Trégastel is a popular family resort, located in Trégor, in the heart of the picturesque Pink Granite Coast. Where the coastline is a proliferation of strange pink granite rocks, which are a characteristic of this part of the Corniche Brettone, and sandy beaches that are lined with rocks that have descriptive names such as “The Turtles, The Witch. Across the sand bar is Île Renote, littered with enormous blocks of granite. As you pass La Gouffre (the Chasm), a cavity in the mass of rocks that you can reach at low tide and walk among the rocks to the end of the peninsula you will see the Sept Îles, the largest bird sanctuary in France with some 1000 pairs of fifteen different species including the quaint if weird-looking Atlantic Puffin, nesting on Rouzic Island.
Another interesting walk is to Grève Blanche, take the path south from Coz-Porz and follow the cliff top
around to the promontory to see White Shore, Île aux Lapins (Rabbits Island), and out at sea, Triagoz Islands. The path continues on past a rock called Tire-Bouchon (The Corkscrew) and on to White
Shore that is dominated by a huge rock that is known as Roi Gradion (King Gradion) as it resembles a crowned head.
Whilst inland between Trégastel and Perros Guirec is the Grande Traouîéro Valley, "Traouîéro" is a Breton word in the plural that means: the valleys, map-makers for Louis XIV who did not know Breton assumed that Traouîéro was the name of the place. Here the valley floor carves its way through the granite massif of Ploumanac’h, a rocky confusion in a wooded landscape, where the climate provides the ideal growing conditions, shelter, constant humidity and shade,shelter, for rare species of ferns (Phyllitis scolopendrium, the hart's-tongue fern) and mosses,
There is an area rich in historical and architectural heritage, with megalithic monuments (shady walks, Menhirs, Gallic Stele [Stone Pillar]) and the religious buildings (vaults, churches and ossuaries built between the 12th and 17th centuries) not forgetting the tide-mills, the Martyrdom of Trégastel and other fountains and lavoirs (wash houses). The character of this small coastal town stems from time immemorial and has attracted many well-known writers and painters such as:
· Charles the Goffic (1863-1932), academician in 1930 who started the small farm of Run-Rouz
· Leon Durocher (1864-1918), poet and humorist who built his home “Ker Ninoch” at Grannec.
· Bruno Abdank, Polish mathematician and engineer bought the small island of Costaérès, the name being a corruption of the original name of the island: Coz-Seherez meaning “Old Sechary”, and started to build a neo-gothic castle in 1892, he/she died in 1900 and his/her daughter Sophia completed the work. Over the years the castle had many famous guests and tenants including Heinryk Sienkievicz author of Quo Vadis, Yvonne Printemps and Pierre Fresnay, Colette, Nicoletta and Mike Brant...Although there was a major fire on September 6, 1990 the building was not destroyed. It is possible to visit the castle but access is difficult as it is surrounded by sea – but worth the effort as the decoration is magnificent.
· Albert Clouard (1866-1952), artist-painter, a disciple of “the nabi” Maurice Denis, Charles Pitet, Alexis Chareton, de Gastyne, Paul Gadala, Auguste Pavie, Amaury de La Barre de Nanteuil, Edmond de Haraucourt, Huon de Penanster, Auguste Courcoux, etc...
"Sapphire and coral, blue sea, pink rocks, that is Trégastel on a beautiful summers day".
A Little History
The coast of Trégor is of great archaeological interest. Here you will see significant traces of the early civilizations, from the hunters of Néanderthal era to our closer ancestors, the Celts.
The climate of Northern Europe softened and the English Channel was formed, overrunning the mouth of the River Seine, whose mouth is located then between Ushant and Cornwall. This was the time of predatory man and the Mesolithic age and along the coast you will see several sites that date back to this time. Some of the most typical vestiges are the polished stone tools and the megaliths (menhirs, dolmens). Around Trégastel: the dolmen of Kerguntuil, the shady walk of Kerguntuil, the shady walk of Île Renote, the Menhir of Trémarch and the Menhir of Kérédol.
Around 2000BC the first metallurgists of Armorique started to appear, this is the Bronze Age, and we see remnants of weapons, tools, bronze ornaments, alloy of copper and tin.
Next came the Celts: from 450BC and one sees the beginning of the Iron Age, also known as Tène. This was the time of the great expansion of the Celts, these were a Celtic people, who settled between the Rhine and the Atlantic took the name of Gallic, inhabitants of Gaule and the peninsula between Manche and Ocean was called Armorique (country in front of the sea). The Gallic people of Osismes occupied all the land west of a line from Saint-Brieuc to Vannes. Thus the populations of Trégor thus formed part of Armorique. The only remnant of this period is the magnificent Armorican Stele of Peulven that is to be found in the grounds of a private property in Ker-Dahut.
At the end of 4th century, the Breton islanders (from Cornwall, Wales and Ireland), Celts also, were to be found in large numbers, as tradesmen, sailors or auxiliary soldiers of the Roman army. But the Western part of Armorique only became Breton at the end of the great migration of the Breton islanders that lasted from the end of the 5th century until the beginning of 8th and was a direct consequence of the conquest of the British Isles by the Angles, the Jutes and the Saxons.
These Christian immigrants founded villages and boroughs in Armorique and thus Bretagne (Little Briton) was born and it was Breton-speaking.
In 1441, the Duke of Brittany, Jean V, needed staff for his Embassy in Scotland and called upon men of the parishes of Perros, Trégastel and Trébeurden. The duke was so pleased with the way this mission had been fulfilled that he reduced the taxes on those parishes. The names of the Trégastellois were Vincent Minhot, Jean the One-eyed one, Yvon Tellico, Yvon Jézéquel, Augustin Lopès, Roland Guillouzer and Vincent Guillouzer.
Places to visit around the area.
Chapelle Saint-Anne:Situated in the centre of the town is Chapelle Sainte Anne des Rochers that is dedicated to her spiritual life. At one time this was marshland with a fountain and a dolmen, which has been destroyed. After the Roman Occupation, a group of monks came and built a small chapel in the woods. This place was named Langastel. The chapel, you see today, was built around the 16th century.
Aquarium Marin: The aquarium is located within pink granite caves on Boulevard du Cor-Porz. Here you can marvel at the fauna of Brittany, (Vain, Congres, Langoustes and other sea-creatures) in 28 tanks built into the rock. There is also a 30 square metre model of the town and surrounding areas that is in rhythm with the ebb and flow of the tide.
This busy seaside resort and Thalassotherapy spa centre, built in the shape of an amphitheatre is in the middle of a strange landscape where the land and the sea are strewn with pink granite rocks whose shapes have been cut by the wind. It overlooks the harbour, the anchorage and two sandy beaches; Trestignel and Trestraou, where you will find a casino, cinema and lots of restaurants. Whilst in the town you must visit Église Saint-Jacques built out of pink granite, an historic building and national monument. It has a 17th century wooden altarpiece and two naves: the first in Romanesque style dating from the 12th century and the second in Gothic style dating from the 14th century. You will also find St-Jacques shells engraved on the doors. Beside the yacht harbour you will find Musée de Cire (Wax Museum) that has life size reproductions of historical scenes. It is from this harbour that you take the boat to Les Sept Îles, also known as Jentilez. The five main islands (or Enez in Breton) are:
Enez Bonno - the largest of the islands.
Enez ar Breur or Jentilez (Ile aux Moines) - is the only island accessible to the public, where you can visit the lighthouse and the remains of Fort Vauban, built in 1720 by Garengeau.
Riouzig is the main place for birds
In addition to these islands, the two reefs are called Ar Zerr (The dear), and Kostann.
Other islets: Enez ar Razhed (Rat island) and Ar Moudennoù.
The isle of Taveeg (Tomé) is closer to the coast, and is not considered part of the archipelago
A pretty little fishing port located in a sheltered bay at the mouths of two picturesque Traouîéro valleys. Make sure you take a walk along the footpath to see Castle Costaérèsplanté sitting on its island at the entrance to the bay.