The ancient port of Saint-Malo is one of the jewels of France's Brittany region. It's the kind of achingly beautiful city where romance, history and beaches combine to create an irresistible combination.
Once a pirate haven, Saint-Malo's medieval walled center is now tourist heaven. Wander the ramparts, visit the chateau and relive centuries of maritime history.
Saint-Malo's beach is gorgeous. With the ramparts and the rocks as a backdrop, it's a great place to sunbathe.
Every July, Saint-Malo hosts folk performers from all over the world, as the Festival des Folklores du Monde swings (and sings) into town.
If you want to hire a sailing vessel, Saint-Malo or nearby Dinard are great places to do so, and it's an enthralling experience.
Sample local delicacies like galettes (pancakes), mussels and oysters as well as potent Breton cider. Saint-Malo is a gourmet paradise.
Summer is the best time to visit. Between June and August, the beach is at its best, the Folklore Festival comes to town and Brittany is alive with energy.
Low-cost airlines operate flights from London and Paris to Dinard-Pleurtuit-St-Malo Airport. A taxi from there will cost around EUR25.
TGV trains run into Saint-Malo from Paris (3 hours, around EUR20). From the station, it's a 20 minute walk to the city center.
From Paris, take the A11 to Le Mans, the A81 and the E50 to Rennes, then the N176 to Saint-Malo.
Buses from Rennes are operated by Illenoo and run hourly, costing around EUR5.
The best hotels in the Old Town include the Hotel Maison des Armateurs and the Le Grand Hôtel des Thermes, which has a luxury spa attached.
Intra Muros - Literally meaning "inside the walls", Intra Muros is the Old Town of Saint-Malo and is a wonderful place to wander around.
Dinard - Located just across the Rance estuary, Dinard is a beautiful beach resort with great activities for sailors and water sports fans. From here, there's easy access to Saint-Malo via the D168.
Paramé - Once a resort in its own right, Paramé still has its own seemingly endless beach as well as an assortment of luxurious spa hotels.
Saint-Malo's bus network is excellent. Tickets are purchased in 90 minute blocks and cost EUR1.15 each.
Taxi costs vary, but expect to pay EUR6-8 per mile inside the city. A taxi to Mont St Michel will cost close to EUR150 for a return trip.
Car rental options in Saint-Malo include Avis, Hertz and Enterprise, and rates should be around EUR15-25 per day.
Central Saint-Malo is full of classy boutiques, like the shoe retailer Bessec or wine merchants like V and B. There are also outdoor markets on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Intra Muros neighborhood.
Saint-Malo's supermarket options include E. Leclerc and Carrefour, where you should be able to find a gallon of milk for around EUR3.50.
Great food is everywhere in Saint-Malo. Standouts include Le Chalut, which caters for seafood fans, Autour du Beurre, who make their own range of butters, and Bistro de Jean, which specializes in poultry dishes. Prices should be around EUR20-25 per head.