Holiday in North Brittany on the Emerald Coast

The Emerald coast in North Brittany, which seems to take its name from the colour of its sea, takes you from Saint-Malo (in Ille-et-Vilaine department) to Saint-Brieuc (Côtes d'Armor department).
The Emerald Coast
The Emerald Coast © jmt29
It is an area that will please artists and bird watchers for its sumptuous coastal views from steep rocky cliffs, home to diverse seabird species, families with numerous pretty beaches and active groups for the quality of watersports on offer and its respected Golf resorts.

North Brittany's top holiday destinations

Recommended Itinerary

As you start from Saint-Malo, explore the old historic fortress town with a walk along the ramparts and travel inland 30km south to the little gem medieval town of Dinan. Take a boat across the Rance river estuary to the attractive and rich city of Dinard.
This once small fishing village has become an international hot spot for Americans and English alike boosting stunning houses, a casino and luxury hotels. The city owns three pretty beaches and a lovely riverfront walkway (Promenade du Clair de Lune) offering magnificient views across the estuary.

If you continue driving along the coast, you will have a choice of smart beach resorts like Saint-Lunaire, St-Briac-sur-Mer, Lancieux and St-Cast-Le-Guildo.

As you approach Cap Fréhel, stop first at Fort La Latte, a medieval picturesque fortress standing on a rocky mount. As you park at the lighthouse of Cap Fréhel, you will be welcome by one of Brittany's highlights. On a clear day, you will be able to see nearly 120km away of stunning panoramic views from this high pitched reef beauty spot which is also an ornithological reserve. As you drive then towards Saint-Brieuc, you will pass the fishing port of Erquy, known for its scallops. Saint-Brieuc may be first a departmental administrative centre but it is also a place of many Breton and Rock festivals, fairs and its Staturday big market. The old town centre with its half-timbered houses is worth a visit, especially the Cathedral Saint-Etienne dated back 13C.

The Emerald coast lays next to the Rance Valley, home of the stunning picturesque Bay of Mont Saint-Michel, a world renowed tourist attraction. We strongly recommend following the coastline road from Saint-Malo towards, France's famous oysters town, Cancale, from where you will enjoy magnifient views across the bay as you drive towards Mont Saint-Michel. Technically, it is based in Normandy rather than Brittany but situated so close to Saint-Malo it would be a shame to give it a miss.


Where to stay


How to Keep Active and Relax

You are spoilt for choice

  • Sailing Club of Dinard
  • Stunning Golf Club of Dinard overlooking the seafront, Saint-Malo
  • Indulge and relax at one of the Thalassotherapy Centres of Saint Malo and Dinard

How to keep the kids happy

You need a change from the beach and you have done plenty of sightseeing. To keep your children happy, why not try a few our recommended places:

  • Aquarium - Grand Aquarium of Saint Malo
  • Animal Park - Château de la Bourbansais in Pleugueneuc
  • Leisure Park - Cobac Parc in Lanhélin
  • The Pirate Maize - Labyrinthe du Corsaire in Saint Malo
  • Forest Adventure Park - Armoripark in Bégard
View full details of all our recommended activities for children

How to get there

  • By plane - Fly direct to the nearest international airport of Dinard.
  • By ferry with direct arrivals to St Malo. Alternative ferry terminals to consider include Roscoff and Cherbourg.
  • By train - The nearest highspeed train station (TGV) is Rennes where you change to the local train network to reach your final destination.
  • By car - drive your own or hire a car - Check our driving guide before you set off.

Don't miss ...

  • La Route du Rock in Saint-Malo, Rock music festival in Fort de Saint-Pierre every August
  • Pardon de la Vierge, religious procession in Mont-Dol every 15th August
View our full calendar of festivals, religious processions and other major events

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