"Cancale" Cancale by ranger49

Cancale Travel Guide: 16 reviews and 63 photos

A living, working, picturesque town.

Our first visit to Cancale was a little bit of serendipity. We needed an overnight stop before an early departure from St. Malo and, using the trusty Logis de France Hotel Guide, we found just the place only a 10-15 minutes drive away.
This picture shows our first sighting of Cancale as we approached on a lovely sunny afternoon.We were immediately enchanted and have been back there several times since that first visit in 2004.
Cancale is famous for its oysters - a food I am happy to go without - but the activity around the oyster beds gives the town a focus and combined with the simple, natural beauty of the bay make it a very popular place for visitors.

Harvesting the oysters for Market

Cancale oysters are renowned and "cancale" may just refer to oysters in general. ( Like hoover and vacuum cleaners in general!)
Their production appears to demand long, hard working days and the small tractors that carry away the sacks of oysters are busy all day. But how much harder it must have been before mechanisation!

At the top of the hill

There is more to Cancale than its attractive bustling waterfront. The old town, just up the hill overlooking the harbour, is well worth visiting.

Here you will find a good range of traditional food,clothing and household shops, a pharmacy, newsagent, banks and cafes and restaurants.
We found the latter less tourist-busy than those clustered around the harbour, and they catered mainly to local people.
But so far we have not been tempted to try any of the establishments run by the renowned chef Oliver Roellinger who seems to cater for people with a much larger bank balance than ours.

The dominant building is the former church of St Méen, in place de la République. The present structure is mainly of the 19th Century but it now serves as a secular building housing the museum of local crafts and traditions.
On our last visit in July 2012 a notice inside the porch warned that scaffolding was in place for renovations and entry was “at ones own risk”. Not wishing to take any risk by treading a path through the dark interior we did not visit!

From the square an interesting network of small, narrow streets stretches out to meet newer residential developments and then the surrounding countryside.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A lived in working town with lots of appeal to visitors.
  • Cons:Much busier in July/August
  • In a nutshell:A place we are always glad to revisit.
  • Last visit to Cancale: Jul 2012
  • Intro Updated Aug 11, 2012
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