In the heart of the Cotes d’Armor, in one of the most fascinating corners of Brittany, lies the Pink Granite Coast. The rock in this stretch of sea is characterised by an incredible pink colouration and will present itself to you in often bizarre and extravagant shapes, alternating with green coves and lively seaside resorts.
The pink colour of the granites is due to a special mixture of quartz, mica, feldspar and iron oxide. After oxidation at a temperature of around 800 °C, the granite turns pink. This is a rare phenomenon that has only occurred in Brittany, Corsica and China.
The pink granite coastline stretches for about 16 km from the town of Trébeurden to Perros-Guirec, passing through four municipalities including Trébeurden, Pleumer-Bodou, Trégastel and Perros-Guirec. Each town has its own corner of paradise worth exploring.
Perros-Guirec, perched on a beautiful rocky peninsula, is undoubtedly the most famous and most sought-after resort on the Côte d’Armor. One of the most photographed sights is the colourful spectacle of the colourful striped windbreak tents that enliven its beaches. Unfortunately, in the summer months, the seaside town suffers from the crowds of tourists who have chosen to spend their seaside holidays on this part of the coast.
Plage de Testraou is suitable for lovers of the mundane among cafes, hotels and casinos and beach life those who prefer more secluded corners can instead choose Trestignel and the Plage de Saint-Guirec.
The beauty of this area leaves one speechless: the coastline, which can be explored on foot, is dotted with huge pink granite rock formations: a truly magical panorama, especially at sunset.
The most iconic and magical place on the Pink Granite Coast, located in the municipality of Perros-Guirec, is undoubtedly Ploumanac’h, where the magical pink-coloured rocks are found. Shaped by the force of the wind and the erosion of the sea, the rock formations have been moulded into funny and peculiar shapes, which have bizarre names such as Napoleon’s Hat or the Lovers’ Hut.
We recommend that you leave your car at the beach of Saint Guirec, which in sunny weather is a real marvel, with its crystal-clear waters and backdrop of trees and rocks. From here you take a piece of the famous Customs Trail.
One of the unmissable experiences, to admire the pink granite in all its forms, is to follow a small section of the famous Customs Officers’ Trail, between Perros-Guirec and Ploumanac’h. This ancient cliff path, officially marked as GR34, is 1330 kilometres in length and was once used to guard the coast against smugglers and wreck predators. If travelled in its entirety, it allows one to tour Brittany, on foot or by bicycle.
The one between Ploumanac’h and Perros-Guirec is the most beautiful and fascinating stretch of the entire route, which reaches peaks of incredible beauty at the Ploumanac’h lighthouse, where the erosion of the sea has created unusual and evocative shapes. The lighthouse is obviously built of pink granite and stands out in the landscape as the only square, man-made element that, at 20 metres high, towers above the pink landscape.
You can start the route from different points: you can start at Perros-Guirec beach, or from the opposite side, starting at Trestraou beach. It takes about 8 km to walk it all, which takes about 3 hours, preferably in the morning and at high tide, to see it at its best.
We highly recommend it as it is easy to access, well signposted and ideal for young and old.
A few kilometres from Perros-Guirec, there is a wild area called the Côte des Ajoncs, a continuation of the pink granite coastline. This is Plougrescant, an unmissable corner of the Cote d’Armor.
Pointe du Château is the northernmost point from which you will enjoy magnificent views while the Gouffres are a spectacular cleft in the rock at Castel Meur. Also at Castel Meur is one of Brittany’s most iconic places, the Maison Entre Les Deux Roches: a small house with white shutters squeezed between the embrace of two pink granite rocks. It is a picture-postcard image that attracts thousands of visitors every year in search of a spectacular photograph.
There is also a maze of paths that lead you to get lost and find yourself among small houses, islets, harbours and sea waves. This leads to Porz Hir, a place where houses hide behind rocks to protect themselves from the wind.
At the end of the customs path, you come to this small cove: here is the famous Napoleon’s Hat rock. In this little beach, according to legend, Saint-Guirec, who came from Wales to evangelise the Bretons, landed in the 7th century.
His statue is kept in the Oratory above the cliff and is a pilgrimage destination for girls wishing to marry within the year: according to tradition, the girls have to stick a needle in the poor monk’s face. At high tide, the chapel is surrounded by the sea.
Located about ten kilometres from Perros-Guirec, Trégastel is a small seaside resort that attracts tourists passing through in search of enchanting coastlines.
In fact, Trégastel is located in the heart of the pink granite coastline; here you can admire the most beautiful beaches in the region and some of the most charming views, surrounded by turquoise waters.
The town has no fewer than 12 magnificent sandy beaches. Coz-Pors beach, for instance, is best suited for families, Torony beach is framed by magnificent pink granite boulders and Renote beach is rugged and wild. The latter is located in the spectacular Presqu’ile Renote, a delightful little island connected to the mainland, one of the unmissable corners of the pink granite coastline.
If you are a birdwatcher, you cannot miss a sea excursion to the 7 islands. This is the most important ornithological reserve in France, where seagulls, cormorants, puffins and northern gannets live undisturbed by humans, totalling 27 bird species.
Please note that you can only moor on Île aux Moines: the other islands are closed to tourists, as this is a protected and unspoilt area.
North of Trébeurden is Île-Grande, an island connected to the mainland by a single road.
A hike along the customs path allows you to visit it completely, in less than 3 hours. The GR34 then continues, without great difficulty on the wild island and allows you to observe the wonders of granite, its loops and even large menhirs.
In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article
For those travelling by car, we recommend taking the D786 from Morlaix (Finistère) or the D6 from Saint-Brieuc (Côtes-d’Armor).
To reach Paris, it takes 5 hours and 15 minutes to drive along the E50 to Rennes, the A81 to Le Mans and finally the A11 to the French capital.
Visiting the Pink Granite Coast from Paris takes only 3 hours and 15 minutes by TGV leaving from Paris Montparnasse .
Many direct TGVs serve the Lannion station: from here you will then need to continue using the regional trains that run through Brittany.
The bus is an excellent means of transport to reach the Pink Granite Coast, as well as being very economical. The area is well served by national companies (Tilt and Breizhgo) that cross Brittany and connect Perros-Guirec, Trégastel and Trébeurden from Lannion.
Brittany is a very touristy area, popular with the French and Parisians who flee to the cool, breezy coastline in search of refreshment.
Along the Pink Granite Coast, you will find many towns and villages where you can stay. Perros-Guirec, Trébeurden and Trégastel are wonderful seaside resorts, offering all the necessary services and excellent hotel facilities.
What's the weather at Perros-Guirec and the Pink Granite Coast? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Perros-Guirec and the Pink Granite Coast for the next few days.
The Pink Granite Coast stretches for about 10 km, from the town of Trébeurden to Perros-Guirec.