Up at the crack of dawn, we put on our headlamps and get on our mountain bikes, determined to meet the challenge of riding up Menez Bré, one of the highest peaks of the Côtes d’Armor. This vestige of the Monts d’Arrée range rises to 302 metres. Not scary at all!
We set off on the biking route which winds its way through the purple-heathered moorland emerging from the early morning mist. The half-night half-day ambience reminds us of the legend of Saint Hervé who reigned here 500 years ago. A monk who was blind from birth, he possessed supernatural powers including the ability to cure blindness. Perched on the summit in the far distance we can see the chapel bearing his name. Half-way up the climb, we’re not quite so confident faced with this true sporting challenge. A relentless succession of rocks, steep and narrow climbs and winding tracks puts all our senses on high alert in the cool morning air. The finish line is approaching. The lightening sky spurs us to pick up the pace, as we don’t want to miss the sunrise. Our reward comes at the summit. The sun finally rises, dazzling the sky and illuminating the 360 degree panoramic view. A cool east wind refreshes us, bringing hints of coffee beans from the Menez Bré coffee roasting plant nearby. Just as we are about to leave, we notice an impressive 3-metre high sculpture towering above us. The mysterious Vallée des Saints is calling to us.
Coffee please, garçon!
Café Menez Bré in Pédernec, near Guingamp, is an artisan coffee roaster, perpetuating the skilful process of of traditional roasting using the highest-quality Arabica beans from all over the world.
- This stretch of the Circuit des Deux Valleés is suitable for experienced mountain bikers. 65 km. 3h30min - 4 hours.
- Route description available from local Tourist Information offices Guingamp-Baie de Paimpol.
- 10 other circuits for all levels also available.