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bootlegga Saint Malo - A travel report by James
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Saint Malo,  France - flag France -  Bourgogne
9804 readers

bootlegga's travel reports

Brittany’s finest walled city

  16 votes
Page: 1 2
Welcome to Brittany’s nicest walled city and the former home of corsairs, brigands and other dangerous ne’er-do wells. It was also home to Jacques Cartier, the man credited with discovering Canada.


St. Malo as seen from the Fort de la Cite
St. Malo as seen from the Fort de la Cite
Saint Malo was once the home of pirates, explorers, hooligans, colonists and other interesting characters. In the 15th and 16th centuries, they were even able to force English ships to pay tolls for sailing near Brittany.

While we were planning our trip, we looked at several options to get back to Britain from Normandy. It turned out the best way was to travel down the coast and fly out of Dinard in Brittany. This allowed us the opportunity to see more of France and the wonderful Brittany region.

Saint Malo is very popular with British tourists in the summer, who use inexpensive flights from London to fly to France to enjoy the great beaches.

http://www.malo.com/-zoom/saintmalo.htm

Favourite spots:
The cathedral where Jacques Cartier's remains are
The cathedral where Jacques Cartier's remains are
La Ville Intra-Muros is the best part of St. Malo. Walking through the cobblestone streets and along the massive walls, you can really get a sense of history. The buildings and structures have all been restored fantastically and everything looks amazing.

What's really great:
La Ville Intra-Muros
La Ville Intra-Muros
La Ville Intra-Muros is small enough to enjoy on foot, and one does not need taxis or cars to enjoy it. They may be necessary for trips to outlying areas, but not in the centre of town.

Sights:
The town crest above one of the massive gates
The town crest above one of the massive gates
Despite a fierce battle for the walled city (La Ville Intra-Muros) in 1944 between the German and American troops, in which 90% of it was destroyed, it was fully restored.

The Cathedral St Vincent is a great visit and houses the remains of Jacques Cartier, the explorer credited with discovering Quebec and Canada. Along the north wall of the city in the Bastion de la Hollande, there is also a statue dedicated to Jacques Cartier.

It is also possible to walk the entire length of the city walls. From the walls are some great views of the ocean and surrounding countryside. Strolling the streets of St Malo is very interesting, because the roads are narrow and tight and the architecture is fantastic.

Just below the western wall is the Plage de Bon Secours, a very popular beach with sunbathers in the summer. There are also beaches along the northern wall and the bay between La Ville Intra-Muros and St. Servan.

Accommodations:
One of the large guard towers in  La Ville Intra-Muros
One of the large guard towers in La Ville Intra-Muros
We stayed inside the walled city at a nice little hotel called Le Croiseur. The room we stayed in was clean and comfortable. It had a private bath, two beds and satellite TV. The price was pretty good too, about 45 Euros.

The lounge on the main floor was an okay place to sit and have a drink in the evening too. Probably the only thing that I didn’t care for was the elevator, which wasn’t much bigger than a coffin!

http://www.saint-malo-gallery.com/hotel-lecroiseur/

Inside La Ville Intra-Muros there are plenty of other hotels, many of which also offer parking. Be aware that finding a hotel in the summer can be both difficult and expensive.

In St. Servan, the grounds near the Fort de la Cite is a campground for both camper vans and tenting.

Nightlife:
Tour Solidor
Tour Solidor
Sights II

There were tons of cool shops throughout La Ville Intra-Muros, but I especially liked the ones on Rue Saint Margueritte.

Located across a small bay in St. Servan are two medieval fortresses.

Fort de la Cite – the remains of a fortress once used to protect St Malo from invaders, it was occupied by the Germans during WW2 and the remaining buildings are pock-marked with bullet holes. Inside there is a small museum of WW2 artifacts, and a large part of the grounds double as a campground in the summer.

On the other side of the peninsula is Tour de Solidor – a large keep from medieval times, it also guards the harbour.

Hangouts:
The narrow streets of  La Ville Intra-Muros
The narrow streets of La Ville Intra-Muros
We tried a place called Bar Texmex. I know it doesn’t sound French, but we were interested to see what the place would be like. The take on ‘Tex Mex’ was interesting to say the least.

Just down the Sillon Isthmus is CyberLan, an internet café where you can surf the Net, play games and have snacks and drinks while doing it.

Other recommendations:
The Abbey at Mont saint Michel
The Abbey at Mont saint Michel
One of France’s biggest tourist attractions, Mont St Michel is only about an hour from Saint Malo and a must see. The entrance fee is about 5 Euros. The first 200 metres or so are all shops and hawkers trying to get you to visit their ‘museum’, usually a room sized space with a couple of pictures or antiques. After that, there is a lot of walking and things to see. If you are lucky, the Benedictine monks will allow visits to their spectacular abbey.

Published on Saturday July 22th, 2006


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Wed, Aug 09 2006 - 06:51 AM rating by gloriajames

Nice report.. emotional for u i believe, being a Canadian! Thanks for sharing!

Tue, Jul 25 2006 - 07:28 PM rating by mistybleu

Very interesting, with good pictures

Mon, Jul 24 2006 - 05:02 AM rating by marianne

James,
Good info and photos. It is difficult to write a full report about a place with not so many sights.

Mon, Jul 24 2006 - 04:00 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

nice report and very nice pictures uploaded in it

Sun, Jul 23 2006 - 07:03 AM rating by davidx

Good hints for visitors

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