About Brittany’s Pink Granite Coast
Officially, Brittany’s Pink Granite Coast or Côte de Granit Rose stretches just 50 km, from the Baie de Lannion in the west to the Baie de Saint-Brieuc in the east, between Trébeurden and Paimpol. It offers some of the most bizarrely beautiful coastal scenery in the north-west. Great rose-tinged boulders, apparently dumped by a giant, lie in jumbled profusion beneath low granite cliffs; rocky bays bare jagged teeth, sculpted by thousands of years of wind and tides into fantastic shapes. But for all its inhospitable foundations, this northernmost coast of Brittany is a popular holiday centre, and the eastern side of the traffic-free lle de Bréhat enjoys a climate so mild that mimosa and oleander grow in abundance.
The Granite Coast’s clean, sandy and gently sloping beaches are a major attraction for family holidays. The beaches at Perros-Guirec, Trébeurden, Trégastel and Trévou-Tréguignec are among the best places to visit and have all been awarded coveted EC blue flags. They literally sparkle in the sunshine as the light reflects off millions of twinkling granite chips.
If your beach holiday needs to be augmented with some action, there are all manner of watersports on offer, not to mention more than 40 sailing schools. The GR34 hiking trail follows some of the old customs officers’ footpaths (sentiers des douaniers) which range across the cliff-tops; while birdwatchers can take boat trips out to the uninhabited archipelago of Les Sept-lles, or watch the rich feeding grounds of Baie de Saint-Brieuc for snipe, curlew, oystercatchers and other water birds. Anglers can go after bass and mackerel, or you can wait for the local fishing fleet (and Paimpol’s oystermen) to do the work for you.
Peak season is, of course, the summer. But if you are passing by off-season, don’t ignore the Pink Granite Coast altogether. Bréhat is particularly lovely minus the crowds, and walks along the deserted beaches are the best way to appreciate those wacky rocks.
Rail services between Saint-Brieuc, Guingamp and Morlaix skirt the region to the south, with a connection to Paimpol from Guingamp, and another to Lannion from Plouaret. Buses run between Saint-Brieuc and Paimpol; and from Paimpol to Lannion for connections to Trégastel, and a daily service to Morlaix.