Visiting the Carnac Stones (In-Person and Virtually)

The mysterious Carnac standing stones are a must-see for history enthusiasts and admirers of fascinating landscapes alike. Located in the town of Carnac in Brittany, France, these stones form the largest megalithic site in the world. Despite its significance, the site sees a small fraction of the visitors drawn by another prehistoric monument just across the channel - Stonehenge. This makes the Carnac UNESCO World Heritage Site an even more desirable place to see. 

There are three main formation sites, Ménec, Kermario and Kerlescan, and one smaller site called Petit-Ménec. These sites are comprised of alignments of standing stones known as Menhirs. They may have originally formed one large group, but were separated over time due to various reasons, such as erosion and pillaging. There are also several other sites that feature Dolmens (stacked rocks thought to be tombs), Tumuli (mounds of earth) and Manios (other formations of individual Menhirs.). 

While it is possible to view many of the alignments and stones on your own, if you would like to get closer to the main alignment stones, you can book a guided tour. We opted for a self-guided tour as we were simply passing through by car on our way to the nearby city of Vannes. We were able to get close enough to touch the stones from the other side of the fence and we could take our time at some of the more impressive stones and alignments. 

We lucked out and did our own explorations of the site on a beautiful summer day, but we recommend you dress in layers no matter which season you visit as the coastal weather can change quickly.

A full site map of the formation locations is available on the Carnac website. There are also a couple of nearby exhibits for those seeking more in-depth information about the site and that period of history: the Maison des Mégalithes and the Museum of Prehistory in the centre of town. 

Whether you’re planning a future visit or looking for a little Covid escape, you can tour the site virtually (note, the information is in French) or you can watch a video for a stunning bird’s eye view of the stones. 

If you want to learn more about this historic site, make sure you read our post highlighting 10 interesting facts about the Carnac Standing Stones


Have you visited the Carnac standing stones? What fascinates you most about this site?


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