This pretty port is a delight both for the eyes and the taste buds. Voted a remarkable site of taste, Cancale has long been famous for its oysters and shellfish. These seafood delights are even better when enjoyed while admiring the wonderful Mont Saint-Michel in the middle of the bay.
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Cancale, like Venus, was born of the sea. Oysters were already enjoyed back in Roman times. It acquired its town status by supplying the royal court with oysters, and with sailors. In the 19th century, the sailors left for Newfoundland, leaving their wives to manage the town. The women of Cancale still have their candour, which they gained in this time. It is especially noticeable at Port de la Houle and in the pretty “back streets” against the cliffs. The “upper” town was the domain of the shipowners.
Dozens of tasty moments!
The comings and goings of the boats, the work of the oyster farmers and the rhythm of the tides permanently animate the jetty-lined port. When the tide is low, the criss-cross patterns of the oyster farms can be seen over 366 hectares. Today, the Cancale oyster is farmed, rather than dredged. The wealth of plankton in Mont Saint-Michel bay gives them their typical taste. Share a plate of them, sitting on the slipway of the oyster market, to see for yourself. Unless you prefer one of the many establishments along the quays. One has a boat’s hull as a bar, another serves you on wooden stools, and they all welcome you cheerfully.
Did you know
Boats in a chapel?
The moving Verger chapel, in a fine sandy cove, contains the ex-votos of sailors’ wives. A surprising flotilla of model ships is suspended from ropes.
A path with a thousand horizons
The sea does not always arrive on a plate: sometimes you have to walk a bit to fully appreciate it. But what a joy! The Sentier des Douaniers which overlooks Port de la Houle boasts superb views, one after the other. Pointe des Crolles offers a wonderful view of Mont Saint-Michel and the bay. In the reflection of the tides, the Mont appears like a mirage. From Pointe du Hoc, the gaze is drawn to the Cancale rock and the oyster farms. Feeling fit? There are 7 km to Pointe du Grouin via coves and secret moorings. There is always a protected beach for a refreshing swim.