B20-2586910 - © - Javier Larrea
Tourist near saint Michel island in France
Aerial view on Nantes city in France
Parlement de Bretagne in Rennes
DAE-A2012313 - © - De Agostini / W. Buss
Saint Malo beach, city walls and houses. Low tide. Brittany, Fra
Nantes - The Castle of Brittany Duke's
Medieval Cobbled Street in Dinan, Brittany, France
A unique way to cross Brittany
If someone had told you that one day you would go door to door on your holiday, you probably would not have believed it. And yet… from one gateway of Brittany to another, this route traces the territorial border of Brittany by leading you into the strongholds of influence that span the centuries.
Architectural, historical and cultural masterpieces, the prestigious cities of Nantes, Rennes, Saint Malo and Mont Saint-Michel take you to the heart of Breton history.
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Start your stay in style with a morning tour of the ancient capital of the Duchy of Brittany. Nantes, port city and sometimes economic centre, sometimes political base, over the centuries, retains within its walls the rich past that it has been witness to. Enjoy the Machines de l’île, which regularly enliven Nantes festivities, and stroll along the Quai de la Fosse before lunching in the famous Place Graslin. Wander through the streets that reveal so much of the city’s history on the Passage Pommeraye side, in l’île Feydeau, whilst science lovers can end the day with a visit to the Museum of Natural History or the Jules Verne Museum on Butte Sainte Anne.
Two days are not too much to visit a city so rich in culture as Nantes. Set aside your morning to visit the majestic Château des Ducs de Bretagne, superb in the combination of tufa and granite that reflects the different periods of its construction. Next, head to the cathedral and take time out for lunch in the Bouffray district. The Jardin des Plantes offers an excellent post-lunch walk, before you reach the Lu tower, a symbol of Nantes’ industrial success. You can complete this day with a visit to the Arts Museum before spending the evening in the delightfully lively city centre.
Departing Nantes, your next destination is Rennes, the middle gateway. Be sure to stop off en route at Châteaubriant to visit its unusual castle that combines feudal and Renaissance styles. In Rennes take a stroll through Parc du Thabor, passing through Place des Lices and the Champs Libres, and making time to visit the Museum of Fine Arts.
Take note, you are entering the history of Rennes, the regional capital of Brittany. Old-Rennes is full of traces of its medieval heritage, including its charming timber-framed houses and winding lanes. Visit Saint-Pierre Cathedral, the Saint-Germain church, and lunch in Place du Champ-Jacquet. After, stroll through Rue du Chapitre, Rue des Dames, Rue de la Psalette and Rue Saint-Guillaume, taking in the city hall, the opera house and the Palais du Parlement de Bretagne. After a busy day spend a quiet evening in the old town.
After leaving Rennes in the morning, stop off at Combourg to discover the birthplace of Chateaubriand and visit the chateau in which he spent his childhood, mentioned so often in his writings. Lunch in Dinan to soak up the charm of its streets, its ramparts and its castle. Spend the end of the day enjoying the beauty of the coastal landscapes with a walk to Dinard, a famous seaside resort, before reaching your accommodation in the Dinard or Saint Malo areas.
The Corsaire city, Saint-Malo guards this prestigious period within the sturdy confines of its protective ramparts. After a tour of the castle, take a stroll through the cobbled streets of the old town. You can then choose between a walk through the harbour to view its age-old ships, building your knowledge at the History Museum or studying the seabed at the aquarium in Saint-Malo. Set off in the afternoon to visit Cancale. On the way you can take in the panorama offered by the Pointe du Grouin or take a stroll along the coastal path. Your day concludes in Mont-Saint-Michel.
MyTripTailor Tip: You can also spend the night in Mont Dol to enjoy a panorama of the bay.
To finish your stay in style, welcome to Mont Saint Michel, a fascinating and sublime monument of French history. Tide permitting, make arrangements to get there through a guided crossing from the bay, an original walk through the damp and shifting sands that surround the island. You will be charmed by the picturesque narrow lanes of the Mont and the daring construction of its houses on steep terrain. Climb up to the ramparts for superb views of the bay, before a visit to the Abbey and its cloister. Take the shuttle back to the town.
An option for those looking to spend another night in the area – take the opportunity to interrupt the route by stopping off at Fougère the next day.
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