Three walled medieval towns: St-Malo, Dinan, Vannes


The jewel of Brittany (External link) ’s Emerald Coast on the northern tip of Ille-et-Vilaine, Saint-Malo (External link) is an enthralling port town with an ever-changing landscape and one of the world’s greatest tidal ranges. It’s a place of history and legend with well-preserved ramparts, cobbled streets and old stone buildings – as well as the birthplace of several illustrious historical characters – and offers visitors an authentic glimpse into the region’s important seafaring past. It’s also the gateway to the Channel Islands. Don’t miss…

  • A tour of the ramparts
  • Saint-Vincent cathedral
  • The Grand Aquarium, home to 600 species of fish from cold and hot waters across the globe
  • Musée de la Ville
  • Le Manoir de Limoëlou, housing a museum to Breton explorer Jacques Cartier, who discovered Canada
  • The tidal islands of Grand Bé and Petit Bé


Set high above the Rance river, Dinan (External link) and its 14th-century castle are enclosed by 3km of stone walls. Start at the marina and enjoy a walk along the estuary, before ascending to see the town’s crooked timber-framed houses with pointed gables which are straight out of the Middle Ages. Don’t miss...

  • The old rampart walkway
  • Dinan’s castle, with 14th-century dungeon built into its ramparts and classified as a historical monument
  • The Saint-Malo church (15th-19th centuries), Saint-Sauveur basilica (12th-19th centuries) and Convent des Cordeliers (15th century), all gems of religious art
  • The governor's house (15th century), Hotel de Beaumanoir (16th century) and Mère Pourcel’s house (15th century)
  • Rue du Jerzual, the town’s main street and arguably its most beautiful, awash with artisans


Beautiful Vannes (External link) overlooks the Golfe du Morbihan, a network of winding alleys and pretty squares with splendid fortifications and a picture-perfect marina. There’s a plethora of great bars and restaurants here and it’s an excellent base from which to explore Morbihan’s islands too. Don’t miss…

  • A tour of the ramparts
  • La Cohue (Musée des Beaux Arts)
  • Musée d’Histoire et d’Archéologie
  • Cathédrale St-Pierre
  • Bilboquet, an old-fashioned toy shop