Dinan is a fortified town, once defended by its impressive castle, and encircled by ramparts. Built mostly on a hill, it has a strategic location on the route between Normandy and the northern coast of Brittany. From 75-metre high position, Dinan overlooks the Rance river as it flows north before emptying into the Channel between Saint-Malo and Dinard. Dinan, with its bridge, was long the most northerly point for crossing the Rance, which a little further downstream becomes a wide estuary.