The 12 most beautiful walks around Saint-Malo

Cité d'Alet

Once you’ve completed the tour of the ramparts, there’s still plenty of hiking to be done in Saint-Malo to discover the corsair city and its surroundings… Get ready to fill up on iodized air while exercising your legs on walks as beautiful as they are varied.

With a mythical long-distance hiking trail, the GR34, running all the way around Brittany, and numerous other loops in the surrounding area, Saint-Malo promises to be a destination that will delight hikers who love coastal paths and seascapes (if not steep hills). Indeed, what could be more pleasant than to combine walking with the sea air?

On the Brittany coast, the hiking season extends all year round, with a particular preference for the period from May to September. Of course, you’ll sometimes need to bring rainproof clothing and protection against the wind… On the other hand, temperatures, even in midsummer, are rarely a hindrance to long walks.

The best walks in Saint-Malo can be prepared in any season!

1. From Saint-Malo to Dinard along the coastal path

Le sentier côtier

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 3h30
  • Distance: 14.8 km
  • Height difference: 286 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • See the route

Let’s start with a classic Saint-Malo hike: from the port, follow the GR34 along the coast to Dinard, on the other side of the Rance estuary. The route, which includes a crossing of the Rance dam, is quite simply magnificent, offering many fine views of the sea and surrounding area, but also of Saint-Malo from a different angle.

The route is moderately difficult but quite long in its entirety, and is linear: you’ll need to plan your own means of transport for the return journey: car( approx.25 minutes ), or scheduled bus service between the two towns.

2. The pointe de la Varde tour

Le tour de la pointe de la Varde

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 2 hours
  • Distance: 8.4 km
  • Height difference: 89 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • See the route

From Le Minihic beach(15 minutes by car, 20 minutes by bike), here’s a shorter, easy and family-friendly tour of Saint-Malo.

The aim will be to walk around the pointe de la Varde, from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of Saint-Malo, via the caves of Minihic. You’ll then walk through the surrounding area to the Pointe de Rothéneuf, before taking a swim, weather permitting, at Plage du Val. The return loop provides a varied itinerary.

3. Exploration of the Pointe du Grouin

Exploration de la pointe du Grouin

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 3 hours
  • Distance: 12.1 km
  • Difference in altitude: 271 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • See the route

Let’s continue a little further towards Cancale, for a hike around Saint-Malo starting at the Petit Port beach(30 minutes by car). The aim of the walk is to reach the Pointe du Grouin, a rocky spur, wild and battered by the winds, from which you can observe a magnificent view of the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel… a walk to feast your eyes on!

Also not to be missed are the many gulls that populate Ile des Landes, a nature reserve running parallel to the point. The route allows you to walk a long way along the seafront, stopping at Plage du Verger on the way out or back, and returning to the starting point on a loop.

4. A complete tour of Saint-Malo and its forts

Un tour complet de Saint-Malo et de ses forts

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 1h45
  • Distance: 6.9 km
  • Height difference: 86 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • See the route

Anyone visiting Saint-Malo will undoubtedly do a tour of the corsair city’s ramparts, which encircle the old town. This itinerary, easy to complete in its entirety, invites you to extend your stroll!

This comprehensive itinerary includes a visit to the Fort National, crossing the Sillon beach, skirting the harbor as far as the Môle des Noires, taking the Passage des Bés for a pilgrimage to Châteaubriand’s tomb on the Grand Bé, followed by a visit to the Petit Bé fort… A tour of Saint-Malo’s must-see sites.

Beware of tide times for this outing: the Bés are only accessible on foot at low tide!

5. The Meinga Point tour

Le tour de la pointe du Meinga

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 1 hour
  • Distance: 4.2 km
  • Height difference: 93 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • See the route

Don’t be fooled by the low mileage of this hike around Saint-Malo, which can be more technical than it looks. A rocky spur tossed about by the winds, the Pointe du Meinga is a fine sample of the Emerald Coast where you can fill up on sea spray.

Some passages in the rocks require a bit of climbing and are not recommended in wet weather, nor for hikers suffering from vertigo! Les Chevrets beach, the starting point of the outing(25 minutes from Saint-Malo), is excellent for a seaside break on the way back from a walk.

6. Coastal walk from Cancale to Mont Saint-Michel Bay

Randonnée côtière

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 3h30
  • Distance: 12.6 km
  • Difference in altitude: 389 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • See the route

This hike around Saint-Malo starts directly from Cancale, a 30-minute drive away. From the beach, the route couldn’t be easier: just follow the coastline past the heart of Cancale to Port Mer, just upstream of the Pointe du Grouin.

The hike, 100% coastal, opens out onto the vast bay of Mont Saint-Michel: a memorable experience.

7. The Minihic-sur-Rance loop

randonnées Saint-Malo : La boucle du Minihic-sur-Rance

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 3 hours
  • Distance: 11.7 km
  • Height difference: 180 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • See the route

A lovely hike around Saint-Malo, this route takes you to the commune of Le Minihic-sur-Rance, upstream from the Rance estuary. It takes just 22 minutes to get there, via the Rance dam.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the coast, the route, in the form of a large loop, is partly rural, but mostly takes place on the banks of the Rance estuary, combining diverse landscapes, a small local heritage and beautiful viewpoints.

8. The Saint-Suliac loop

La boucle de Saint-Suliac

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Running time: approx. 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Distance: 10.6 km
  • Difference in altitude: 202 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • See the route

This hike around Saint-Malo echoes the previous one, with a similar itinerary but on the opposite bank of the Rance estuary, on the Saint-Suliac side. Allow 20 minutes’ drive to reach the starting point.

The coastal path is once again at the heart of the route, which nonetheless accumulates its small elevation gain at Mont Garrot for beautiful panoramas over the Rance estuary. The hike should be undertaken at low tide to keep your feet dry.

9. Cultural outing to the Cité d’Alet

randonnées Saint-Malo : Cité Alet

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 45 min
  • Distance: 2.4 km
  • Height difference: 48 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • See the route

A hike near Saint-Malo that’s closer to a stroll in terms of its length, with the added advantage of being easily accessible for the whole family, whatever the weather. The starting point can be reached directly on foot from the ramparts of Saint-Malo, in a 20-minute walk.

The idea is simple: to take a complete tour of the city of Alet, the first settlement of historic Saint-Malo. In addition to the views over the Rance, the outing is also a cultural one, with the 39/45 Memorial, the old blockhouses, the Vauban citadel and the ancient Gallo-Roman enclosure.

10. Saint-Malo waterfront

Le front de mer de Saint-Malo

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 3h30
  • Distance: 14.5 km
  • Difference in altitude: 165 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • See the route

You don’t have to go far to find a good hike in Saint-Malo: here, you can start directly from the ramparts of the corsair city.

The route follows the line of the Saint-Malo seafront, winding its way up the beaches of Le Sillon, La Hoguette and Rochebonne. There’s also the option of walking on the sand to tone up the effort, and getting in the water if the sun is shining.

11. The little tour of Ile Besnard

Le petit tour de île Besnard

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 30 min
  • Distance: 1.6 km
  • Height difference: 28 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • See the route

Closing in on the harbor of Rothéneuf, the tour de l’île Besnard is a lovely hike near Saint-Malo, ideal for an easy outing with the kids: get some fresh air in a superb marine setting, while enjoying beautiful views.

The starting point is the Chevrets beach(20 minutes by car from Saint-Malo), where you can rest on the sand at the end of the walk.

Also read in the Saint-Malo guide :

12. The Saint-Briac loop

randonnées Saint-Malo : La boucle de Saint-Briac

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 4 hours
  • Distance: 16.7 km
  • Difference in altitude: 228 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • See the route

To conclude this selection of the most beautiful hikes around Saint-Malo, let’s move on to Saint-Briac-sur-Mer(25-minute drive).

The route first crosses Saint-Briac, skirting the seafront and the old town, via the emblematic Château du Nessay. The path then becomes coastal, passing several beaches and points, offering admirable views of Cap Fréhel and Saint-Malo. After Saint-Lunaire, return to the starting point via the voie des champs!