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Exploring Saint-Malo and Brittany in France

What’s up guys! After New York in May, I decided to have a last minute week off from work in August so I could have a bit of a summer break. At first it was the plan to not go anywhere, but then we started to have doubts and booked a short trip to Saint-Malo, France!

For our trip, we didn’t want to travel a lot because we only had a week off from work. France was a quick decision because it’s a very beautiful country not too far from the Netherlands. The south of France would be a bit too far, but we did want something at the coast. Soon we found Saint-Malo, a beautiful town in Brittany.

Saint-Malo, France

Saint-Malo

The city is surrounded by a wall and has a history of piracy, which you can see in many ways if you’re in the city. There are some new pirate ships in the harbour for display, and also inside the walls you can clearly see that the pirate theme is still there. The town is very characteristic and has lots of nice cozy streets to walk through. There is one big shopping street which is one of the busiest streets of the town. You can also find a lot of places to eat and drink, wether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a cup of coffee. Of course, almost all places serve crêpes but also mussels and other fish (the specialities in Brittany).

On the wall of Saint-Malo looking over the harbour
One of the beaches with a nice pier
On the wall, looking over the beach and seeing Petit Be in the sea
Beautiful sunset on the day of arrival
Some beautiful buildings right behind the wall of Saint-Malo
Enjoyed a delicious pizza to end our first day

Because we arrived in the evening, we didn’t see much of the city yet. The next day we went to explore the rest of Saint-Malo. Something really unique is that the tides are very noticeable in Saint-Malo. You can walk to several islands nearby when it’s low tide, such as the fort, Grande Be and Petit Be. Grande Be is a small island where you can enjoy a beautiful sea view. It’s also the place where Mr. Chateaubriand is buried, a French native writer from Saint-Malo. Really cool to visit these islands that are normally surrounded with water!

The fort of Saint-Malo
Grande Be, Saint-Malo
The view from Grande Be, Saint-Malo
View from the rocks at the beach
Later that day the weather got a lot better so we enjoyed the beach for a minute

Pointe du Grouin and Dinan

About a half hour drive from Saint-Malo, you can visit Pointe Du Grouin. A beautiful view point from the rocks over the sea. It’s also a great hike with some very impressive views over the sea and the coast of Brittany.

At Pointe Du Grouin
View from Pointe Du Grouin
A small beach we found walking down the rocks

After seeing Pointe Du Grouin we went back to the car and drove to Dinan, which was a 45 minute drive. It’s a town a bit more into the main land and is a beautiful medieval looking town. We went to explore the town and also had to stop for some delicious crepes of course 😉 After Dinan we went back to Saint-Malo to have some dinner and in the evening enjoyed some drinks at a bar.

On the wall of Dinan
Beautiful characteristic buildings in Dinan
Dinan
Delicious crepes!

Rennes

The next day we decided to go to Rennes. A bigger city a bit more into the mainland of Brittany. First we had some breakfast at one of the cute little bakeries in Saint-Malo. Of course, we had to try some croissants and chocolate croissants. I always get very happy from those ;P

Rennes was not entirely what we expected. I turned out to be a public holiday, so a lot of things were closed. We explored a bit and had a late lunch there, but we didn’t stay long and decided to go back for dinner to Saint-Malo because it’s much nicer.

Rennes, Brittany, France
Back in Saint-Malo where Grande Be and Petit Be are now surrounded with water
Just casually firing a cannon, no big deal

Le Mont-Saint Michel

On the last day of our trip we went to Le Mont-Saint Michel. This is something you can’t miss when you’re in Brittany. It’s basically a city in the middle of the water, which is only reachable with a bridge. From a distance it’s a very extraordinary sight. It is very touristy though, which makes it a little less pleasant. The streets are very small and when you’re trying to go through it with a lot of people, it’s not fun ;P. We quickly went in a side alley, and explored the city with all it’s stairs and beautiful buildings and ended up at the Mont Saint Michel Abbey. You can visit it for free if you’re under 25 and otherwise it’s €10 for visiting. It’s really worth visiting tough! The abbey is really big and you can visit all kinds of rooms where they lived all those years ago. Really impressive and kind of mysterious to see. After seeing the Abbey, we went to have a late lunch (which is crazy expensive in Mont-Saint Michele), and went back to our hotel in Saint-Malo.

Le Mont Saint Michel
Here you can see how busy the main street was! =O
View from up high, you can also see the low tide
The entrance of the Mont Saint Michel Abbey
Me at Mont Saint Michel!

The next day we went home again! It was about a 10 hour drive to Haarlem, so we were basically the whole day in the car with some stops along the way. A week was just enough to see everything in Brittany we wanted to see. Unfortunately it wasn’t really beach weather, so we didn’t do much relaxing. But we could see a lot of the French province which was really nice.

Hopefully you enjoyed the read, and let me know what your next travel destination is! If you’re going to Brittany, hopefully you can use my tips above on what to see there 😉

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Twan

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