Hey there! As you know, at the end of September (even August sometime!) a lot of activities are not available anymore… buses change schedules like for the Mont Saint-Michel, and there is less event happening.
But don’t worry folks! Here in Brittany, we know how to enjoy during that slow season that is Autumn 😉 Here’s my suggestions and ideas of things to do during a trip in Brittany at the end of the year!
Before taking a train…
Why not having a look on the “Cathedraloscope”? That nice museum about Cathedrals and their architecture is not that far from Edd Hostel, since it is in Dol de Bretagne itself! Finding it remains pretty easy.
First, you just must head toward the Cathedral of Dol. That one is pretty unique, because it mixes together the Normand style and the French gothic style. Also, it’s weird shape (one tower was never finished) make it really interesting to look at!
Once you made it until the Cathedral, don’t hesitate to visit the inside of course, and then look around until finding a cute little courtyard. That’s where the museum Cathedraloscope is hiding!
They will propose to you several little game and riddles about Cathedrals on top of regular representations and exposure you can attempt from a museum. It makes it funnier in my opinion! I always prefered learn while having fun, it makes it easier, don’t you think? 🙂
Last thing to know before jumping into a train, that’s also the place where the tourist office of Dol de Bretagne lies. Don’t mind saying hi to them from Edd Hostel (we are a bit of a tourist office ourselves too ;D).
Saint-Malo and Dinard
Nice ballad in Intra Muros and beach of Dinard for yourself!
Even though Saint-Malo and Dinard are really crowded during Summer (you have to understand, every single French are going there during middle year holidays!), it’s way less empty while in Autumn. Since French holidays are over, everyone is going back home, and the water start to be too cold for the remnants to have a nice swim at 12h!
Such time is the perfect moment for you to come in the Corsair city Saint-Malo! The city won’t be empty of people, but you will be able to feel that particular atmosphere Saint-Malo have when there are less people in town 🙂 Wandering around on the ramparts, almost alone, what a delight!
It’s also the occasion to head toward Dinard the seaside resort! Like Saint-Malo, there will be less people and tourists in the city 😉 All the palaces and villas of Dinard are now yours (well, don’t forget locals though)! You can also enjoy the casino of Dinard with no one bothering you!
Of course, all the nice ballad of both cities is now available with way less people, but the beaches are also! Even though I don’t recommend having a swim in the sea during Fall, just walking around with no one is pretty enjoyable 😀 If you really want to swim, I advise you to go in the sea at the end of afternoon, after a sunny day. The water will warm up until the moment you enter in 😉
Ah, that’s what I’m talking about! A nice Thalasso in Saint-Malo or Dinard is such a wonder, especially during the fresh and windy days of Autumn. We talked a little bit about it in that article but let me remind you!
First, we have “Les Thermes Marins”, in Saint-Malo! That establishment lies just in front of the beach “Le Sillon” for you to enjoy the view while having one of the best Thalassotherapy of your life! Just perfect when it’s a little bit cold outside 🙂
They propose a lot of different options and choices, from hammam to sauna, and swimming pool! Of course, you can get a massage in that place 😉
Concerning the prices, have a look on their website just here! But I can tell you right now that you have several options about the time. You can have half day, the whole day, or even several days of healing therapy! Just awesome! It’s also a hotel, so you can stay onsite during your healing sessions days.
It’s not the same company in Dinard that handle Thalassotherapy. The name is Novotel Thalassa Sea & Spa, and, like its name is mentioning, it’s also a 4 stars hotel where you can stay between your healing session.
They also propose spa, healing sessions and swimming pool with natural sea water. Don’t forget about the massage session as well 🙂
That establishment is also located next to the sea which provide you a great view of the Ocean! It’s even more beautiful when you are in the swimming pool, since that one is just in front of the water 😉
If you want more information about Novotel in Dinard, here’s their website 😉
A delicious idea in Saint-Malo…
If you’re like a cooker yourself, or just if you are interested in French and more particularly Breton cuisine, you can also peek on “Atelier de la crêpe” in Saint-Malo! That cooking school can provide you the mighty knowledge of crepes and galette making! Which, of course, I don’t need since I’m Breton! It flows naturally in my blood, haha!
Let’s explain a little bit what a crepe and galette are exactly. I bet you already know what a crepe is. You know, those sorts of fine pancake made from wheat flour, milk and egg? It’s so delicious I can eat it all day! Those are supposed to be sweet, but some recipes exist with salty ingredients also!
Then galette is kind of the same thing, except it is made from buckwheat, and often are salty recipes 😉 The most classical one of those in Brittany is called “complète”, and is just based on egg, ham and cheese. But it’s such a delight!
Of course, the flexibility of those ingredients makes it easy to cook in several ways possible, with all kind of different ingredients! That’s what that school is all about, sharing with everyone the crepe/galette making in a good and friendly atmosphere 😀
There’s different kind of lesson you can peek on that link, from the professional diploma to the amateur and fun lessons! There’s one for every taste haha! Those lessons will also put you in real situation by making you serve local people! The best occasion to meet and create bond with some French people ;D
Alone on trails
Talking about Saint-Malo and Dinard, do you know the GR34? We talked about it in that article! That’s a great hiking trail that goes all along the coasts of Brittany. It is really famous among walkers (especially French) to be one of the greatest hiking trail in France. The reason? Well, because it is just gorgeous 😀 Brittany coasts are beautiful, and the GR34 is really well indicated. You just can’t lose yourself, even if you’re doing it alone!
Fall is also a good time to go on the trail because there’s simply no one! Nothing better than walking along beautiful coasts alone and free. A little walk on that path is my personal remedy every time I feel weird and I need to think a little bit 🙂
From Edd Hostel, there’s another beautiful part of the GR34 I advise you to try. Don’t forget to take warm clothes with you! Even though Fall is not that cold in Brittany, when you’re next to the sea with no building to protect you from the marine wind it can gets a bit fresh!
So, about the GR34…
It starts at La Pointe du Grouin, amazing seascape spot from where you can see the Mont Saint-Michel 🙂 That trail will lead you from La Pointe du Grouin until Saint-Malo. You will pass by beautiful beaches only known by locals (so with no one) and you’ll be free to enjoy it at the fullest! Well, just remember what I wrote earlier about swimming ;).
You’ll find from time to time other little cliffs like “Le Pointe du Grouin”, the most famous are called “Pointe de la Varde” and “Pointe du Meinga. Those spots are just perfect if you want to have a nice break! That’s actually what I’m doing sometimes, because that hiking trail is pretty long. Plan something like 6 hours minimum in total!
Beautiful village on sight!
Then you’ll arrive in Rothéneuf, the city of the carved rock! It’s also in that place that Jacques Cartier, the French explorer that discover Canada, used to live, and its manor is still intact. It’s now a museum about the explorer’s life 🙂 Oh, by the way, if you’re too tired to continue you can have a coffee in the center town, and then catch a bus (N°8) until Saint-Malo 😉
I really advise you to stop by that place. Houses are nice and clean, all named (there’s literally names on houses!), the town is cozy and charming and lies in a bay that is just gorgeous! Sometime, when I have time to spare, I go swim a little bit in that bay to refresh myself before going back on roads!
Finally you will arrive in Saint-Malo, the Corsair city! Would be the perfect timing to have a Thalasso right now 😀
Well, “les chemins de halage” are also good…
If walking that long is not your favorite, then you can trip some cycle trail nearby Dinan! Same as all the other suggestion, what is interesting here is that you will be alone on the trails, enjoying nature at the fullest!
The best to do will be the “Chemin de halage”, crossing by the locks of the river la Rance. I talk a little bit about those in that article! First thing you will have to do is to take a train for Dinan. When you’re onsite, you can either visit Dinan directly and bike away afterward or visit Dinan after your ballad. In any case, you must peek on that city because it’s gorgeous!
Then, find the river and once you’re there, cross the bridge. Don’t worry it’s pretty noticeable 😉 The bike rental will be just there, it is called Kaouann Dinan.
Once on bike, you have two choices.
You can go South to visit Lehon. That ballad is the shortest of the two (around 10 minutes for one way), but it’s still pretty. The little plus with that way is that you’ll be able to visit the town of Lehon, which is pretty charming! Typical old French kind of village, I personally love it 🙂
The other choice is to go North in purpose to reach Saint Samson sur Rance, another charming village nearby the river. That way is longer (around 30 minutes for one way), but it’s more enjoyable in my personal opinion if you just want to ride your bike and fell free!
Then, in any case, you can come back in Dinan and visit the city if you didn’t do it when you arrived 🙂
I hope that little article gave you some nice ideas about trips in Brittany during Fall! As I said, Fall (and Spring) are just the perfect seasons to visit that part of France!