The dramatic stretch of coastline from Trégastel westwards is renowned for its rugged and distinctive beauty. Be sure to take the Corniche, skirting the cliffs which look out to seas to the off-shore islands and jumbles of pink-hued rocks, some of which have been given colourful names such as Tête du Mort (Death du Mort) or Tas des Crêpes (literally, Pile of Pancakes).
Set on the beautiful Emerald Coast, a stretch of jagged coastline west of Dinard, the popular resort of St Cast has one of the largest sandy beaches in Brittany. The rugged Fort la Latte can be seen to the north-west where it has stood guard for over a thousand years. Not far away Cap Fréhel’s lighthouse is set on 100m high cliffs of dull pink rock which makes for a dramatic contrast on a fine day wit the blue sea below.
The hinterland of the Côte d’Eméraude is a patchwork of fields, castles, towns and villages. One of the loveliest is Dinan, a beautifully preserved mediaeval town on the river Rance, downriver from St Malo.
Perhaps the most delightful approach is by boat or vedette up the Rance which leads you to the little Gothic bridge under Dinan’s ramparts. A winding cobbled street then takes you through the Porte Jerzual, once the most important of the town’s four gates, and upwards between the ancient buildings. At Pleudihen, just to the north-east, you can watch traditional cider-making and sample the results at the cider apple museum
A fishing port, not actually as attractive as so many others in this region, but one which is close to some superb coastline. In particular, the Pointe de l’Arcouest affords some super views. From here catch the ferry out to the Ile de Bréhat.
Another seaside resort formed around what was once a fishing harbour. The town surrounds the harbour, on both sides of are which good, safe, sandy beaches. For a unique view of the craggy coastline take a boat trip out to Jersey, Guernsey or the Sept Iles, France’s first bird sanctuary.
Follow the coastal footpath (actually the old customs officers’ path) to neighbouring Ploumanach, a little fishing village famous for its piles of pink and grey rocks, all eroded by wind and sea into strange, smooth shapes. Boat trips leave from here to the Sept Iles, an excellent bird sanctuary situated on the small rugged off-shore islands.
A small resort with a fine beach, rivalling Ploumanach for its curious rock configurations and beautiful situation. An aquarium there is worth a visit.
This is the largest town on the pink Granite coast and is well-known for its glorious pink granite cathedral. It’s a breezy little town with the remains of mediaeval fortifications here and there and plenty to see generally. Explore north and investigate little fishing villages like Port-Blanc and Bugueles. Not far away the castle of La Roche-Jagu is magnificently positioned on steep wooded slopes above the river Trieux and offers wonderful views out to sea.