Enjoy some great oysters without spending a fortune? By reaching Cancale, it is possible! In the post, tips for organizing your trip and savoring this delicious food.
Go on vacation and eat oysters without spending a fortune it might seem like one mission impossible, but in reality it is absolutely doable.
Just pack a suitcase and leave for Cancale, village of the Brittany of just over 5.000 inhabitants. The oysters from this town in northern France are said to be some of the best in the whole country, and that Louis XIV if he had them sent directly to Versailles. So ready to leave for what is known as the capital of l'huître?
How to reach us
The first time I went there by car, starting from northern Italy: a single stretch of 1.200 kilometers covered in a single day. For those who want to do like me and reach Cancale by car, it is also a good idea to make an intermediate stop, for example a Lyon.
On the other hand, those who do not feel like going all that way can reach the airport of Rennes, 80 kilometers from Cancale, and from here rent a car which will still be essential to move along the roads of Brittany during the holiday. It is not advisable to think of relying on public transport, which does not reach everywhere.
Where sleeping in Cancale
Quai Gambetta, the main street that runs along the Cancale seafront, is a succession of hotels and restaurants. The choice is therefore not lacking, and there is something for all budgets: from luxury hotels to landlords that provide rooms for even a few days.
We have chosen The Querrien for our stay: a three-star average level with 15 rooms on two floors and furnished in a marine style. If possible, choose one of the rooms with a sea view because of the small balcony overlooking the bay.
For those wishing to get away from the confusion of the promenade, they can enter the streets that lead inside the city, choosing a structure such as Le Chat Why, the middle ground between a B&B inn.
A little further from the center is La Maison Des Douets Fleuris, a small hotel immersed in the countryside, complete with flower gardens and a small swimming pool.
Where to eat in Cancale
Most of the hotels in Cancale also have an internal restaurant, and the proposals are almost always of a good standard. We never missed a stop in Le Tapecul, bar overlooking the Place du Calvaire, for an aperitif in the sun, when the weather allowed it.
For a quick lunch, the Breizh Cafe, which mainly serves crêpes, beer and cider.
For dinner we basically alternated two places: my favorite is Le Cancalais, a restaurant on the seafront, maybe a little demodé in the furnishings, but with an excellent selection of fish dishes, including the soupe poisson. Not far away, almost hidden among the windows and dehors of the most famous restaurants, it is hidden Le Sourcouf, where you must try the bisque of shrimp.
But the beating heart of gastronomy cancalaise and its Marché Aux Huitres, the oyster market: at the far end of the pier. Where the country seems to end up in Atlantic waters, a handful of oyster pickers set up stalls every day where you can buy freshly picked oysters. The price is really ridiculous, especially when compared to what we are used to in many restaurants. The service is spartan: a plastic plate, half a lemon and a paper napkin, but the taste of oysters eaten on a low wall by the sea is priceless.
What to do in Cancale and surroundings
A full day in Cancale is more than enough to discover what this small village has to offer and to stroll along its narrow streets. We mainly used it as a base during our week-long vacation, returning every day in the late afternoon for a stroll and an oyster appetizer at the market.
During the day it is essential to have a car available, even if you intend to travel a few kilometers. Not far from Cancale is located for example Saint Malo, fortified city just about twenty kilometers away. It takes you another hundred kilometers to get to Perros-Guirec, one of the best known locations along the pink granite coast.
We have also "trespassed" in the neighbor Normandia, to see Mont-Saint Michel and, further north, the city of Honfleur, with its old port and half-timbered houses. On the way back, a stop in the elegant seaside town of is worthwhile Deauville, Ea Colleville-Sur-Mer to see Allied landing sites, including the American Cemetery.