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Ille et Vilaine

Ille-et-Vilaine is also called Il-ha-Gwilen in Breton and it is a French department of Brittany that is located at the region of Bretagne positioned in the northwest France.


The climate in this area is mainly oceanic. Its vicinity to the Atlantic Ocean and its warm currents guarantee the general mildness of the weather during all the seasons. Spring is usually early and mild while the summer is warm with a few rare storms.

Rainfall is common and often comes in the form of showers or drizzle and because of that the countryside is green and wooded. Anyway the weather is not very clear. For a single day there might be sun and showers as well. In the summer and spring sunny and cloudless days are also frequent.

The temperature in the winter is usually about 0 to 10 degrees and is rarely below 0C. In the summer the temperature is about 20 to 25 and rarely over 32 degrees.


Ille-et-Vilaine is part of the region Brittany. The other departments in the neighborhood are Manche, Mayenne, Maine-et-Loire, Loire-Atlantique, Morbihan, and Cotes-d’Armor. On the north is positioned the English Channel.

Some of the major rivers that run through this region are Ille, Vilaine, the Rance and the Couesnon. This region is positioned east of Brittany.

The coastline stretches from the bay of Mont St Michel to St Briac sur Mer including the ports of Cancale, St Malo and Dinard.

The most famous is the old walled town St. Malo. Behind the walls you can find a charming town with good restaurants and pavement cafes.

In Rennes you can visit the building of the parliament.

This department is known to be a maritime one. It population is 611,805 and its area is 2699 sq m. The area is a depression that is bordered with hills which reach their maximum altitude in the north-east and west. In the center is positioned the Rennes that is the capital of the department and is also important junction of roads, rivers and railways. The name of the department comes from the two main rivers the Ille and the Vilaine. The channel of Ille-et-Rance connects the town of Rennes with Dinan and ST Malo. Most of the bay of St Michel is covered with marsh of Dol. This is great agricultural land that is protected from the sea by dykes. Toward the channel the coast becomes rocky. There are a few small lakes in the middle of the department. There are grown different cereals like wheat, buckwheat, oats and barley. It is also good for potatoes, flax, hemp and tobacco. Of the fruits the major ones are apples and pears and the cider made from them is very reputable. There are also raised many horse and cattle.

Summer is the best time to visit this department because of the golden beaches which are good for sunbathing, swimming, body boarding and surfing. This coast is known for the famous ports and marinas, as well as sailing.


Ille-et-Vilaine is one of the 83 departments that were formed during the French revolution on March 4, 1790. It was then part of the province of Brittany.


This area has famous gastronomy. Some of the most famous dishes are galettes and crêpes which are very thin and wide pancakes that are either savory or sweet. There are also traditional pastries like far breton, kouign-amann and even salted butter that is used to cook any other food. Because of the vicinity of the sea there are a lot of sea resources. Such are: fish, cultivated shellfish like oysters and mussels, crustaceans like prawns, lobsters, crabs, and many others. The traditional drinks of this region are cider, Breton beer and chouchen.

Useful information

Tourism office in Brittany

Maps of Brittany

Ryanair flies to Dinard and Nantes
Flybe flies to Rennes and Brest
British Airways flies to Nantes
Air France flies to Nantes

Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Ille-et-Vilaine. We have a large network of estate agents in Ille-et-Vilaine. All of them are registered French real estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Ille-et-Vilaine matching your requirements. To find out more about our properties for sale in Ille-et-Vilaine do not hesitate to contact us.

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