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Dol de Bretagne - a romantic market town

The little market town of Dol de Bretagne, which is located in the Breton department of Ille et Vilaine, is full of mediaeval charm and romance. The town is located close to, although not on, the northern coast of Brittany, and has great access to the ferry port of St Malo, making it a perfect spot for a holiday home or weekend cottage.

Touching the past

As you explore this town you will begin to feel that you are truly in touch with the past. Dol de Bretagne has had a turbulent history, and there are signs of this throughout, but much of the original architecture has managed to survive and there is plenty to see and do here that you will find fascinating. The fortified Cathedral of Saint Samson is a definite "must see", and don't confine your visit to the exterior either, as the inside is equally impressive. The Rue des Stuarts is also something that every newcomer to Dol de Bretagne should see. This intriguing and enduring road has some incredible old houses, some dating back to the 12th century, and even displaying Viking and Nordic influences.

Mont Dol - Druid site in a swamp

Mont Dol is an imposing dome-shaped granite rise which was once an ancient site for Druid worship. The Mont was originally sited on an island, but in recent times this has become a swamp rather than a sea, as the land has encroached and the waters receded. It is still a fascinating historical site, and worth a visit.

Menhir du Champ Dolent and Landal Castle

Other sites worthy of a mention include the huge Menhir du Champ Dolent, a 9.5 metre standing stone weighing approximately 50 tonnes, which has been shaped and sculpted out of granite. And then there is the painstakingly restored 12th century Landal Castle, where magnificent eagles breed and raise their young.

Bustling centre

The old centre of the town is a hive of activity, especially in the summer season when the tourists arrive in droves to enjoy the history and mystery of this lovely old town. There are plenty of characterful cafés, shops and bars, and a great choice of restaurants too, where you can enjoy Breton specialities such as cider, seafood and pancakes. The market takes place on Saturdays, and is an excellent example of a French street market, with everything but the kitchen sink on sale in the most colourful fashion!

Out and about

Dol de Bretagne is set in Brittany, but on the edge of Normandy, so you have the best of both worlds at your feet here. Explore both regions, they have so much to offer. Nearby Mont St Michel is one of the most revered tourist sites in this area, so don't forget to take a look, and there are fabulous beaches and beautiful countryside everywhere you go. History buffs can track the important and often tragic battles of the world wars that so scarred northern France, and shoppers can take advantage of the excellent shopping available in the port towns.

How to get there

If you want to travel by air, you can fly to Rennes or to Dinard. Rennes is served by flybe and Aer Lingus, while Dinard is served by Aurigny and Ryanair. Those who prefer train travel can take a TGV train to Rennes after disembarking from the Eurostar at Paris. It is also possible to travel by boat, catching a ferry to St Malo, Caen or Cherbourg. Drivers will find the town from the N176, which lies close by.

Property prices in and around Dol de Bretagne

Property in Brittany can be pricey, because it has long been established as a popular destination, especially for holiday home buyers from across the channel. There are still some bargains to be found, however, especially a short way inland, which is the situation of Dol de Bretagne. Look out for Breton-style character properties in particular, as these are always in demand and hence make good investments.

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Dol de Bretagne AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Dol de Bretagne?

Dol de Bretagne is located in eastern Brittany, in the north-west of France. It lies in the very north-west of the Ille et Vilaine department.

Dol de Bretagne Property Map


Brittany Guide

Brittany Property Map


Ille-et-Vilaine Guide

  Ille-et-Vilaine Map

Population: 4,563

Access: By air: Fly to Rennes or Dinard. By boat: The nearest ferny ports are those of St Malo, Cherbourg and Caen. By rail: The TGV can take you to Rennes from Paris.By road: Dol de Bretagne lies very near the N176.

Economy: The economy of this small town is based on tourism and rural industries.

Interesting fact: Dol de Bretagne is home to one of the tallest and most magnificent of Brittany's menhirs or standing stones. The Menhir du Champ Dolent is 9.5 metres tall!

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