The GR34 is very easy to walk. It follows the coast all the time. There is the possibility of sleeping every night in a hotel or a room or you can camp. There are no Hostels. Ressuply is very easy to get. You pass nearly every day a village with a small supermarket. But remember: in France most epicerie (small supermarket) are open till 6 p.m. only and sometimes closed on monday and wednesday. The part from St.-Malo to Brest covers ca. 400km. I walked in in 25 days but it is possible to walk it much faster.
GR34 - Sentier des Doaniers, France | Rate 9
PositiveI hiked the part from St.-Malo to Brest and I loved it. The coast offers many diffrent characters. I loved that the trail follows the ocean all the time. If you plan a little you can stay every night on a camping or in a room. You don't need a map to find your way, it is very well marked! Ressuply is easy to get.
NegativeThis might be a problem for someone: theres no option of staying in a hostel but in the "big cities". I disliked the parts I had to hike on streets but there where very few. In my opinion there was too much zivilisation along the trail. I crossed at least 2 or 3 little villages every day.
- When August 2012 till September 2012
- Days walked 30 days
- Part walked St.-Malo to Brest
Hiking from St.-Malo to Brest
If you love the ocean, if you want to wake up every morning next to it, so this trail is coustom made for you.
How to get there?
I came from Germany by bus to Rennes. You can also take a flight to Paris and the train to Rennes (50 Euros). From Rennes you take the train to St.-Malo (15 Euros). (There is a waymarked trail from Rennes to St.-Malo if you like to hike there). In St.-Malo the city centre is easy to find and only 15 minutes by feet from the trainstation. The town intramuros is worth it to visit. There are 3 shops with a good variety of maps (ask at the tourist information right before getting into the citys sourrounding wall). I recomend to by a map to plan where to overnight(I used 1:100000). You don't need it to find the trail. The trail is great waymarked and the only important thing is that the ocean is on your right hand. You can't get lost!
What's the weather like?
I've been there in August and September and the waether was great. I could hike in shorts and t-shirt often. I had 3 weeks like summer but the last one was rainy and cold. Hope the best prepare for the worst. The nights where already cold. I had a sleepingbag with 14 degrees celsius comfort zone. But I had to buy a sleepingbagliner which added 5 more degrees and additionally I sometimes needed a long fleece pant and a long fleece shirt for the nights. The most important thing is to carry diffrent layers so you can change and adapt to the weather.
St.-Malo to St.-Brieuc
First stop: Cite d'Alet
My first stop was very close to St.-Malo. I was so done because of sitting in the bus for 24 hours that I could not walk to much. The Camping I stayed in was about one hour from St.-Malo. The camping was not worth it's money (14 Euros for one person with a very small tent only). But there was no cheaper camping around. Right next to the camping there was a historical monument for the first and secons world war. There you have got a great view. The costs for the camping will differ from 4,50 to 15 euros. It depends on how touristic it is.
From Cite d'Alet it took round about 20km to get there. The camping Longchamp is still 15 euros. By walking along the coast you can't miss it. There is a big sign which indicates the camping. In St.-Lunaire there is a tourist information, a school to learn how to sail, some restaurants and bars and you can get ressuply. There is also a board rental (for surfing) and a surfschool.
Les Quatre Veaux
From St.-Lunaire I walked round about 25km to les Quatre Veaux. I shortend the trail: After the Chateau de Beaussais I did not followed the GR north but I took the street west. You will cross a big bridge. You can't miss Quatre veaux because it is just next to the beach and there is a very small river right next to it. The camping was 7,50 Euros and there is a little imbiss with french fries and other little things.
From les Quatre Veaux to Cap Frehel round about 25km. On this part of the trail you will have 2 sights. Firts there is Fort la Latte which is a great burg and worth to visit. If there is low tide you can cross the mud flat from St. Cast le Guildo (bank, supermarkets, restaurants, very touristic!) and save 3 hours of walking. After Fort la Latte there is Cap Frehel. It is a lighthouse wich is very popular. The land landscape is great: there is always the ocean, there is heath (in flower) and the rocks are spectacular. Sometimes they are very steep and the waves chopping aganinst the rocks are beautyful. The Camping is about half an hour after Cap Frehel. It is called Camping l'Etang. It's a big camping but it is behind the dunes. So if you walk on the beach you better ask so you can't miss it. It costs 7 euros. Close to the camping there is a little bar at the beach and sometimes there are open air concerts (small ones)
From Cap Frehel to Erquy round about 20km. There are 3 campings. I choosed Camping Guen wich was the cheapest one (6 euros). There is a tourist information where you can ask. Guen is about 10 min of walk from the port (=city centre). There is a supermarket, a bank, shops, farmacie and many baker and restaurants.
This day I walked a little more than 25km. I passed Pleneu-Val-Andre (if there is a market you should visit is, it's nice!). When it got late I asked if there was a camping but the next one was still one or two hours of walk and I was already done. So I asked someone to stay in his backyard and he agreed.
If you need something from an outdoor outfitter you should tramp or take the bus to St Brieuc. Ask at the tourist information how to get to Decathlon. It is the only one near the trail between Binic and Morlaix (there is one in Morlaix and later in Brest). Here you can buy everything. With the bus you can get back to beach. When you get to Binic you will cross a little bride above the port. You go right and follow the port. Before going onto the beach to take the steps on you left hand. Walk 5 minutes and you will see a gate wich is the gate to the camping (9,20 euros).
St.-Brieuc to Morlaix
From Binic to la Trinite it is ca. 18km. you will pass la Palu. This is a little village with one restaurant and a bar. there is a camping but it was only for Campingcars. So I went on to find a better one. There is one which is closed and one which was closed because ist is open till the end of agust only. So I had to ask and a women drove me to Camping Domaine de Kerval. It costs 12 euros. It is luxury there. They have got great bathrooms and showers and you can recharge your phone or ipod. To Plouha you have to walk 20 minutes. There is a big church, a bank and some bars. But if you choose this camping you must find your way back to the ocean because you are not on the GR anymore. But it is easy to find.
Kerity (close to Paimpol)
From la Trinite it is round about 25km to Kerity. I stayed here because I did not wanted to stay in the big town Paimpol. But you can reach Paimpol in 15 minutes. The camping is just next to the water (you will be in a big bay) so you can't miss it. It costs 6 euros. There is a little bar and a pizzaria close to the camping.