Saint-Malo in Brittany

Following in the footsteps of the privateers
© Hachette Tourisme
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Saint-Malo is a proud city, as steadfast as the ramparts that stand strong against the sea and her enemies. The birthplace of two great privateers - Duguay-Trouin and Surcouf, the city is not unlike a great stone ship looking out to sea. Its romantic allure could have come straight out of a tale by the novelist François de Chateaubriand.


Walk round the ramparts

For an introduction to Brittany's Privateers, walk around the ramparts, which encircle the city's historic centre for a distance of almost 2 km. Narrow staircases leading to the ramparts nestle close to all 4 city gates. The panoramic views from the Saint-Thomas and Saint-Vincent gates are eye-poppingly beautiful and steeped in history. Stop off en route to sip a grenadine drink on the terrace of the Cunningham bar opposite the port (Cunningham, 2 rue Hauts-Sablons).

 

 


Crafts, theatre and local gastronomy

Entering the city through the Saint-Vincent gate, don't forget to stop off at the "Maison de Corsaire": a theatre piece recreating the atmosphere of the 17th century workplace is sure to entertain old and young alike!

 

Next lose yourself in the city's many little streets. Who knows, you could encounter Duguay-Trouain who was laid to rest in the cathedral. If you're overcome with a craving for something sweet, head for Margaux for a delicious caramel crepe with salted butter! (Crêperie Margaux, 3 place du Marché-aux-légumes).

 

 


Port bound for culture

South of the city, check out the Solidor Tower museum to see the treasures left behind by the sailors. Next follow in the footsteps of the "Great Men" of Saint-Malo to the country house known as the Moulinière du Puits-Sauvage where you can almost hear the young boys learning to jump ship in the horse swimming pool.

 

Not tired yet? Full steam ahead to the Droguerie de Marine (La Droguerie de Marine, 68 rue Georges Clemenceau) to buy your crew one of their famous steam-powered toy boats known as "pop pops".

 

 


Discover the Île grand Bé

An island like no other ... departure at low tide, from the beach at Bon Secours, to the tiny Grand Isle Be.

 

This rock is home to the secret grave of the famous French writer Chateaubriand. There, overlooking the sea, lies the genius in all sobriety. Be careful so you do not get caught by the tide on the way home!

 

 


All aboard for Dinan and Dinard

Looking for something a little more adventurous? If you're in the mood for nature, take the ferry to Dinard, where you can enjoy a walk along the Clair-de-Lune promenade or out towards Moulinet point.

 

Prefer a little shopping? Drive to Dinan where little art shops, bookshops and boutiques have replaced the stalls of the brassworkers and tanners in this former fishing port. To round off the day, toast the privateers with a good beer! (La Brasserie des rempart, 19 bd de Préval)

 

Tip: If you're a fan of travel literature then visit Saint-Malo on Whitsun weekend for the Étonnants Voyageurs festival:  a 3-day get together of over 200 authors from across the globe. Make for the high seas!

 

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