Holidays to St Malo
Book a stay at beautiful St Malo
St Malo on the coast of Brittany is a beautiful citadel and natural harbour that merges evidence of France’s history with appealing scenery. The water of the English Channel laps close to the city walls, which conceal narrow medieval streets lined with small shops, lively restaurants, and interesting architecture. St Malo holidays are an excellent introduction to northern France and a great place to settle for a week or two of coastal exploration.
The weather doesn’t differ too much from England, with June through to September being the warmest period. August is when the sea temperatures are at their highest, which is worth remembering if you plan to take advantage of the sandy beaches. October brings the most rain, and January to February are the coldest months.
History and artefacts
The Musée International du Long-Cours Cap-Hornier explores the lives and experiences of the sailors that navigated the Cape Horn during the 19th and 20th centuries. It’s contained within the 14th-century Solidor Tower which offers an excellent view of the harbour. A closer look at St Malo’s nautical past is possible at the Musée d’Histoire de St Malo within Château de St Malo. Artefacts, exhibits, and models paint a picture of the city’s cod fishermen. Visit the Mémorial 39-45 to learn about the area’s involvement during World War II and the Fort National which recounts St Malo’s various other conflicts through the years.
After a day or two spent educating yourself on the area’s important history you can take advantage of its activities. Deep-sea fishing trips are run from the bay and should be booked in advance as spaces are limited. The mouth of the Rance estuary opens at St Malo, and boat tours along it towards Dinna are possible. Plan a visit to Mont-Saint-Michel if you have your own transport, which can be reached in just over an hour’s drive. The breathtaking island commune is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a stunning landmark that dominates the scenery. There is plenty within the walls of St Malo citadel to occupy you. Walk and admire the ornate architecture that defines this seaward fortress, and look out for the few timber constructions that remain after fire destroyed most others through the years.
Eating and drinking
A wander through the streets will tempt you to stop in at the crêperies for a sweet treat or to grab a galette, a large buckwheat pancake. They are typically enjoyed with eggs, fish, cheese, or slices of fruit. There are more restaurants than you’ll probably have time to visit, which means plenty of choice when you stop for a meal. Seafood dominates the menus, unsurprisingly, as do other classic French dishes made to a typically excellent standard. Enhance your meal with a bottle of Brittany Muscadet white wine, or Merlot if you prefer red. Visiting by car and ferry means that you can take a few more of your favourite bottles home with you.