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Discover Brittany and Normandy

The Château de la Ballue is the ideal base for visiting Mont-Saint-Michel and its bay.

By staying at Château de la Ballue, located at the gateway to Normandy and Brittany, you can discover the exceptionally rich heritage of our region within a radius of less than 50 km.
The Château de la Ballue is the ideal base for visiting Mont-Saint-Michel and its bay.

By staying at Château de la Ballue, located at the gateway to Normandy and Brittany, you can discover the exceptionally rich heritage of our region within a radius of less than 50 km.
The Mont Saint-Michel
The Mont Saint Michel is an exceptional and unmissable place to visit, just 20 minutes' drive from Château de la Ballue.

History
The Mont Saint Michel.....An immersion in a thousand years of history, punctuated by the ceaseless flow of Europe's highest tides...
 
Renowned all over the world, the site has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. Its many houses, medieval street, cemetery and abbey are listed historic monuments.
Major works have restored the island's character since 2014, and access is via a bridge, either on foot or by shuttle bus.
Every year, 3,300,000 visitors flock to the gates of Mont Saint Michel - despite the fact that the town has just forty or so inhabitants - to admire this masterpiece built between sky and sea.
 
The Mont Saint Michel, built on a rock, is described as one of the Wonders of the West. It is surrounded by 13th-century fortifications that are in a remarkable state of preservation.
 
When you enter the walls of Mont Saint Michel, the magic happens from the very first moment.
 
The first building on The Mont was erected in honour of the archangel Saint Michel in 709, on a granite rock which, over the centuries, has grown to cover around ten hectares.

Among the jewels of this medieval town, we recommend you admire the parish church, a 15th-century building dedicated to Saint-Pierre, the various museums, the abbey, its refectory, its cloister and the first abbey, Notre Dame Sous-Terre. You can also contemplate the incomparable beauty of the Bay, the fascinating spectacle of the landscape and the sea around the Mont, by walking down the ramparts dotted with small flower gardens, or by taking the covered way.
 
Mont Saint Michel, a cultural and heritage site, is also a spiritual place, and today is home to the Brothers and Sisters of the Monastic Fraternity of Jerusalem.
Visitors will be fascinated by the fervour and spirituality that emanate from the site.

For further information :
Mont Saint-Michel Tourism Office: : www.ot-montsaintmichel.com
Centre of national monument: www.mont-saint-michel.monuments-nationaux.fr :Book here the tour of the abbey's interiors
Monastic fraternity of jerusalem : www.abbaye-montsaintmichel.com
UNESCO website : whc.unesco.org
Crossing the bay on foot : www.decouvertebaie.com
New conditions of access to the MSM: the car park is located on the mainland 2.5 kilometres away and access is on foot or by shuttle bus. Further information: www.accueilmontsaintmichel.com
 
Saint Malo

Saint-Malo, an authentic privateer town, remains an unconquered fortress. The birthplace of the famous privateer Surcouf, Saint Malo is synonymous with adventure, travel and sailing.
 
Saint Malo is a natural venue for major sailing events such as the Route du Rhum and the Transat Québec / Saint-Malo.
The tides in the Bay of Saint-Malo are the highest in Europe, and every year they arouse the curiosity of visitors.
 
Lovers of the sea will be delighted by its incomparable charm, and will dream of distant horizons as they contemplate the sea from its beaches. Saint-Malo enchants tourists looking for thrills and fresh air.
 
At the end of the walled city, on the island of Grand Bé, you can recall a page of French literary history around the tomb of Chateaubriand, a native of Saint Malo. To discover :  the National Fort, the "étoile du Roy" (privateer frigate), the ramparts and the aquarium.

For further informations :
Tourism office of Saint-Malo: www.saint-malo-tourisme.com
The grand aquarium of Saint-Malo : www.aquarium-st-malo.com
L’étoile Marine (bateaux historiques): www.etoile-marine.com
High tide site in Saint-Malo: www.grandes-marees.com
Cancale
Cancale is a charming fishing port with remarkable panoramic views over the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel. Discover it on foot, the Douaniers trail at the "Pointe du Grouin", ideal place to enjoy the beauty of the landscape and the sea. Cancale is an oyster-farming port, where you can sample the products of the sea, flat or hollow oysters and mussels. At the Port de la Houle, fishermen offer fish from the bay. Cancale is also home to Olivier Roellinger, renowned for his corsair cooking and spices.

For further information :
Tourism office of Cancale : here.
Tourism office of Saint Malo and Baie du The Mont Saint Michel : here.
Roellinger spices and Bricourt houses : here.
Dinard
Dinard is said to be the pearl of the Emerald Coast...
Towards the end of the 19th century, Dinard became the place to be for high society and enjoyed an international reputation. Considered the "French seaside resort" par excellence, it welcomed and seduced the greatest elites and crowned heads of Europe.
With its rich history and past, Dinard boasts a remarkable seaside heritage.
You can admire the villas with their characteristic architectural style, standing proudly on the coastline.
Stroll along the beautiful beaches and discover the superb walks along the coastal paths.
 
The seaside resort of Dinard hosts the British Film Festival in October. This town of art and history has a well-preserved heritage, with coves and coastal paths to discover on walks and hikes.
Golf enthusiasts can enjoy an 18-hole course at Dinard Golf, by the sea, in the dunes and coastal moors.

For further information :
Tourism office of Dinard : www.dinardemeraudetourisme.com
British Film Festival website : www.dinardfestivaldufilm.fr
Golf of Dinard-Saint-Briac-sur-Mer : www.dinardgolf.com
Dinan
A medieval city, a city of Art and History, marked by the passage of Bertrand du Guesclin and the Duchess Anne de Bretagne, it will charm art and culture enthusiasts. The town has retained its authenticity.

Fortified by ramparts and perched on high ground, Dinan offers visitors a rich heritage: the 12th-century Saint-Sauveur basilica, the Cordeliers convent founded in the 13th century, the medieval castle and medieval streets with half-timbered houses. Don't miss the famous Rue du Jerzual.
From Dinan, discover the picturesque and lively port in all seasons, on the banks of the Rance.

Things to do: boat trips, hiking, sightseeing.
Tourism office of Dinan :  here.
Combourg
Brittany, is the cradle of French Romanticism and a reminder of Chateaubriand's youth. Discover the town's main square, its 16th-century timber-framed houses and its walks along the banks of the famous tranquil lake. And of course the Château, where Chateaubriand spent part of his childhood and which he recalls in his famous Mémoires d'Outre-Tombe. 

For further informations :
Website of the Château de Combourg : www.chateau-combourg.com
Tourism office of Combourg : here. 
Dol de Bretagne
Dol de Bretagne, a medieval trading town proud of its Breton origins, has been awarded the "Petite Cité de Caractère de Bretagne" label.

Don't miss Dol's magnificent cathedral, which faces the marshes, a reminder that Dol de Bretagne has a prestigious past. In the main street, you'll find one of the oldest houses in Brittany, as well as cobbled streets and half-timbered houses. There are also megalithic monuments such as the Champ Dolent.
Leaving Dol, visit Mont Dol for a breathtaking panoramic view of the Bay of Mont Saint Michel. 
Further informations about Dol de bretagne here.
Le Mont Dol
Close to Dol de Bretagne, this mountain tells its own story of legends and myths. A granite massif which, according to legend, is where the archangel Saint-Michel set off for the mountain to which he gave his name. Magnificent views over the bay of Mont Saint Michel. Discover the mill, the village and the Chapel of Hope.
Bécherel
Famous for its books, Bécherel is a haven for booksellers and second-hand booksellers, as well as second-hand dealers, gallery owners, sculptors, painters, photographers, bookbinders and calligraphers...
Fougères
Situated at the gateway to Brittany, the authentic medieval town of Fougères invites you to discover the medieval quarter and the romantic quarter. You can visit the Château de Fougères, the great fortress of the Marches de Bretagne, then the town's first parish church, St Sulpice, the Place du Marchix, the Emmanuel de la Veillion museum, the great impressionist painter, and finally the Maison de Savigny with its red-tiled roof. Admire the magnificent panorama of the town from the public gardens.

For further informations :
www.destination-fougeres.bzh
www.chateau-fougeres.com
Vitré
Home of Mme de Sévigné, Vitré is a listed Town of Art and History. A powerful city in Brittany in the 15th and 16th centuries, the town has preserved its architectural heritage, with timber-framed houses and stone mansions with rich sculpted decor. The Château de Vitré, founded at the end of the 11th century, is well worth a visit, as is the country residence of the famous letter-writer Marie de Sévigné.
Marie de Sévigné, in the Château des Rochers Sévigné surrounded by its park.
Further informations here.
Rennes
The capital of Brittany, Rennes is a dynamic city that has managed to preserve its historic heritage. A stroll along the banks of the River Vilaine is a reminder of this medieval atmosphere, as you pass through Place Saint-Anne and its timber-framed houses, Place des Lices, Rue Saint-Georges, Saint-Pierre Cathedral and the not-to-be-missed Palais du Parlement de Bretagne. And don't miss the magnificent Thabor park designed by the famous Denis Bühler.

Further informations :
www.tourisme-rennes.com
 
Avranches
Facing the bay of Mont Saint-Michel in the Manche département, Avranches is the guardian town of the medieval books and manuscripts of Mont Saint-Michel, and the Scriptorial is the place to discover these works of calligraphy. Also worth seeing is the Church of Saint Gervais and its treasures, notably the head of Saint Aubert, bishop of Avranches who founded Mont Saint-Michel in the 8th century. There is also the Jardin des Plantes (plant garden), with its beautiful panoramic view of Mont Saint-Michel.

Further informations :
Tourism office here.
www.scriptorial.fr
Saint James
A former defensive town with a rich historical past. The town is known for its heritage, its American cemetery from the Second World War, its Tricots St-James factory, its footpaths...

Further informations :
www.saintjamestourisme.fr
Saint James American Cemetery.
Granville
A seaside town and port, Granville is also a seaside resort, with its casino and the Plat Gousset beach right in the centre of town. The villa "les Rhumbs", Christian Dior's childhood home in Granville, where some of his collections are on display. Granville is a dynamic town, with a wide range of events including the "sorties de Bains", a street arts festival. And the famous Carnaval Granvillais is one of the town's longest-running events, providing an opportunity to relax in the streets. Granville is also the departure point for the island of Chausey by speedboat.

Further informations :
Granville Tourist Office.
www.musee-dior-granville.com
www.vedettejoliefrance.com
The D-Day landing beaches

Famous for having been at the centre of the world's destiny with the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, the city of Caen offers an exceptional historical heritage.
The city is also famous for its Memorial, which plunges visitors into the heart of the world conflicts of the 20th century.
Discover the historic William the Conqueror circuit, the artificial port of Arromanches, the German battery at Longues sur Mer, the American cemetery at Colleville sur Mer, the D-Day beaches and the Pointe du Hoc.

Further informations :
https://www.memorial-caen.fr/
www.caenlamer-tourisme.fr
The D-Day landing beaches: more information here
Hiking and cycling
For all lovers of walks and hikes, whether amateur or experienced, the Château de la Ballue offers a wealth of opportunities for discovery on foot, thanks to its many footpaths. Close to Château de la Ballue, the magnificent Villecartier national forest is easily accessible, for beautiful walks and green immersion.
The château is also located on a cycle tourism route.
A centre of interest in its own right and a popular destination for walks, Château de la Ballue and its exceptional gardens are also the starting point for a number of hiking trails.
Here are hiking idead in the Couesnon valley and the Marches de Bretagne near Château de la Ballue here.
Discover Brittany and Normandy on the French Hiking Federation website:  bretagne.ffrandonnee.fr.
The famous GR34 he customs trail (sentier de douaniers) takes you along the 2,000 km of Brittany's coastline. It starts at Mont Saint Michel and heads towards Dol de Bretagne, before skirting the bay towards Cancale, Saint Malo and Cap Fréhel ....
Further informations on the GR 34 here.

 
Crossings Saint-Malo - Jersey
Jersey is less than an hour and a half from Saint-Malo.

A comfortable ferry crossing allows you to discover the Channel Island, its beaches and its exceptional coastline.

Further informations:
Condor ferries
www.ferries.fr
www.directferries.fr
www.jersey.com
Horse riding

Stay at Château de la Ballue and enjoy horse-riding.
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced rider, come and discover the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel on horsback. Starting from the, equestrian centre "Club de la Tanière"  you will follow the banks of the Couesnon and approach the foot of Mont Saint-Michel via its grasslands and beaches.
See the La Tanière club website here.
Close to the Château de la Ballue and on the edge of the Villecartier forest, the riding school and  equestrian centre "Les Sabots de Villecartier" offers lessons, events, rides and gallops for young and old. Visit the lessabotsdevillecartier website.
Golf
Near Château de la Ballue, Domaine des Ormes: 18-hole golf course, horse-riding, in Dol de Bretagne (30 minutes from Château de la Ballue). Further information here.

And also at Saint Briac (50kms from Château de la Ballue), Dinard Golf, 18 holes, by the sea. All about DinardGolf here.

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