Dinard, set on the dramatic coastline of Brittany in western France, has long been a fashionable destination for holidaying French urbanites. Characterised by its long and wide, tree-lined boulevards that converge on elegant squares full of chic restaurants and creperies, the city juts out seawards and is, therefore, surrounded on three sides by beaches and the sea. For sailing, water sport and beach enthusiasts, it means that the coast is always within easy walking distance.
The shops in Dinard are generally open Monday to Saturday from 9 am or 9.30 am to 7 pm in high season, and 9 am or 9.30 am to 6 pm at other times of the year. Coffee shops and patisseries are often open earlier in the morning from around 7.30 am. Most shops are closed on Sundays with a few exceptions, notably those for the tourist industry.
Dinard can trace its history back a good few centuries, but it is only in more recent times that the elegant resort has come to the fore. It is rather like a typical Victorian upmarket seaside holiday destination – long stretches of sandy beaches, coves, cliffs to explore and seemingly endless esplanades with continental style cafés, architectural street lamps and gardens full of flowers and shrubs. The waters are superb for sailing, and as such a number of marinas and mooring bays have emerged, complemented by facilities to enjoy water sports. Dinard offers a fine dining experience, with countless à la carte restaurants offering fish and seafood dishes – often a speciality - along with grills, traditional French cuisine and dishes from around the world. Shoppers delight in the many designer items available in Dinard’s excellent specialist shops – everything from fashions and leather goods to jewellery can be found. Wine shops sell great selections of wines, while delis are a must for unusual food items and markets offer an experience of lively French life as well as the chance to to shop for antiques.
Dinard's most attractive site is the Promenade du Clair de Lune, a pleasant seaside walkway that stretches all along the shoreline, passing through the beaches (plage) du Prieuré, de l'Écluse, and, finally, Plage de St-Énogat. Beaches are another major draw - as a seaside resort, Dinard is primarily known for its excellent sandy shoreline teeming with vacationers all through the high season. Many visitors to Dinard also write a trip to neighbouring fortified town of Saint-Malo into their itineraries.
Dinard’s residents and visitors tend to follow the French tradition of eating out at every opportunity – and it’s something to be taken very seriously. A la carte restaurants serve fine French cuisine as well as fresh fish and seafood, which is a speciality on many restaurants’ menus. Most of Dinard’s restaurants have impressive wine lists. For a lighter meal, the city has a good choice of creperies and fast food establishments.