From the emerald coast to the medieval lands, this Breton escape invites you to go back in time in breathtaking landscapes. Perfectly restored medieval towns have retained this indescribable Breton charm: ideal for wandering under the first rays of sunshine, their granite streets whisper of corsair adventures as soon as light falls. And suddenly, appearing on the horizon of an elusive and magnificent bay: Mont-Saint-Michel. An eternal treasure on this journey that is testament to the wonders created by man and nature over a thousand years of hstory. Ready to board?
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The charms of Brittany’s capital are revealed in its medieval quarter, lively with bars and shops. From beautiful squares to narrow streets, keep looking up to admire the architecture of the old wood-framed houses. Colourful facades, half-timbered and corbels tell the story of Rennes, marked by the great fire of 1720. On Saturday mornings, the market at Place des Lices is a huge spectacle, dominated by the towers of Cathedral St Pierre. After the majestic Palais du Parlement, enjoy a break at Parc du Thabor.
Head north with with a detour to Château de Combourg, haunted by the memories of the romanticist Chateaubriand, before reaching the historic town of Dinan. The old town at the heart of the ramparts offers hours of walks through narrow streets with restored facades. From Place des Merciers, take the medieval street of Jerzual and from the top of the Tour du Gouverneur gaze upon the Rance estuary. Stroll along the banks of this river that winds up to Dinard, your stop-off for the night.
A popular seaside resort in the 19th century, Dinard retains an elegant charm with its villas overlooking the beaches and the wooded cornices. Under the beautiful morning light, walk along the floral Clair de Lune promenade. The Pointe du Moulinet offers a beautiful panorama of St-Malo which you reach by crossing the Rance dam. Take a tour of the town with its impregnable granite ramparts to soak up the Corsair culture, depicted at the History Museum. Tides permitting, venture from the beach to Grand-Bé and the National Fort before going to enjoy a galette.
Approach Cancale via the Pointe du Grouin for a small morning hike on the Sentier des Douaniers (‘Customs Trail’) and a splendid panorama of the Bay of Mont St Michel. Lunch on the terrace awaits at Port de la Houle, so lively at high tide when the boats return loaded with the famous flat oysters. In Dol-de-Bretagne, besides half-timbered houses and the Gothic cathedral, you’ll find Médiévalys and the builders of the Middle Ages, a final informative step before Mont-St-Michel!
The mount and the bay are one. Each is listed as a UNESCO World heritage site, they are the most beautiful combination of man and nature’s work. To fully enjoy your Mont-Saint-Michel experience, take the time to hike in the bay, not forgetting to check the time of the tides. This peaceful walk lets you forget the hum that invades the tourist streets of Rocher. The ramparts deliver a breathtaking panorama as well as access to the abbey and its cloister, less crowded than the Grande-Rue.
Before returning to the capital of Brittany, explore the medieval town of Fougères, a former stronghold on the border of the Kingdom of France. Its castle, like the upper town, contains almost a thousand years of history. Set time aside for a proper visit. The end of the day in Rennes is a chance to see the more classic part of town, located around the town hall square. For night-owls, rue Saint-Michel will quench your thirst!
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