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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > France > St Malo beaches

About St Malo beaches

A charming walled Old City, a string of golden sand beaches and a dramatic natural setting combine to make St Malo one of Brittany’s premier tourist resorts. Constructed on a granite rock jutting out of the English Channel (La Manche) the Old City of St Malo, encircled protectively by 6m (20ft) thick walls, is the resort’s principal attraction. During the summer months its narrow streets come alive as a throng of holidaymakers descend to take in the views from the ramparts or admire the centrepiece St Vincent Cathedral. Along the coast St Servan, Parme and Rotheneuf also form part of the St Malo resort. Here golden beaches, a variety of watersports, which run the gamut from sea kayaking to windsurfing, and a phalanx of resort hotels cater to the tourists’ every need.

Beach:

The St Malo beach resort boasts a number of golden sand beaches, with the most popular trio located just outside the Old City. The sheltered Mole is favoured by sun worshippers and at the height of summer it can be difficult for holidaymakers to find a stretch of sand on which to unfurl their towels. Bon Secours with its large saltwater pool and sailing club is also a good bet. Sillon is another popular spot for wind-powered watersports.

Beyond the beach:

Holidaymakers gain a different perspective of the Old City as they walk around the 2km (1.5-mile) stretch of 14th-century granite ramparts (accessed from Porte St Vincent). From there they can look out over Saint Malo’s rooftops and soak up panoramic views of the bay and its islets, before exploring the maze of medieval streets and admiring the vault of St Vincent Cathedral.

Family fun:

Justifiably popular with families, St Malo entertains children with its sandy beaches, a smorgasbord of watersports and resort hotels that typically boast swimming pools and kids clubs. Kids and adults alike will be thrilled by the sharks and turtles at the Grand Aquarium (Avenue du General Patton) (www.aquarium-st-malo.com).

Exploring further:

A rocky islet dominated by an imposing Benedictine abbey (constructed between the 11th and 16th centuries), the historic settlement of Mont Saint-Michel (www.ot-montsaintmichel.com), a UNESCO World Heritage site, is an impressive sight. This important European pilgrimage spot can be reached in just over an hour by bus from St Malo and is well worth a visit for the photo opportunities alone.

Splashing out:

Push the boat out at what is arguably St Malo’s best restaurant, A La Duchesse Anne (5 Place Guy La Chambre) (tel: (02) 9940 8533). Make the most of the restaurant’s dramatic setting amidst the Old City ramparts, as you savour traditional French cuisine and mouth-watering seafood washed down with champagne.