Brittany – Pink Granite Coast – interesting places in the area
The Côte de Granit Rose – The Pink Granite Coast – is therefore a geological formation that covers about 12 km of the coasts of Trébeurden, Pleumeur-Bodou, Renle Renote, Trégastel (of which Ploumanac’h is a part) and Perros-Guirec (described from west to east).
The icon of the area is the lighthouse Mean Ruz known mainly as Phare de Ploumanac’h. The lighthouse is officially called Phare de Mean Ruz, which comes from Maen Ruz in Breton, and translates to “Red Stone Lighthouse”. The current lighthouse was built of local pink granite and fits completely into the landscape. The original lighthouse dates from 1860 and was destroyed by German troops on August 4, 1944. In 1946 it was replaced by the current lighthouse. The lighthouse is functional and in operation and is therefore closed to the public, but it is possible to walk along the Customs Trail, which all tourists do.
The original area of the Côte de Granit Rose is very popular today. It is currently probably the most visited natural site in Brittany. It is visited by around 800,000 tourists each year (more recent data speak of 1,000,000) tourists.
Le Goufre – The house between the rocks
Castel Meur, also known as “The house between the rocks” or French “La Maison du Gouffre”, is small house wedged between two huge rocks not far of little village Plougrescant.
The house in Le Gouffre du Castel-Meur was built in 1861. The house is privately owned and a visit is not possible. At high tide, the land on which it lies is an island and is cut off from the mainland by the ocean.
Near the house there is a small café where you can refresh yourself. Exhibitions are also held at the café. Their theme is nature conservation. The attendance of the Côte de Granit Rose is enormous and it would probably not be possible to protect the nature other than by some regulation. Paths around the coast are mostly bounded by low posts, between which a rope, wire or chain is stretched.
Near the house is the most visited place of the site: cliffs over the precipice Le Gouffre (GPS: 48.8667100N, 3.2379703W), which offers a wonderful view of the ocean and the surrounding countryside.
Rocks here create long tongues biting into the ocean, which the Atlantic constantly loudly licking its powerful power. Among the cliffs are small sandy beaches. The clear sea, the white foam of the waves and the beautifully colored cliffs of the sun create an amazing and unique panorama.
Trégastel is a municipality located in the Côtes-d’Armor department in Brittany, between Perros-Guirec and Pleumeur-Bodou on the Côte de Granit Rose.
The seaside resort of Trégastel has about 2,400 inhabitants. The population increases fivefold in the summer season. Every second apartment in Trégastel is used for recreational purposes.
On the coast of Trégastel, pink granite cliffs alternate with picturesque fine sand beaches. Trégastel has twelve beaches. Trégastel also includes a chain of small islands scattered along the coast.
In the city there are dolmen Kergüntuil and menhirs Sainte Anne and Trémarc’h.
One of the main attractions of Trégastel is the sea aquarium.
However, the most visited part of Trégastel is the island of Renote (Renle Renote).
The island of Renote (in Breton Enez Rennod) is part of the town of Trégastel.
Originally, the island was accessible only at low tide, but in 1885 it was permanently artificially connected to the mainland and became a peninsula.
Renote was classified on 11 February 1977 by decree of 2 May 1930 as ‘pittoresques’ (picturesque places).
A place classified in this way in France is a natural space or a remarkable natural formation whose historical, artistic, scientific, legendary or picturesque character requires – in the name of the general interest – its preservation (maintenance, restoration, improvement, etc.) and the prevention of insensitive damage. So it is something like a natural monument or a protected area in the Czech Republic.
This classification is due to bizarre cliffs, boulders and pink granite rock formations, which create fantastic shapes and surprise with their arrangement, which contradicts the laws of balance. These units are some of the most bizarre on the island of Renote, similar to Ploumanach. After all, they are part of one geological unit. It is barely a kilometer from the eastern end of Renote Island to Ploumanach. Renote Island has a nice view of the main symbol of the Côte de Granit Rose: the Mean Ruz lighthouse, also known as the Phare de Ploumanac’h. The lighthouse is officially called Phare de Mean Ruz, which comes from the Breton Maen Ruz, and in translation it means Red Stone Lighthouse. The new lighthouse was built in 1946 on the site of the original lighthouse destroyed at the end of World War II from the local pink granite and fits completely into the landscape.
A trail runs along the coast around the whole island. It is best to visit Renote at low tide, when the sea recedes and reveals all the rocks and boulders of strange shapes.
Ile-Grande Island (Enez Veur)
The island of Île-Grande (in Breton Enez Veur) is part of the municipality Pleumeur-Bodou.
In 1891, the bridge was connected to the mainland. At that time, the island had about forty houses and 150 to 200 inhabitants. This bridge was rebuilt and modernized in 1946 and again in 1974.
From the mid-19th century until 1950, the local economy grew due to intensive granite mining in many parts of the island, and Ile-Grande began to become populated.
But granite mining on the island dates back to the past. Local granite, for example, was used in the 14th and 15th centuries to build the cathedral in Tréguier.
The quarries are currently closed. The largest quarry was the Castel Erek quarry, which operated from 1908 to 1979, when the land was transferred to the property of the League for the Protection of Birds. In this quarry, the excavation of the rock reached 35 meters below sea level; massive walls were built reinforced by supporting pillars to prevent flooding by the sea. (GPS: 48.8034667N, 3.5844156W). The remains of the quarry are still visible today and can be visited.
Interesting fact: the local quarry of Castel Erek provided granite paving for the cities of Paris, Le Havre, Caen, the port of Granville and the port of Rouen and more. Granite from the island has also been used in some homes in New York City. Although the island is located in the heart of pink granite, the island’s granite is gray.
On June 6, 1909, the foundation stone of the Church of St. Mark, consecrated on June 26, 1910. It was built by architects Emil Genest and Claud-Joseph Lageat on the site of the Chapel of Saint-Sauveur, which was destroyed by lightning.