The Pink Granite Coast in Brittany
The Pink Granite Coast (in Breton language Aod ar vein ruz, literally "coast of red stones") is a coastal area of the English Channel located in the Côtes-d'Armor in northern Brittany, in the historic region of Trégor near of Lannion. It is a choronym: it takes its name from the fact that the outcropping granite has a dominant brown color bordering on pink. It is a tourist designation.
The Pink Granite Coast spans from Bréhat to Trébeurden in a series of extraordinary curves, facing a chain of islands and islets and fine sandy beaches covered by pines. The background changes with the tides at Port-Blanc and Plougrescant. The granite, which is pink on the shore, turns grey as it travels inland through the Trieux and Jaudy estuaries. This vibrantly colored landscape attracts a variety of birds. Off the coast of Perros-Guirec, the Sept-Îles National Nature Reserve is home to one of the greatest colonies of seabirds, including puffins, gannets, and cormorants.
How is Pink Granite formed?
The pink granite that we see today was formed 300 million years ago, a period that scientists call “the primary era”. The Pink Granite Coast did not exist at the time. It had been buried and concealed beneath a mountain range. Erosion has gradually uplifted these pink granites. With the addition of wind, runoff, and frost, the Côte de Granit became what we know today.
Granite's first quality is its endurance to adverse weather — and so to time. Granite is composed up of quartz crystals that are tougher than steel, as well as feldspar and mica crystals, which are all harder than steel.
This pink color is the consequence of the presence of hematite (iron oxide) impurities in the crystal lattice. Specifically, iron is present in feldspar. The shades of pink depend on the degree of oxidation reached by the hematite.
These mixtures of minerals (iron oxide, feldspar, etc.) can only happen when all the rocks are viscose. In this specific case, it is believed that they were exposed to temperatures between 800 and 900°C.
Visiting Pink Granite Coast
If you are visiting Brittany, France and want to visit the pink granite coast you have a few options:
The car 🚗
By car, follow the roads to Morlaix (Finistère) or Saint-Brieuc (Côtes-d'Armor). The same National N12 links the two towns together. Then follow the D786 from Morlaix or the D6 from Saint-Brieuc.
The plane ✈️
Only a few aerodromes or airports dedicated to private activities exist in the vicinity. So to come by plane, you will have to choose the airports of Brest, Quimper, Lorient or Rennes. The closest being that of Brest, 1h30 away, the others are all located about 2 hours away.
Flight comparison sites like Skyscanner allow you to find the best deals on the best flights for your stay.
The train 🚄
By train, coming to visit the Côte de Granit Rose from Paris, for example, only takes 3h15 (Paris Montparnasse). Many direct TGVs serve Lannion station. Then, Brittany has a very operational rail network, it is convenient to get around.
By bus 🚍
And finally, the coach is an excellent means of transport to come to the coast. In addition, it is very economical financially. National companies cross Brittany every day to make tourism possible.
Then, on site, the Côte de Granit Rose region is rather well served, with lines connecting Perros-Guirec, Trégastel and Trébeurden from Lannion.
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