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Why Are the Cliffs of the Îles de la Madeleine Red?
  • The red cliffs of the Îles de la Madeleine
    Michel Bonato/Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine

Why Are the Cliffs of the Îles de la Madeleine Red?

How could one not marvel at the beauty of the colourful cliffs typical of the Îles de la Madeleine? But what gives them their reddish colour?

The cliffs are red sandstone, a sedimentary rock made of quartz covered in iron oxide. Wind, waves, tides and thaw join forces to erode the extremely crumbly rock faces and sculpt them into sometimes surprising, but always spectacular shapes.

On the southernmost islands of the archipelago (Entry Island, Havre Aubert, Cap aux Meules and Havre aux Maisons), cliffs of the highest landforms are made of grey sandstone. These are often volcanic mounds containing argillaceous sedimentary rock, limestone and gypsum.

Even if a picture is worth a thousand words, nothing beats a visit to the Islands to enjoy this amazing scenery! Why not start planning your trip to the Îles de la Madeleine today?

Categories Odds and Ends

Author Jean-Pascal Côté

A certified translator and avid outdoorsman, Jean-Pascal Côté works as a freelance writer and translator in Bas-Saint-Laurent, the region where he was born. He regularly escapes his daily life by going road biking, cycle touring or cyclocross racing, skiing in the mountains of Bas-Saint-Laurent or Western Canada, or sea kayaking on the St. Lawrence River. He is constantly dreaming up new travel plans. He also blogs (on an admittedly irregular basis) about his cycle touring adventures.

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