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Normandy granite

A walk in Brittany

Normandy (in French, Normandie; in Norman, Normaundie) is a historical, geographical and cultural entity in the northwest of France, bordered by the English Channel. It has gone through different historical periods, despite the lack of administrative recognition between the French Revolution and the territorial reform which again recognized it.

In 1956, mainland Normandy was divided into two territorial collectivities: the administrative regions of Upper Normandy (Haute-Normandie) and Lower Normandy (Basse-Normandie). They were reunited into a single region, Normandy, following the approval by the National Assembly on December 17, 2014, which was implemented on January 1, 2016, after the regional elections of December 2015.

Very stable, the continental borders of the former province coincide quite closely with those of the contemporary administrative region, with the exception of some territories incorporated in the current department of Eure-et-Loir, Mayenne, Oise and Sarthe, when the generalities were created, and some isolated communes exchanged with Mayenne after the creation of the departments at the Revolution, with Calvados, Eure, Manche, Orne and Seine Inferior (Seine-Maritime since 1955).


Extension of the Massif Armorico, the granitic basin extends from the forest of Ecouves (Orne) to the Chausey Islands (Manche). In the northern part of Mortainais, it takes the name of “Vire blue” because of its particular color. The extraction of this material is mainly located around Saint-Michel-de-Montjoie, where a museum entirely dedicated to granite was set up in 1975, with the technical and financial support of the Syndicat Mixte d’Equipement Touristique. Canal. The museum park is named after its founder, the former mayor of the town, Marcel Cathrin.

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Bleu de Vire was used for the realization of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the pavement of the Roissy airport or the Place Georges-Pompidou in Paris, the Basilica of Lisieux …

A reconstructed quarry and old tools give you an idea of how the blocks were extracted and the work of the stonemasons: calibrating, bushhammering, polishing. A vast wooded park allows you to discover more than 130 sculpted pieces and their uses in housing, agriculture, architecture, etc…

Struggle for the defense of land in the Normandy cooperative

This tourist route is called “route de la Corniche Bretonne”. It connects Perros-Guirec with Trébeurden along the famous Pink Granite Coast. Thus, the Pink Granite Coast can be visited by car.

Where do you get such a pronounced color from these rocks? I have learned that it is the mixture of feldspar and quartz that, along with mica, gives this orangey pink color to the stones and rocks of this coast. The original shapes of these huge pink granite rocks, which are the attraction of the Breton Corniche, are due to the phenomenon of natural erosion. And it is the contrast of this pink with the blue color of the ocean that contributes to the incredible beauty of the landscape.

Thus, you will reach a magnificent viewpoint over Costaeres, follow the path along the pink granite blocks to reach the graal: the postcard beach of Saint-Guirec with its chapel and its oratory. Then the walk will take you to the Men Ruz lighthouse and through the Ploumanac’h moor.

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For higher budgets, I advise you to return to Ploumanac’h to spend the night at the Hotel Castel Beau Site. It is probably the hotel with the most beautiful view of the Pink Granite Coast:


On the day of our visit, it was raining, but it was raining hard. We left the hotel in the direction of Ploumanac’h. Previously, we made a stop at a supermarket that we saw open, despite being Sunday, and that entertained us for more than 45 minutes.

In Ploumanac’h there is a free parking lot. We chose this point because, without having to walk too far, we could reach the most famous lighthouse of this stretch and, given the way it was raining, it was not the right time to spend too much time for this outdoor experience.

Let’s see, pink, pink… pink was not visible. If it was because the day was cloudy, or if it was because the rocks were wet, we don’t know, but the tone of the landscape was more of a light brown. We do not doubt that in a beautiful sunset that does not color, but on our visit we had to look a lot for the pinker sections (we found something).

The truth is that it is a very picturesque landscape and, despite the bad weather, we quite enjoyed the moment. There were moments when we had to stay under our umbrellas without moving because the water was coming from all sides.

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