6) 2 p.m. A quick exit
Multiple daily trains make the 45-to-60 minute journey to St.-Malo, a fairy-tale town whose crenelated stone ramparts double as an elevated scenic walkway. Mount the stairs at the St. Vincent gate (next to Lion d’Or restaurant) and stroll clockwise. One side offers a shifting perspective from the elevated walkway of the town’s Gothic-style buildings and narrow cobbled streets, below, while the other side serves up a succession of expansive landscapes and seascapes: the marina, the long jetty, rocky outcroppings, tidal pools, golden beaches and the battlements of the Fort National, built under Louis XIV in 1689.
7) 4 p.m. View from the sea
Famous for its maritime explorers and privateers, St.-Malo is even more stunning from the sea, and a sightseeing cruise by Compagnie Corsaire provides a 90-minute tour (21.50 euros) of the dramatic bay and coastline. Canadians will recognize the statuary form of the 16th-century navigator Jacques Cartier (the first European to reach Quebec) atop a mound of sea-ringed rock, while Brits (and others) can marvel at the gabled mansions and grand seaside hotels of nearby Dinard, once a popular resort for English royalty and celebrities. (The town even hosts the Festival of British Cinema in fall.) The winds surge and turn chilly as the boat heads into open water, where a scattering of tiny dark stone islands poke through the waves like crumbs spit up by the sea. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of their occasional companions: the dolphins of the bay.