"St Malo, on the Brittany north coast" Saint-Malo by Kate-Me

Saint-Malo Travel Guide: 234 reviews and 791 photos

The Old walled town of Saint Malo sits on a granite rock situated on the rugged coast bordering the English Channel called the Cote D'emeraude (Emerald Coast in English). The city is situated on the North coast of France (quite close to the very famous Mount-St. Michel, which is about 30 kms away on the border of Brittany and Normandy)

St Malo was named after a Welsh monk and bishop named MacLaw who fled to Brittany in 538.
The fortified city became very famous in 1590 when the St Maloans declared their city an independent republic with the motto "Neither French nor Breton, but a Corsair am I".
This independent republic only lasted 4 years, but the local people acquired a strong reputation as warriors.
During the 16th-18th centuries, St Malo prospered well from its navigators, traders and privateers.
Jacques Cartier, who sailed the St Lawrence river and visited the sites of present day Quebec City and Montréal - and is known as the discoverer of Canada, lived in and sailed from Saint-Malo.

Brittany had been a Celtic duchy for over 1000 years before it was annexed by France in 1532, and so it has its own culture, linked to that of places like Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Cornwall.
Their languages and customs are closely related, and indeed the climate too.

The walled city looks very authentic, but is actually about 90% reconstructed and restored. During World War 2 in 1944 in a battle between the German and American troops, 90% of it was destroyed.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Walled city and intact (even if rather re built)
  • Cons:Pretty touristy inside the walls, even if the tourists are mostly on foot
  • In a nutshell:A good experience to spend time inside a walled old town
  • Last visit to Saint-Malo: May 2006
  • Intro Updated Aug 9, 2006
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Reviews (11)

Comments (6)

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    Nice memories of holidays in France that took us to St Malo.

  • annase's Profile Photo
    Mar 20, 2010 at 4:28 PM

    It was intersting to read your warning about the fast moving tides. The pictures were very demonstrative too.

  • nighthawk's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2007 at 4:27 AM

    wow i wanna go NOW! ahaha lovely tips, good infos, ie tidal warning. am all excited bout going! thanks!

  • Feb 14, 2007 at 10:50 AM

    kate what is the e-mail addressto purchase the souvenirs. otherwise this is not helpful.

  • breughel's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2006 at 6:00 AM

    Meilleurs voeux pour 2007. Belles photos de St-Malo. Mais où est passé Surcouf le corsaire?

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Aug 6, 2006 at 9:52 PM

    I like these old towns and the Bretagne..the Seagull shot is awesom, the Castle looks so small :-))

Kate-Me

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