Ploumanac'h won France favourite village Prize in 2015 (photo credit: Christine Cognieux)
Ploumanac’h won the France favourite village Prize in 2015. (Photo Credit: Christine Cognieux)

What do a Torpedo, the Big Bare Foot, and a Pancake have in common? You can find them on a beautiful sandy beach amongst glistening rose-tinted rock formations on the indented shoreline of Brittany in France. Halfway along the northern coast, in the most spectacular section known as the Côte de Granit Rose or Pink Granite Coast lies the village of Ploumanac’h.

Once a simple fishermen’s village, the place grew into a delightful resort, attracting one million visitors every year to admire its surreal masses of rocks, cliffs, and misshapen boulders. This exceptional natural site shaped by the sea and wind is truly for lovers of mysterious landscapes. In 2015, it even won France’s favorite village prize.

Ploumanac'h is located along the Pink Granite Coast in Brittany
Ploumanac’h is located along the Pink Granite Coast in Brittany. (Photo Credit: Yann Cognieux)

If you want to see Ploumanac’h at its best, arrive when the tide is high. You will face an exquisite little crescent beach, overlooked by a couple of hotels and restaurants, and facing west across an estuary that is scattered with tiny islets. As the sea withdraws, the sand stretches farther and farther out. Solitary outcrops emerge to stand as sturdy monoliths and the islets become islands. The centrepiece of this tableau is the small chateau that stands proudly on the Costaérès islet. Used by the fishermen to dry out the fish in the sun, the place kept the name Coz-seherez or Costaérès meaning “old drying place”. The first owner, Bruno Abakanowicz, a Polish engineer and mathematician, used the wood from a shipwreck of a three-masted boat to fit out the interior of his newly built mansion in 1896. He also built the Bellevue Hotel in the village. The property is now owned by a German comedian. Sadly, the small castle is not open to visitors.

The Saint-Kireg shrine is well known by the single women. (photo credit: Yann Cognieux)
The Saint-Kireg shrine is well known by the single women. (Photo Credit: Yann Cognieux)

Originally a place of prayer, Plou in Breton meaning parish, and Manac’h signifying monk, Ploumanac’h still holds a medieval chapel and an ancient shrine on top of a huge rock. The Oratoire of Saint-Guirec is well know by the local single young women. Inside the shrine stands a wooden statue of the Saint. The legend says that if you can pin a needle into the nose of the statue and if the needle remains, you will be married within the year. To this day, people still try but the wooden statue has been replaced by one in pink granite.

Open since 1907, the Sentier des Douaniers, the former customs officers’ path, starts at the end of the small beach and undulates along the coastline for five kilometers. It is a popular walk that allows the visitor to explore further the beauty of this region. The views are just breathtaking, especially as the sun goes down, when the intriguing rocks take on ruddy and orange shades. The Mean Ruz lighthouse in pink granit guards the port entry from its 15 meters peak.

Like many Breton coastal communities, Ploumanac’h consists of two distinct sections. The beach area is Ploumanac’h-Plage, while the village centre a short way south is officially Ploumanac’h-Bourg. Between the two sections lies a charming wild public park scattered with bizarre red-rock formations, including the unmistakable Napoleon’s Hat. In summer, boat trips set off from the little fishing harbor that adjoins the bourg. Their destination is the Sept-Îles seabird sanctuary not far offshore, where seven craggy islands shelter species including puffins, cormorants, gannets, guillemots, and even grey seals.

Pack You Bags

Ploumanac’h is located in the Brittany region on the West coast of France. Temperatures can be chilly all year round. There is a lot of rain, even during the drier months. Don’t forget your walking shoes to enjoy the scenery at its best!

Getting There

Brittany Ferries sail year round from Portsmouth to Saint-Malo and from Plymouth to Roscoff or Saint-Malo. Round trip tickets for a car with two passengers range from about 200 Euros (EUR) to 440 EUR. Ploumanac’h is roughly 76 kilometers east of Roscoff, and 167 kilometers west of Saint-Malo. To reach it by car, take N176 in Saint-Malo, then N12 in Lannion following D767 direction then get onto D767 to Perros-Guirec.

Castel Beau Site is an exclusive Hotel, Restaurant and Bar dominating the tiny beach of Ploumanac'h
Castel Beau Site is an exclusive hotel, restaurant, and bar dominating the tiny beach of Ploumanac’h. (Photo Credit: Christine Cognieux)

 

Where to Eat and Stay

The number of places to eat is limited in Ploumanac’h but quality is there. Whether you just want a drink, a snack or something more substantial, you will find a place to feed your stomach and your eyes!

Le Phare Hôtel Restaurant is a nice pick to taste the authentic and fresh local food such as seafood platter, fresh mussels, far breton, or crêpes served with locally brewed apple cider. The place is also a two star hotel located just 150 meters from the harbour.

For a more exclusive stay, Castel Beau Site is a four star hotel at the foot of the tiny beach, its large terrace dominating the rocks. Its restaurant La Table de mon père offers a spectacular panorama and gastronomic dishes inspired by the local products.

Further Information

The Brittany Tourist Board is a useful site to prepare your trip to this peaceful little paradise and to experience the real Brittany.

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About Christine Cognieux

Christine is a life enthusiast, attracted to happiness, creativity and beauty in everything. It is not because she is French that she loves Fashion but she does. Photographing her food is becoming a habit of hers!

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16 Responses to "Exploring the Enchanting Pink Wonderland in Ploumanac’h"

  1. Beatríz Lopez  15/01/2016

    What amazing pictures!! It make my wish to travel there!

    Reply
    • Christine Cognieux  16/01/2016

      Thank you Beatriz. Brittany is a magical place full of legends, ancient sites and raw nature. Hope you can see it one day!

      Reply
  2. mark  26/03/2016

    This looks like an amazing little village. I really need to explore more of France. We have been to Paris 5 times and the Alsace region which is totally amazing in its own right. But for me nothing beats the coastal scenery. I would love to stay at the 4start hotel that sits at the foot of the beach amazing and the walk along the coast would be a must. great pictures

    Reply
    • Christine Cognieux  29/03/2016

      Thank you Mark. This would be the indeed the perfect spot to admire the sunsets on the incredible rocks and to wander along the coastline.

      Reply
  3. Joanna  26/03/2016

    It looks like a very pretty village and the fact that is has torpedoes and pancakes gives it a plus for me. I have been to Jersey last weekend and it reminds me a little bit of St Helier with it’s Elizabeth Fort in a low tide.

    Reply
    • Christine Cognieux  29/03/2016

      You are so right Joanna. Thanks

      Reply
  4. It look like such a cute little village! I can see why it won the French ‘Best Village’ Prize – the pink hue of the rock formations is beautiful 🙂

    Reply
    • Christine Cognieux  29/03/2016

      yes Vicki it is worth a visit!

      Reply
  5. Jackie  26/03/2016

    The rocky formations are so unique! It’s not at all what most of us would picture for a favorite village in France, where villages with cobblestone streets and cute, colorful houses are so iconic. The Brittany and Normandy coastlines, though, are so picturesque! It’s nice to see such a beautiful contrast that is rugged and windswept!

    Reply
    • Christine Cognieux  29/03/2016

      Yes Jackie. It is such a rough yet gorgeous coastline and the rock hues are incredible.

      Reply
  6. Paige Brown  27/03/2016

    This is really beautiful! I love that striking coastline and I would absolutely love to visit! Thanks for sharing your beautiful words and photos! Xx

    Reply
    • Christine Cognieux  29/03/2016

      Thank you so much Paige. Hope you have the chance to visit someday.

      Reply
  7. Priya  28/03/2016

    The pink granites are so beautiful, hope to visit someday! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Christine Cognieux  29/03/2016

      Thank you Priya. I hope you do visit one day!

      Reply
  8. Great guide! Looks like a lovely place to visit, very picturesque.

    Reply
    • Christine Cognieux  29/03/2016

      Thank you Alyssa. It is a very quaint village and raw landscape!

      Reply

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