Saint-Malo is nestled on the Brittany coastline in North West France and is acclaimed for its historical walled town and seafaring past. So, if you’re holidaying in Brittany and trying to plan things to do in Saint-Malo, you’ll enjoy our round-up of places to visit.
Visit the museums
Where better to start than the Musée d’Histoire de la Ville, the town’s local history museum with collections that tell the story of Saint-Malo in times gone by. Take a trip back in time to gain insight into the modern town it has become. Alternatively, the Terre-Neuvas museum pays tribute to the French fishermen who fished for cod around Newfoundland. And you know it’s the real deal as the fishermen themselves tell you their seafaring tales.
Explore the forts
Next on our list is perhaps one of the most obvious things to do in Saint-Malo – explore the impressive defence structures the town is famous for. Petit Bé is a 17th century fort perched on a headland in the bay. It was built by the illustrious French military architect Vauban, and was opened to the public in 2000 to celebrate the golden era of privateering that Saint-Malo built its reputation on. Not only will you learn a lot, but you’ll also enjoy fantastic views of the Emerald Coast. Another site, the National Fort is another of Vauban’s 17th century works. It was built from Chaussey granite and served to protect the town from maritime invasions. When the tide is out, you can walk across to the fort and visit the bastion.
Admire a castle
Rocher Portail castle is an hour away from Saint-Malo, in Saint-Brice-en-Coglès, but your efforts will be rewarded as it’s one of the most beautiful castles in Brittany and classed as a historical monument. The visit will take you through 12 furnished rooms, a Renaissance gallery, the stables and the chapel, and also has activities for children, making it a great day out for all the family.
Stroll around Parc de la Briantais
Leave the town behind and get a breath of fresh air as you stroll around the grounds of this 27-hectare park. It was redeveloped in the 19th century and is home to a whole host of birds, animals and flower species. It also has outstanding views of the bay of Saint-Malo.
If you’re looking for even more things to do in Saint-Malo, then pack yourself a picnic and head out for a hike along the GR34. This waymarked walking route takes you along the Emerald and Pink Granite coastlines against a scenic backdrop of dunes, beaches, rocky headlands and marshlands.
Eat at Le Saint Placide restaurant
All that sea air is sure to build up your appetite, so why not treat yourself to a Michelin-starred meal at Le Saint Placide? Chef Luc Mobihan rustles up modern and creative cuisine for the discerning palate. Being a stone’s throw from the sea, it’s no surprise that lobster and sea bass feature among his signature ingredients.
Rent a holiday villa in Brittany to get the most out your stay. ChicVillas suggests La Belle Epoque, which enjoys a perfect beachfront location and vintage seaside style.