Visit Perros Guirec and the pink granite coast

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I must confess that before moving to Perros Guirec, I knew almost nothing about the area. I just wanted to telework by the sea, I knew the area by reputation but that was all. So when, once I arrived (you can see the pro in the organisation) I started to look at everything there was to do, I had stars in my eyes. And after a big week there, I can confirm that the place is really fantastic and that there is a lot to do. And if you go further away, you will find even more things. Let’s see it all, be careful, it’s a real blast! (and not only because of the weather)

men ruz lighthouse in ploumanach brittany

Map of Perros Guirec and Pink Granite Coast

In this map, I show you the small places in Perros Guirec and the pink granite coast, the surrounding villages but also a bit further away, the beaches, points of interest… in short, everything that I think needs a visit! But I may have missed some things, so this list is not exhaustive, and fortunately 🙂

Further east, we can see the beautiful Emerald Coast in the Côtes d’Armor, pearl of Brittany.

The Pink Granite Coast, the splendour of Perros Guirec and Trégastel

I had heard about the Pink Granite Coast before I came. But I really didn’t expect this. On 10km we will really take in the sights. Unique landscapes in France, pink stones in special shapes, polished by erosion, fantastic and ultra photogenic views.

Strange as it may seem, this is magma. Indeed, a long time ago, we had the Armorican massif, high mountains (surprising here, indeed) under which magma was found. This magma cooled, forming granite, which was released by the erosion of the mountains. It took a while.

The pink granite coast extends from Trestraou beach, in Perros Guirec, to Trébeurden. But the most interesting parts are in Ploumanach and Trégastel. After Trégastel, it’s a bit more scattered. But it’s still very beautiful!

pink granite coast brittany tregastel
pink granite coast brittany tregastel
lighthouse men ruz ploumanach brittany
pink granite coast brittany bad weather

The beautiful village of Ploumanach

Named “most beautiful village in France” in 2015, Ploumanach obviously owes it to this famous pink granite coast. The village itself is nice, pleasant. A pretty little chapel by the beach with an oratory that has its feet in the water!

Let us speak about the beaches, because here one will be served. Obviously the beach of Saint Guirec is really nice, surrounded by this pink rock and close to the lighthouse, but I advise you to continue a few tens of meters to arrive at the beach of the Bastille, very small and ultra pretty, with a view to fall on the castle of Costaérès. Technically this castle, which is on a small island, is in Trégastel, but you have the best view from Ploumanach. You can also go there on foot, at low tide, from the beach of Tourony. And it’s really nice.

Just to the north of the beaches is a beautiful place, the Men Ruz lighthouse. All these surroundings are really great, beautiful rock, great places to take pictures and especially when the rock shines at sunset. We’ll see stones with really strange shapes, but a beautiful vegetation too! In fact, each time you go, it’s a different experience and that’s what’s great. I went there almost every day during my week in Perros, and I’d really like to go back.

Chateau of costaeres Perros Guirec Ploumanach
lighthouse men ruz ploumanach brittany perros guirec

Trégastel, its beaches and its exceptional location

Trégastel is very nice. Very very nice. A small seaside village in the heart of the pink granite coast with many things to see. Obviously, the coast itself with nice walks, especially between the different beaches. I especially recommend the magnificent walk between the beaches of Coz-Pors and Grève Blanche. Which are moreover two superb beaches! Crystal clear water, very clear sand, a heavenly setting.

A little further north, you have the very pretty Renote peninsula. A slightly different place, also a nice place to walk between the rocks. A lot of wind but a really nice setting. At the end of the day you will see a lot of rabbits.

Tregastel pink granite coast brittany
Visit Tregastel pink granite coast brittany
Renote Island Trégastel pink granite coast brittany
Renote Island Trégastel pink granite coast brittany

The sentier des douaniers hike / GR 34 in Perros Guirec

This is the most beautiful place. Here, the path follows the pink granite coast and fortunately. Frankly, it’s easy to do by foot, you have several possibilities. The one that takes all day is to go from Perros Guirec (Trestraou beach) to Trégastel and I would continue to Grannec beach. It’s still about 18km, but you can come back by Tilt bus. Or you can go to the Grève Rose, again in Trégastel, which is a bit closer. All this makes a fantastic trip which will allow you to see the most beautiful places of the pink granite coast like :

  • the Men Ruz lighthouse (4km from Trestraou)
  • Ploumanach (Saint Guirec beach, Bastille, Château de Costaérès… 5km)
  • the Renote peninsula (well 10km)
  • The beaches of Trégastel (2km away) like Coz-Pors, the white and pink beach.

Up to the lighthouse, what is going to be amazing is obviously the rock, its colour, its surprising shapes with stones in balance we don’t really know how. Then, once you arrive at the village of Ploumanach, these stones surround superb beaches, these beaches having very clear sand and transparent water, a heavenly setting. And it continues until the south of Trégastel.

Well, if you don’t feel like walking all that, you can do it by car and several sections on foot. There are plenty of car parks, next to the campsite or at the Men Ruz lighthouse. From the lighthouse you can explore Ploumanach on foot, it’s just next door. Trégastel is 10 minutes further by car, there is a huge free car park, and you can also easily walk along the path on both sides, it is just as beautiful.

Sentier des douaniers perros guirec GR 34
Camino de los aduaneros GR 34 tregastel
Sentier des douaniers Perros Guirec
Maison sentier des douaniers GR34

What to do in Perros Guirec

Visit the city and enjoy its beaches

Perros Guirec is a very pleasant little seaside town. It’s not the ultra cute or cliché little village, it’s a fairly new town that sees its population increase fivefold during the holidays. However, it has charm, it’s not ultra urbanised, the town centre is cute, the coast is nice and the beaches are nice. Let’s have a look at all that.

First of all, the beaches are not bad. Well, the best ones are near Ploumanach and Trégastel, but here the beach of Trestraou is nice. It’s a big beach, 1km of sand, and the eastern part is very nice because it’s bordered by very beautiful stone houses. Behind the cliffs, you will find the beach of Trestrignel, nicely enclosed. However, it is only accessible at low tide. At high tide, there is simply no sand, so don’t do as I did, check the tides first!

Then we take a little tour of the city centre. The old town is cute, with typical stone architecture. It’s not very big as you quickly fall into the newer part of the town. But stop to see the little church of Saint Jacques, very cute and surprising.

Finally, I strongly advise you to take the walk from Trestraou to Trestrignel along the coast. The views are very nice, you have access to beautiful rocks, you see beautiful and large houses typically Breton.

beach trestraou perros guirec
beach trestraou perros guirec

Discover the 7 islands

Visiting The 7 islands is a must during your stay in Perros Guirec. It is a very nice sea trip to see… 7 islands. Logical. But not so much because in fact there are only 5 and it’s a little problem of oral transmission that finally put 7. In short, it’s not so bad. Located off the coast of Perros, these islands are especially interesting for two things (I think). First of all, the very nice Ile aux Moines which, as its name indicates, was home to monks until the 15th century. They wanted a life cut off from the world, they were served! There is now a lovely lighthouse and fortifications that will certainly remind you of something because they were built by a disciple of Vauban. The wild contours of the island are also superb. There is also the possibility to walk down to the island for 45 minutes, which is a good idea. It’s a nice walk with the wind in your hair.

The second interesting island, on which we will linger as well, is the Rouzic island (the little redhead). No walk but it is an exceptional ornithological reserve. On this big rock, we will find no less than 20,000 couples of gannets, these funny birds with yellow heads and blue beaks. It is obviously the largest colony in France. But it is also here that we will find the last puffins of France, those cute and clumsy little birds that we see mostly in Iceland. Unfortunately, there are not many of them left, less than 400 pairs.
We’ll find lots of other birds, especially penguins! Be careful, not the penguins that can only be found in the southern hemisphere. But cute little penguins that you can easily see flying.

The 7 islands is a really nice visit. 1h45 by boat without descent, or 2h30 with the walk on the monk island. Something I recommend as the price difference is not really huge (18,50€ vs 22,50€).

You can find out more and book at Armor Navigation.

I’m sorry though, the pictures are awful. I didn’t have the right lens on the camera at all. The animals were not far away, we could see them very well with the naked eye, but I didn’t have a zoom lens with me, what a smart guy.

puffins 7 islands perros guirec
penguins 7 islands perros guirec brittany
Island rouzic Northern gannets perros guirec
Island rouzic Northern gannets perros guirec
Isle rouzic Northern gannets perros guirec

What to see around Perros Guirec

Bréhat Island

Bréhat Island is a must-see near Paimpol. A very pretty island where cars are forbidden and the only way to get around is on foot or by bike. It’s a small inhabited but wild island with a lot of nice things to see. Well, I have to say that I couldn’t go to the top of the island because of the rain which cut the visit short. The south of the island is very green, lots of vegetation, very clear water. Apart from the weather, you could think you were on the Côte d’Azur (well, almost!). In the north, it’s wilder, less vegetation, more wind. And a very beautiful lighthouse. It makes a nice walk.
On the way, I advise you to stop at the small Saint Michel chapel because it offers a very nice view. Also take the roads along the coast rather than the central road.
We go there by boat with the Vedettes de Bréhat, it’s fast, but I really advise to take the route that goes around the island. You have great views, you see the whole island and you can see some animals (seals, cormorants…).

Bréhat island perros guirec brittany
Bréhat island perros guirec brittany

The pretty town of Lannion

Lannion is a nice surprise. In fact, I wasn’t expecting anything, I didn’t know what to see there. And in fact it’s very nice. The tourist office calls it “a small city of character”. And it’s not wrong! It’s a historical town which still has many buildings from the 16/17th centuries and notably very nice houses that you can find on the main square (General Leclerc) and its surroundings. There are slate houses, half-timbered houses, and houses that lean heavily! It has a great charm. You have to wander through the small streets around.
I also recommend the church of Brélévenez, very nice, and its surroundings with its stone houses. But above all the staircase leading to it. It’s magnificent, lined with beautiful houses, it’s full of flowers. It was a real coup de coeur for me.
The town is really not far from Perros Guirec so it’s worth a half day or more there. It’s not touristy at all.

stair Brelevenez Lannion brittany
half-timbered house lannion brittany

The authentic little town of Tréguier

Another “small town of character” in the Trégor area. And it’s a real favourite. It’s not a big city, it’s a nice little town around the superb cathedral. You absolutely have to see its cloister (which I would have liked to do, but it was closed). But all around, you’ll find lots of cute little streets, especially the Ernest Renan street, with its beautiful half-timbered houses.
You can spend half a day there without worrying too much because it’s very pleasant, finishing the visit at the little port on the Jaudy.

city treguier brittany
city treguier brittany
half-timbered houses treguier
church treguier

The bay of Paimpol and its cliffs

A little further east, we will find the nice little town of Paimpol. It is a very active port where you can enjoy the sea products, but it is also a good starting point to visit the very nice cliffs. All along this famous “route des falaises”, you will have magnificent viewpoints until Saint Quay Portrieux (roughly speaking). The ones I liked best were Gwin Zedal, beautiful and you can go down to the level of the boats, the Shelburn Stele and Bonaparte beach. Port Lazo, with its clear water and huge oyster park (which you can visit!) or the Craca mill.
In concrete terms, take this cliff route in a short day, stopping at each point. Sometimes there is not much, sometimes there are really great places. I have indicated several of them on the map.

And don’t forget the beautiful Beauport Abbey. A nice visit that you can finish by the crystal clear water 5 minutes away.

Port lazo paimpol brittany
roche aux oiseaux paimpol
oyster park brittany port lazo
oyster farm brittany port lazo
port of paimpol

The chasm of Plougrescant

It is one of the many curiosities of the region. In the superb cliff, steep, eaten away by the elements, we find a fault in which the water rushes. Logical, it’s a chasm, I know. So it’s nice to climb up this little cliff, to be on the edge of the chasm, to see the water slamming against the rock. It’s not dangerous at all as long as it’s not wet (ok, we’re talking about Brittany). The view is really nice. We also have a very nice one if we continue the way, to see the chasm from a little further.
But another local curiosity is Castel Meur, a strange house built between two rocks. All alone on its peninsula, it’s a very iconic place that you’ve inevitably seen in photos. On the other hand, you have to count on the weather to have nice conditions, and that’s not what I had 😀

see Gouffre Plougrescant brittany
le Gouffre de Plougrescant

The sillon of Talbert

Another strange place. The Talbert furrow is a huge strip of sand stretching for 3km… into the sea. Not a beach, no, it really goes into the sea 😀 It’s surprising, very nice, a good walk. It’s also a place for birds to lay their eggs so you have to be careful and not go outside the marked areas. But it’s also very windy! I was a bit disappointed not to be able to take the drone out to see what it looks like from up there, but the gusts of wind made it impossible to go on, that’s for sure 😀 It’s a nice walk, really something different.

Sillon de talbert brittany
Sillon de Talbert Brittany

Some castles

So in the surroundings, we will also find some nice castles. Unfortunately I couldn’t visit them because they were still closed due to the health situation. But you know my love for castles. So I’ll go back!

We will find :

  • the castle of La Roche Jagu
  • the castle of Bienassis
  • the castle of Dinan
  • the castle of Tonquédec
  • the castle of Quintin

A little further on… the Valley of the Saints

It’s about an hour’s drive to the centre of Brittany, so I hadn’t planned to go there and write about it in this article, but I liked it so much that you have to find out. The Valley of the Saints is a big hill with dozens and dozens of large carved statues, a bit like the moais on Easter Island (a classic comparison), except that this is contemporary. There are some very classical ones, some pious ones, some tributes, some funny ones. It’s really to promote the Brittany heritage and it works. It lacks a bit of explanation but I arrived after the guided tours had closed (the site is open 24 hours a day).

valley of the saints brittany
valley of the saints brittany
valley of the saints Brittany

Biscuit, cider and other food products

Well, in Brittany we eat well, that’s not new. And there are a few small producers in the area that are well worth a visit. Just south of Perros Guirec, you have the cider producer Verger de Kernivinen. You can visit and buy on the spot. The cider is really good! Otherwise you can find it at the grocery shop Ty Kouign in the city centre. In this same grocery shop you can find good kouign amann of course, but also preserves from La Paimpolaise (really not bad). But also from the Henriette cannery, and there it is really very very good. We also have the classics from La Belle-iloise and La Cancalaise, it’s good. Whereas the cannery La Concarnoise, I didn’t like at all.
In the biscuits brands, the Brieuc brand is really good.

A little outside the centre, in the direction of Ploumanach, you will find a fantastic patisserie, Maison Hémery. But be careful, it is very popular, there is a queue, you have to come early to be sure to get what you want and especially a kouign amann.

Perros Guirec and the area in 15 days

Really, Perros Guirec is the ideal place to spend a nice holiday, one or two weeks. Because from Perros, you have a lot of things within an hour’s drive. All the things I’ve already mentioned, which take up a lot of time, but also the entrance to Finistère, the region of Morlaix, or Erquy, Cap Frehel, Dinan… the Côtes d’Armor are full of great places! So it’s easy to get around from the city. We could see it, there are great landscapes, castles, fantastic beaches, something to occupy the children, you can see puffins… And walk along the GR34 path.

mill of craca paimpol
nature brittany

Practical information about Perros Guirec

How long to stay in Perros Guirec

Oh my! So I stayed there for a week (and the week after in Paimpol, so just next door). It’s easy to keep busy, between the beaches, the customs path, the pink granite coast, visiting the little villages… The places are so nice that you want to go back there, for example the lighthouse of Ploumanach, Trégastel. It’s a very good point to go all around, easily to Paimpol and in all the Côtes d’Armor.

So a big 4-day weekend, that already allows you to see the essential, to take a good breath of air. Less than 3 days on the spot would be a pity, I think. But you can easily do 2 weeks because the place is so nice and there are so many things to see 🙂

Where to stay in Perros Guirec : hotel, flat, camping

A seaside resort has a good supply of accommodation. I really liked being right next to Trestraou beach. It’s very convenient, the sentier des douaniers path is just a stone’s throw away, we’re a 10 minute walk from the town centre and a 10 minute drive from Ploumanach. Otherwise there are also great things to do in Ploumanach, but as I got there at the last minute, well… 😀 Anyway, let’s have a look!

To start with a bang, the Castel Beau Site, a super hotel ideally located… on the beach of Ploumanach, no less.

The great classic with very good value for money is the Pierre et Vacances. It’s just a stone’s throw from the beach and is quite good for 50€ a night for the flat.
Another very good one is the Poisson d’Or, very good reputation at a lower price.
In flat, this 50m² is not bad at all for less than 80€ a night.

If you want to go upmarket and have fun, there is the famous Hotel des Rochers at the port of Ploumanach, the 5* Agapa (which has a spa!) which overlooks Trestraou beach, or just next door the Best Western.

Coming by train

So there is no station in Perros Guirec. But there is one in Lannion, which is only 10km away. Lannion is 3 hours from Paris, with a change at Saint Brieuc. From other major cities, it is less easy. Bordeaux is 6 hours away with 2 changes, 7 hours for Lyon. So not easy.

Then, from Lannion, there is the TILT bus network which goes around the Trégor and therefore goes to Perros

Find your train ticket with SNCF

Parking in Perros Guirec

Well, it’s very simple. In the vast majority of cases parking, even in the centre, is free. There is a lot of space, in low and medium season it is very easy to park. In the high season it’s a bit more complicated next to Trestraou. But it is free.

In conclusion

And there you have it! If you didn’t know what to do in Perros Guirec, here you have something to keep you busy for a long time. Especially since I only drove from one hour away from the city. Further on in the Côtes d’Armor, you’ll find Erquy, Cap Frehel, Dinan… so whether you’re just passing through along the Pink Granite Coast or for one or two weeks, you’ll really get a kick out of this great corner of Brittany. So go there with your eyes closed, especially as it is not the most touristic place!

And don’t forget, if you go east, you’ll find some incredible places like Mont Saint Michel, or the beautiful city of Saint Malo.

Here are some articles about the area :

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