The haunt of pirates for hundreds of years, the “Cité Corsaire” has always done things its own way: In the 1590s it even declared itself an independent republic.
Saint-Malo is still defended by its historic ramparts, while the tidal islands next to the city continue to be fortified by 17th century bastions.
Step through the cobblestone streets within the walls and see the lavish homes of the people who got rich from privateering in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Saint-Malo also has much to tell about August 1944, when it was liberated from the Germans.
On warm summer days the boundless fine sand of the Plage du Sillon will be calling you name.
Lets explore the best things to do in Saint-Malo:
1. Saint-Malo Walls
The ramparts protect the entirety of the old part of Saint-Malo and from a circuit of 1.75 kilometres.
They were started in the 1100s, updated to combat new military technology in the 1600s and then expanded again up to the mid-18th century.
When you do the walk be sure to have some literature with you, because every gate, bastion and view has a story to tell.
Go up for panoramas of the sea, the Grand Bé island, Fort National, Dinard across the water and the magnificent granite homes of the city’s wealthy ship-owners, and come down if you see a shop or crêperie that takes your fancy.
Grande’Porte on the eastern side is flanked by two chunky bastions and guards the narrow finger of land that links the walled city what are now Saint-Malo’s suburbs.