THE GR223 FOOTPATH
This trail in Lower Normandy follows the Norman coast from the Seine estuary at Honfleur to Mont Saint-Michel where it meets the GR34. It crosses the Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin Natural Regional Park. Not only will you see some astounding places of natural beauty, you can also view the untamed maritime landscape as the trail passes through all the ports of Lower Normandy (including Cherbourg). The GR223 is over 400 kilometres in length and follows a large number of coastal routes, some of which are former customs officers’ paths. The trail can be divided into 18 stages of 15 to 30 kilometres. The entire route can be done in less than a month. You can follow the GR223 at any time of the year, as long as you take into account periods of heavy rain which make the ground muddy and can slow walkers down. Before embarking on the walk, you should also consider the spring tides, especially in Mont Saint-Michel bay.
THE GR34 FOOTPATH
The GR34 starts at Vitré, crossing the salt meadows to reach the eighth wonder of the world, Mont Saint Michel, skirting the bay as it heads towards Cancale. Destined for Saint-Brieuc, the trail passes through Saint-Malo, very rarely leaving the coastline, as pedestrians have been given right of way, allowing them see the Côte d’Emeraude (Emerald Coast). This coast is followed by the little-known Côte de Goëlo between Saint-Brieuc and Paimpol, then the highly-praised Côte de Granit Rose (Pink Granite Coast) of the Trégor region which covers the area between Lannion, Guingamp et Morlaix. Here the trail is framed by the pounding sea, 100 metre tall cliffs and the fine sand of very beautiful beaches. Between Morlaix and Brest, the route follows the shore, taking the coastal road often called the “sentier des douaniers” (customs path).