Perros-Guirec is a surreal fantasy scape of pastels

Who lives in that castle on the island? I wonder if they would consider adoption...

Who lives in that castle on the island? I wonder if they would consider adoption...

On the western-most tip of France, about as far as you can go without crossing

the English Channel, lies a landscape more suited to Middle-Earth than the very

real shores of Brittany. You know you are close when everything starts to go

pink: pink stone houses, pink stone fences, pink stone curbs and sidewalks. Pink

half-dressed people, leaning out of their windows to chat with a neighbor on the

sidewalk below. Then comes the smell of the sea, salty and fresh, exciting and a

bit bittersweet if, like me, you grew up with the ocean and have since left her.

The water that caresses the cliffs of Perros-Guirec is startlingly blue - a smoked

teal that sets off the pink-brown cliffs and boulders magnificently. The

evergreens have their say in the palette, too, as does the misty gray-blue sky. A

feeling of ancientness pervades the air here. The Celtic tribes that inhabited this

coast over two thousand years ago saw these same colors and breathed the same

sea air.

The riddle of this building delighted me.

The riddle of this building delighted me.

Perros-Guirec is the crown jewel of the sentier des douaniers, or customs officers'

path, a 1,800 km hiking trail along the Breton coast. Built in 1791 to curtail

smuggling, the trail is the border between land and sea around the entire

peninsula, from Mont St. Michel in the north to St. Nazaire in the south. In the

summers, french students on break hike pieces of it, exploring its beaches, cliffs,

and charming villages by the score.

On a drizzly morning in November, however, I had the path to myself. I felt

nearly giddy in the solitude of this dream-scape, and I found myself running

around corners to see what was next and stopping, dumbstruck, at each new

view. Forested sections that concealed large overgrown yards and a glimpse of

pink-granite house gave way to round boulders shaped by giants that cut the sea

into kaleidoscope pieces. An archaic-looking one room church sat insoluble upon

a hill, no path through the heather to penetrate its mystery.

How cool is that little bridge in the far right?

How cool is that little bridge in the far right?

The most popular sight along the Pink Granite Coast is the Ploumanac'h

lighthouse, which crowns a sharp promontory past the church-like building. The

lighthouse, which is still active, is not open to the public, but the views from the

surrounding cliffs are just as stunning. My father says a person never gets bored

staring at either fire or the sea. Here, at Ploumanac'h, I felt he was right.

For more information on this magical town, visit

Hannah Moseley