The Pink Granite Coast ('Côte de Granite Rose') by the English Channel is one of the most impressive landscapes in Brittany. The over ten kilometer long coast passage between Perros-Guirec and Trébeurden fascinates, as its name indicates, with its unique, pink shining granite cliffs.
The curious stone formations that seem randomly placed at the coast, are up to twenty meters high and are reminiscent of a natural sculpture park. The setting is framed by an extensive plant splendour, bright sandy bays and a picturesque harbor. An area of 25 hectares, it has been declared as a national cultural heritage and yearly invites over one million visitors.
Curious cliff formations
The strangest, most spectacular cliff formations even carry names. The most popular among them, in the harbor of Ploumanac, is called 'Napoleon's hat'. It reminds of the three-cornered-hat of the French general and it even played an important role historically. On the 3rd of April 1943, the BBC sent out a signal for the armed opposition against the Germans, by saying “Is Napoleon's hat still in Perros-Guirec?“. Only a few meters further on, you can find the Oratorium of Saint-Guirec. This is a small chapel on four pillars from the 14th century, housing a sculpture of a saint in the middle of it. Some other impressive stone formations carry strange names like “Pile of Crêpe“, “Mushroom“ or “Witch“. At a longer glance, you can discover many other forms.
Around the lighthouse of Ploumanac’h you will find a great number of the giant, pink-coloured granite blocks. The spectacle of colours at the rocky promontory is a popular photo motive. Like its surroundings, the lighthouse is entirely made out of pink granite. In harmony with the curious rock formations, the dreamy sand bays and the blue sea, this presents a fabulous picture.
Discovering the Côte de Granit Rose
There are many options to discover the coast passage. If you like walking or cycling, you can follow the customs trail and hike along the coastfrom Perros - Saint-Guirec. The trail takes you around the promontory Pointe de Ploumanac’h, along the Pink Granite Coast, and offers wonderful views of the imposing cliffs and the sea. What is more, you can discover the manifold animal and plant world of the northern Breton coast. The powerful tides also offer the possibility to do mudflat excursions to some of the islands off the coast. As well from the water, the stone formations present a feast for the eyes. Take, for example, a boat tour to the Sept-Îles ('seven islands') or to the flower island Île de Bréhat and you will see a wonderful panorama. In the evening hours, when the setting sun reflects on the cliffs in various yellow, orange and red tones, the Côte de Granite Rose is a particularly beautiful scenery.
There are also many other sights worth seeing around the Granite Coast.
The impressive pink-coloured granite formed already round about 300 million years ago through geological processes in the Upper Carboniferous. In the course of time, layers of earth on top of the granite were carried off by the power of wind and water, and thereby exposed the bizarre coastal landscape. The characteristic colour of the stone is caused by the minerals hematite and alkali feldspar. Worldwide, beside the Côte de Granit Rose, there are only two further coastal stretches with the same characteristic: on the Mediterranean island Corsica and in China.
- Côte de Granit Rose – the Pink Granite Coast is among the 15 best rated Tourist Attractions in France.
How to get there
The Pink Granite Coast lies in the north of Brittany. Coming from the South, you can reach it easily by following the D767 until Lannion, where you then change onto the D788. The road takes you along the coast and past Perros-Guirec, Trégastel and Trébeurden, the three main towns at the Côte de Granit Rose. Coming from the West or the East, take the D786 until Lannion and then also change onto the D788 until you reach the coast.