The walled town of St Malo is unique in France, and as a result this ancient port is a great tourist attraction.
During the Middle Ages Saint Malo was a fortified island at the mouth of the Rance, controlling not only the estuary but the open sea beyond. The promontory fort of Aleth, south of the modern centre in what is now the Saint-Servan district, commanded approaches to the Rance even before the Romans. Modern Saint-Malo traces its origins to a monastic settlement founded by Saint Aaron and Saint Brendan early in the 6th century. Its name is derived from a man said to have been a follower of Brendan, Saint Malo or Maclou.
This seaside resort, famous for its ramparts and pirates in the past, is one of the main tourist
destinations in France. © Atout France/Pierre Torset
Everyone should spend time in the Old Town and on the Ramparts, walking round the top of the ramparts in 2 hours or so. Another 2-3 hours will be needed to explore the rest of the town, which is well geared to providing for tourists.
The privateers' walled town surrounded by ramparts is still an active commercial port. It is the
biggest port on the north coast of Brittany. © Atout France/Daniel Gallon - Dangal
© Atout France/Jean François Tripelon-Jarry
Esplanade St-Vincent, St Malo
Tel: 0825 135 200
Saint-Malo is a terminal for ferry services to Poole, Portsmouth and Weymouth in England via the Channel Islands. It also has a railway station, Gare de Saint-Malo, offering direct TGV service to Rennes, Paris and several regional destinations.