Walk to this scenic island at low tide and embark on a romantic pilgrimage to the tomb of one of France’s greatest writers.
The Grand Bé is a serene tidal island known as the burial place of 18th-century French writer Chateaubriand. The picturesque islet connects to the walled city of Saint-Malo via a sandy causeway at low tide. Hike around the circumference of this charming rocky island.
Reach the sea-facing grave that contains the remains of celebrated French writer François-René de Chateaubriand. This Saint-Malo native is considered the founder of French Romanticism literature and was an active writer until his death in 1848. Admire the elegance of this simple and nameless tomb, adorned solely with a stone cross.
Ascend to the higher parts of the island for a panoramic vista of the sea, the surrounding islands and mainland France. Look back on Saint-Malo and admire the views of the ramparts. Kids will enjoy clambering over the rocks and crevasses of the Grand Bé’s jagged coastline.
Hire a guide from a tour operator in Saint-Malo for a more comprehensive understanding of the island’s scenery and history. Inspect the ruins of an ancient fort. Appreciate the utter tranquility on this quiet and spacious terrain, away from vendors and other facilities. Back on the mainland, enjoy the vista of the Grand Bé from the delightful sandy beach of Bon-Secours.
Reach the islet, which is roughly 985 feet (300 meters) beyond Saint-Malo’s city walls, on foot at low tide. You should wear comfortable, sturdy footwear to avoid slipping on the rocks. Make sure to check the tide times at the tourist office, to ensure you’re not marooned on the island for up to 6 hours. It is not recommended to attempt to swim, as currents are deceptively strong.
The Grand Bé is just off the shore of Saint-Malo in the northwestern corner of France. It is about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Rennes in the eastern part of Brittany. Visit nearby attractions, such as the Petit Bé, the Fort National and the Plague du Môle.