St Malo and Dinard are jewels in Brittany’s crown, but as destinations go they are a secret escape enjoyed by too few.
Even in Portsmouth, which serves St Malo by ferry daily, a recent study found that fewer than one in ten residents could name it as a destination.
However the region has been thrust into the Welsh spotlight, thanks to the success of the national football team who made their base there. Now Brittany Ferries is urging more Welsh residents to follow their brilliant team and celebrate this beautiful coastal location.
St Malo was founded in the sixth century by Welsh monk Saint Malo (also known as Maclou or Mac’h Low). A monk at Llancarfan Abbey in Wales, he went on to become one of the seven founding saints of Brittany, and was famous for his participation in the Voyage of Saint Brendan the navigator. Today the region’s Welsh roots have been cemented further, thanks to the contemporary exploits of Chris Coleman’s team, based in Dinard until the semi-final of Euro 16.
“If like Ashley Williams you prefer an alternative to air travel, then think of us as your choice of carrier to destinations like St Malo and neighbouring Dinard,” said Christiane Barker, general manager Brittany Ferries holidays.
“It’s a lovey way to travel and convenient for Welsh customers: our cruise ferries sail from Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth. We have also just launched a luxury celebration break to St Malo and Dinard for the autumn – the perfect way to toast the Welsh heroes from the summer of 16.”
Luxury celebration break
Starting from 5 September and from just £289 per person, this sail-and-stay celebration features a 4-star hotel in St Malo as its base. The package includes relaxing cruise and two nights at the Le Nouveau Monde, located a short walk from the charming old walled town and not far from the water bus that takes you in style to Dinard.
The hotel boasts a prestigious restaurant overlooking the bay, offering a blend of fine dining and great views of the Brittany beaches. A three course meal with a glass of champagne is included. For further pampering, a thalassotherapy spa with pool offers various treatments.
The celebration break includes overnight cruise with Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to St Malo with a spacious outside four-berth cabin, four course buffet dinner in the on-board French restaurant and two nights in the Hotel le Nouveau Monde. Return daytime crossings include cabin and lunch in the restaurant.
St Malo / Dinard sail and stay hotel break
Leave the car at home and discover St Malo and Dinard with this special two-night getaway, offered from 1 September 2016. Prices start from £76 per person and include return ferry crossing with en-suite cabin accommodation on an overnight sailing, plus one night B&B at a choice of hand-picked hotels.
Enjoy dinner on board and lunch in France from £118 per person. With this package, guests can treat themselves to a fantastic two-night mini-cruise from Portsmouth with the option to spend some time in the beautiful walled town of St Malo (from where you can take the water bus to Dinard), medieval Dinan, the superb Mont St Michel or the oyster capital of Cancale. The package includes a delicious four-course meal on the outward crossing, followed by lunch in one of these lovely locations in France.
There’s also breakfast prior to arriving back into Portsmouth. Prices start from £118 per person return. Take the car for just £30 more.