22 June 2018 by Jessica Boston
Five ways to explore the beautiful Pink Granite coast of Brittany
The Pink Granite coast stretches for around 30km along northern Brittany between Plestin les Greves and Perros-Guirec in the Cotes d’Armor department. It is renowned for the unique and striking rock formations and soft pink hued sands that create incredible views from the beaches and cliffs. It is also home to an amazing array of wild birds, plants and animals, so it’s a great place to visit for nature lovers.
Here are five ideas to help you discover the beauty of the Pink Granite coast on your next Brittany holiday:
Walk the GR34 ‘Customs Path’
The most popular way to explore the Pink Granite coast is on foot. The famous GR34 walking trail has been used for centuries, first by customs officials trying to prevent smuggling, and later by hikers and tourists keen to appreciate the natural beauty of the area. The path is well signed and follows the coastline so you can enjoy spectacular views over the cliffs to the coastal islands and the beaches below, studded with massive granite boulders. You’ll pass by an island nature reserve that hosts France’s largest seabird colony and might even see grey seals! Looking inland you’ll see moors that are a riot of colourful flowers in summer, and you’ll pass through pretty fishing villages including Ploumanac’h and Tregastel – ideal for a relaxing lunch before you continue your hike.
There are many guides to walking the GR34 route available to help you pick a section for your day out. You can even walk one way and get a bus back to halve your walking distance. Ask your holiday home owner or the local tourist office for extra advice – and don’t forget to take your camera and maybe some binoculars to bird and seal spot on your way!
Kayak round the coast and islands
Another great way to see the best of this wild coastline is from the sea on a sea-kayak, stand up paddle board or canoe. Discover isolated beaches, visit islands inhabited only by wild birds and grey seals and negotiate exciting rock formations and boulders along the coastline. There is plenty here to entertain the most experienced canoe or kayak enthusiast but on a calm day the waters here are suitable for complete beginners too!
There are plenty of places to hire canoes, dingys or kayaks complete with wetsuits and life jackets in the resorts along the Pink Granite Coast. You could even book tuition to get you started or a guided tour to let a local expert show you the best secret beaches and spectacular sites. Club Nautique in Tregastel and Centre Nautique de Perros-Guirec both come highly rated on Trip Advisor, or ask your holiday home owner for a local recommendation.
Take a boat trip
If kayaking is not your thing you can still see the impressive coastline and a wonderful nature reserve of islands up close by taking a boat trip. Choose from traditional sailing boats, modern cruisers or even a speed boat! The standard coast and island tours last around 2 hours and will give you a chance to see sea bird colonies and grey seals in their natural habitat – a magical experience for the whole family! Many of the tours offer commentary on the nature and geology of the region but you may find it difficult to find a tour in English, so it’s well worth taking a guide book of your own to birdspot and understand the legends and stories behind some of the striking rock formations you’ll see.
Ask your holiday home owner for recommendations or choose Armor Navigation in Perros-Guirrec for a Trip Advisor recommended tour. Make sure you take your camera and a jacket or jumper as even on warmer days it can get chilly out at sea.
Cycling the Pink Granite coast
As you would expect in a country known for its love of cycling, it’s also possible to take a tour of the Pink Granite Coast by bike! Follow the country lanes and coastal bike trails to see the fantastic views from the cliffs overlooking boulder formations, the many tiny islands and the iconic lighthouse at Ploumanc’h. Explore the pretty towns and villages along the way stopping for a crepe or two, and take a short ferry journey for an enjoyable detour around the unspoilt Island of Brehat with its Meditteranean micro-climate and traditional artisan community.
It’s easy to find dedicated cycle routes to follow and French roads are fairly cyclist-friendly so it’s nice and safe for family cycling. If you travel to France by ferry you have an opportunity to bring your bikes to France with you, but if that’s not an option you’ll find many holiday home owners offer bikes for guests to use or can recommend a hire company to provide whatever bicycles, helmets and equipment you may need. Bike Hire Direct are family run bike hire specialists – book in advance and have your rental bikes delivered to your door!
Horse riding on the beach!
It’s a dream for most horse riders to have a chance to ride along a golden sandy beach and there are horse trekking tours of the Pink Granite Coast that allow you to do just that! Less experienced riders can explore the beautiful scenery of the coastal moors, while proficient riders have a chance to take a ride through the surf – an exhilarating and unforgettable way to experience this unique region.
To find a riding stables in your area ask your holiday property owner or the local tourist office. The Tregastel Riding Centre is the largest stables in the region offering trekking and horseriding lessons for all ages for 4 up and all ability levels.
Holiday France Direct are proud to be able to offer over 400 properties to rent for holidays in the Cotes d’Armor – browse and book your Pink Granite Coast adventure with us and get 20% off your Brittany Ferries crossings!