St-Malo, named the Corsair City, the base and hometown of the most famous ship owners and “legal pirates” is an amazing fortified city on the emerald coast in the northern part of Brittany. You will take a walk on the city walls to understand that it is a former island. Your private guide will take you through the maze of the narrow streets that have their own funny stories such as the “Dancing Cat Street”, “Pelicot Street” one of the tiniest where some houses date from the 16th century and by a miracle were not destroyed during World War 2, and many more. You will also appreciate the conception of the“belt” of the fort islands such as la Conchée, le Fort National, Harbour, le Grand Bé, le Petit Bé… that were mainly designed by the engineer Garengeau disciple of one of the greatest french engineers Marshall Vauban who especially designed la Conchée Fort, At low tide you can walk to some of these islands.
St Malo inhabitants have always been sea oriented, like most of the people in Brittany, because its wealth until nowadays depended on that connection with the ocean.
Saint Malo was named after Maclow a monk who came from Wales in the 6th century. Your private guide will take you to the original settlement of the monk : Alet area, a beautiful site with an impressive 180° overview of the bay and the Rance river mouth. A very stategic location too with the most recent examples of contruction, the 18th century military fort built under the king Louis the 15th and as a part of the the atlantic wall a German heavy battery artillery dating from World War 2. You will definitely enjoy strolling in the old town and getting the overview outside the walls.
Then you will head to Dinan one of the most impressive medieval cities in Brittany. It has one of the most preserved central down town with several kinds of timber frame buildings from the 15th to the 17th century. Dinan is located on a 75 meters (220 feet) cliff. From the British Garden near the Saint-Sauveur Basilica you will enjoy the most impressive view of the river Rance and have a very good idea about the trade and the wealth that entered the city from the river port.
Dinan is still surrounded by impressive city walls dating from the 13th century, when it was the Dukes of Brittany territory and you can still notice, in the design of the city, the conception of the society itself that was called feudal society with the three social classes known as the Clergy, the Nobility and the “Third World” (everyone that was not part of the Clergy and the Nobility).
To get the full flavor of this place you will enjoy a tasting of local products such as oysters and Breton Whisky, Cider or Calvados… or you can enjoy a “classical tasting” with wine and cheese or oysters with passionate “caviste”.
On the way back you will stop in Dinard to stroll in this former fishermen village turned into an effervescent and entertaining resort in the 19th century.
Then you will be ready for another enchanting visit.
The Malouinière of le Montmarin is located on the left bank of the Rance river in a beautiful, peaceful and hidden spot. A Malouinière was a very large secondary home built outside the city walls of St Malo by the most prosperous ship owners and where they could have more space and privacy. The Montmarin Malouinière dates from 1760 but is not opened to the visitors unlike the beautiful park and gardens (around 15 accres) by the river. The gardens listed as Historical Monuments are also labeled “Jardins Remarquables”
The Montmarin atmosphere is magic and enchanting.
During the visit you will see a very interesting model of the grounds and the shipyard in the 18th century. By the way, did you guess why they needed such hidden spot ?
(Entrance fee and tasting included)