From the Valley of the Saints to the Corong Gorges

A breath of fresh air in the land of granite giants

Rencontre avec Francis Le Lay, gens d'ici © Francis-Le-Lay

Francis Le Lay

Local storyteller recounting tales of a Brittany that may surprise you

  • Guingamp - Baie de Paimpol is Land and Sea
  • Your ideal day A little drizzle in the morning and sunshine in the afternoon
  • Your philosophy To be in harmony with myself
  • Your favorite spot En Avant de Guingamp football club
  • Your favorite treat Breton butter biscuits
  • Your passion Finding Nirvana in the Argoat hills.

If you’re passing through Callac, make sure you take the time to visit the Brittany Spaniel Museum, celebrating the famous hunting breed which originated between Huelgoat and Callac at the beginning of the 20th century

For families, have a fun time exploring the Valley of the Saints with Mémor Sent, the game for children

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From the Valley of the Saints, the incredible Breton ‘Easter Island’, to the mysterious secrets of the Corong Gorges, set off on a voyage of discovery around the heart of inland Brittany, delving deep into its history, legends and timeless landscapes.

The Valley of the Saints

From the summit of the butte Saint-Gildas at Carnoët, it’s the 360-degree panorama that grabs us first of all.

What a remarkable setting for the 126 granite giants who live here, seeming to watch over the Argoat for all eternity.  The Valley of the Saints is definitely a great starting-point to our exploration of inland Brittany !

At the foot of Saint-Pol-Aurélien, Amandine tells us the story of this gargantuan project, an open-air cathedral with the goal of gathering together the 1000 evangelical saints of Brittany... Children will be enchanted by tales of slain dragons and tamed wolves. As we wend our way among the timeless stones our senses awaken and our fingers trace the sculpted granite, searching for clues to the incredible lives of the saints.

Spectacular sculptors of granite

Before we leave, another spectacular sight awaits us. Against a backdrop of the sounds of hand chisels and electric grinders, the sculptors in residence are busily working on huge blocks of stone... Pink, grey blue, smooth, ridged, rough, oxidised... The granite comes exclusively from Breton quarries, and offers an incredible palette to the artists who are keeping the memory of the saints alive and reinterpreting local legends.  Amazing !

A secret walk in the Corong Gorges
Our journey continues around Saint-Servais. Taking the quiet country roads, we arrive at the Corong Gorges almost as if by accident. From the car park, an ancient pathway bordered by a stone wall leads us on to an easy walk into the heart of a mysterious world rich in legend.

A magical place

The late afternoon sun shining amongst the leaves invests the mossy, rock-strewn landscape with a sense of magic. Here and there are standing stones and the tracks made by animals and mushroom-gatherers, going deep into the heart of the forest.

The Follezou river shimmers and glistens gold. Mini-beaches of granite sand invite us to dip our feet into the water.

In the land of the giant Boudédé

Suddenly, the stream becomes no more than a murmur, giving way to a giant chaos of granite blocks. Families sunbathe on the huge stone slabs. Here, everyone seems to know each other, happy to share the secrets of the forest... We’re told that the jumble of boulders is reputed to be the work of the giant Boudédé. Walking in the forest of Duault (pronounced ‘duhotte’), the story goes that he emptied his clogs of stones above the Follezou river, thus forming the incredible rocky chaos. It is also said to be a favourite otters’ playground at nightfall...

The spirit of the Argoat
With our senses heightened and our imagination awakened, we head for home reenergised. And with the understanding that the Argoat is one of those places that can only really be understood by letting your instinct guide you along the quiet country pathways to unexpected encounters.

  • Les Gorges du Corong - Zen attitude ©Emmanuel-Berthier
  • Experience Bretagne insoupconnee ©Stéphanie Dabernat
  • Vallee des Saints ©Boelle - Yvon
  • Experience Bretagne insoupconnee ©Stéphanie Dabernat
  • Les Gorges du Corong ©Emmanuel-Berthier
  • la Vallee des Saints ©Derennes Yannick
  • Experience Bretagne insoupconnee ©Stéphanie Dabernat
  • Les Gorges du Corong ©Emmanuel-Berthier
  • La Vallee des Saints ©Francis Le Lay
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