Cycling the Carnac stones in Brittany
If you have not yet planned your Summer holidays, and are looking for a destination that offers sunny skies and sea, and is still within reasonable driving distance from the UK, then have a look at Carnac, Brittany. This quaint French seaside town is home to some incredible beaches and is most famous for being the site of the Carnac stones. You don’t have to be completely into history and conspiracy theories to appreciate this site, it’s a pretty impressive phenomenon to see. But if this not really your cup of tea, there is always a spot on one of the beaches with a riveting book and a cocktail or two!
The Carnac stones date back to around 4500 B.C., and there are more than 3000 prehistoric standing stones over a kilometre of fields in 12 converging rows with circle formation at each end. There are many theories about how and why these stones are there, with some believing that Merlin turned a Roman legion into stone as they marched through the fields. Others believe they were early earthquake detectors. Another theory is that they were used by ancient people in astronomy as calendars for crop planting and predicting lunar eclipses. It doesn’t matter what the actual reason for these stones is, they’re a glimpse into a fascinating part of history for the whole family.
Rent a bike
We decided to explore the stones by bicycle. There are few places you can rent bicycles and equipment around the town. We rented from A bicyclette, 93 Ave des Druides, which is one street back from the main beach promenade. They have various kinds bikes and all the safety equipment for hire, as well as a child buggy bike trailer, which my youngest thoroughly enjoyed riding in!
I think the last time I was on a bike was a good 15 years before this, and in my head I had this – in practice, not so much! Thankfully it only took about 15 embarrassing minutes to get the hang of it again. The route itself is about 10km round trip, depending on where you start your trip from and the route you take. Click the link below for a number of walking and cycling route maps of the area. Click here
There are a few “gentle” inclines… which are suitable for all fitness levels, and plenty of places to stop along the way if you need a rest. Carnac is very bike-friendly, with most of the streets having dedicated bicycle lanes and the locals clearly know how to navigate the tourists on their bikes too!
Enjoy the scenery
The route takes you along the beach promenade, up through the town and then out into a more rural setting of fields and farmhouses. It takes about an hour and a half to get there, that’s with some comfortable cycling and site-seeing stops (and Hubby did get us a little lost along the way). We entered the site about half way down, and then cycled alongside the field down to the main parking area and picnic site.
Picnic in the Forest
The site was fenced off, so we were not able to walk amongst the stones, but the fence line is very close, so you can get some great views and photos. I have seen more recent photos where it is more accessible to the public. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the forest - there are a few picnic tables, but if they are full, nature’s rocks make the perfect lunch setting. There are also onsite toilet facilities.
After lunch we headed to the end of the site and then turned back up alongside the field on the other side. This is the best viewpoint of the rows of stones. Depending on what day you go, there is a local market in the town which we visited on the way back. They sell things like souvenirs, fresh foods etc
It was such a great day out, enjoyed by all ages. Although, I have to admit my bum did not agree the next morning – let’s just say that bicycle seats are evil!
Where did we stay?
Check out Eurocamp for if you’re staying in Carnac. They have a range of accommodation options, which you can read about in my blog post 7 reasons why Eurocamp should absolutely be your next family holiday. I seriously don’t have one bad thing to say about our Eurocamp holidays.
Disclaimer: The above Eurocamp link is an affiliate link. I may receive a small commission if you click through and order. Thank you for supporting Khayalife
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