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Anything amazing between Paris and north east Brittany?

We have one day to get from Paris to a conference in Saint-Malo this September, and we're planning on driving. Anything exciting to see on the way? Seems like there might be some really cool smaller towns along the way to stay at, but there isn't a ton of info in English on this region (that I can find anyways). Thanks!

Posted by
117 posts

It will take on a good day 4.5 hours Paris to St. Malo using the southern A routes. It passes through Chartres with it's Pure Gothic Cathedral from 1260. Nice place to stop for lunch. The Cathedral is stunning. On your way from the A route to St. Malo stop in Dinan with it's medieval town center tucked safely behind the well preserved ramparts. It is charming, spent 5 days there and everyday there was a different cobble stone street to explore. Can get a bit crowded with bus tours but otherwise charming and well preserved as it escaped the bombings in WW2. If the town center is too crowded, Walk down to the the old port on the River Rance via the Rue de Jerzual. Shopping eating and beautiful view by the river
In St. Malo, try the galettes, cidre(served in a tea cup) and the kouign amann. All delicious breton treats.
If you have time drive the coast route from St. Malo to Cancale. Cute little seaside towns litter the beautiful coast.

Posted by
6481 posts

Depending on your interests and your flexibility in route, I would highly recommend Fougeres, it has a wonderful castle (parts from 12c & 15c), some of the original town walls including the Notre Dame Gate, a couple of interesting churches, a great old town center and it's really pretty. If you happen to be coming through there on a Saturday they have a fantastic market.

I also agree with the other poster about Dinan, if you won't have another chance to visit there from St Malo, it's a great place to stop on the way.

Posted by
1666 posts

Chartres and Fougères are really loveley stops to consider, I like to add the historic centre of Le Mans, really stunning and tiny village Sainte-Suzanne west of it. If car racing is of interest there is a museum near the entrance of the 24h racetrack.

Posted by
11832 posts

I would have thought another route but Chartres and Fougeres is a good choice. Another to consider, near Fougeres, is Vitre.

The other route I was thinking of was a train to Rouen, look around, pick up a car. Then, depending on your interests and time, you could visit Etretat, Honfleur, Caen and/or Bayeux before driving to St. Malo.

Posted by
1286 posts

Unfortulately, one day will not give you much time to explore the many worthwhile towns and sights. If you take the route recommended by Lynn, we can also recommend stops at Chartres, Vitre, and Fougeres. If you take the alternative route pointed out by Brad, we have been to Honfleur and Bayeux and also recommend a quick stop at Arromanches for a D-day beach, and agree those are worthwhile as well as the other towns he mentioned which we have not yet visited. Have fun choosing!

Posted by
2 posts

Ok great! Thanks for all the help, I think we'll do Bayeaux, see the tapestry and maybe check out some D-Day stuff at Arromanches if we have time. Should be cool, looking forward to it! Thanks.