The Cotes d’Armor department is in northern Brittany. It is mainly visited for its stunning coastline including the coast of pink granite and many of its beaches. Alongside these are the attractive historical towns such as Dinan and Lannion which provide a fascinating insight into the long and colourful history of the region.
The Cotes d’Armor department occupies a considerable part of the northern coast of Brittany from beyond Lannion in the east and nearly to Dinard to the west and the countryside to the south of this coast.
If you are visiting the region be sure to explore some of the towns and villages inland as well as enjoying the impressive sandy beaches, cliffs and stunning coastal scenery which most tourists come to see.
The coast of Cotes d’Armor
The most popular and probably most beautiful section of coast in northern Brittany is the Cote de Granit Rose, to the north-west of the Cotes d’Armor department around Perros-Guirec. With its sandy beaches, coastal footpaths, rocky coves and the famous ‘pink granite’ rocks.
This area is near to the favourite resorts of Tregastel and Trebeurden. Lannion to the southwest and Saint-Michel-en-Greve also have popular sandy beaches.
If you travel east from the Granite Rose coast, you will reach the traditional fishing village at Paimpol and is very pleasant to explore. From here you can hop on a boat to visit the Ile-de-Brehat and visit d’Erquy which is also the 12th century pilgrim’s abbey at Beauport (one of 33 listed ‘grand sites of France’)
There are several historical buildings to see in the old part of the town of Saint-Brieuc. In the bay of Saint-Brieuc you have easy access to family friendly beaches in the resorts of Binic and Saint-Quay-Portrieux.
The coast path along Cap Frehel to the north east of Saint-Brieuc is very picturesque and there are many popular beaches to be explored near the Cap-Frehel headland both to the east and the west.
Next to Cap Frehel is the Cap d’Erquy which is also a ‘Grand Site of France’. Follow your walk along the headland and visit the nearby Fort-la-Latte.
Cotes d’Armor: Inland
To the west of the department is the town of Lannion and is a large and busy port. Just south of the Cote de Granit Rose in Cotes d’Armor are two particular highlights including the town of Treguier and the town of Pontrieux, near Guingamp.
La Roche Derrien is a pretty village and it has an interesting centre with some half-timbered houses and further inland there are some Medieval buildings featured in Quintin along with a 17th century chateau which has some amazing views overlooking the broad waters of the river Gouet.
Eastwards a small way inland from the cathedral town of Saint-Brieuc you come to Moncontour. This town has an interesting historical centre and was once the centre of Brittanys linen productions.
Best known for its chateau and (rather austere in granite) basilica, is the town of Guingamp, just west of Saint-Brieuc.
In the east, follow the valley of the river Arguenon and take a leisurely stroll around Plancoet. Dinan is also a very impressive historical walled town. There is a great deal to enjoy in its historical centre and the picturesque half-timbered houses aren’t to be missed.
Surrounded by a moat the Medieval Chateau de la Hunaudaye is situated in the forests south west of Plancoet. To the south of Dinan are the villages of Guenroc, Lehon and Trefumel which all have a lot of character and very pleasant to stroll around.
The Guerledan lake is a hugely popular leisure destination situated on the southern border between the Cotes d’Armor and Morbihan with a wide variety of both water based and marked trails through the surrounding forests, there is a variety of leisure activities available for all. There are similar activities on the Nantes -Brest canal in this region including boat hire.
An unusual attraction to visit would be at the Forges des Salles where a 19th century charcoal production village has been presented unchanged since 1877.
The ruins of the Cistercian Abbey Notre-Dame de Bon-Repos at Saint-Gelven is also worth a visit.
What are you favourite sites in Cotes d’Armor?