le-mont-saint-michel

Coastal Walking in Brittany and Jersey Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
France
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
W07BR
Activity Level: Leisurely
Leisurely

You are healthy, enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing trip. No experience is required.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Ages: 12+

Trip Overview

A walk on the Brittany coastline from the World Wonder Mont St Michel to St Malo with an extension to Jersey island. Walk the famous custom's path and enjoy bird watching and exceptional views.

On one side, rocky points, wild coastline, dunes, beaches and coves. On the other side, marshes, a variety of fauna and flora, a rich historical heritage... and always the sea or the ocean in the background. Every bend on the GR34 plunges you into a new postcard. As you walk, the spirit of Brittany invades you, and you feel invigorated by the ocean breeze.

Created in 1791, the path was travelled by controls of customs officers - hence its name - in charge of preventing smuggling. To keep an eye on trafficking and on the pillaging of shipwrecks, they strode up and down the coastline, night and day, in all weather: think of this when your legs are tired! After falling into disuse in the early 20th century, the path experienced a revival in 1968, when a few passionate walkers decided to make it into a walking route. Today it goes all around the Brittany coastline, from Mont-Saint-Michel to the bridge of Saint-Nazaire. This path leaves a permanent mark on anyone who walks it.

This tour extends to Jersey for the exploration of the largest of the Channel islands. From coastlines carpeted with gorse and wildflowers, to peaceful wooded valleys, quiet tree-lined lanes and rugged beach trails, Jersey has a rich and varied landscape.

In a large splash of green and blue, get ready to be amazed!

At a Glance

  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in 3 star hotels
  • All breakfast and 1 evening meal
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 
  • Walking transfers
  • Ferry ticket to Jersey

Trip Highlights

  • Follow the 'Sentier des Douaniers' on the Emerald coast
  • Traditional Breton fishing ports offering spectacular seafood
  • Explore Mont St Michel, St Malo and the lush green island of Jersey

Is This Trip for You?

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)
Average daily distance: 16km (10 miles).
No. of days walking: 4
Terrain and route: Walks on this holiday are gentle and flat. There are no tough climbs. Walks are through villages, along maarshalnds, salt meadows, wooded valleys, country lanes and coastline on well marked paths.

Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with route directions so that you can walk at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next.

It is important that you are happy following route directions, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The routes directions contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local agent is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Families
Self-guided cycling holidays are a perfect option for families as they offer the freedom for you to take your holiday at your own pace. You can stop as and when you want and need, at the cafes and restaurants that suit your family and the sites that interest you. We have suggested the minimum age for this trip is 8yrs as we feel they will be able to ride the bikes we have to offer and complete the route. However our local partner is able to offer child seats for children aged 2-4yrs (max. weight 22 kg, hills will be tricky). These are all subject to availability, and therefore we ask that you enquire about these on booking. Please note due to the size of the bikes and distanced required to cycle, this trip is not appropriate for children aged from 5-7yrs (who are too big for the child seats, but not big enough to ride the children’s bike). As a guide we have suggested that 8yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you. The daily distances are all published in the trip notes along with a description of each days cycling so you have a good idea of what to expect. However, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts. The principle idea is that these holidays can be as flexible as you like, with logistical support but no group or leader to dictate the daily activities. Please bear in mind the weather when choosing to book, temperatures can be very high in the middle of summer and the child seats provided do not have any shade. We therefore recommend going either earlier or later on in the season if you have young children.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local representative is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to set up your bike and go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number. In an emergency, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Adult min age:
12
Min group size:
1

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Pontorson
End City:
Jersey

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrival in Pontorson

    Arrive in Pontorson, on the doorstep of Mont St Michel.

  • Day 2

    Pontorson to Mont St Michel

    Follow the Camino de Santiago route in the footsteps of the ancient pilgrims before arriving in the UNESCO-listed Mont-Saint-Michel. For 13 centuries, this rocky island, nestling in the heart of a huge, beautiful bay has been home to a magnificent abbey. Perched at the top of the islet, as if levitating, the building is like a mirage, always a mesmerising sight. From the top of the medieval ramparts, enjoy the wonderful view over the bay where the light reveals a different landscape every second.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 10 km / 6.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    3
  • Day 3

    Mont St Michel to Dol de Bretagne

    Walk along the bay, through the marshlands, salt meadows with grazing sheep and green undulating landscape. Meet the natural treasures of this bay with exceptional bird watching with waders and other various species. Continue through pretty villages towards Dol with its medieval houses and 13th Century Cathedral.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 25 km / 16 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5.5
  • Day 4

    Dol de Bretagne to Cancale

    Out of the flat landscape emerges an extraordinary outcrop, Mont Dol, where Saint Michael supposedly fought off Satan. Climb it for elating views. Follow the scenic old customs path along the coastline with breath-taking views towards Cancale .

    At Cancale the world is your oyster. Mention Cancale to a Frenchman or a foodie and the instant response will be 'oysters'; the magnificent molluscs have been cultivated in this attractive fishing village for hundreds of years.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 20 km / 12.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4.5
  • Day 5

    Cancale to Jersey

    Walk to the headland at Pointe du Grouin, for spectacular views. Marking the westernmost tip of the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, this brilliantly located headland not only allows you to benefit from sublime views eastwards, but also splendid ones to the west. The island just offshore is off-limits though as it's the preserve of birds.

    In the afternoon, transfer to St Malo for the ferry journey to Jersey. From the ferry, it is a short bus ride to the picturesque harbour of Gorey, with its coastal views and historic castle, Mont Orgueil.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 7 km / 4.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    2
  • Day 6

    At Jersey

    Walk to Port of Rozel which offers breath-taking panoramic views over the harbour, the bay and the sea. This is the perfect place to stop for lunch : enjoy local food and drink at a seaside pub. Then walk along rugged cliff paths carpeted with gorse and wildflowers, overlooking perfect hidden bays and inlets.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 19 km / 12 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • Day 7

    At Jersey

    Inland walk on Jersey's large fresh water reservoir. A lovely trail though rural areas will take you to Grouville Parish church. Wander through wooded valleys and country lanes to birdsong.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 15 km / 9 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • Day 8

    Leave Jersey

    Depart Jersey after breakfast.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Hotels

HOTEL MONTGOMERY, PONTORSON
In a unique house, the former manor of the Counts of Montgomery, you will enjoy an exceptional setting from which to discover the region. Rooms are decorated in a classic style and feature a bathroom with a bath or shower. An LCD TV offers satellite channels. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

RELAIS DU ROY, MONT ST MICHEL
Le Relais Du Roy offers a restaurant and a bar. This 3-star hotel is situated next to the River Couesnon, just 1.5 km from the Mont Saint-Michel and 50 m from the free shuttle bus. Featuring flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, each guest room at Le Relais Du Roy is decorated in a classic style. They also have a private bathroom with a bath or a shower, free toiletries and a hairdryer. Some of the rooms feature a balcony. A buffet breakfast is served each morning at the hotel. The gourmet restaurant in the Le Relais Du Roy serves regional specialities
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

HOTEL DE BRETAGNE, DOL DE BRETAGNE
Hôtel de Bretagne Dol centre ville features a restaurant and free WiFi throughout the property. It is located in the historic centre of Dol, 500 m from the Cathedral. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Every room has a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Certain units include views of the garden or city. Rooms include a private bathroom fitted with a bath or shower. A continental breakfast is available daily. The hotel's restaurant serves traditional seafood dishes.

HOTEL LE QUERRIEN, CANCALE
Recently renovated, Le Querrien offers comfortable rooms combining a navy-inspired decoration and a modern elegance. The rooms offer a view of the Mont Saint-Michel or the narrow streets of the fishermen village. With a view of the sea and a terrace, the hotel’s restaurant serves seafood and fish specialties in a boat decor, to make you go back to the time of corsairs.

DOLPHIN HOTEL, JERSEY
Welcome to our friendly Hotel, Restaurant and Grill Bar set on the wonderful Gorey harbour Nestled beneath the medieval Mont Orgueil Castle, and overlooking the sleepy harbour at Gorey where days are spent on the alfresco terrace taking in the slower pace of life. Each room includes a TV, tea and coffee making facilities, and a work desk. The private bath or shower rooms have a hairdryer and complimentary toiletries. Guests at Dolphin Hotel can enjoy lunch and evening meals in the seafood restaurant, which serves continental cuisine prepared using local produce. In the centre of Gorey Pier, the Mediterranean Bar offers cocktails and award-winning ale. The lively grill serves a combination of traditional and modern dishes.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

 

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts and 1 evening meal are included.

Brittany’s fish and seafood is without doubt one of the region’s biggest draws. Platters stacked high with lobster, crab, oyster, shrimp and prawns grace the tables of the atmospheric restaurants. Huge bowls of fresh mussels, scallops and stuffed clams take their place alongside delicious sea bass and bream. The flat local ‘Belons’ oysters are delicious, fleshier than normal ones; they are renowned for their fine hazelnut flavour. Seafood will generally be served with the excellent Breton butter, which contains Guérande salt crystals, and plain bread. Many people also think of crêpes when they think of Brittany and indeed almost every little village or town has its own crêperie.

Transportation

Your luggage will be transported between the hotels by taxi or minibus. The local representative is often able to dispatch a taxi should you need it in an emergency, but may wish to charge you for this service.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

July is the hottest time to visit the Brittany coast, with an average temperature of 21 degrees C and August providing the most hours of sunshine (on average 7 hours). Those seeking for the best swimming opportunities will find the sea at an average of 18 degrees C in August. The wettest month is October.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Air-rail prices include our standard flights, onward rail and station transfers
British Airways Heathrow to Paris CDG 07:20/09:35 then rail Paris Montparnasse to Pontorson-St-Mont-Michel via Rennes 14:57/18:44 (Mon-Sat) & Paris Montparnasse to Pontorson-St-Mont-Michel via Rennes 15:20/18:13 (Sun) and walk to hotel 5 mins. Return: Transfer to station 5 mins then rail St Malo to Paris Montparnasse via Rennes 10:30/13:04 then British Airways Paris CDG to Heathrow 17:40/17:55 (Tues), 18:05/18:20 Sun, Mon & Weds) & 18:50/19:05 (Fri, Sat & Thurs).

Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Pontorson
Location end:
Jersey

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Walking boots

Water bottle

Daypack

Sun hat, sun cream and sunglasses

Warm jumper

Waterproofs

Optional Equipment

Walking poles

sentier-des-douaniers

Practical Information

Passport

France

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

France

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

France

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

France's Timezone:
Europe/Paris CET (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

France's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

230 Volts AC, standard European adapter required.

Money

France's Currency

The national currency of France is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (October 2017) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP,  0.84 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.66 to the AUD and 0.59 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, but we recommend taking some Euros cash with you in case you can't get to a bank at the start of the trip.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Lunches can cost from €6-12 depending on the size of lunch and the establishment you choose. Dinners can cost €20-35 for a set menu or a la carte meal. If you will be ordering wine with meals, please add extra for this. Chateau entrance fees in Dinan, for example, are approximately €4 per person.

brittany-coast

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.