According to legend, the ‘chaos’ was created by Boudédé, the first man to inhabit Brittany. One day he was walking along the banks of the Follezou river when stones got into his clogs; he took them out and threw them in the water and the boulders were formed. However, according to scientists the phenomenon occurred millions of years ago when water infiltrated the granite, causing a chemical reaction; the rocks were then displaced by the river and gathered in the gorge.
The Maison du Patrimoine in Locarn is a good place to find out about the rich historical and environmental heritage of this area. As well as providing information on the local flora, fauna, geology and history, the Maison also organises guided tours (in French) in summer. However, if you prefer to do your own thing, there’s a 4 mile (6.5km) discovery trail, which takes about 2 hours.
Over the moor
This part of Côtes d’Armor is also home to the largest expanse of moorland in the department – 865 acres. A 5 mile (8km)path will take you through gorse and bracken, past Neolithic standing stones and, if you’re lucky, you might spy a marsh harrier flying overhead.
Southeast of the gorge is Kergrist-Moëlou, a village that has been recognised for its rural heritage. The village has been inhabited since Neolithic times and is on the site of a Roman road; take a walk around and admire its chapels, calvary, old houses and fountains.
In the dog house
In the northwest is Callac, which is the centre for breeding Brittany spaniels; learn all about these lovely brown-and-white dogs at the Maison de l’Epagneul (Spaniel Museum) or visit one of the local breeders to meet the animals ‘in person’. The nearby 16th-century Château de Rosviliou was the first château in Brittany to be built in a non-military style.