Home > Magnificent Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay
Visualize yourself wheeling across vast expanses of flat farmland when suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, you spot something floating in the distance: a magnificent spire reaching toward the heavens, extending above tiers of weathered stone resting on a rocky island. This is one of France’s most recognizable and most breath-taking historic sites, Mont-Saint-Michel. Though the towering island of Mont-Saint-Michel, its ancient abbey, and its serene bay are the major highlight of this tour, the sites you’ll see on the other five days of your cycling tour are no less exceptional!
Starting and ending in the walled port city of Saint-Malo, your journey will take you through the lovely and picturesque countryside of Brittany and Normandy. Memorable gastronomic stops and other spectacular sites dot your route, such as the fishing port of Cancale and the village of Dinan. We have kept the mileage to a minimum to better enable you to visit and savour this tour's extraordinary sites and soak up the relaxing, refreshing rural life of this part of France.
Note: A shorter 3-night/4-day version finishing at Mont-Saint-Michel is also possible. Price and itinerary on request.
For travel and cycling tips to Normandy, visit our "travel and cycling tips" section.
Upon arriving in Saint-Malo, you’ll have time to settle in your hotel facing the sea, located just a 10-minute walk from the old walled city. Your bikes will be delivered to your hotel by 6 pm and our renter will brief you over the next few days’ trip; if needed, you can call our local representative at any time.
Keep in mind that an early arrival will allow you more time to explore. Dating back to the 6th century, Saint-Malo offers seafaring history, unique architecture and the greatest concentration of seafood restaurants in all of Europe.
We strongly recommend taking advantage of its many culinary offerings.
Today you’ll experience more photo opportunities than Paris has cafés. The ride begins with a winding coastal road (imagine France’s version of California’s Pacific Coast Highway) in full view of the Channel Islands. We’ll recommend several beaches in case the water beckons you to go for a swim. Whether you swim or not, keep your eyes alert for surfacing dolphins, common visitors to these waters. You’ll then reach Pointe du Grouin, a narrow slice of land that juts into the sea like an arthritic thumb. Besides being famous for photo opportunities, this scenic perch, where cliffs meet sea, also serves as the finish line for the trans-Atlantic Jacque Cartier yacht race.
Next is Cancale, a picturesque fishing village located along the Bay of Mont St-Michel’s western shore. Each year Cancale harvests 25,000 tons of oysters, rightfully earning it the title of “Oyster Capital of Brittany.” From here you’ll pedal south to Dol-de-Bretagne. This venerable village is a monument to varying styles of medieval architecture. Half-timbered homes are many, as are ancient stone buildings, including Les Petits Palets, the oldest stone-built house in France. And the Cathedral of Saint Samson, which towers over the village, enjoys iconic status.
From Dol-de-Bretagne, you’ll ride north through Mont-Dol and then along the bay to the east from Cherrueix, pedaling through Brittany’s polder landscape. Along the way you’ll pass one of the region’s largest menhirs (tall, Neolithic stone monuments cloaked with Stonehenge-like mystery). This short ride lets you reach Mont-Saint-Michel ahead of the crowds.
Perched atop a tiny island in the Gulf of Saint-Malo, this UNESCO World Heritage site is so over-the-top spectacular it resembles something spawned from the mind of a Hollywood set designer with an unlimited budget. Give yourself at least two hours to explore Benedictine Abbey, which is to Romanesque architecture what the Tour de France is to bike racing. So as to maximize your visit, we’ll provide you with a few insider tips on how best to explore Mont-Saint-Michel. After lunch, a 30-minute pedal will take you to Pontorson.
Located just 10 kilometers south of Mont-Saint-Michel along the Brittany-Normandy border, this ancient village dates back to the 12th century and features several architectural gems including the church of Notre-Dame.
Pedal east across Brittany’s famous countryside along quiet country roads. You’ll ride through absolute pastoral calm: gently rolling hillsides checkered with lush meadows and thick forests, interrupted only by duck-filled ponds and tiny villages that possess a special “something” that causes sound-minded people to consider quitting their jobs and relocating here for a less hectic life.
Eventually, you’ll reach Dinan, your home for the night. Nestled along the banks of the Rance River, Dinan is recognized as one of the most beautiful towns in all of France. Narrow cobblestone streets framed by half-timbered homes accented with overflowing flower boxes are the norm, rather than the exception. Every street, every corner, every view is picture-worthy. You’ll find plenty of options to enjoy Brittany’s legendary cuisine — just wait for the aromas of the mouth-watering morsels wafting from the open-air bistros. We’ll provide dining suggestions to help with your decision.
Your hotel is located in the center of town, providing out-the-door access to everything Dinan has to offer.
Today you’ll follow the Rance River north into Brittany’s historic countryside. The width of the Rance creates the sense of riding along an inland coast, prompting wonder if it’s actually a river or a frustrated lake. You ride along the left bank of the Rance before crossing it in Plouër. Cycling the closest to the river to Saint-Jouan-des-Guérets, the scenery is absolutely remarkable; it is a true inland sea where boats sail alongside artichoke fields and farmer villages become port.
Our longer ride option takes you through the Emerald Coast (Côte d'Emeraude) and Dinard.
The tour concludes after breakfast. Your hotel is conveniently located within a ten-minute walk from the train station.
3 nights in 3-star properties and 2 nights in 2-star properties
4 nights in 3-star properties and 1 night in a guesthouse of character