HOLIDAYS IN THE PYRENEES
Welcome to the Pyrenees, this extraordinary mountain range which stretches from Occitania to Spain. On the French side, their highest peak is Vignemale (3,298 m) and on the Spanish side, Aneto (3,404 m).
What to do in the Pyrenees? Hiking, competitive-style cycling, mountain-biking, rafting and canyoning, naturalistic observation, relaxing in thermal spring water baths and spas, visiting villages, castles, caves - and of course, skiing!
Mountains and marvels
Get up close to the iconic peaks of the Pyrenees : Vignemale (3,298 m) which you can admire from Gaube Lake, Mount Canigó, the Catalans' sacred mountain and the Pic du Midi, which can be reached by cable car. Be wowed by the spectacular waterfalls at Pont d’Espagne in Cauterets, at Arsnear Aulus-les-Bains, and Enfer close to Luchon. Other must-not-misses, the great Pyrenees' cirques: cirque de Troumouse and cirque de Gavarnie, at Gavarnie-Mont Perdu, a site listed as a UNESCO World Heritage.
Keep your eyes peeled for Pyrenean chamois, Alpine ibex goats, golden eagles, marmots, … just a few of the 4,000 wild Pyrenean species. Top tip: trips with Pyrenees National Park ranger-guides
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MUSEUMS, CAVES AND CASTLES
Travel back through history
Return to the sources of Humanity in the Museum of Tautavel or in the decorated caves of Niaux, Mas d’Azil and Gargas. Relive the Cathar era in the Montségur and Foix castles. Become a pilgrim on the Santiago de Compostela routes in Saint-Lizier and in Saint-Bertrand de Comminges. Explore the Abbey of Saint-Martin du Canigó, the Vauban citadels, Mont-Louis and Villefranche-de-Conflent, listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
And, last but not least, feel the spiritual enthusiasm in the sanctuaries in Lourdes.
Jump on-board the yellow train: which has been rolling along the Pyrenean mountain sides from Villefranche-de-Conflent to Latour-de-Carol for over a century. 650 breathtaking works of art and landscapes!
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SUMMERTIME IN THE PYRENEES
Hiking, white-water and much, much more
Head off, for a day or more, on the famous GR®10 which crosses the Pyrenees from east to west. Make the rather easy climb upto ’Ôo Lake. Head off with the familyto the classified site of Bouillouses Lake or to the Néouvielle Nature Reserve. There's an endless amount of hiking opportunities! Enjoy incredible thrills by rafting on the Gave de Pau River or canyoning in the Aure Valley. Try your hand at paragliding in the Louron Valley, or via ferrata in Ariège. Or why not discover Cerdagne on horseback.
The Pyrenean mountain passes used by the Tour de France, including the legendary Col du Tourmalet, attract racing cyclists from around the world from June to October. Why not take on the challenge on a pedelec?
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WINTERTIME IN THE PYRENEES
Skiing, snowboarding and much, much more
Preserved mountains, typical villages, affordable prices: choose the Pyrenees for your winter sports holidays. From the most extensive ski area (Tourmalet-Barèges-La Mongie) to the highest (Piau Engaly, at 2,600 m) 33 winter sports resortsroll out a host of fabulously-frosty activities: yooner, biathlon, ski joëring (pulled by a horse), ski mountain-biking, under-ice diving, frozen waterfall climbing, hot-water canyoning, snow yoga, snow-groomer driving… All set in a paradise of majestic forests and unforgettable panoramas.
Thermal spring water: pure Pyrenean lifestyle
Even the Romans praised the Pyrenees' hydrothermal wealth. Cauterets, Luchon, Molitg-les-Bains, …: choose between the 19 spa resorts with their Second Empire-inherited atmosphere. Dreaming of wellness? Aquensis, Balnéa, Couloubret Thermal Baths and Spa, etc: the Pyrenees invites you to discover the most exquisite collection of thermal spas in Europe, as well as hot springs in natural surroundings.
Tantalize your tastebuds with typical Pyrenean products: salted cold-cuts and cheeses, Tarbais beans, Noir de Bigorre pork, Gavarnie PDO lamb, Saint-Girons croustade, wood-fired oven-cooked cake, etc.
By car: via the A9-AP7 (Barcelona-Montpellier), A61-A66 (Toulouse/Foix-Barcelona), A64 (Toulouse-Bayonne) and A65 (from Bordeaux) motorways.
By train: direction Perpignan, Toulouse and Tarbes with TER (regional trains) or bus connections for the resorts.
By plane: from Toulouse Blagnac, Lourdes-Tarbes-Ossun, Carcassonne Salvaza and Perpignan-Rivesaltes airports.