St Martin de Bréhal is located on the coast north of Granville with a 12km long beach and views across to the Isles of Chausey. There are endless attractions and activities in the local area and it’s less than an hour from Cherbourg and Caen ferry ports, Dinard airport (with Ryanair flights) and Caen airport.
As St Martin de Bréhal is mainly a holiday village, a lot of the stores and shops have slightly unusual opening times. If you click on any of the links you go through to a page with the phone number and address of the establishment concerned and their opening times.
There are two; the one next to Le Retro, Carré-Guerin, in the street that runs parallel to the beach and the Turquois, next to Pizza Greg, which is closed on Wednesdays but otherwise both are open every morning. It is wise to arrive early if you want croissant and pain au chocolat as they are always bought before they even have time to cool from the oven.
Restaurants and Cafes
LA CALE – This is the café-bar on the main street in St Martin. We like to go on our way back home from walking the dogs in the morning. We pick up our goodies from the bakery and then go to the café for hot chocolate and a grande creme.
PIZZA LENA – Does the best pizzas in the village and is owned and managed by a friend of ours called Adrien. It is open from Easter until September. Out of high season it is only open during the weekend, and is closed completely from September through to Easter. Here is the menu.
PIZZA GREG – Open from Easter until the end of October.
LE RETRO – Run by Philip and Colette, with Babette behind the bar. We go here on a weekly basis, and they are very family friendly. They do lunch all year round, Monday to Friday, and during peak high season they are also open in the evenings. On the big tide weekends they are open at lunch time. I would definitely advise booking before arrival. One warning; DO NOT BE LATE. Philip is a stickler for time, and his clock always seems to be running ahead of ours!
LA VIGIE – Has a great view at sunset. I have eaten there only once since it changed owners and had simply horrible mussels, and have not chosen to go back since. A nice place to go for a drink on the terrace. I’d be pleased to hear if anyone has had a better dining experience. It is open all year but is closed Sunday evening, Monday and Wednesday all day.
AU CHI-CHI DE LA PLAGE – Does delicious donut sticks dipped in sugar, freshly cooked to order, ice-creams, waffles and pancakes. My kids go most days for a tea time snack.
AU BUT DE LA PLAGE – Is the sandwich shop owned by the same lads that run Pizza Lena. They do a great choice of sandwiches, croque and french fries.
SUPER U – Is the closest supermarket and is in Bréhal, a 5 minute drive away. It is open everyday from 9am until 7.30pm and in high season it is also open on Sunday mornings.
THE VILLAGE SHOP – Is almost never open. In theory it is open from Easter to mid-September, but only seems to be open during high season in the morning and the evening. I have never really managed to work out if it actually has any opening hours per se.
THE BUTCHER – He has a van that is normally parked next to La Cale bar on a Sunday morning. In high season he might appear a bit more often and always parked in the area around the centre of the village. If you like a bit of beef, we can seriously recommend a ‘côte de boeuf’ grilled on the barbecue, which will feed about 4 people.
THE FISH VAN – Comes to the cross roads in the centre of the village on Friday mornings.
There are also markets almost everyday in the local area, including one in St Martin de Bréhal on Sunday mornings throughout the summer, and one held every Tuesday in Bréhal. See here for a list of markets and on which days they are on.
Things to do
Maison Mielles is surrounded by places perfect for exploring on foot or by bike. The beach is just 500m down the road and stretches to 12km at low tide, when you can walk out and see the mussel farms, or the salt marshes are a 5 minute walk away.
Also at the end of the road is the sailing school (age 6 +), where as well as sailing you can try sand yachting or sea kayaking, and there is a golf club right beside the beach. There is also bungy jumping, parachuting, kite surfing (when the wind is up), riding and rock climbing nearby for the more adventurous.
For day trips, Maison Mielles makes an excellent base, with St Lô, Granville, Villedieu-les-Poeles, Mont-Saint-Michel, Bayeux, Coutances, the Viaduct de Souleuvre, Vire, La Chapelle-sur-Vire, St Malo and the stunning west coast beaches all within easy reach.
The coast here is reputed to have some of the largest tides in Europe and sometimes they are very high. When there are the big seasonal tides, you can walk among the mussel beds for a long way but when the tide turns it comes in in a single wave, very fast. If you see people walking back in, don’t hesitate to head back inland. If you get caught out, walk with the current, which will take you north up the beach, and then walk back down along the beach. You can find the daily tide times here.