Carnac: coastal resort in Morbihan

CARNAC is a popular coastal resort and is also renowned for its alignments of standing stones comprising 2 94 menhirs.

Carnac is located on the northern edge of Mor Braz on the Atlantic coast between the Gulf of of Morbihan to the east and the Quiberon peninsula to the east. It is a large coastal town boasting sandy beaches most of which are protected.

The history of Carnac : from a prehistoric town to a coastal resort

Carnac was probably inhabited as early as the 5th millennium BC, the era of the construction of the Saint Michel tumulus (Neolithic period). Its base is 125 metres long, 60 metres wide and 12 metres tall. It is comprised of 35 000 m3 of stone and earth. It is a tomb for the elite and contained various funeral objects, most of which are now exhibited at the Prehistory museum. It was then erected above the chapel.

The alignments are separated into several groups. The Ménec alignments comprise 12 converging rows of menhirs which stretch over 1 kilometre and others laid out in a circle at each end. To the west, the stones are very large, up to 4 m tall.

According to one legend, Saint Cornély, pursued by Roman soldiers, turned around and turned them to stone. These stones are today known as Menhirs.

Towards 1875, the Scottish archeologist, James Miln (1819-1881) studied the site, helped by Zacharie Le Rouzic (1864-1939). Following the death of his mentor, Le Rouzic became the watchman then the guardian of the Prehistory museum. Although he was self-taught, he became an internationally renowned specialist of megaliths in the area.

In 1903, a coastal resort was created on the former salt marshes. It was developed in the 1950s and Carnac became a bicephalous town: Carnac-ville (town centre) and Carnac-Plage (beaches).

En 1974, a thalassotherapy centre was built on the dried saltworks site. There remain a few saltworks but they are no longer in use. The Barrière Casino was then built opposite the site.

Carnac: coastal resort

Carnac, nestled in the prestigious bay of Quiberon, is renowned worldwide for its alignments of menhirs. It boasts 4 different environments:

Beaches:

Relax and enjoy a family day out at the beach where you can swim in complete safety. There are plenty of activities available: catamaran, dinghy boats, windsurfing… Or indulge in a spa treatment at the thalassotherapy centre which is open all year.

Megaliths (standing stones):

Discover the megaliths, menhirs, dolmens and other megalithic sites which are part of Carnac’s unique historic heritage. A great site to enjoy a stroll or cycle ride.

Nature:

Make the most of the 40 km of marked paths to discover Carnac on foot or by bike. This rich natural heritage is little known by visitors but hides some fabulous treasures: fountains, chapels and other magical natural sites.

Town:

This land of legends has managed to conserve its authentic, family character. Head for the market and soak up the atmosphere of the colourful stalls and scents of the local delicacies.

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