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Saint-Malo
Travel Guide

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.

Where to stay in Saint-Malo

Top hotels in Saint-Malo

Hotel Oceania Saint Malo
Hotel Oceania Saint Malo
4 out of 5
Chaussée du sillon, Saint-Malo, Ille-et-Vilaine
The price is £93 per night from 14 Mar to 15 Mar

Offering direct access to the beach, this Courtoisville-Sillon-Moka hotel is in the historical district and within a 15-minute walk of Le Grand Large and St. ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (631 reviews)

"Beautiful room. Gracious staff."…"

Reviewed on 26 Jan 2020

Hotel Oceania Saint Malo
Hotel Kyriad Saint Malo centre Plage
Hotel Kyriad Saint Malo centre Plage
3 out of 5
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £54 per night from 7 Mar to 8 Mar

Located in Courtoisville-Sillon-Moka, this beachfront hotel is in the city centre and within 1 mi (2 km) of Sillon Beach, St. Malo Citadel and Port of Saint-Malo. ...

4.1/5Very Good! (357 reviews)

"Very comfortable hotel. Quite central, only a few minutes walk to the main sites of Rennes. Also close to the main train station. The staff were super friendly. There's a small pool/jacuzzi/steam room area for guests to use, which needs to be booked the day before but is very relaxing and private. ..."…"

Reviewed on 2 Nov 2019

Hotel Kyriad Saint Malo centre Plage
Grand Hôtel de Courtoisville - Piscine & Spa, The Originals Relais (Relais du Silence)
Grand Hôtel de Courtoisville - Piscine & Spa, The Originals Relais (Relais du Silence)
4 out of 5
The price is £128 per night from 1 Mar to 2 Mar

Located in Courtoisville-Sillon-Moka, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Grande Plage and within 3 miles (5 km) of St. Malo Beach and Saint-Malo Ferry Port. ...

4.2/5Very Good! (231 reviews)
Ok not brilliant

"The hotel is dated, the rooms were comfortable but tired. We found the staff sometimes ok sometimes dismissive."…"

Reviewed on 17 Nov 2019

Grand Hôtel de Courtoisville - Piscine & Spa, The Originals Relais (Relais du Silence)
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.

Top Holiday Rentals in Saint-Malo

Résidence Neptunia
Résidence Neptunia
The price is £97 per night from 5 Mar to 6 Mar

Located in Courtoisville-Sillon-Moka, this beachfront aparthotel is in a shopping district and within 3 mi (5 km) of Grande Plage, St. Malo Beach and Saint-Malo ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (25 reviews)

"Everything was fantastic just been refurbished so everything brand new will be staying here again Jewel in the crown for St Malo well done!"…"

Reviewed on 9 Jun 2019

Résidence Neptunia
Résidence la Hoguette
Résidence la Hoguette
3 out of 5
17 Avenue Pasteur, Sillon, Saint-Malo

Located in Courtoisville-Sillon-Moka, this beachfront residence is in the historical district and within a 15-minute walk of Plage de La Hoguette and Sillon ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (10 reviews)
Pro & con

"Pro: super close to beach. very nice hosts. good parking Con: walking 30mins to old town. You need to clean everything before you leave.(Garbage, Bed, vacuuming floor). otherwise they charge you 35euro!!!!! If you can enjoy cleaning all your room before your morning checking out. it’s a good place ..."…"

Reviewed on 17 Nov 2018

Résidence la Hoguette
Résidence Reine Marine
Résidence Reine Marine
4 out of 5
67, Avenue Kennedy, Saint-Malo, Ille-et-Vilaine
The price is £93 per night from 7 Mar to 8 Mar

Nestled on the beach, this Saint-Malo residence is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Plage du Minihic and 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from St. Malo Beach. Plage du Pont and Plage de ...

4.3/5Excellent! (136 reviews)
Good location on the beach.

"We enjoyed our time in St Malo on the beach. We also had fun using the pool. We did find the 2 bedroom apartment to be a little small, but it was still nice to have a kitchen to use for meals. I did find that the cleanliness of the apartment could improve. There was a dust pile on the floor when ..."…"

Reviewed on 4 Nov 2020

Résidence Reine Marine
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.

Popular places to visit in Saint-Malo

Top things to do in Saint-Malo

Reviews of Saint-Malo

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
45
5 - Excellent 51.13636363636363%
4 - Good
41
4 - Good 46.59090909090909%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 1.1363636363636365%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 1.1363636363636365%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

11 Feb 2020

Good restaurant's and bar's.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

24 Dec 2019

Visit regularly as live in jersey always a good place to visit

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

13 Nov 2019

Beautiful historic place

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

5 Nov 2019

This was agood choice of hotel , value for money, helpful friendly staff ,Clean and comfortable rooms and a good breakfast . Major disappointment, NO English speaking television channels available in rooms .Unaceptable with children on holiday

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

24 Sep 2019

The beaches are beautiful and not very busy. There are plenty of heritage sites to visit and transport links to other places. Have a galette at the Ambassador hotel on Chaussée de Sillon as they are better than the ones in town

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

22 Sep 2019

Great town for visiting lots to do. Food and restaurants pleasing

Cities near Saint-Malo