Vélo et aviron au bord de la Vilaine

Outdoor activities

8 ideas for outdoor activities to enjoy

The weather in Rennes is mild and forgiving. This means comfortable temperatures throughout the year: perfect for sports and outdoor activities. Here are our suggestions for outdoor activities to be enjoyed in the city.

1. Hit the tree tops in les gayeulles

In the mood for an Adrénaline rush? Head to the Parc des Gayeulles leisure centre for an incredible tree-top trail experience. The Adrénaline forest is nestled in Rennes’ answer to Central Park, and offers fun activities (tree-top trails, treasure trails and trips to explore local biodiversity, etc.) for visitors aged 2 and above. With height levels that range from 1 metre to 17 metres high for adults and zip-lines suspended over the lake and weaving between the trees, the tree-top trail offers a huge range of circuits (30 to 50 minutes). Prices start from €5 for kids (€20 per person for adults).

The Les Gayeulles tree-top trail park is easily accessible from the town centre by bus or bike (15 minutes via cycle paths).

  • Adrénaline forest in the les Gayeulles park, open every day from 1 july to 31 august, wednesdays, weekends and bank holidays from 31 mars to 4 november.
Tree climbing in Rennes
Tree climbing in Rennes

2. Get a street workout on the mail.

CrossFit is a workout method that combines gymnastics, resistance exercises and weight-lifting. The craze has been sweeping through gyms all over the place, and Street Workouts are becoming increasingly on-trend. Facilities on the Mail François Mitterrand let you do pull-ups, crunches and dips on gym-quality equipment. The perfect place to pump some iron and meet other gym bunnies in one of Rennes’ major tree-lined avenues.

  • On the Mail François Mitterrand.
Crossfit on the mail François Mitterrand
Street Workout © Destination Rennes – Nicolas Joubard

3. Visit Rennes by kayak

The Vilaine is beautiful indeed and offers up great views of the city. Just a few strokes of your oars along the river and canals reveal an urban atmosphere amidst countryside with an almost jungle-like feel. Kayaking is a great way of exploring Rennes differently, giving you the opportunity to cross the city and enjoy unusual experiences like stopping for a picnic at the Jardin de la Confluence in the middle of the river, or travelling down a long, dark tunnel under the Vilaine’s car park.  Prepare to be astounded by France’s 10th biggest river!

Rent a canoe or kayak at the Kayak Club de Rennes, departing from the Plaine de Baud. As well as freestyle, self-guided hires, the club also offers guided tours to help you get to know the city by water. Information: kcrennes@hotmail.com Price: starting at €15 for a half day.

  • Canoe and kayak rental (april to late september) at the kayak club de Rennes, 35b rue Jean-Marie Huchet
Discover the Vilaine by Kayak
Discover the Vilaine by Kayak ©Destination Rennes – Bruno Mazodier

4. Running, trail-running and biking in the city

Brittany is pure heaven on Earth for running and cycling fans, and Rennes is no exception. Throughout the year, towing paths and hiking trails serve as a playground for cyclists, joggers, mountain-bikers and ramblers alike. The banks of the Vilaine, the Canal Saint-Martin, flat routes in the city’s parks and gardens, and craggier routes alike all await trail runners and mountain-bikers in the greater Rennes area. Around the Moulin du Boël mill, Orgères, or the Rennes forest, athletes are able to get moving on foot or by bike, using the many different paths and trails at their disposal.

Bike aboard of the Vilaine
©Destination Rennes – CRT – Simon Bourcier

5. Swimming in the Etangs d’Apigné lakes

Fancy a dip in the great outdoors? Rennes isn’t too far away from the sea, but you could also make a splash in the Etangs d’Apigné lakes. The Prévalaye water sports base is home to a beach and all the activities you can imagine. This natural 200-hectare space is the place to go for sun-bathing, rambling and swimming – whatever you fancy! Get there in mere minutes by bike or hop on a bus (20 minutes) thanks to the special bus route (Apibus), a series of shuttles that run throughout the summer and depart from the Esplanade Charles de Gaulle.

  • Lifeguard on duty every day from 1:30pm to 7:30pm from saturday 8 july 2017 to sunday 3 september 2017.

Other options for visitors with a soft spot for wild swimming: Vern-les-bains. In the town of Vern-sur-Seiche, a fine sandy beach awaits for summer visitors to enjoy on the shores of the Etang des Pâturiaux lake. Playgrounds and leisure areas, BBQ spaces, hikes, water sports and swimming with lifeguard on duty all summer long, every day from 2pm to 7pm in July and August.

Swimming in the Etangs d'Apigné lakes
Swimming in the Etangs d’Apigné lakes ©Destination Rennes – D. Gouray

6. Try your hand at paddle-boarding in cesson-sévigné

You don’t have to head out to sea to enjoy stand-up paddle-boarding. Get to grips with this balance-based water sport over at the Cesson-Sévigné outdoor sports base. Located in the heart of Cesson (easily accessible from Rennes), you can rent paddles here from €5.30 per hour for adults and €3.20 for kids, and enjoy cruising down the Vilaine. This water sports base is also a good place to try canoeing, kayaking and rafting, whether you go for a relaxed experience or the full white-water effect for extra adrenaline rushes – and beginners are welcome. Get here on the Star C6 bus, ‘Sports et Nature’ stop.

  • Base sport nature, 2 route de paris, 35 510 Cesson-Sévigné. Tel: +33 (0)223451818
Stand up paddle sur la vilaine
Stand up paddle sur la vilaine

7. Play golf near Rennes

In Rennes, you’ll have the choice of five different golf courses less than 15 km away from the city centre. Hit the green at the Blue Green in Saint-Jacques de Lande, the Golf de la Freslonnière at Le Rheu, the Domaine de Cicé-Blossac in Bruz, the Golf de Cesson-Sévigné or the Cap Malo in Melesse. Very different courses for golfers of all levels.

Golfing in Rennes

8. Explore the city’s neighbourhoods by skateboard

If you’re in town with your skateboard, set off to explore the city and its many different skate spots: the biggest streetpark is in the Arsenal district, a stone’s throw away from the centre. You can also try the Skatepark de la Poterie, bowls in the Long Champs area and the Courrouze, the ramp near the ice-rink at the entrance to the Parc des Gayeulles, woops at the Courrouze and a minipark in Maurepas.

There are loads of other great spots to explore in Rennes thanks to this map designed by the Skate à Rennes website. All you need to get skating in Brittany’s capital.

Skateboarding in Rennes
Skateboarding in Rennes ©Destination Rennes – Bruno Mazodier
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