Saint-Malo is in the region of Brittany, it is known as a port city and a widely-loved vacation spot among Europeans. Surrounded by a 2km wall, the old town gives you a very special feeling.
HOW TO GO TO SAINT-MALO FROM PARIS
If you take TGV from Paris-Montparnasse Station, you will arrive at Saint-Malo in 3 hours. From the train station to old town, it takes 20-30 minutes on foot or 7 minutes by bus.
The Saint Vincent gate was built to make easy access to the town. The building of the wall began in the 17th century and finished in 18th century. Once you pass this gate, you will be in the old town. If you do not have enough time to visit all the spots, taking the little train is a good idea as it makes stops all the famous spots in the town.
Address : Place Gambetta, 56000 Vannes
Opening Hours : 24/24
The rampart starts right from the gate. There are staircases in mutiple spots that allow you to go up and down the rampart as you please. The rampart even continues near the sea making a perfect spot to enjoy the sea view.
In the old town, there is a peaceful village made up of great restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops. Among them, one of the most popular spots is Sanchez, the ice cream brand which started in 1992. They make ice cream with local farm milk, creating unique flavours including oreo, the smurfs, violette, and so on.
Address : 9 Rue de la Vieille Boucherie, 35400 Saint-Malo
Opening Hours : Daily 7:00-20:00
Price : 3-7euros
You can't come to Brittany without eating on the regions specialties, Crepes! Located just in front of the sea, Le Corps de Garde is one of the most popular crepe houses. There are various choices served with many different ingredients of your choice. Les Comtesses is the crepe with scallops and galic butter, which has an unforgettable taste that we truly recommend. The taste is rich but not too oily which allows you to fully enjoy this crepe until the very last bite.
Address : Montée Notre Dame, 35400 Saint-Malo
Opening Hours : 9:00-22:00
Price : 8-15euros
At the end of the old town, there is an exit to go down to the beach. A beautiful emerald sea unfolds endlessly before your eyes. This is definitely a perfect place to relax surrounded by white seagulls, blue sky, and emerald sea.
The small island on the left side and the bigger island on the right side are Petit bé and Grand bé. These two islands can only be reached at low tide. Petit bé reperents the port in 17th century, while Grand bé is well known to have the tomb of Chateaubriand.
Chateaubriand is a famous French writer, born in Saint-Malo. He always wanted to be buried at the end of Grand bé so that he could hear the calm sea waves forever. After he passed away in 1848, he was buried at Grand bé as he wanted. When we visited here, one seagull was guarding his tomb quitely.
Grand bé is not a very big island to explore and you can quickly climb to the summit. When you reach the summit, you will find a 360 degree sea view that will make you forget all of your worries.
The Quebec house was built here in Saint-Malo to make the stronger bond with Quebec while introducing Quebec to the French. Saint-Malo used be known as a assembly city of pirates, some still refer to the town as 'Pirates' City'. Bordered with the Strait of Dover, French and British pirates invaded each other's territory. At La Maision du Québec, there is a statue of Robert Surcouf, a pirate who played a remarkable role in Saint-Malo.
Address : 2 Rue des Champs Vauverts, 35400 Saint-Malo
The rampart was reinforced in the 12th century, and has been continually reinforced until the 19th century. However, in 1944, during World War II, most of the facilities were destroyed by the American Army. It took 12 years to recover this beautiful scenery. Now Saint-Malo has become an exciting vacation spot among europeans while also acting as a port city.
Saint-Malo is just one hour away by bus from Le Mont Saint Michel. The city is not so big so you won't need to stress about getting lost. In Saint-Malo, the history is rich, there are many things to see and you can take your time and relax. Saint-Malo is worth the visit.
Words and Photographs by Yuna Lee