Home > Trips > The Walled Towns of Brittany

The Walled Towns of Brittany

8 day(s) | from 860.00 €

Easy to Moderate

Themes

History
Seaside

Included

2 dinners

7 nights with breakfast, maps, road-book with tourist information, daily luggage transfer, 7/7 days assistance and local tax

Transport

Train Paris-St Malo: 3h - direct
10' walk from train to hotel
Car park available

When

April to October. High season: July and August.

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  • Description
  • This circuit is a real voyage of discovery of the north-east of Brittany.  It takes in the maritime city of Saint Malo, Mont St Michel with its wonderful abbey, the fortified towns of Fougères and Dinan and explores the historic frontiers between Brittany, the Duchy of Normandy and the Kingdom of France. Set in the beautiful, rolling countryside of this region the route has been deliberately divided into relatively short stages in order to allow plenty of time for visits along the way.

Highlights

  • Saint-Malo, the town which inspired "All the Light We Cannot See"
  • Visit the Mont Saint-Michel, one of France’s most recognizable landmarks
  • Cancale, the French capital of Oysters
  • Visit stunning medieval towns:Dinan, Combourg, Fougères…
  • Taste wonderful food specialties: crepes, buckwheat pancakes, hard cider, salted caramel…

Bike tour itinerary : The Walled Towns of Brittany

  • D1 
  • Arriving in Saint Malo
  • Bed & Breakfast
    • Built at the mouth of river Rance, Saint Malo is a truly remarkable site.  Its access to the sea and its position at the frontier between the Duchy of Normandy and the Kingdom of France have made it the subject of many disputes in the past. In the 16th century the port grew incredibly fast with the development of its fishing fleet and the discovery of Canada. Names such as Jacques Cartier, Duguay-Trouin, Surcouf, Chateaubriand and Maupertui will remain forever associated with the town.

      The hotels we use face the sea and are situated only 10 minutes’ walk from the fortifications.

  • D2 
  • Saint Malo to Dol de Bretagne
  • 52km / Half-board
    • If you were not able to explore Vauban’s fortifications and the old town of Saint Malo that they enclose yesterday, you should try to spend 2 or 3 hours this morning having a look round.

      From the Sillon sea front you will follow the coast road between Saint Malo and the Pointe de Grouin. This route will give you fine views of the Isles of Chaussey and of the open sea.  It is not uncommon to spot dolphins in this area where the Cote d’Emeraude and the Bay of Mont St Michel meet.

      The port of Cancale is set at the entrance to the Bay and is the sea-raised oyster capital of France. The perfect place to stop for lunch!

      You will then leave the Bay and head inland on quiet, country roads.

      The 2** hotel we propose is in the center of the pretty town of Dol de Bretagne while the 3*** is about 3km to the south. This is a genuine manor house which dates from the beginning of the 18th century and was once the base of the famous Saint Malo corsair, Robert Surcouff.

  • D3 
  • Dol de Bretagne to Mont Saint Michel
  • 28km / 48 km / Bed & Breakfast
    • You should spend a little time wandering round the old town of Dol and visit its cathedral before setting off on this next section.

      Travelling to the north and towards the Bay of Mont Saint Michel you will pass Mont Dol. Once an island, today this rocky outcrop is a fascinating archeological site. [geological phenomenon]

      From Cherrueix you will follow the Bay towards the east. At low tide you will see the shell-fish producers out on the sand with their tractors tending to their oyster parks and mussel beds.

      Once you have crossed the Polders you will arrive at Mont Saint Michel. It will take you about 3 hours to walk round the ramparts, visit the Abbey at the top of the Mount and wander back down through the village.

      From your hotel on the shore facing the Bay, you will be able to see Mont Saint Michel lit up at night. A real treat!

  • D4 
  • Mont Saint-Michel to Fougères
  • 58km / Bed & Breakfast
    • After a visiting the German War Cemetry at Mont d'Huisme, you will travel towards the Eastern side of the Bay and the estuary of the Salune, one of the three tidal rivers which flow into the Bay.  You will head inland alongside the “herbus” (pastures occasionally covered by exceptionally high tides) right to the end of the funnel-shaped estuary.  Before leaving the Bay, you might be lucky enough to see the tidal bore known here as the “Mascaret” which is caused by the strong tidal currents.

      You will now pedal south, passing the Montmorel Abbey at Poilley and will arrive at Saint James. This little town, now famous for the high quality, striped sports shirts that it produces will be your last visit on Normandy soil. Leaving the town you will see the American cemetery, a reminder of the Battle of Normandy which included action round the Bay of Mont Saint Michel.

      Your route now takes you into Brittany and on to Fougères. Look out for dolmens (stone tombs) along the way.  Your hotel is perfectly placed in the heart of this walled town allowing you to visit the biggest fortifications in the region on foot.

  • D5 
  • Fougères to Combourg
  • 52km / Half-board
    • Your journey today and tomorrow will be a real promenade in the deepest Brittany countryside. Far from the tourist routes and travelling west on small country lanes, you will pass isolated farms and granite manor houses and cycle through beautiful, leafy woods. The terrain is varied and the villages authentic. Combourg will be your overnight stop. This ancient manor was owned by the parents of the writer Chateaubriand.

  • D6 
  • Combourg to Dinan
  • 34km / Bed & Breakfast
    • The promenade continues in the same vein today still heading west until joining the Rance valley at Evran. You will travel along the valley as far as the village of Léhon where you will cross to the other bank of the Rance and reach the walled town of Dinan.

      This remarkable medieval town is one of the finest examples of Brittany architecture. It has a large number of granite buildings with wooden upper storeys.  Your hotel itself was a convent in the 16th century!

      Dinner is not included but we recommend that you try out the wonderful fare on offer in the local creperies.

  • D7 
  • Dinan to Saint Malo
  • 34km / 65 km / Bed & Breakfast
    • This stage is short enough to allow a really thorough visit of the town before leaving. You will head off from the port of Dinan, following the left bank of the Rance before crossing the river to the north of Plouër-sur-Rance. Whilst pedalling right next to the estruary as far as Saint-Jouan-des-Guérets you will be treated to some quite remarkable scenery. This is a truly inland sea where boats sail right up to artichoke fields and farmers’ villages have become ports.

       It is now time to head back to Saint Malo and the beautiful beaches of the Sillon!

      We can also suggest a longer circuit which takes in the Cote d’Emeraude and the town of Dinard.

  • D8 
  • Departure from Saint Malo after breakfast

Prices 2017

  • Standard Accommodation860 €
  • Comfort Accommodation1130 €
  • Standard Single room sup.260 €
  • Comfort Single room sup.330 €
  • Solo traveller160 €
  • Hybrid Bike120 €
  • Discount : party of 4+5 %
  • High season supplement50 €

All prices are per person. Accommodation price is on a 2-person basis.
The list of hotels included in this trip or details about your bikes are available upon request via our Contact Page.

Hotels

  • Dinan Hôtel Arvor ***Comfort
  • Fougères Hôtel Balzac **Standard
  • Saint Malo Les Ambassadeurs ***Comfort

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