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