Saint-Malo: its archipelago and its islets

Not far from our hotel in Saint-MaloThere are a whole host of small islands just waiting to be discovered! Indeed, from Saint-Malo to the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, there are many possibilities to stop over on wild or unoccupied islets. The most beautiful of these are Cézembre Island, Grand-Bé Island and the Chausey Islands.

Saint-Malo's must-sees: the islands of Grand-Bé and Petit-Bé

The first mythical islands of Saint-Malo that you must visit during your stay are located at the foot of the ramparts. On the island of Grand-Bé, you can visit the tomb of the writer Chateaubriand, precursor of French romanticism.

However, beware, as the island of Grand-Bé is only accessible on foot during low tide. More discreet, the island of Petit-Bé houses its eponymous fort. Located behind the island of Grand-Bé, it allows all maritime fortification enthusiasts to discover a site completed in 1707, and since restored.

Access to the island of Petit-Bé is possible on foot or by boat, depending on the tide.

Cézembre Island and the archipelago of the Chausey Islands

From Saint-Malo, shuttles offer you the opportunity to take your courage in both hands and embark towards a forbidden island... provided that the tide allows it!

Cézembre Island, once fortified by the German army, is inaccessible on its entire northern side for security reasons. Although Cézembre Island is inhabited only by endangered birds, it will welcome you with great pleasure for a stopover. In fact, it must be said that the beach on Cézembre Island is sumptuous and well worth a visit!

Did you know that theChausey Islands are the largest archipelago in Europe?
There are no less than three hundred and sixty-five islets that can be visited at low tide. Their number drops drastically when the sea level rises (only fifty-two).

If you can't afford to visit them all - which is quite normal - try to go to the Big Island, the main island of the archipelago. There, the change of scenery is total: nature, sea and white sandy beaches are the only protagonists of the postcard!


Focus on the beaches outside the city limits of Saint-Malo

There's no shortage of beaches in Saint-Malo! Even if it's not the time to go for a stroll outside, there's nothing to stop you from learning about the beaches, discovering new ones or preparing a future stay. But often, we linger on the beaches of Saint-Malo intra-muros whereas other splendid beaches exist outside the city.

From our hotel in Saint-Malo with sea viewFrom our hotel, you can access the main beaches of the Corsair City. But perhaps you would like to get away from the city centre? Well, there are some lovely white sandy beaches outside the historic city, as well as on the coast of Saint-Malo. We present them to you below!

Saint-Malo: beautiful beaches outside the city centre

Outside the city centre, superb beaches can be discovered, many of them even allowing swimming at low tide. The Bas Sablons beach, located near the Sablons marina, is surely the best known of them; it offers a beautiful panorama of the Corsair City.

Another beach offering a breathtaking view of the old town but also of the Sillon: the Minihic beach! Delimited by small cliffs, it is located in the continuity of the Grande Plage and the Plage du Pont.

Let's talk aboutLe Pont beach! This beach is ideal for families because children can swim there without risk. The beach is located in the Pointe de la Varde. In the same area, you can get away from the noise on the beach of Crique du Fort de la Varde. Once there, you will feel as if you are cut off from the rest of the world!

Other beaches to discover on the Saint-Malo coast

There are at least four other beaches on the Saint-Malo coastline that are worth a visit:

  • l'Anse Du Guesclin
  • the Chevrets beach
  • the Orchard beach
  • the beach of La Touesse.

The first is undeniablyone of the most beautiful on the Emerald Coast. Sheltered from the wind, it will delight families for its charm, not to mention that it welcomes our dog friends with open arms.
If you're looking for soft sand and dunes to hide in, there's nothing like the second one: the Chevrets beach, moreover, part of it is naturist.

On the road to Cancale, if you are heading towards Mont Saint-Michel, don't miss the Verger beach. Located in a green setting, it is very pleasant all year round. Finally, our last choice: the beach of Touesse. Located between the Pointe du Meinga and the Pointe des Grands Nez, this beach is separated from the Port beach by a very unusual rock.


Taking a trail: another way to discover Saint-Malo

Do you want to discover Saint-Malo and its surroundings in a different way? How about a hike over several days along one of its paths?

It is common for visitors to stop by our hotel in Saint-Malo between two hikes! Indeed, one of the best ways to discover the corsair city and its surroundings is to follow the customs path, better known as the GR34.
So, how about putting on your walking shoes and setting off to discover the most beautiful places in the region, such as the Emerald Coast or the beautiful beach of Sables-d'Or-Les-Pins, for example?

The GR34 hiking trail: another way to discover Saint-Malo

Did you know that the GR34 long-distance hiking trail is marked out over 1,800 kilometres? That makes it a marvel to discover on foot!
Particularly accessible, it can also be walked by beginners and experienced walkers alike. And for the laziest among them, there is a beautiful walk between Saint-Malo and Dinard.

It is 15 kilometres long (all the same) and allows you to reach the Rance dam by following the GR34 westwards from Saint-Malo. Afterwards, you can cross Dinard! Want to return to Saint-Malo after your expedition? Nothing could be easier! Take the Compagnie Corsaire sea bus!

Other ideas for walks along the paths of Saint Malo

If you feel like it, you can also take part in a longer escapade by starting in Saint-Malo and finishing in Plévenon! Beware, however, that you will have to walk for several days.
But don't worry, you can stop and eat along the way, as there are a number of accommodation and restaurant/bistro options along the marked trails.
A first stop can be made at Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, still following the GR34, which will take you past cliffs offering a breathtaking view of the sea (20 kilometres from Dinard).

Then, from Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, continue for 20 kilometres to Saint-Jacut-de-la-Mer. There is a beautiful abbey waiting for you to visit, and it can even accommodate you!

You will also cross the Ploubalay polder to your destination. Other stops can be made on the way to the terminus, notably in Saint-Cast-le-Guildo! So, are you ready for an expedition along the trails of Saint-Malo?


Fort National: our tips for visiting Saint-Malo

A must-see during your holiday in Saint-Malo, the National Fort should not be missed under any circumstances! Here are our tips for a successful visit.

Separated from our 3 star hotel in Saint-Malo by the old ramparts, the Fort National is a monument that is a must-see. A true testimony to the history of Saint-Malo, it was built on the orders of Louis XIV, before being converted into a prison during the German invasion of the Second World War.

A visit to the National Fort is definitely worthwhile! But where is it located? When is the best time to go and see it? What are the activities to do once you are there?

Where is the National Fort? How do I get there?

To get to the National Fort, you have to go to the great beach of Saint-Malo, also known as the Plage de l'Éventail.
It is impossible to miss as it faces the Castle of Saint-Malo.

Oncethe tricolour flag is raised, it means that the visits can begin. Indeed, the visits depend on the evolution of the tides. This means that visits to the National Fort are only possible at low tide!

You can cross the beach from the Porte Saint-Thomas, or from the Galère car park, which is 300 metres further on.
Entrance tickets are sold at the gate of the Fort for €5 per adult. Children/adolescents aged 6 to 16 pay only €3, and a free paper guide is provided to help them follow the guided tour while having fun.

The 35-minute tours of the fort are led by a local guide who welcomes you at the top of the drawbridge.
They are an opportunity to understand the three centuries of history that the bastion has gone through, as well as the military life inside the fort. Brochures in English, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch are provided for foreign visitors.

Our best tips to make sure you don't miss anything at the National Fort

If you are planning to visit Fort National with a large family or group, ask for the group rate (from 10 people); you will only pay €4 per adult! There are also discounts for students and the unemployed, so be sure to have your proof of entitlement with you!

Please note that the National Fort is open to the public during school holidays, except for the Christmas holidays, and every day from 1 June to 30 September (including Labour Day, 8 May, Ascension Day and Whitsunday).

To get to the National Fort, the best way is, in our opinion, to leave from the cale Saint-Vincent, at the foot of the Château de Saint-Malo. Remember to watch for the start of the tide, otherwise you will not be able to cross. Once again, if the tricolour mast is raised, this means that the signal is given and that visits are open!


Top 5 things to do for a romantic weekend in Saint-Malo

A romantic getaway to Saint-Malo, the legendary corsair city, is something you have always dreamed of. But what to do with your loved one once you get there? Let us guide you.

The team of our hotel in Saint-Malo with sea view knows that the corsair city is a place of choice for lovers.
Indeed, they often choose our establishment for its proximity to the mythical rem-parts, and its unobstructed view of the sublime blue sea. But if Saint-Malo is a romantic destination par excellence, being a Don Juan is not enough. Only the Malouins know the best addresses, those that will make your sweetheart's heart beat faster!

Our 5 suggestions for a romantic weekend in Saint-Malo

Saint-Malo is a romantic city, and the proof: many sailors, writers and poets have settled here. Once there, don't inflict a military tourist programme on yourself, take it easy, take the time to appreciate the smallest shops, alleys and beaches, stroll, breathe and recharge your batteries above all.

1. Walking on the ramparts of Saint-Malo

A walk on the ramparts of Saint-Malo - as well as in the old town - is a must during your romantic getaway!
You will find many exceptional viewpoints overlooking the sea, the islands and the forts. In addition, the cobbled streets of the corsair city have a certain charm and as you lose yourself in the narrow streets, you will have a delightful and authentic time.

2. Take a deep breath of fresh air on the Sillon beach

Did you know that according to Trip Advisor, the Sillon beach is ranked as the third most beautiful beach in France?
A walk in the early morning or at sunset, along the beautiful Malouin villas, will give you the impression of evolving in an enchanting setting. The light is so exquisite that if you like to take beautiful photos, pretty portraits of your loved ones will naturally come to mind.

3. Discover the path of the Sculptured Rocks of Rothéneuf

Less than five kilometres from Saint-Malo, along the sea towards Cancale, an unusual and captivating universe inhabited by characters from elsewhere opens its doors to you: the Rochers Sculptés de Rothéneuf.
Indeed, more than three hundred characters sculpted in the rock by Abbé Fouré at the end of the 19th century await you for a poetic trip bordering on the supernatural.

4. Taste delicious food on the Rue de l'Arme

Rue de l'Arme is the only busy street entirely dedicated to food shops that has been spared in Saint-Malo.
The Bordier cheese shop and its world-famous salted butter, the Maison du Sarrasin and the oyster bar Aux Tapas Bretons are all essential addresses for indulging in the pleasures of taste with your loved one.

5. Have an aperitif or dinner at Contre Courant

There's nothing like an atypical place, 100% Malouin, to share a moment with your loved one. The café-restaurant À Contre Courant, located in Saint-Servan, a stone's throw from the Tour Solidor, is the perfect place for a peaceful and romantic moment.
Facing the small marina, the café's terrace will allow you to have a drink. Or you can decide to have lunch or dinner there, without breaking the bank!


Focus on local beers in Saint-Malo

If cider is typically Breton, beer has not said its last word in the corsair city! During your stay in our hotel in Saint-Malo intra-muros with sea view, you will certainly not say no to a small artisanal beverage with a light taste of barley or malt?

Our team tells you about the three best breweries in Saint-Malo. Tested and approved, as they say.

1. Les Brassins de Saint-Malo, 4 Rue Chateaubriand, Saint-Malo

Les Brassins de Saint-Malo is a traditional microbrewery with a particularly atypical setting that you absolutely must discover during a tasting!
It is indeed in a place full of history that the owners welcome you and show you how beer is made, from malting to brewing, including fermentation and storage.

Les Brassins de Saint-Malo also has a shop where you can find a wide range of local beers and products, although you can also taste your favourite beer on the spot.
Les Brassins de Saint-Malo beers are made from malt, water, hops, yeast, sugar and spices.

2. Brasserie Bosco, Lieu dit Bellevue, Saint-Méloir-des-Onde

In 2015, Mathieu, a farmer-brewer, and Justine, a tavern keeper, established themselves in Saint-Méloir-des-Onde, just outside Saint-Malo, and launched the Bosco Brewery.
The couple's ambition is to master the barley-malt-beer chain in order to be autonomous in the supply of raw materials. This means that the Bosco Brewery uses ingredients produced locally; only the hops are not yet grown in Bellevue.

The Bosco Brewery is driven by deep-seated convictions that result from local, responsible and ecological production. Here, no denaturing agents, no artificial flavours and even less clarifying agents and antioxidants!

3. Brasserie d'Émeraude, 20 Rue des Artisans, La Richardais

Located eight minutes from Dinard since 2015, the Brasserie d'Émeraude is an institution. Moreover, it demonstrates that the world of beer is not purely masculine since the brewery is managed by Cédric Cabioc'h and three women (Marie-Claire Mervin, his wife, Cindy Roupie, a long-time friend, and Laure Lepennetier).

The Brasserie d'Émeraude produces 300 hectolitres of beer each year. The programme includes a blonde beer, Télés (5.5%), and a red beer, Pylône (6.5%).


City of Aleth - Discovery of a site not to be missed

What could be better than a walk in a region steeped in history during your romantic weekend in Brittany ? Not far from our Hôtel de la Cité, above Saint-Malo, in Saint-Servan, stands the fort of the Cité d'Aleth. A visit to the old town quarter is one of the must-do activities in Saint-Malo. Only two kilometres separate our establishment from the Cité d'Aleth and to get there, all you have to do is walk around the Bassin Vauban and along the bay; a very pleasant walk in which you will make many discoveries!

From our hotel in Saint-Malo, the most beautiful sites are accessible on foot

Accessible on foot from our charming hotel in Saint MaloThe Saint-Servan district is located at the mouth of the Rance River. During your walking tour, you will have the opportunity to discover the incredible fort of the Cité d'Aleth, which was built from 1759 to 1761 on top of the great rock during the Seven Years' War, but also the Rance dam, the charming town of Dinard and the rest of the wild valley. You can even complete your stay by visiting the fortress, another emblematic monument testifying to the exceptional historical heritage of this commune of Brittany of which we are so proud.

Dive into the history of the corsair city

Not only is the Hôtel de la Cité a cheap hotel in Saint-Malo, but it will also allow you to make the most beautiful discoveries during your romantic stay in Brittany. There are many walks within the city limits of Saint-Malo and if it is the City of Aleth that attracts you, you will meet many people along the way: there is no shortage of vestiges of the war and they are anchored in the landscape of the corsair city. Moreover, why not end your stay with a visit to the 39-45 memorial, rooted in a former blockhouse?

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