As you may recall, last month I shared with you Part 1 of my adventures around the west coast of France, in the Bretagne (Brittany) region. Today, I will share 3 new breathtaking Bretagne towns that will make you fall in love with this lovely coastal region. 😉
Here are all the places where we stopped during our road trip in Bretagne:
NOTE* For this trip we rented a car and we spent the night in Rennes. We took day trips to these 3 places.
Saint Malo is an amazing fortified city (XVIII century) that has been very well preserved with a great ocean view. It almost gives you that pirate feel… Jack Sparrow, anyone?
In the XVIII century, the town became wealthier because of the trade with India and different places around the world. Also, because they were allowed by the king of France to attack enemy or merchant ships during the war and keep their possessions. Saint-Malo became notorious as the home of the corsairs, French privateers and sometimes pirates.
- Take St Vincent’s street and stop at Georges Larnicol (famous chocolate maker). Definitely try their salted caramels, famous specialty from Brittany.
- Craving ice cream? then try the delicious ice cream from Sanchez! They have a huge selection of original flavors.
- You must stop by Les Délices du Gouverneur and try a warm Kouign Amann (famous Breton pastry made of flour, butter and sugar) or a Far Breton (another specialty from Brittany made with milk, flour, sugar, eggs and prune.
- Enter the city through the “Saint Vincent’s door”.
- Go up on the fortifications and walk along them (about 1 hour walk).
- Enjoy the wonderful views of the city and of the sea.
- Chill by the “Bon Secours” Beach and if you are brave enough, go swim in its
artificial pool made from sea water.
- Take pics with the canons of “Hollande’s” Bastion Or from the pier that starts from Môle Beach.
- If the current is down, you can walk to the island of Petit Bé and Grand Bé from where you enjoy a great view of the city of Saint Malo.
Mont Saint Michel
Ever since I saw this video from Big Great Story on Facebook, I immediately became obsessed with this beautiful landmark . ❤
- Mont Saint Michel is an island that is set in the mesmerizing bay where Normandy and Brittany meet.
- Many people think that Mont Saint Michel is a castle, but it is a Gothic style, Benedictine Abbey
- The history of the site dates back to the X century when Benedictine monks settled, and built a sanctuary in honor of the Archangel Saint Michael.
- Soon after its construction, the mount became an important religious pilgrimage site. By the XIV century, the site had extended to its current size.
- Its ramparts and fortification resisted all the English assaults during the Hundred Year “Cent Ans” War for more than 30 years. As a result, it became a symbol of national identity.
- After the French Revolution, the abbey was used as a prison until 1863.
- La Mère Poulard Café it is a very famous restaurant and hotel that is known for their signature giant omelets. These omelets are several inches thick, made in hand-hammered copper bowls, and cooked over an open fire. During certain hours, you can see them make the omelets through the window.
If you want to bring back home a tasty treat, La Mère poulard also offers a selection of cookies with a nice buttery taste! The most populars are “galettes”, “sables” and “palets”. They come in vanilla, chocolate, apple or berries flavors.
- If you are feeling something a little bit more casual and relaxed, try La Vieille Auberge. It is also a restaurant and hotel with an amazing view!
Once you enter the Mount, walk along the fortification walls and enjoy the amazing view. While you walk in the paved streets, you will see lovely medieval style houses and many little shops. And of course, don’t forget to go the abbey! You have to go up about 900 stairs, but it will be totally worth it. It is very well preserved and the cloister is a must see!
Get there early so you can explore and stay after the suns sets. The sunset view from the mount is simply breathtaking and the night view of Mont Saint Michel is also amazing.
FUN FACT: UNESCO named Mont Saint Michel a World Heritage Site in 1979.
Vannes is a nice medieval town with a large paved city center, that is located on the Gulf of Morbihan at the mouth of two rivers, the Marle and the Vincin.
- Walk around the city center and enjoy the medieval style architecture, such as the Henri IV square, which is a nice place to hang out and people watch.
- Visit the lovely Jardins des Remparts
- Head down Rue St-Vincent and you’ll get to Place des Lices, which once hosted jousting tournaments but is now the venue of an open-air market on Tuesday and Saturday mornings
- Check out some of the cute artisanal boutiques where you can find Breton specialties
Have a Breton cider in a bar or a vin chaud during the winter and go to Conleau beach if you are feeling adventurous (close from city center).
I hope you found these lovely towns as magical and beautiful as I did! Hopefully next time you go to France you won’t just visit Paris, but you visit this amazing coastal region as well.
Oh, and don’t forget to try Brittany’s own cola drink 😉
Post collaboration and photos by: Vincent Leblond