In August, we spent a few days in my hometown in France. As Erikas was coming in the region for the first time, we mainly travelled around the Emerald Coast. But, after showing pictures of other places in Brittany, Erikas wanted to go to the Pink Granite Coast as well. I went there once as a child and remembered how impressive these pink rocks were. So we decided to head there for a short day trip and it was a beautiful idea!
As you know, we were based in Dinard, next to Saint-Malo. We left the house around 10:00 and drove for about 1h30, towards the city of Perros Guirec. When we were approaching our destination, we went slightly off course and stopped at Ploumanac’h – a district of the city. We parked at a camper site there, as it was cheap and easy (4€ for the whole day).
We wanted to get to this specific part of the city, as it is located at one of the ends of the hike we planned on doing. We walked through the small centre of town, where you can find a lot of restaurants, cafés and shops. From there you can also access the beach, which gives you the first glance of the big rocks. This place is well-known in France, since the grey rocks are over 2 billion years old, while the pink ones are considered ”young” as they date back only 300 million years.
From the beach, we climbed up a couple of stairs and started the hike. Right away we were on the walkway called ‘sentier des douaniers‘ (GR34). Historically, this walkway was made for customs officers and coast guards to walk on and look at the ships coming in. While the whole coastal path is quite long, and goes almost all around the country, this specific section is about 4 kilometres long. We really enjoyed our time there as it was no too packed with people.
When hiking, you need to follow a specific path, which was made some years ago to protect the nature surrounding the coast. However, the rocks are accessible to all if you want to climb. Make sure to wear appropriate shoes, though!
We finished the hike at the beach (plage de Trestraou) in Perros-Guirec. So, we took our shoes off and walked all the way along the sea. To our surprise, this part of the city was really touristic and expensive to eat. In addition to that, many places were closed. We ended up eating a sandwich in another part of the city, which is not very picturesque. Right after eating, we went back to the beach and saw it again at high tide. The colours were incredible and many people were swimming – which made it up for the not-so-great lunch situation!
We decided to walk back to our car, at a faster pace. In the afternoon, the coastal path is really crowded and not as enjoyable as in the morning. The one thing we really enjoyed though, was seeing the scenery from the other side, and with the high tide. It really changes the landscape – maybe for the better?!
After finishing our hike, we went back to the car and drove roughly 30 minutes to the town of Plougrescant. The name might not sound familiar to you, but locally it is quite known for having a house stuck between two rocks! It’s easy to find, as all the way up there is indicated with signs (“La Maison du Gouffre“).
We arrived there late in the afternoon – around 18.00, which was a good thing as we could park easily and the site was not crowded. Since the house is a private property, it is not possible to visit it or go on the yard. However, on the same path there is a beach and breathtaking rocks. Even though they are not really high, but you can get a good view on the house and on the coastline. If you have the chance, find a nice corner on the rocks that can protect you from the wind and enjoy the view!
Our last stop before heading back for the day was Paimpol. This town was on our way back home, therefore we stopped for a short ice cream break. There are two things that we really liked: walking by the port and wandering around the paved streets of the old town.
Since our time there was limited, we started by walking along the port, looking at all the boats, with colourful houses in the background. And since it was almost dinner time then, the streets were quiet and empty. We stopped in the centre to get some ice cream, and kept on walking. We took the first turn to get to the centre of town and to our biggest surprise, almost all the streets there were for pedestrians only.
When we were walking around, we noticed that people were cleaning the market, so if you want to visit Paimpol, make sure to do so when there is a market happening. In Brittany, outdoor markets are really known and appreciated. There is always a nice atmosphere and a lot of food you can get on the spot.
From there we drove straight back home. It took us about an hour and a half, which is not too bad for a day trip. However, if you are willing to stay overnight in this area, make sure to spend a day in Bréhat. This island is reachable with the ferry from Paimpol, and is a really beautiful place.