Perros-Guirec – Introduction
Although Perros-Guirec is a real beachside resort, many people go there for the incredible and wild nature hikes alongside the picturesque seaside (English Channel). The town is cute but not exactly tourist worthy; you don’t go there to visit the town itself.
The earliest recording in history of the town can be found in the year of 1198.
Perros-Guirec is located alongside the sea in Brittany’s Cote d’Armor, at the end of some sloping hills. Along the hills are many pretty, and some old, mansions.
On both sides of the hills and on the drive up to the centre of town you will see several very beautifully kept mansions, often used a weekend and summer homes by Parisians and other big city folks who have kept the house in their family for generations.
The town centre itself in located at the bay’s beach, surrounded by the hills on all sides:
The town, rich was some 7,500 inhabitants, has several hotels, spas, restaurants and even a decent but small casino.
But the town centre’s houses are nothing to write home about, let alone make a postcard photo. The houses and flats are modern without much character.
However, the beach and it’s associated promenade is very nice and pleasant. The walk is not very long, but with plenty of things to see.
The sandy beach itself is wide but not very long since the hills block any further discovery. On the other side of the hill you will find the pleasure boat marina.
The small harbour flows nicely into the sea, guarded by a dike and small lighthouse:
By walking to one of the edges of the town, thanks to the several bays, it’s easy to see what lies ahead after the town.
It’s amongst these bays where you will find the “sentier des douaniers“, the path used by the customs agents to catch smugglers, now defined as the coastal pathways. The hiking paths run alongside the coast and take you through some amazing areas:
The hiking path is an easy one for almost anyone, it is almost totally flat. Some slight ups & downs, but nothing to steep. The slopes are very gentle.
What makes the hike so interesting and pretty is that the whole area is made out pink granite, a stone that you will see in abundance in Paris since it’s used for the buildings there and it came from this area. The granite can see seen everywhere along you walk.
It’s not only alongside the hiking path that you will see this very special rock formation. There are several islands made out of the granite, with nothing growing on them. It’s a safe haven for birds, in fact, on an island group further up in the English Channel, you will find the archipelago of the Sept-Iles (= Seven Islands), a massive bird sanctuary (mostly puffins) that can be visited and also an old lighthouse. A regular ferry from the beach of Perros-Guirec will bring you there.
The colours are spectacular, especially at sunset and sunrise. The colours are warm and dramatic.
The hiking path is not wide, just wide enough for one or two people. Along the way, you will find occasional signs of some former mansion or castle.
On several places you will find public parking areas for those who do not want to drive into the town to take the hiking path.
The “sentiers des douaniers” goes on for some 10 kilometres until the next village. You can continue the hike for much longer.
Sometimes you will find some interesting building dispersed along the way; old mansions or monasteries.
Here is a final photo of one of the dramatic views alongside the hiking path;
At the end of the initial hiking path is another small village with its own harbour.
Technically, this is no longer Perros-Guirec, but it is part of its hiking path.
The castle, built in 1896, can be approached on foot when the tide is out. It was built by a Polish mathematical engineer who bought the island.
Perros-Guirec is lies in the beautiful, even wild, area of Brittany that just asks for one thing; hiking. Although there are nice restaurants, spas, beaches – the one thing that you go to Perros-Guirec for is to walk among the pink granite rocks and easy hiking path. And after you’ve done your hike, then you can go to one of the spas and get all relaxed before you head on over to one of the several restaurants.
Other articles about Perros-Guirec on this site
- The Cotes-d'Armor coastline around Perros-Guirec is rugged and made out of solid pink granite. This rocky surface made for great building materials for the construction of castles and fortresses. One of these castles can be found on an island a few meters off the coast; the Chateau de Costaeres. The…
- If the Fort-La-Latte castle looks familiar, it is. This fortress has been used in many historical movies (like The Vikings with Kirk Douglas). The Fort was built to protect the Brittany (Bretagne) coastline, including St. Malo and Dinard. The fortress is located on a peninsula and therefore the only access…