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In the summer tourist season, the population of Saint-Malo more than quadruples with visitors from all over the world. The superb port city in Brittany offers all the best characteristics of the former independent kingdom, from fresh, local oysters and seafood, to ferry service to the Channel Islands, medieval landmarks and cultural landmarks. On a scenic stretch of English Channel coastline, the most popular destination in Brittany offers a slew of options for visitors to enjoy.

The tidal island of Petit Bé is a wonderful place to start in Saint-Malo. A prominent 17th century fort, open at low tide from Bon Secours beach, is worth a visit. Other points of interest in Saint-Malo include the Cathedral of St. Vincent, Château of Saint-Malo and La Ville Intra-Muros. The Great Aquarium Saint-Malo is one of the best in Europe, with over 11,000 marine animals on display and close to 400,000 visitors a year.

Attractions

  • La Ville Intra-Muros
  • Petit Bé
  • Cathedral of St. Vincent
  • The Great Aquarium
  • Château of Saint-Malo
  • Activities

  • La Route du Rock
  • Cartoon Festival
  • Grands Voiliers
  • Sacred Music Festival
  • Fête du Clos Poulet
  • Restaurants

  • Bouche en Folie
  • A La Duchesse Anne
  • L'Art Caddy
  • Le Chalut
  • Delaunay
  • Nightlife

  • L'Aviso
  • L'Escalier
  • La Belle Epoque
  • Bar de L'Univers
  • La Caravelle
  • Saint-Malo has a temperate marine climate, with mild, rainy weather throughout the year.

    • Winter (December to February) 3-11°C
    • Spring (March to May) 5-15°C
    • Summer (June to September) 10-20°C
    • Fall (October to November) 6-15°C

    Saint Malo Hotels

    HotelClub

    Saint-Malo, France

    Saint-Malo is a quiet seaside town full of rustic beauty and rich historical sites that most travellers will find interesting. While it is not a party town that attracts spring break rowdies, Saint-Malo it far from boring. One of the oldest and most visited local attractions is Mont Saint Michel,which is the base of Mont Saint Michel Abbey, built in the 12th century. Just outside the borders of Saint-Malo is a town called Dinan. If you are a fan of Victorian architecture, you will love the many Victorian-style houses that surround this area bordering Saint-Malo. As you meander past Dinan to the Côte d'Emeraude,or ‘Emerald Coast’,you will find pristine, remote beaches free of tourist crowds and discover the quaint villages of St-Lunaireand St-Cast.This area also contains the Cap Fréhel,where you can spot large elusive birds called ‘gannets’ in the spring.

    Saint-Malo’s Top 10

    10. As the site of the world's first Tidal Power Plant, Saint-Malogets hundreds of thousands of visitors a year who want to see this landmark.

    5. If you have a special fondness for pirates, you will love the historic Demeure de Corsaire,which is a restored pirate house from the days when Intra-muros was still heavily fortified.

    9. The Ramparts in Saint-Malo were originally built in the 12th century, and some areas were restored five centuries later. You can walk the length of the Ramparts to see views of the entire area.

    4. Les Thermes Marins is a day spa that offers numerous pampering treatments such as massage and facials.

    8. Walled City or ‘Intra-muros’ is a popular attraction in Saint-Malo due to its history as a pirate base.

    3. Jacques Cartier Manor House is the former estate of Jacques Cartier, the explorer who discovered Canada. It is now preserved as an historical museum.

    7. Musee du Château is a museum with historical exhibits relating to Saint-Malo, such as items that belonged to or were associated with Jacques Cartier and other renowned residents.

    2. Fort National isan historic fortress built in the 1600s to protect Saint-Malo.

    6. St Vincent Cathedral is a Roman Catholic structure built in honour of Saint Vincent of Saragossa in the mid-12th century.

    1. Saint-Malo is home to the Grand Aquarium, which is the largest one in France. More than 600 species of aquatic animals live in this aquarium.

    Saint Malo History

    • Cathedrale St Vincent – This cathedral in Saint Malo was built between the 12th and 18th centuries. It is home to Jacques Cartier’s tomb.
    • Ile du Grand Be – This is the resting place of 18th-century writer Chateaubriand, who was the son of former sea captain René de Chateaubriand.
    • Fort de la Cite – This fort was used as a German base during WWII.
    • Memorial 39-45 – Housed in the Fort de la Cite, this memorial contains information on what Saint Malo was like during WWII.
    • Fort National – Built in 1689 by the Vauban, this used to be a prison.

    Saint Malo Art & Culture

    • Musee du Chateau – A museum in Saint Malo built in the 15th and 16th centuries that contains pieces on the history of cod fishing and WWII.
    • Musee International du Long Cours Cap-Hornier – This museum features information on the life and times of the sailors who sailed around South America.
    • La Ferme Marine – Located in Cancale, take a tour to learn about oyster farming.
    • Les Champs Libres – This place is located in the city centre of Rennes. It contains a library, museum with interesting exhibits, planetarium and conference room.
    • Port Musee – Located in Douarmenez, this is a floating museum involving more than 250 boats.

    Saint Malo Shopping

    • La Maison du Beurre – Handmade butters and cheeses by Jean-Yves Bordier.
    • Halle au Ble – An outdoor market in Saint Malo where you can purchase a variety of goods.
    • Gerard Taffin – A great shop that sells an assortment of chocolates and orange liqueurs.
    • Odyssee Marine – Sells a variety of marine and regatta clothing.
    • Lindfield – A retail store that specializes in the sale of teas including black, green and red varieties.

    Saint Malo Gay & Lesbian

    • L’Escalier Club – A gay-friendly nightclub in Saint Malo.
    • Grand Hotel De Courtoisville – A gay-friendly hotel that offers affordable rooms.
    • Le Cap Horn – A gourmet French cuisine restaurant that welcomes gays and lesbians.
    • L’Aneva – A gay-friendly restaurant that serves traditional French cuisine.
    • La Corderie – A mixed French bar that also serves French cuisine.

    Saint Malo Outdoor

    • Grand Aquarium – A place for the whole family in Saint Malo. It features a mini-submarine ride and touch pools in which you can touch some marine animals.
    • Aquarium Intra-Muros – A small aquarium where you will find a nice collection of tropical fish.
    • Plage du Mole – A small beach on the south side of town. A sheltered space that is nice place to sunbathe.
    • Parc du Thabor – Located in Rennes, this park is a great place to take a stroll or sit and people watch.
    • Intra Muros – An old city that is surrounded by 20ft-thick walls.

    Saint Malo Sport

    • Go sailing out on the Plage de Bon Secours.
    • Go for a jog along the Grande Be Beach.
    • Go windsurfing at one of Saint Malo’s beaches.
    • Play tennis at Saint Malo Sports Loisirs.
    • Learn how to surf at the Saint Malo Surf School.

    Saint-Malo Events

    Every April, Saint-Malo has its own carnival, ‘Carnaval de St-Malo, complete with rides, games, and food and craft vendors.

    Saint-Malo has its own jazz festival called ‘Couleurs Jazz’that takes place in March each year.

    The Fête du Clos Poulet takes place on Bastille Day in Saint-Malo. It is a small celebration that features folk dancing and other entertainment.

    The Sacred Music Festival in Saint-Malo has been an annual event since the early ‘70s. Audiences enjoy classical music performances in St. Vincent's Cathedral in July during this festival.

    In July, the Festival des Remparts turns this Saint-Malo landmark into a medieval landscape for a rowdy Renaissance faire complete with jousting matches, sword fighting knights, music and feasts.

    Saint-Malo rocks in August when the annual La Route du Rock Festival kicks off in an ancient castle within the Ramparts. Celebrants can enjoy live musical performances from numerous rock bands.

    Grands Voiliers is an annual race for tall ships that starts from the coast of Saint-Malo and takes place in August. All types of boats may enter as long as they meet the size requirements.

    The Annual British Film Festival is hosted in Dinard, which is close to Saint-Malo. It celebrates British films, but you can catch some American productions as well.

    The Cartoon and Film Festival takes place in October in Saint-Malo, and it features live-action and animated films, as well as musical concerts and activities for guests of all ages.

    Dance to live Celtic music in the Saint-Malo town square during the Festival des Folklores du Monde, which takes place in July. It features live music and dance performances by artists from all over the globe.

    When to Go

    The seasons in Saint-Malo do change, but the temperatures stay within the mild ranges even in the high summer months.

    Summer in Saint-Malo can bring high temperatures between 75-80°F (24-26°C), while the winter lows can usually stay in the 30s or 40s (1-4°C).

    The average rainfall for Saint-Malo in the spring and summer is around 2.5-3 inches (7 cm) per month, while the fall and winter months can get up to 4 inches (10 cm) of rain.

    Getting There

    If you are arriving to France by air, you will need to land in Paris or another large city, as there is no airport in Saint-Malo. You can take a train or bus from the airport into Rennes and then connect to Saint-Malo from there.

    Travellers from the UK are able to get to Saint-Malo via Condor or Brittany Ferries. Some routes are directly from port to port with no stops.

    Buses are the cheapest and easiest methods for getting around Saint-Malo, and certain lines make frequent trips to Mont Saint Michael if you want to see the monastery.


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