The Path of the Megaliths, Erdeven

The Path of the Megaliths is a very interesting route and walk no.1 in the ‘Randonnées dans Pays d’Auray’ published by the Auray/Quiberon Tourist Board. We parked at the Alignements de Kerzerho and followed a circuit of c.11 kms on a broad track through magical forests where at places the atmosphere and a sense of being in another point in time was tangible, and startling.

The path of the megaliths

The path of the megaliths, Erdeven

The whole area is filled with megaliths, and the first one to which we were directed is called Mane BrazThe main tomb is a large passage grave, with enormous covering stones – how were they put in place? – and there are the remains of other graves. I believe this amazing site is a ‘tumulus’ – a mound under which there are graves.

Mane Braz on the Path of the Megaliths, Erdeven

Walking on through the woods you can see stones everywhere – and yes, this is atmospheric, but it felt quite peaceful here. There were other sensations at other places in the area.

In the Forest on the Path of the Megaliths, Erdeven

The next site to visit on the route was the Chaise de César. What the information did not say was that this was not just random stones, but an alignment. It isn’t obvious because the site is degraded, and of course all the trees obscure the patterns of the stones. It is also, and perhaps more correctly, known at the Coet-ar-Bei Alignments of c.120 stones.

The Chaise de Cesar aka Coet-ar-Bei Alignments

The Coet-ar-Bei alignments

The Coet-ar-Bei alignments

We walked on through the woods, noticing stones everywhere, and then rejoined the wide, sandy track which brings you to the next site, the Mane Croc’h. This seems to be another tumulus, partially excavated, but very impressive. Nearby is a quiet marsh, the Etang de Varquez which seems to be peaceful until the walk pops you out on a main road and you suddenly feel yourself whizzing from thousands of years in the past into the present – it was a very strange feeling.

The Mane Croc'h

The Etang de Varquez

A tarred road takes you into the village of Crucuno with its astonishing dolmen which dates back to c.4000 BC and which has been mostly destroyed – the original size must have been mind-boggling! It was classified as an historical monument in 1889 to protect it from further damage. In a nearby field is the Quadrilateral whose stones correspond to sunrise and sunset at the summer and winter solstices.

The road into Crucuno

The Dolmen of Crucuno

The Quadrilateral at Crucuno

After Crucuno we remained in the 21C, walking in open countryside….

The Path of the Megaliths

…until suddenly we entered the woods again and I stepped inside a low wall of stones. I felt as though I had entered into another world, walked through blanket – I can’t quite describe the feeling but the change in mood, even time, was tangible – it was quite extraordinary. And the reverse was true as I eventually stepped outside the enclosing stones. It doesn’t look like anything special and nothing was marked on the map, but days later I can still remember the experience.

The Path of the Megaliths

The Path of the Megaliths

More forest walking, then walled paths, brought us to further megaliths,  ‘The Giants’, and the ‘Sacrifice Stone’. There was an unpleasant atmosphere around this enormous fallen stone – perhaps not fallen at all.

The Path of the Megaliths

The Giants, Erdeven

The Giants, Erdeven

The Giants, Erdeven

The Giants, Erdeven

The table of sacrifice, Erdeven

The table of sacrifice, Erdeven

And finally the extraordinary Alignments of Kerzerho. I believe there were originally ten rows of stones but they have not been preserved. Indeed, the main road runs through the top end of the alignments.

The Alignments of KerzerhoThe Alignments of KerzerhoThe Alignments of Kerzerho

Ok, so this site is not on the scale of Carnac, but on the other hand we had a quiet walk, mostly completely alone, and the sites were astounding – I will never forget this walk. Do try this route if you are in the area – it is well marked and unforgettable!