Top 5 Destinations to Visit when Walking and Cycling in Brittany
Dinan: Standing on the River Rance and embraced by well-preserved walls, this medieval town is a delight to explore with its half-timbered houses, Gothic Basilica and 13th-century castle. Follow cobblestone streets that wind between historical squares or head down to the marina and stroll along the estuary. Alternatively, walk along the banks of the River Rance lined with beautiful buildings that are a nod to the town’s affluent past. The old town is a great place to delve further into the history of Dinan or try some of the local French cuisine.
Combourg: Claiming to be the birthplace of the famous French writer, Chateaubriand, the town of Combourg stands on the banks of Lake Tranquille and has an air of Romanticism. Dominating the town is the 11th-century Chateau de Combourg where Chateaubriand spent much of his youth. Explore the literary trail that winds along the lake where you’ll find heritage sites and gorgeous lakeside scenery. The main street that runs through the town is lined with medieval, half-timbered buildings and there are plenty of independent boutiques, restaurants and gift shops to explore. Notre Dame Church is also worth a visit to see its imposing stained-glass windows.
St Malo: Jutting out onto the Emerald Coast, St Malo was originally built as a walled fortress to protect the River Rance from pirates. As well as boasting a rich history, the city has a unique beauty that attracts visitors from around the globe. With soft sandy beaches and an idyllic coastal backdrop, the town is a natural paradise. A labyrinth of medieval streets wind among the old walled town of Intra-Muros where the aroma of fresh seafood and crepes lure you into the local cafes and restaurants. The Cathedrale de St Malo forms a magical backdrop to the town and from the castle ramparts you can immerse yourself in unparalleled views of the town and harbour.
Mont St Michael: One of the most epic and famous sights in Brittany is Mont St Michael. Built onto a large rock that rises dramatically from the sea, the iconic tidal island takes you on a fascinating journey in time. Since 1979 Mont St Michael has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its ancient abbey is a Romanesque and Gothic architectural wonder that takes pride of place on the top of the island. Historians will also love to visit the Musee du Historie where you can uncover the past of this intriguing island.
Mont Dol: Not far from Brittany’s Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, Mont Dol is a picturesque village that clings to the hillside beneath granite cliffs that hang overhead. The rocky outcrop of Mont Dol is full of legends and is believed to be where St Michael battled with Satan. You can also walk to the old chapel which features some stunning frescoes depicting gruesome scenes or head up to the top of the island for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and Mont St Michael.
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