Cote de Granit Rose, Cotes-d'Armor visitors guide
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The Cote de Granit Rose (pink granite coast) runs from Plestin-les-Greves to Louannec in the Cotes d'Armor department of Brittany and is one of the most outstanding coastlines in Europe. This particular beautiful thirty kilometre stretch of rocky coast, an incredible pink colour edged with turquoise sea and safe sandy beaches, is a splendid place for family holidays and hikers.
Discovering the Pink Granite Coast
The most fascinating stretch of coast is from Perros-Guirec via Ploumanac'h to Tregastel Plage, which is best explored along the easily walked sentier de douaniers, a former coastguard footpath.
This path winds among fantastically shaped rocks, especially at Ploumenac'h, that have been weathered by centuries of wind and tide, interspersed with countless rock pools, sandy coves and stunning views and seascapes. The low hills behind the coast are covered with hydrangeas, pine trees, gorse, lavender, mimosa and heather and a wide range of wild flowers.
The resorts along the pink granite coast have a variety of attractions for visitors – swimming, sailing, cycling, ice-cream parlours, family friendly restaurants and hotels and, superb camping facilities. Aquaria, tennis, golf (18 hole and crazy), museums, pony and horse riding, castles and plenty of good quality boutiques and shops.
The gently shelving, blue-flagged beaches, notably Testratou Beach at Perros-Guirec (an international sailing centre) and the beach at Tregastel are well equipped with diving platforms, children’s clubs, fresh water showers and plenty of space. Plestin-les-Greves has wide expanses of sand ideal for sand yachting.
Tregastel Plage has perhaps six or seven different parts, depending on the state of the tide: Coz-Pors, Grève Blanche, Grève Noir (with black sand) and at the end of the Baie Sainte Anne is the Ile Renote, another excellent beach and magnificent rocks (climbable with care).
There are many off-shore islands along the Cote de Granit Rose some of which can be walked or waded to at low tide. A little further out are Les Sept Iles, an archipelago and a world renowned sea-bird and seal sanctuary – boat trips are available from Perros and Tregastel.
Note: pink granite is still quarried in the region, near La Clarté. There are only two other examples of this peculiar pink rock in the world, one in Corsica and the other in China.
In addition to the attractions of the shoreline, the hinterland is studded with intriguing small towns, picturesque villages, prehistoric and mediaeval religious icons, menhirs, dolmens, grottoes, chapels and the intriguing Calvaires telling the stories of the gospels in carved stone instead of stained glass.
The small towns of Lannion and Treguier make interesting morning trips on market days before a light lunch and an afternoon on a beach.
- Lannion with the River Léguer flowing through the town where the high tidal range on this coast can be witnessed in safety is now one of the leading communication research and industrial centres in Europe, although it still has close connections with its heritage, particularly the Templars Church of Brelevenez in the Old Quarter.
- Treguier, founded in the 6th Century, with its striking spire is up river from the Jaudy estuary and La Roche Jaune, a commanding castle built to thwart the Vikings.
The climate of the Cote de Granit Rose is oceanic, with long hot sunny days from May through to September. Gales blowing in during autumn and winter bring an awesome beauty that matches this rugged coast with its off-shore rocks and reefs, the graveyard of many ships.
At night, from the cliff tops, lights continually flashing red, green and white from myriad lighthouses and buoys are a constant and spectacular reminder that the gentle, welcoming coast presented to holiday makers has a darker side, a land of legend, lore, myth and smugglers. Wonderful.
Map of Cote de Granit Rose and places nearby
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Aquarium marin de Trégastel: aquarium (3 km)
- Vallée des Traouïero: site of natural beauty (6 km)
- Réserve naturelle nationale des Sept-Îles: site of natural beauty (7 km)
- Lannion: ville fleurie 4* (10 km)
- Île Milliau: site of natural beauty (11 km)
- Molène (Côtes-d'Armor): site of natural beauty (11 km)
- Jardin du Kestellic: remarkable garden (17 km)
- Treguier: secteur sauvegarde (18 km)
- Maison Ernest Renan: national monument (18 km)
- Jardins de Kerdalo: remarkable garden (20 km)
- Jardin du château de la Roche-Jagu: remarkable garden (26 km)
- Pontrieux: ville fleurie 4* (27 km)
The French version of this page is at Cote de Granit Rose (Francais)