Saint-Malo

Travel Guide
Petit Be which includes sailing, rocky coastline and general coastal views

A real gem on the Emerald Coast, Saint Malo has a rich maritime history once renowned for buccaneering. Are you ready for an adventure? Then step aboard, me hearties!

This is one of those places where time seems to have stood still. A major maritime centre in the 17th and 18th centuries, Saint Malo is full of treasures surrounded by an impenetrable fortress. In addition to its exceptional architecture, this rocky peninsula is best known for its walled town with imposing granite ramparts.

Start your visit at Saint Vincent Gate where you can climb the walls and walk along the top. More than a mile long, this route is a great place to take in the sea air and enjoy the magnificent views of the bay. From the Bidouane Tower to the Bastion of Holland, passing by the Notre-Dame Tower, you can enjoy one viewpoint after another, each more beautiful than the last. You will be able to make out the Small Bay and the Large Bay, a wild island which houses the tomb of the writer Chateaubriand and, if the weather is fine, you will even see the famous Fréhel Cape. As you walk around the ramparts and the town’s streets, you will pass by a number of bronze statues of famous locals from history, such as the explorer Jacques Cartier who discovered Canada in the 16th century and the naval officer Duguay-Trouin.

To the north of the town, a few hundred metres from Éventail beach, is the National Fort, a remarkable structure which was built by the great architect Vauban at the end of the 17th century to protect the town’s prosperous port. This astounding place perched on an islet will delight anyone interested in military architecture, but be aware that it can only be reached at low tide! Next, drop in to the impressive Château de Saint-Malo for a visit to the Musée d’histoire et traditions maritimes du Pays malouin [Museum of the history and maritime traditions of St Malo], which tells the story of the town and the great names that made it what it is.

If history isn’t your cup of tea and you would rather spend your holidays getting a boost of adrenalin, why not try some of the many sporting activities on offer here, such as sand yachting, diving and windsurfing. Saint Malo is also the starting point for the famous Route du Rhum sailing boat race to Guadeloupe which takes place every four years and gives visitors the chance to witness some incredible vessels taking to the water.

So where do kids fit into all this? Your little treasures will love the extremely fun Grand Aquarium and the Les P’tits Pirates leisure park with its inflatables and trampolines for budding buccaneers!

You can get to Saint Malo by ferry, air, road or rail. Ferry crossings are available from several ports on the south coast of England, including Portsmouth and Plymouth. Trains from Paris take about three hours, involving a change of train in Rennes. Dinard Airport, less than 10 miles from Saint Malo, has flights arriving from several UK airports including London Stansted.

Saint Malo is a fascinating maritime town brimming with natural treasures and a unique history.

A real gem on the Emerald Coast, Saint Malo has a rich maritime history once renowned for buccaneering. Are you ready for an adventure? Then step aboard, me hearties!

This is one of those places where time seems to have stood still. A major maritime centre in the 17th and 18th centuries, Saint Malo is full of treasures surrounded by an impenetrable fortress. In addition to its exceptional architecture, this rocky peninsula is best known for its walled townwithimposing granite ramparts.

Start your visit at Saint Vincent Gate where you can climb the walls and walk along the top. More than a mile long, this route is a great place to take in the sea air and enjoy the magnificent views of the bay. From the Bidouane Tower to the Bastion of Holland, passing by the Notre-Dame Tower, you can enjoy one viewpoint after another, each more beautiful than the last. You will be able to make out the Small Bay and the Large Bay, a wild island which houses the tomb of the writer Chateaubriand and, if the weather is fine, you will even see the famous Fréhel Cape. As you walk around the ramparts and the town’s streets, you will pass by a number of bronze statues of famous locals from history, such as the explorer Jacques Cartier who discovered Canada in the 16th century and the naval officer Duguay-Trouin.

To the north of the town, a few hundred metres from Éventail beach, is the National Fort, a remarkable structure which was built by the great architect Vauban at the end of the 17th century to protect the town’s prosperous port. This astounding place perched on an islet will delight anyone interested in military architecture, but be aware that it can only be reached at low tide! Next, drop in to the impressive Château de Saint-Malo for a visit to the Musée d’histoire et traditions maritimes du Pays malouin [Museum of the history and maritime traditions of St Malo], which tells the story of the town and the great names that made it what it is.

If history isn’t your cup of tea and you would rather spend your holidays getting a boost of adrenalin, why not try some of the many sporting activities on offer here, such as sand yachting, diving and windsurfing. Saint Malo is also the starting point for the famous Route du Rhum sailing boat race to Guadeloupe which takes place every four years and gives visitors the chance to witness some incredible vessels taking to the water.

So where do kids fit into all this? Your little treasures will love the extremely fun Grand Aquarium and the Les P’tits Pirates leisure park with its inflatables and trampolines for budding buccaneers!

You can get to Saint Malo by ferry, air, road or rail. Ferry crossings are available from several ports on the south coast of England, including Portsmouth and Plymouth. Trains from Paris take about three hours, involving a change of train in Rennes. Dinard Airport, less than 10 miles from Saint Malo, has flights arriving from several UK airports including London Stansted.

Saint Malo is a fascinating maritime town brimming with natural treasures and a unique history.

Hôtel Ibis Budget Saint Malo Centre
Hôtel Ibis Budget Saint Malo Centre
2 out of 5
138-140, Boulevard des Talards, Saint-Malo, Ille-et-Vilaine, 35400
The price is £81 per night from 10 Jul to 11 Jul
Stay at this business-friendly hotel in Saint-Malo. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in their ...
3.9/5 Very Good! (502 reviews)
Very functional hotel for ferry.
"Very functional hotel and pleasant stay. Reception staff were very friendly and helpful. Breakfast was excellent. Hotel location is a little far from Saint Servan centre and old town which was the only negative for us. Otherwise excellent."

Reviewed on 4 Jan 2022

Hôtel Ibis Budget Saint Malo Centre
Hôtel des Marins
Hôtel des Marins
3 out of 5
2 Rue Des Marins, Saint-Malo, Ille-et-Vilaine, 35400
The price is £88 per night from 3 Jul to 4 Jul
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Saint-Malo. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast and room service. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (672 reviews)
"Very conveniently located within the walled town. Small but well equipped rooms. Very clean and functional."

Reviewed on 23 May 2022

Hôtel des Marins
Hotel France Chateaubriand
Hotel France Chateaubriand
3 out of 5
12 Place Chateaubriand, Saint-Malo, Ille-et-Vilaine, 35400
The price is £107 per night from 30 Jun to 1 Jul
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Saint-Malo. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 restaurants and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (502 reviews)
"The hotel would have been perfect if they had ventilation figured out. They report they had to disconnect the AC due to Covid, so the only ventilation were the windows over the noisy, brightly lit, and smoky courtyard. We had very rough nights of sleep with eye shades and headphones. Otherwise a ..."

Reviewed on 16 Jun 2022

Hotel France Chateaubriand
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Résidence Reine Marine
Résidence Reine Marine
4 out of 5
67, Avenue Kennedy, Saint-Malo, Ille-et-Vilaine, 35400
The price is £136 per night from 29 Jun to 30 Jun
Stay at this 4-star beach residence in Saint-Malo. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a beach locale. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in their ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (144 reviews)
"Nice location; great views and access to beach. Staff very helpful."

Reviewed on 26 Jun 2022

Résidence Reine Marine
Pierre & Vacances Résidence Ty Mat
Pierre & Vacances Résidence Ty Mat
3 out of 5
33, rue Georges V, Saint-Malo, Ille-et-Vilaine, 35400
Stay at this 3-star eco-friendly residence in Saint-Malo. Enjoy free WiFi, an outdoor pool and on-site parking. Our guests praise the pool in their reviews. ...
3.9/5 Good! (148 reviews)
"no service, no communication no email to tell us the code to enter in the building after the hours, no code to open the box to obtain the key the place is nice, no hair dryer, no room cleaning, no paper toilet, really small tv, we have to do the bed..,"

Reviewed on 10 Jun 2019

Pierre & Vacances Résidence Ty Mat
See Breizh Camping La Ville Huchet
See Breizh Camping La Ville Huchet
4 out of 5
Rue de la Passagère, Saint-Malo, 35400
Stay at this 4-star campsite in Saint-Malo. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a terrace. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in their reviews. Popular ...
3.6/5 Good! (18 reviews)
"beaucoup de bruit émis par certains clients jusqu'a 02 h 00 du matin ( musique ); qui ne respectent pas les autres et les règles ( baignade dans la piscine en dehors des heures) le directeur ne prend pas de sanctions envers ces clients. Et ne propose même pas un geste commercial et fait comprendre ..."

Reviewed on 16 Sep 2019

See Breizh Camping La Ville Huchet
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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