A heritage of granite and half-timbered houses
In the town centre, stone and timber-framed houses vie with each other for attention. The Hotel du Ribault stakes its claim as the oldest house in town: its gables have been teetering over the paving stones since the 15th century, and there are plenty of other half-timbered houses gathered around Place Louis Guilloux, dating back to the 15th-17th centuries. You’ll stumble upon all kinds of wonderful sights as you stroll the narrow streets of the town, such as 1930s mosaic facades by Odorico. Make your way to the Port du Légué, the ‘entry port’ into the bay, to see the grand ship-owners’ houses.
A path overlooking the waves
You’ll want to take to the seas as soon as you set foot on the quays of the Port du Legué – whether aboard the Grand Léjon vintage sailing yacht, or along the coast on foot. The Sentier des Douaniers (Customs Officers’ Path), otherwise known as the GR34, overlooks the sea and offers a great opportunity to enjoy the varied landscapes. The route is invigorating in every way, as you enjoy the view from the cliffs at the Pointe de Pordic or Pointe des Roseliers headlands. And then enjoy the peace of the dunes of Bon Abri, Anse aux Moines cove or the long Plage des Rosaires beach, all lapped by beautiful turquoise water.
Lively, enchanting places to visit
Walk on water in the bay…at low tide anyway! The tide goes out more than 7 km here, revealing a foreshore that’s teeming with life – perfect for collecting shellfish! Look out for the wooden stakes rising from the seabed at the Pointe des Guettes, which are used for growing the famous rope-grown mussels. Enjoy the typical wildlife and plant life that lives quietly here among the salt marshes, rocks and sea. You can see 112 species of birds here, in Brittany’s biggest nature reserve. The Maison de la Baie discovery centre, perched on a rocky outcrop at Hillion, is a great introduction to the riches of this environment.
If you fancy a change of scenery, why not explore the walking and mountain-biking trails in the countryside? Admire the amazing piles of granite rocks known as the Chaos du Gouët. You’ll see them in the river bed between steep river banks, as you make your way along the 4.5 km trail, serenaded by the babbling water. The Vau Madec valley is a lovely, shaded walk that meanders all the way to the coast, and it’s a feast for the senses: from moss green to ultramarine blue, from fresh woodland scents to salty sea breezes!
Fabulous food and a warm welcome
After a day exploring, swimming and enjoying the sea and countryside, you’ll be keen to relax in comfort, and Saint-Brieuc has just what you need – it’s brimming with attractive eateries, where you can sit on a terrace and enjoy delicious local produce prepared by chefs with Michelin stars or a great reputation – not to mention the many crêperies offering every type of Breton pancake. Top of the menu are ‘coquilles Saint-Jacques’, or king scallops: the crowning glory of the bay. So come and discover it all!