Saint-Malo: Jewel of Brittany's Emerald Coast with Alexander Wilson

Saint-Malo: Jewel of Brittany's Emerald Coast with Alexander Wilson


Only 99 items in stock!
(1 learners booked)
Regular price
$26.50
Save $-26.50
/
Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

Saint-Malo is an unforgettable visit, a walled port town on France's craggy Emerald Coast that offers something for everyone: a rich historic past, from privateers to post-war reconstruction; stunning scenery, from sandy beaches to explorable fortified islands; and culinary delights galore!

Saint-Malo is a must-see not only for those setting out to explore Brittany itself but also for the visitor to Normandy. Just a short drive from the Mont-Saint-Michel along a wonderful coastal road–be sure to stop for an oyster or two– and there it is, this gem of a citadel port solidly ensconced on a granite outcrop, part of France’s scenic, craggy coast.

The old town of Saint-Malo is encircled by high, imposing walls originally built as a defense against the Normans and the English, and later serving as a stronghold for the Corsairs, the French privateers whose notoriety earned the port the title of ‘Cité Corsaire’. Indeed, a walk around the ramparts is perhaps the best way to get a feel for the place: within the walls, views onto the handsome urban architecture centered on St. Vincent’s Cathedral; and beyond the fortifications, simply stunning vistas along sandy beaches at low tide, across the sea at high water, towards smaller fortified islands in the bay, west across the water towards Dinard. The town is of such special historic and architectural interest that it comes as a huge surprise to many to learn that in 1944, bombing and fire physically destroyed over 80% of the town. Post-war, however, the decision was taken to rebuild ‘à l’identique’ and the result is truly remarkable.

This apparent dichotomy was clearly one of the starting points for the author Anthony Doerr in writing his beautifully crafted novel All the Light We Cannot See (2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction), a complex intertwining of young destinies largely set in Saint-Malo during the war. Not just a great read, but a wonderful companion in the discovery of this beguiling town.

Led by local guide and historian Alex Wilson, this seminar seeks to explore the rich history and unique appeal of Saint-Malo and is designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels.

Alex Wilson, a History First from Oxford, has been living and working in France for 35 years. After running his own publishing company, he has been guiding in Normandy (and for Context) for the last ten years. While his interests extend from William the Conqueror through to the post-War reconstruction, his main focus is on WW2 and the Battle of Normandy.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 13 reviews
92%
(12)
0%
(0)
8%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
J
J.S. (Annandale, US)
Wonderful, interesting, and well presented

This was not a destination I had thought of including in my French travels, but now I am looking forward to a visit! The presenter did an excellent job of setting the historical and cultural context and tantalizing us with the beauty of the area and architecture. He was also helpful with logistics to other locations.

Many thanks!!!

J
J.O. (Tacoma, US)
Wonderful Historical Context

Mr. Nelson provided an information packed and well paced history of Saint -Malo demonstrating its importance over several centuries of local, French, and international history. He left me with a great desire to explore this part of the French coast which he clearly loves.

s
s.m.o. (Ojo Caliente, US)
Wonderful, Fact-Filled Class

My husband and I enjoyed this course immensely. We’re planning a trip to Normandy and Brittany this spring if Covid and current events allow. As a devoted trip planner, one could ask for no better tutorial on this beautiful, historic part of France.

L
L. (Victoria, CA)
Great tour of Saint Malo

Alexander gave a thorough look at Saint-Malo putting everything in context. Great pictures enhanced his storytelling. Linked the past to the present very well.

S
S.S. (Washington, US)
St. Malo

Excellent presentation! Well researched, well organized and with a wealth of historical details. Alexander Wilson certainly knows the history of Brittany and St. Malo very well and is able to convey it with enthusiasm. Well done!

Customer Reviews

Based on 13 reviews
92%
(12)
0%
(0)
8%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
J
J.S. (Annandale, US)
Wonderful, interesting, and well presented

This was not a destination I had thought of including in my French travels, but now I am looking forward to a visit! The presenter did an excellent job of setting the historical and cultural context and tantalizing us with the beauty of the area and architecture. He was also helpful with logistics to other locations.

Many thanks!!!

J
J.O. (Tacoma, US)
Wonderful Historical Context

Mr. Nelson provided an information packed and well paced history of Saint -Malo demonstrating its importance over several centuries of local, French, and international history. He left me with a great desire to explore this part of the French coast which he clearly loves.

s
s.m.o. (Ojo Caliente, US)
Wonderful, Fact-Filled Class

My husband and I enjoyed this course immensely. We’re planning a trip to Normandy and Brittany this spring if Covid and current events allow. As a devoted trip planner, one could ask for no better tutorial on this beautiful, historic part of France.

L
L. (Victoria, CA)
Great tour of Saint Malo

Alexander gave a thorough look at Saint-Malo putting everything in context. Great pictures enhanced his storytelling. Linked the past to the present very well.

S
S.S. (Washington, US)
St. Malo

Excellent presentation! Well researched, well organized and with a wealth of historical details. Alexander Wilson certainly knows the history of Brittany and St. Malo very well and is able to convey it with enthusiasm. Well done!