Forty or so kilometres in length, the Emerald Coast (Côte d'Émeraude) runs along the north side of Brittany, between Cancale and Cape Fréhel. It is named after the sea's emerald colour.
This magnificent coastal part of Brittany can be enjoyed on foot, on horseback, by bike… it's a hikers' paradise! There are 350 kilometres of marked paths, including the GR34.
In summer, all manner of water sports and outdoor activities, and even spa therapy breaks, await holidaymakers at the seaside resorts, like Dinard, Saint-Malo, Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, Saint-Lunaire or Saint-Coulomb, and on the lovely, sandy beaches…
Visitors will find small fishing harbours, wildlife observation points, spectacular spring tides (especially in the Bay of Saint-Malo) and superbly colourful landscapes, not forgetting Breton gastronomy, which is always delicious.
One unmissable attraction on the Emerald Coast is Cape Fréhel, to the west, an impressive site and a listed ornithological reserve. Its cliffs stand 70 metres above the sea.
Not far from there, take the time to stop by Fort la Latte Castle, built in the 14th century on a rocky cape. It towers majestically over the English Channel.
Close by, the resort of Saint-Cast-le-Guildo is a charming place with its small harbour, coastal paths and seven sandy beaches!
Once a corsair town, the fortified town of Saint-Malo is built on a rock. With its magnificent ramparts, it offers stunning views of the sea and the Channel Islands of Jersey, Guernsey and Sark. While the walk around the ramparts is a must, the town of Robert Surcouf and Jacques Cartier has plenty to offer, too. It boasts picturesque cobbled streets, splendid ship-owners' houses and a castle, whose keep houses the History Museum of the Town and Pays Malouin. In Saint-Malo, you can watch the spring tides at first hand, or attend the start of the Route du Rhum race. At low tide, visit the National Fort built to plans by Vauban. Discover Chateaubriand's tomb on the islet of Le Grand Bé, or take a boat tour of the Bay of Saint-Malo…
Walkers and cyclists can follow the Rance Valley trail, which is marked with arrows. Windmills, ship-owners' country houses called malouinières, and fishing villages can all be seen along the way.
Another essential stop is the famous seaside resort of Dinard. It still has some magnificent villas reflecting its past as a Belle Époque holiday destination: the Moonlight Promenade and the Malouine Promenade will reveal some of them to you.
Between Dinard and Saint-Malo, the Rance tidal power plant, which EDF began operating in 1966, is open to the public: an interesting place to learn how the motion of the tides is used to generate electricity.
In medieval Dinan, a Town of Art and History, take the time to walk around the side streets, visit the feudal castle, and admire the half-timbered houses and beautiful religious buildings.
No tour of Cancale would be complete without a trip to the oyster beds or the Marine Farm, and a tasting of specialities from the sea, while enjoying a view of La Houle harbour for example. The Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions has an exhibition of objects, costumes and traditions that are part of local life in Cancale.