When our friends from the US were visiting in May, we took a road trip to the Loire Valley and then to see the Carnac Stones in Brittany. The stones are quite an amazing site to see. They are spread over several kilometers and are often referred to as France’s Stonehenge. Numbering over 3,000 in total, the stones consist of alignments, dolmens (tombs), tumuli (mounds), and menhirs (single stones).
These granite stones date back to sometime between 4500 – 3300 BC, making them older than Stonehenge. It is not known why the stones were placed as they are, but as you can imagine, there are many theories including, religious, ceremonial, and astronomical. My favorite is one that believes the stones were once an invading Roman army, and the wizard Merlin turned them into stones.
We even saw some in a traffic circle in Carnac.
There are paths that lead through the area that allow you to see the stones up close. One such path will take you to the Tumulus of Saint-Michel which dates back to possibly as early as 5000 BC.
When you first approach the tumulus, you’ll see some very steep stairs leading up to the top along with a warning sign. On the other side of the tumulus, there’s a gentle path that leads to the top, but of course, always the rebel, theTravelsketcher took the stairs.
The objects found at the tomb (pottery, jewelry, etc.) can be seen at the Musée de Préhistorie in Carnac.
You’ll work up an appetite with all that hiking and climbing, so head to Le Patio in Carnac for a delicious meal.
Or to Le Britannia in La Trinité-sur-Mer for excellent seafood.
The stones became a French Historic Monument in 1889. Before then, they were often moved by farmers or used as ovens or shelters for animals.
Both Carnac and La Trinité-sur-Mer are pretty towns with lots of shops, restaurants, and activities.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Carnac and seeing the stones. I highly recommend a visit to the area if you find yourself in France.
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Wishing you grand adventures,