Home > Authentic Brittany: Emerald Coast and Celtic Green Pastures
NB: Starting on another day is possible for an additional charge of 50 euros per person for 2 or 3 riders and at no additional charge for groups of 4 or more.
Once the domain of Vikings and pirates, Brittany now entices bicyclists with its bounty of attractions. Beginning and ending in lively Saint-Malo, this beloved eight-day bicycle tour allows you to experience the best that Brittany has to offer.
Among the many memories you’ll make include your visit to Mont-Saint-Michel, one of France’s most loved destinations; pedaling along Brittany’s famous coast to scenic La Pointe du Grouin; and exploring Brittany’s magical rural landscape, with overnight stays in quaint villages — Dinan, Fougères, Combourg, Dol-de-Bretagne. Enjoy daily opportunities to sample Brittany’s gastronomic specialties — crêpes, seafood, and cheese — and wash down a glass or four of cider, the region’s drink of choice since the days of Charlemagne.
The short daily rides over relatively flat terrain make this bicycle tour wildly popular with riders of all levels.
For travel and cycling tips to Brittany, visit our "Travel and cycling tips" section.
Saint-Malo, Brittany’s famed walled city by the sea, serves as the launching pad for your bicycle tour. Once the haven of pirates, Saint-Malo now ranks as Brittany’s most visited city. A quick 10-minute stroll from your hotel brings you to Saint-Malo’s most famous landmarks, including the Cathedral of Saint Vincent. A walk atop Saint-Malo’s ramparts, dating back to the 12th century, affords magnificent views of the city itself and of the English Channel. During your walk, treat yourself to one of Brittany’s famous crêpes… but save room for dinner!
You’ll pedal out of Saint-Malo along the coast heading northeast towards scenic La Pointe du Grouin. This rocky headland forms the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel’s westernmost tip; prepare yourself for camera-worthy views in every direction, including Mont-Saint-Michel to the west and the Ile des Landes to the east. From La Pointe du Grouin you’ll turn south and pedal into Cancale, a name synonymous with oysters. This scenic fishing town makes for a perfect lunch stop, especially if you have a hankering for seafood. The inordinate number of restaurants for such a small town confirms Cancale’s dining reputation. After lunchtime, you’ll wheel inland to Dol-de-Bretagne, a sleepy village of cobblestone streets highlighted by the Cathedral of Dol-de-Bretagne. Be sure to check out the Dol-de-Bretagne menhir, a towering monolith weighing an estimated 150 tons and allegedly dating back to 2800 B.C.
Wind through the inspiring rural landscape, a patchwork of farms and fields more connected to the past than the present. After crossing the Couesnon River, you’ll technically be in Normandy, and you’ll continue on to Mont-Saint-Michel, one of the planet’s most popular UNESCO World Heritage sites. You’ll arrive in time for lunch, giving you the rest of the day to tour this iconic French site without feeling rushed. Dating back to 709, the towering abbey spire and medieval island village truly live up to their name as the “Wonder of the Western World.” You’ll lodge just outside of Mont-Saint-Michel — don’t forget to peek outside at night for spectacular views of the illuminated Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey.
Return to Brittany on an inland route passing two reminders of this area’s war-torn past: the German Cemetery at Mont-d'Huisnes and the Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial. The graves of 11,956 Germans lie at Huisnes-sur-Mer, while the remains of 4,410 World War II American soldiers rest in the American cemetery located in Saint James.
Before reaching Fougères you’ll pass several dolmens. These megalithic structures reportedly date back to Neolithic times. Fougères, your home for the night, was designated by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication as a “Villes et Pays d’Art et d’Histoire” (Town of Art and History). Place du Marchix, part of Fougères’ old town, is famous for its rows of half-timbered homes. The Château de Fougères is recognized as one of the best-preserved castles in France.
Embrace the serene scenery for a relaxing ride! Following a route along Brittany’s back roads, you’ll wheel across rolling farmland dotted with authentic tiny villages. Each one makes for a perfect lunch stop, so pick one that speaks to you. Sample some of the region’s famous, locally produced goat cheeses at a local shop. You’ll lodge in Combourg, located along the banks of appropriately named Lake Tranquil. The Château de Combourg, the town’s towering landmark that dates back to 1025, enjoys status as one of France’s National Heritage sites. In addition to its architectural-wow, it served as the childhood home of the famous French writer François-René de Chateaubriand.
Today’s short ride allows you to further explore Brittany’s sleepy, rural landscape of green meadows and expansive farms – the type of setting that soothes the mind like a mental massage. You will spend the night in Dinan. Perched along the banks of the Rance River, this ancient riverfront village is the ‘real deal’. Half-timbered homes wall both sides of its narrow cobblestone streets. Restaurants and cafés can be found in every corner, some with riverfront terraces! All serve Breton specialties: seafood, crêpes and cider. And the views from atop St. Catherine’s Tower, which dates back to the 14th century, are of ‘must-share-on-Facebook’ quality. You’ll lodge in the center of town in a historic property.
The River Rance serves as your guide as you follow it north to Saint-Malo. The river provides a scenic backdrop for many of the antique towns lined along its banks. Saint Suliac, located halfway between Dinan and Saint-Malo, enjoys status as one of France’s most scenic villages. Overflowing flower boxes frame the windows on every home along the port town’s narrow streets, making every corner a photo opportunity. If you’re feeling ambitious, take the longer route and ride along Brittany’s Emerald Coast, enjoying its many seaside vistas. Regardless of which route you follow, both spill into Saint-Malo.
After breakfast, depart Saint-Malo at the time of your choice.
4 nights in 2-star hotels and 3 nights in 3-star properties
6 nights in 3-star properties and 1 night in a historic guesthouse