Destination Inspiration: Saint-Malo, Brittany, France

Destination Inspiration: Saint-Malo, Brittany, France

The ancient port town of Saint-Malo is a highlight of any trip to Brittany. While its famous chateau draws photographers and lovers of heritage travel, there’s little quite like gazing over the English Channel from the most dramatic beaches of France’s west coast.

web of age-old streets give way to golden sands in Saint-Malo,
where a historic cityscape is framed by dramatic shores. Medieval
walls draw lovers of history, but this is a place that’s just as
good for aesthetes. Fill your days with strolls around the famous
ramparts, snacking on local galettes or dipping in and out of the
serene shores.


Saint-Malo, Brittany, France

Why now?

Famed for its postcard-worthy coastline, this small French
clings to the western edge of Brittany. Originally built
as a defence against pirates and other seafaring enemies,
Saint-Malo is characterised by history-drenched medieval ramparts,
caressed by sapphire waves – though you’ll find some great
boutiques tucked along its cobbled streets too.

To appreciate all its glory, take the 2km walk around the
ramparts. As you lose yourself in the labyrinth of narrow streets,
stop by Maison du Québec, where you’ll find out about
St-Malo’s role in the founding of Canada. Hankering for a hike?
Climb to the top of the great keep of the 13th-century Château de
Saint-Malo to be rewarded with some fetching vistas.

Flooded with cafés, restaurants and outdoor terrace bars, the
cobbled Place Chateaubriandhead is prime pootling territory. Once
you’ve finished scoffing crêpes and gulping a local cider, peruse
stalls of local artist paintings and keepsakes.

Don’t miss

The beaches of Saint-Malo need little explanation, but we
recommend exploring them by boat when the tide is in – several
trips are available. If you’re eager for a longer ride, there are
regular trips to the town of Dinan.

Where to stay?

Try the seaside hotel of Castelbrac. Located just outside of Saint-Malo (half
an hour by car or taxi), this bayfront property is suffused with
sea air. Don’t miss a paddle in the slender pool that’s carved into
the face of the cliff.

Where to go for dinner…

Book a table at the Bistro Autour du Beurre Save, where you’ll taste the
coveted handmade cheeses and butter of the chef Jean-Yves Bordier.
Head to the shop next door to stock up on some supplies for the
journey home.

And for a drink…

Visit La Part des Anges and relish every last drop of its French

Who to take with you

Take that friend who manages to convince you to visit the beach
even on a rainy day. History lovers will alsop appreciate this
seaside city.

When to go

During the summer, when the weather is sunny and festivals are
in full swing. Plan your trip in tandem with July’s World Folklore
Festival – expect lots of costumes, dancing and storytelling.

Essentials to pack

This light Odyssee Fennwood crepe kaftan is perfect for
throwing over your swimming costume for a wander along the

How to get there

With the dock just a short walk from the centre, Saint-Malo is
best reached by boat. If you’re prone to sea legs, fly to Dinard
Airport, from where it’s a 25-minute drive into town.

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