by Tom Fieldhouse
I am a freelance writer, living in Bath with my wife and son.
I love my city, and love to live here. I write about Bath a lot, and sometimes about travels in Ireland and France.
Ploumanac'h is a small village in Northern Brittany, France. Two miles along the coast from Perros-Guirec, it has a stunningly beautiful coastline formed from pink granite rocks that have been carved by the sea and wind over millions of years. The rocks glow with a warm, pink colour due to the mica and feldspar that form them, and this glow intensifies at sunset. Justifiably proud French locals call this lovely coastline 'The Coast of Pink Granite', or 'La cote du Granit Rose. It is breathtaking.
A cove in Ploumanac'h
These fabulous rocks can be seen at any point surrounding (and indeed within the village of) Ploumanac'h, and there is a well-trodden coastal path that winds its way directly along them. There is a determined conservation and erosion repair project underway that does shield some of the rocks from access by foot, but the vast majority are accessible to all. My favourite stretch is adjacent to a free carpark along the Boulevard Du Semaphore, between Ploumanac'h and Perros-Guirec. Waves splash over the rocks, and you can climb and explore the fantastical shapes.
Some of the rocks just off Boulevard du Semaphore
At sunset, the lighthouse at Ploumanac'h shows these rocks in their most dramatic and beautiful light. There are wonderful views all over this area, although I would argue that they are at their most splendid here. The granite lighthouse is surrounded by stretches of outcrops and little headlands that plunge in to the sea, and several of these formations have been given nicknames by locals.
The cleverly named 'shoe sole'
The Granite Lighthouse, with awesome surroundings
Aa distinctly wave-like rock. It reminded me of Hokusai's 'The Great Wave'.
Whether staying in the vicinity of Ploumanac'h or visiting for an afternoon, the rocks offer an unforgettable experience. There is something deeply enjoyable about searching for shapes and forms in the rocks, and my 5 year old son spotted a gorilla within five minutes. There are many car parks in the town that are free, but the one adjacent to the lighthouse is very reasonable. With excellent creperies , boulangeries and supermarkets around the area, there are great eating facilities, also. These rocks are a spectacle at any time of day, but at their most deeply dramatic a little before and after sunset.