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Cancale, Port de la Houle
Cancale, Port de la Houle
Coat of arms of Cancale
Coat of arms
Cancale is located in France
Coordinates: 48°40′37″N 1°51′02″W / 48.6769°N 1.8506°W / 48.6769; -1.8506Coordinates: 48°40′37″N 1°51′02″W / 48.6769°N 1.8506°W / 48.6769; -1.8506
Country France
Region Brittany
Department Ille-et-Vilaine
Arrondissement Saint-Malo
Canton Cancale
Intercommunality Saint-Malo
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Pierre-Yves Mahieu
Area1 12.6 km2 (4.9 sq mi)
Population (2008)2 5,341
 • Density 420/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 35049 / 35260
Elevation 0–56 m (0–184 ft)
(avg. 45 m or 148 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Cancale (Breton: Kankaven; Gallo: Cauncall) is a commune in the Ille-et-Vilaine department in Brittany in northwestern France. It is known as the birthplace of Saint Jeanne Jugan. Inhabitants of Cancale are called Cancalais in French.


Cancale lies along the coast to the east of Saint-Malo. It is a picturesque fishing port popular with visitors, many of whom are drawn by its reputation as the "oyster capital" of Brittany. Though a small town, it is well served by a large number of restaurants, many specialising in seafood. When not eating one can sit and watch the bustle of this busy little town with many stalls selling crustaceans of all types.

The oyster market (marché aux huîtres) at the harbour at the end of Quai de l'Administrateur en Chef Thomas offers a wide variety of local oysters at producer prices. At low tide part of the vast oyster beds can visited.[1]

There is a pleasant coastal path which permits a circular walk from the town to the Pointe du Grouin with views across the bay towards Mont Saint-Michel.

Eugène Feyen painted Cancale and the inhabitants with the oyster-picking Cancalaises for several decades around 1865–1908. Vincent van Gogh wrote that "Eugène Feyen is one of the few painters who pictures intimate modern life as it is really, and does not turn it into fashion plates".

John Singer Sargent featured Cancale in his work: Fishing for Oysters at Cancale.[2]


Oyster farms in springtime

History has it that Louis XIV had his oysters brought to Versailles from Cancale. Centuries later, the farming of oysters is still a major activity in the port and there are oyster beds covering about 7.3 square kilometres easily seen from the pier at the harbour. These beds harvest about 25,000 tons of oysters each year.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Cancale is twinned with:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bienvenue - Marché aux huîtres Cancale". Retrieved 2016-12-05. 
  2. ^ Fishing for Oysters at Cancale, Googleartproject.
  3. ^ St Clement in Jersey twins with Brittany town

External links[edit]