Islands and birds
Seven kilometres from the pink rocks of Ploumanac’h, the granite chaos of the Sept-Iles archipelago spreads over Rouzic, Costans, Malban, Bono, Ile aux Moines, Ile Plate and Cerfs. Forty hectares overlook the water at high tide. There are no people on these arid surfaces, with the exception of two lighthouse keepers who relay each other every 15 days. The Cordeliers monks came to pray in solitude on Ile aux Moines, the largest, in the 14th and 15th centuries. Today, the archipelago is a paradise for birds.
The archipelago was made a Protected Natural Site in 1912 and then a Nature Reserve in 1976. With over 20,000 couples of sea birds and 27 nesting species, it’s the largest reserve on the French coast. It’s a sanctuary for birds before they fly off on long migrations. Boat outings from Trestraou (Perros-Guirec) head out to this fascinating universe. On the programme: a stopover at Ile aux Moines, an unforgettable view of the Pink Granite Coast, with comments by enthusiastic guides. All in the company of guillemots, European shags, razorbills, black-legged kittiwakes, lesser black-backed gulls, European herring gulls or great black-backed gulls. Top of the bill are the cute Atlantic puffins, nicknamed “sea parrots”, and northern gannets. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see a grey seal popping its head up for a look.
The kingdom of the northern gannets
The northern tip of Rouzic island is white. This is because of the high density of the only French colony of northern gannets. 17,000 couples of these birds with white feathers and a yellow head have taken up residence here. The sight of these slender birds, with a wingspan of nearly two metres, is impressive. They dive from a height of 30 metres!