- Le Grand Hôtel des Thermes
- Grande Plage du Sillon - 100 Boulevard Hébert 35400
- Saint-Malo - France
Saint-Malo is a historic walled city located on the Brittany coast of northwestern France. The city has a rich and fascinating history dating back to ancient times. Here is an overview of the Saint-Malo's history:
Early History: The area around Saint-Malo has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with evidence of human presence dating back to the Paleolithic era. The region was settled by Celtic tribes, and it became an important trading post during the Roman era.
Medieval Era: Saint-Malo began to take shape as a fortified town in the 12th century. The construction of the city walls and fortifications began during this period to protect the inhabitants from Viking raids. The town grew in importance as a center of maritime trade and fishing.
Privateering and Piracy: In the 16th and 17th centuries, Saint-Malo became a notorious base for privateers and pirates. The corsairs of Saint-Malo were authorized by the French crown to carry out attacks on enemy ships during times of war. These privateers played a significant role in the French navy and amassed considerable wealth through their activities.
Colonial Expansion: Saint-Malo played a vital role in the French colonial expansion during the 17th and 18th centuries. Many expeditions to North America, Africa, and the Indian Ocean set sail from the city. Renowned explorers like Jacques Cartier and Louis-Antoine de Bougainville hailed from Saint-Malo.
The Battle of Saint-Malo: During the Second World War, Saint-Malo was heavily fortified by the Germans as part of the Atlantic Wall. In August 1944, the Allies launched an attack on the city to liberate it from German occupation. The battle resulted in significant damage to the historic town, with much of it being destroyed.
Post-War Restoration: Following the war, Saint-Malo underwent extensive restoration and reconstruction. The city was meticulously rebuilt, including the reconstruction of its famous granite walls and historic buildings, to preserve its medieval character and maritime heritage.
Today, Saint-Malo is a popular tourist destination renowned for its well-preserved medieval architecture, stunning beaches, and vibrant maritime atmosphere. Visitors can explore the narrow streets of the old town, walk along the city walls, visit the imposing Saint-Malo Cathedral, and enjoy breathtaking views of the coast and surrounding islands. The city also hosts various cultural events and festivals, including the Route du Rock music festival and the biennial Transat Québec-Saint-Malo yacht race.
Top Tourist Attractions
Saint-Malo offers a range of attractions that cater to different interests. Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Saint-Malo:
- Intra-Muros: The historic walled city, known as Intra-Muros, is the heart of Saint-Malo and a must-visit attraction. Walk along the cobblestone streets, explore the ramparts, and admire the well-preserved medieval buildings and charming architecture. You can also visit the Saint-Malo Cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century.
- Fort National: Situated on a rocky islet just off the coast, Fort National is an iconic fortress that played a significant role in the defense of Saint-Malo. Take a guided tour to learn about its history, enjoy panoramic views of the city, and appreciate the strategic location of the fort.
- Grand Aquarium: The Grand Aquarium in Saint-Malo is a fantastic attraction for both adults and children. It features a variety of marine life, including sharks, turtles, and tropical fish. Explore the underwater tunnel and interactive exhibits to learn about the wonders of the sea.
- Plage du Sillon: Saint-Malo is known for its beautiful beaches, and Plage du Sillon is the main beach that stretches along the city's coastline. Enjoy a leisurely stroll, relax on the sandy shores, or take part in various water activities such as swimming, windsurfing, and kiteboarding.
- Château de Saint-Malo: This impressive castle, located within the city walls, is home to the Musée d'Histoire de la Ville (Museum of the History of the City). Discover the history of Saint-Malo through exhibits showcasing artifacts, models, and interactive displays.
- Solidor Tower and Museum: Located in the neighboring town of Saint-Servan, the Solidor Tower is a medieval fortress that now houses the International Museum of Cape Horners. Learn about the adventures of sailors who braved the treacherous Cape Horn and explore the panoramic views from the tower.
- The Great Aquarium Beach: Situated just outside the city walls, this beach is an ideal spot for families. It offers a wide sandy stretch, calm waters, and a play area for children. Enjoy a picnic or relax under the sun while taking in the beautiful coastal scenery.
- St-Malo Evasion: For those seeking adventure, St-Malo Evasion offers thrilling boat tours and excursions. Hop on a speedboat or a traditional sailing ship to explore the surrounding islands, witness the incredible tides, or go seal watching.
These are just a few of the top tourist attractions in Saint-Malo. The city's rich history, beautiful beaches, and maritime charm make it an enticing destination for visitors from around the world.
Saint-Malo has a mild oceanic climate influenced by its coastal location in northwestern France. Here are some key characteristics of the climate in Saint-Malo:
- Mild Winters: Winters in Saint-Malo are generally mild compared to other parts of France. The average daytime temperatures range from 8°C (46°F) to 12°C (54°F) during the coldest months of December, January, and February. Frost and snowfall are rare occurrences.
- Cool Summers: Summers in Saint-Malo are pleasantly cool, thanks to the moderating influence of the Atlantic Ocean. The average daytime temperatures range from 18°C (64°F) to 22°C (72°F) during the peak summer months of June, July, and August. However, temperatures can occasionally reach the mid-20s°C (mid-70s°F) or higher during heatwaves.
- Rainfall: Saint-Malo experiences moderate rainfall throughout the year, with no distinct dry season. The wettest months are typically from October to January. Rain showers are frequent, and it's advisable to carry an umbrella or raincoat when visiting the city. Annual precipitation averages around 800 to 900 millimeters (31 to 35 inches).
- Ocean Influence: Being situated on the coast of the English Channel, Saint-Malo is strongly influenced by the ocean. The sea moderates temperature extremes, keeping winters mild and summers cooler than inland areas. The maritime influence also contributes to relatively high humidity levels throughout the year.
- Tides: One unique feature of the Saint-Malo area is the impressive tidal range caused by the Bay of Saint-Malo. The tides here are among the highest in Europe, with a difference of up to 14 meters (46 feet) between high and low tide. This phenomenon is especially notable during spring tides.
When planning a visit to Saint-Malo, it's a good idea to pack clothing suitable for mild and changeable weather. Layering is recommended, along with a waterproof jacket or umbrella to be prepared for occasional rain showers. The coastal location and moderate temperatures make Saint-Malo an enjoyable destination for exploring its historical sites, beaches, and maritime attractions throughout the year.
It is situated on a peninsula that extends into the English Channel, providing it with a strategic maritime position. Here are some key aspects of the geography of Saint-Malo:
- Location: Saint-Malo is located approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) west of the city of Rennes, the capital of Brittany. It is positioned on the northern coast of Brittany, facing the English Channel. The city is built on a narrow strip of land known as the Cité d'Aleth, which is connected to the mainland by a causeway.
- Peninsula and Bay: Saint-Malo is situated on a rocky peninsula that juts out into the sea. The peninsula is surrounded by the Bay of Saint-Malo, a natural harbor with vast tidal flats. The bay is known for its significant tidal range, which creates a dramatic and ever-changing seascape.
- Intra-Muros: The historic center of Saint-Malo, known as Intra-Muros, is located on the eastern part of the peninsula. It is a walled city surrounded by medieval ramparts, and it is often referred to as the "City of Corsairs" due to its history of privateering and piracy.
- Beaches: Saint-Malo boasts several beautiful beaches along its coastline. The main beach, Plage du Sillon, stretches for about 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) and offers fine sandy shores for leisurely walks and relaxation. Other notable beaches include Plage de l'Éventail and Plage de Bon Secours.
- Islands: The waters around Saint-Malo are dotted with numerous islands that are worth exploring. The most famous are the Îles Chausey, a group of rocky islands and islets located about 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) off the coast. These islands provide opportunities for boating, hiking, and discovering unique flora and fauna.
- Estuary: To the south of Saint-Malo, the Rance River forms a wide estuary that stretches inland. The Rance estuary is known for its tidal power plant, one of the first in the world, which harnesses the power of the tides to generate electricity.
The geography of Saint-Malo, with its rocky peninsula, historic walled city, beautiful beaches, and surrounding islands, contributes to its unique and picturesque setting. The coastal location also plays a significant role in shaping the city's maritime history, culture, and economy.