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The 5 places to visit in Ille et Vilaine

Located at the tip of western France, Brittany is one of the most unique regions of the country. Brittany is unique because of its history. It was for a long time an independent state and it was not until 1532 that it was attached to France. Today, it has 4 departments: Côtes-d’Armor, Finistère, Morbihan and Ille et Vilaine. Brittany is also unique because of its landscapes. With its plains, plateaus, mountains, beaches and forests, it offers multiple scenery of great beauty. The department of Ille et Vilaine is the perfect illustration of this, 5 places in particular are a must-visit.

Stroll through the medieval city of Rennes

A visit to the department of Ille et Vilaine cannot be done without a stopover in the city of Rennes. Rennes has been the capital of Brittany since the 16th century. The city then developed and welcomed the Breton bourgeoisie and elite who built a remarkable heritage to the city of Rennes. However, a major reconfiguration occurred in 1720 following a fire. This history is still present today, as the city mixes the vestiges of the past with new and modern architecture. If you are fond of visits to small medieval towns, we recommend the town of Vitré, located 40 minutes from Rennes. Madame de Sévigné stayed for many years in Vitré, during your stay you can pass in front of the Sévigné mansion. You will also have the opportunity to visit the famous and majestic Château de Vitré.

Rennes is also home to its parks, especially those of Gayeulles and Thabor. The Parc des Gayeulles is the largest park in the city. It incorporates a natural landscape made up of wooded areas, ponds and clearings. It is a large leisure area where many activities can be carried out. As for the Parc du Thabor, it is certainly one of the most beautiful gardens in France. Formerly the garden of the monks of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Melaine, the romance and elegance inherent in this place encourage unforgettable walks.

To enjoy the history and landscapes of the region near Rennes at the Tregont Mab

On the ramparts of Intra-Muros

The historic character of the department of Ille et Vilaine is clearly reflected in the ramparts of the inner city walls of Saint-Malo. The majority of these buildings were built in the eighteenth century by the architect Siméon Garangeau, although the very first date back to the twelfth century. Originally, the foot of the ramparts reached down to the sea and the bedrock. But since 1582, quays have been attached to it.

Today, the ramparts of Intra-Muros offer a breathtaking view of the sea and the port of Saint-Malo. You will have the choice between the high wall that surrounds the city of Saint-Malo, the Bidouane Tower or the Porte Saint-Vincent. These ramparts will allow you to admire the sun setting over the Sillon diving board. Once you get to the heights of the ramparts of Saint-Malo you will be able to see the city of Dinard opposite. We advise you to stop there and walk along a fragment of the Sentier des Douaniers.

Saint-Malo is also an opportunity to discover its famous pirate ship, which is often moored in the port. Called Étoile du Roy, this ship is a copy of a 47-metre-long privateer frigate from Malo that was designed in 1745. You will have the opportunity to visit it.

Enjoy the accommodation Charme Bretagne en Ille et Vilaine in Quimperlé: Le Jardin de la Belle Vue

Countering the tide to reach the Grand Bé

Off the ramparts of Saint-Malo, the city has two other jewels, the islets of Grand and Petit Bé. The term Bé means two contiguous islands. In reality, the two territories are 300 meters apart. They perfectly represent the beauty of the maritime landscape of Saint-Malo.

The Grand Bé in particular provides an incredible panoramic view of the corsair city. However, you have to be careful with the tides so as not to be fooled by the rising sea. Thus, it is enough to add 1 hour and 30 minutes before and after the low tide time of the day. This allows you to have a comfortable 3 hours of leeway during which you can admire the view.

If you’re planning to go there and don’t know where to stay, le gîte de Kermal will suit you perfectly.

Hike along the GR34, the Customs path (Sentier des Douaniers)

The Sentier des Douaniers 34 or simply GR 34 is also one of the main attractions when visiting Ille et Vilaine. It is a coastal path that runs along almost the entire Breton coast and extends to Morbihan. It is made up of roads that have been abandoned since the twentieth century, but which were once used by customs officers to patrol the coasts. Hence its nickname of the Customs Path.

As a couple, with family or friends, there are many interesting spots to enjoy the GR 34. The bay of Mont Saint-Michel in particular is very popular. But we can also mention Carantec, the Pointe du Raz, Ploumanac’h, Carnac, Dinard, Belle-Île-en-Mer, Cap Fréhel or the Quiberon peninsula.

The accommodation  La belle relax, located in Brittany, will allow you to exploit these sites.

The coastal river of La Rance

The Rance is located in the north of Brittany, precisely between the Côtes-d’Armor and the Ille et Vilaine. With a course of 102 km, this coastal river flows between Dinard and Saint-Malo. A detour to the small village of Saint-Suliac would allow you to enjoy the visit even more. A pretty little town, classified among the most beautiful villages in France, Saint-Suliac is the ideal place to visit the Malouinières.

Hiking and walking enthusiasts are not likely to be disappointed. Sloping paths allow for walks to be done by bike, on foot or even by boat. And the climbs offer great views that are worth a visit. The sunsets in particular are magnificent.

Stay near the river La Rance at  Domaine de Tréouzien. With just a few clicks, you can quickly book accommodation.

During your stay in Brittany, don’t miss the opportunity to discover the other departments of the region, Charme Bretagne has gathered for you the 5 best places to visit in the  Côtes d’Armor,  Morbihan and Finistère !

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