St Malo is probably best known as a cross channel ferry port and can be found in the Ille et Vilaine region of Brittany, on the north coast of France.
Although thousands of holiday makers arrive in St Malo every year, many continue straight on to their chosen campsite and fail to explore this historic port properly.
Originally founded in around the 6th century by Saint Aaron and Saint Brendan, St Malo was originally an island connected to the mainland. From the 13th century St Malo went on to become one of the most important ports in French Corsair history.
The French Corsairs were privateers or pirates sanctioned by the Kings of France to attack ships of the enemies of France. Ships of various nations would be taken and a portion of the spoils would be paid to the King to allow them to continue. With this money St Malo became a wealthy and prosperous port.
Just to the north of the port located on an island, lies Fort National. Accessible by foot at low tide, the fort was built in 1689 to protect St Malo from attack. Tours are available of the fort throughout the year providing an insight into the part Fort National played in the history of St Malo throughout 3 centuries of war.
The gigantic ramparts that surround the port were painstakingly restored following the destruction that engulfed St Malo during WWII.
St Malo town harbours some wonderful shops, restaurants, bars and cafes to explore and enjoy and on the outskirts of the town lies Le Grand Aquarium.
One of the most visited tourist attractions in Brittany the aquarium was opened originally in 1996 and has gone from strength to strength. Set over 43,000 sq ft the aquarium is home to some 11,000 sea animals, covering and amazing 600 species.
To complete St Malo’s popularity to the east and west of the port lie many golden sandy beaches ready to be explored and enjoyed so please remember that St Malo is not just your gateway to Brittany, stay and enjoy all the port has to offer.