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LeHavre to Rennes/St. Malo?

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Sep 25th, 2017, 12:19 PM
  #1
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LeHavre to Rennes/St. Malo?

Hi everyone, My daughter and I will be getting off our cruise ship in LeHavre next May. Before moving on to other parts of Europe we would like to get a taste of Brittany. We were thinking of St Malo. Does anyone know how we would get to St. Malo from the port at LeHavre? Do we need to go to Rennes first and how do you get from Rennes to St. Malo? I hear the train service isn't very extensive in Brittany. Also, is St. Malo nice (we are beach lovers) but we also want to get a feel for Brittany as a whole. We are only spending a couple of days there before moving on, so would Rennes as a base be a better plan or does anyone have a better recommendation? Would really appreciate your help. Thank you!
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Sep 25th, 2017, 01:39 PM
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Look at Dinard, near St-Malo, also on tne Atlantic.
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Sep 25th, 2017, 02:52 PM
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St Malo is tres nice IMO though largely rebuilt after WW2 damage so is Dinard - on the beach and swimming may be two different things - think this has been a relatively warm summer so maybe better than usual.

forget trains as they involve a complicated slow several hour routing - look at buses or better yet renting a car and going via Mont-Saint-Michel to Dinard or St-Malo and returning it in Rennes if going back to Paris by TGV (or St-Malo or Dinard which also have good rail links to Rennes and Paris).

Rennes is a nice enough large city but the real flavor of Brittany IMO is along the coast. Rennes is far from any beach.

If going Rennes to Paris book trains really early to nab limited in number discounted tickets - www.voyages-sncf.com - much cheaper than walk-up fares - www.seat61.com has sage advice on booking those discounted ducats - for general info on French trains and Brittany travels www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Sep 25th, 2017, 05:27 PM
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I would go south of Rennes to the Morbihan (Vannes, Carnac, Quiberon), but I think that you would need a car for that area.

http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/
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Sep 25th, 2017, 09:58 PM
  #5
kja
 
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I must admit that I was disappointed with St. Malo, but your reactions could be quite different. In contrast, I loved Rennes!

You can get information about getting from place to place on rome2rio.com, but please check the links to which it directs you, as it is not sensitive to seasonal variation.

You might to do well to get a good guidebook to the area – perhaps the Michelin Green Guide or the Rough Guide. The cost of a guidebook will be nominal in comparison to the cost of your trip, and you will have a wealth of information at your fingertips.

Good luck!
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Sep 25th, 2017, 11:06 PM
  #6
 
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Well St Malo has only small beaches, you can catch a small ferry to Dinard who has a few lovely beaches. But a lot of Britanny beaches are smallish (the granite structure of Brittany tend to make them that way). The beaches of Normandy are muchh bigger. Still, I'm not sure if big or small is good for beaches.

use rome2rio to get an idea of public transport option (not perfect but still pretty good).
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Sep 26th, 2017, 05:43 AM
  #7
 
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Weather in May could always be cool and damp in this area- making a beach sojourn out -could be good too but still too cool for swimming I would think. Keep felxible -Mont-Saint-Michel always nice.
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Sep 26th, 2017, 06:13 AM
  #8
 
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Better rec: Dinans for one, but the place is big with lots of nice places.
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Sep 26th, 2017, 07:33 AM
  #9
 
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Brittany May weather:

http://www.holiday-weather.com/brittany/averages/may/

Not much for a beach holiday.

why not just explore a few places near Le Havre- like Trouville-Deauville, a one-time classy resort or Le Treport or even Rouen and Giverny for Monet's House - all easy by train or bus.

Can't see going hours to Brittany for a flavor of that.
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Sep 26th, 2017, 11:31 PM
  #10
 
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From Le Havre it is not that easy to quickly get to Brittany by train. Since you seem to have short available time, you would have to make a connection in Paris to Rennes or St Malo (direct TGV trains from Paris Montparnasse to both cities. 1.5 hour from Paris to Rennes, 2.25 hours to St Malo).
To save time, it is probably easier to rent a car from Le Havre to Brittany.

Once in Brittany, you have quite many options, you could spend much more time there. Since you precise you are beach lovers, there are beautiful ones both on north and south coasts (but in May, the weather is not really predictable, like in northern France in general. The best time to swim is usually July and August).
St Malo is a good choice to have an overview of Brittany : beyond the historical town, beaches (not that small if you consider the beach of Sillon), you can reach Dinard, Dinan and Cancale with public transport (some information about St Malo and transports on http://visite.bretagne.free.fr/index...aint-malo.html).
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Sep 27th, 2017, 07:37 AM
  #11
 
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Even buses Le Havre to St Malo take about 7 hours!

Yes car rental only practical way then it is still quite a drive.
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Sep 29th, 2017, 10:50 AM
  #12
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Thank you all for the very helpful info! Didn't take into consideration that May would not be a great time of year to fully enjoy Brittany. Also with such a short time it may not be worth the hassle traveling to get there. Our cruise actually ends in Hamburg so maybe it would be better to skip Brittany this trip and go on to other places we were thinking of visiting in Germany and France. Again, thank you all!
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Sep 29th, 2017, 01:36 PM
  #13
 
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smart decision given limited time!
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