Reviewed by Mr Still on 24/08/2015

Well researched, well organised, varied walks to interesting towns with an attractive mix of accommodation all supplemented by an excellent local rep.

Reviewed by Mr Cook on 16/08/2015

A very enjoyable experience in one of the lesser known (for Americans, at least) areas of France.

Reviewed by Ms Whiteaker on 07/07/2015

The walking trip in Brittany was excellent. Our rep was brilliant, going out of his way to ensure we had everything we needed and more. The route notes were thorough and the walking itself was on lovely trails.

Reviewed by Ms Sampson on 18/06/2015

Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience; a lovely lazy way of booking a really good holiday - everything is provided for and has been thought of. Excellent.

Reviewed by Mr Rodesano on 13/06/2015

This was an excellent varied walk and well constructed taking in coastal paths, forest and river scenes and the beaches were superb.

Reviewed by Mrs Barrett on 22/09/2014

Fantastic coastal walks. Distances are reasonable but remember as it is coastal you drop from cliff tops to sea and back up again. Fantastic beaches, well worth a return visit on the 'day off' from walking.

Reviewed by Mr Tabrett on 22/09/2014

This was a superb holiday made especially enjoyable by the exceptional help and untiring humour of your rep, Steve Barrington, who went way beyond the call of duty to look after everyone.

Reviewed by Ms Mulholland on 01/06/2014

As a solo walker I felt a great sense of achievement

Reviewed by Mrs Rees Jones on 01/10/2013

Excellent and very helpful local rep, Steve. The walks were quite long and the day walk from Dinard and Dinan had no places to stop en route for coffee or even to picnic apart from stopping beside the path/road.

Reviewed by Mr Davies on 19/09/2013

The Emerald coast walks are some of the best I have done. Your local rep. Steve Cunningham is excellent. Hotel at Lamballe has very good food and service, but the two rooms I had were fairly basic. The hotel Diane has good decor and service, but the food was a little disappointing. I did not much care for the Hotel Printannia, either the decor or the food. I had one good dinner and one rather mediocre one. The hotel D`Avaugour was excellent. In spite of my views about the hotels, I thoroughly enjoyed the holiday because of the lovely walks and gorgeous scenery.
Headwater response:
Dear Mr Davies, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday feedback. It sounds like you really enjoyed your time in Brittany. We would also like to thank you for your complementary feedback for our rep Steve. I am sure he will be delighted to hear you rated his service so highly. We have discussed your constructive feedback regarding the hotels you stayed in and are pleased to advise the Hotel in Lamballe are planning to renovate areas of the hotel. We were surprised to hear you found the food disappointing at Hotel Diane; ordinarily the feedback for this hotel is good. Please be assured we have passed on your comments to the Hotelier and will work with them to ensure they deliver the high standards our customers expect, we will continue to monitor the feedback we receive and expect to see positive feedback for this hotel in the future. We have also changed the standard rooms at the Hotel Printania, all customers will now receive sea view rooms as standard and we have reduced the board basis to B&B as there is so much choice for customers to sample in Dinard. We hope you will agree these improvements will continue to help enhance this holiday for future customers. In closing, we would like to thank you for your feedback and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future. Kind regards, Headwater Customer Service team

Reviewed by Mrs Wilson on 03/08/2013

Overall it was a very enjoyable holiday made the more so by our excellent rep. It is an excellent way of seeing in detail a small part of, in our case, France.

Reviewed by Mr Boyd on 23/07/2013

This was our 10th French walk with Headwater. We had been putting off trying the Britanny coastal walk due to concerns about the possibility of bad weather but our fears were unfounded. In the event the weather was perfect for walking, the scenery was spectacular, there were lots of interesting places to see and visit, and we particularly loved our balcony overlooking the estuary at Dinard. Your local rep Steve could not have been more helpful. This was one of our favourite French walks and we would highly recommend it.

Reviewed by Mrs Baser on 09/07/2013

We had a fabulous time, thoroughly enjoyed the walks, though did find the route notes needed updating and clarifying in places - they're probably OK for very experienced walkers/mapreaders, but we're still relatively new to all this, and need things spelt out clearly, specifically and unambiguously! Steve the rep was brilliant, very informative and helpful. Food very good, hotels mostly fine, though our room in the Printania was a bit snug (but we did love their waitresses in full Breton outfits, set off perfectly by a lovely modern nose-stud!). Another excellent Headwater holiday - thanks!

Reviewed by Mr Peacock on 23/06/2013

Overall a very enjoyable holiday. Particularly enjoyed the coastal walking. For us more time on the coast and miss out the trudge through the forest on the last day.

Reviewed by Ms Loly on 30/10/2012

Headwater reps are always so friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Steve provided lots of local information not otherwise available, as well as tips for the walking route. He went above and beyond our expectations, and added so much to our enjoyment of the area and to our trip. Although we have sometimes used other companies, Headwater stands out in the service it provides, an the quality of food and accommodation. Kudos to staff at Hotel de Diane in Sables d'Or les Pins who accommodated us beautifully in the midst of a very large conference group using the hotel too.

Reviewed by Mr Britton on 01/10/2012

We really enjoyed the week - a varied selection of walking routes, no difficulties navigating, four quite different places to stay and good weather. Congratulations on putting it all together and thanks for the effort you put in on our behalf - we will certainly be recommending the tour to our friends.

Reviewed by Mr Suddaby on 23/07/2012

travel was problematic at times, see separate letter.Apart from that, very enjoyable.

Reviewed by Mr Pearson on 07/07/2012

Excellent walking and support from Steve whose local knowledge enriched the whole experience.

Reviewed by Mr Wall on 30/06/2012

A lovely break, with excellent accommodation and meals, with superb walking along the coast in particular.

Reviewed by Mrs Anzarut on 23/06/2012

One of the best Headwater Holidays we have taken.

Departure dates & prices

May 2017 departuresTour only 
May 13$1640
May 15$1640
May 17$1640
May 19$1640
May 21$1640
May 23$1640
May 25$1640
May 27$1640
May 29$1640
May 31$1640
June 2017 departuresTour only 
Jun 2$1705
Jun 4$1705
Jun 6$1705
Jun 8$1705
Jun 10$1705
Jun 12$1705
Jun 14$1750
Jun 16$1750
Jun 18$1750
Jun 20$1750
Jun 22$1750
Jun 24$1750
Jun 26$1750
Jun 28$1750
Jun 30$1750
July 2017 departuresTour only 
Jul 2$1750
Jul 4$1750
Jul 6$1750
Jul 8$1750
Jul 10$1795
Jul 12$1795
Jul 14$1795
Jul 16$1795
Jul 18$1795
Jul 20$1795
Jul 22$1795
Jul 24$1795
Jul 26$1795
Jul 28$1795
Jul 30$1795
August 2017 departuresTour only 
Aug 1$1795
Aug 3$1795
Aug 5$1795
Aug 7$1795
Aug 9$1795
Aug 11$1795
Aug 13$1795
Aug 15$1795
Aug 17$1795
Aug 19$1795
Aug 21$1795
Aug 23$1795
Aug 25$1795
Aug 27$1795
Aug 29$1795
Aug 31$1795
September 2017 departuresTour only 
Sep 2$1705
Sep 4$1705
Sep 6$1705
Sep 8$1705
Sep 10$1705
Sep 12$1640
Sep 14$1640
Sep 16$1640
Sep 18$1640
Sep 20$1640

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided walking, hotel-to-hotel. Managed locally by Headwater employed rep.


Every two days from 13 May '17 to 20 Sep '17, for 9 days (8 nights). This holiday departs every 2 days, however non-standard arrivals and altered itineraries may be possible - please call for prices.


Continental breakfast and 4 evening meals.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Lamballe train station at 15:12 Sat & Sun, 17:33 Mon-Thurs, 17:27 Fri and back to Lamballe train station at 08:45 Mon-Fri, 09:15 Sat & Sun.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

We'd like to keep you informed of our latest news and special offers. Please tick here if you'd rather not receive our free e-newsletter.
We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.


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