The Pyrenees is a spectacular mountainous area that acts as a natural barrier between France and Spain. It is an area where the beauty of its corners, the charming villages and the large number of activities available are a real tourist attraction for all visitors.
Mountains full of lush vegetation, steep valleys and breathtakingly high peaks are just a few examples of what you will find on the French side of the Pyrenees. Throughout the territory you will find charming places to stop by, villages that have managed to preserve their traditions and Spanish influences due to their proximity.
If you're already looking forward to a trip to the French Pyrenees, you will need to do so bearing in mind the places you can't miss on your next trip to this area. Are you ready to be amazed by your surroundings?
There is no doubt that we have to start by talking about the Pyrenees National Park, which has 50,000 hectares full of nature, divided between the area of the Spanish Ordesa, Hautes-Pyrénées and Pyrénées Atlantiques National Parks. More than 4,000 species inhabit the area. The Gaube Valley is also recognised as a World Heritage Site, and the main feature of this area is the Gaube Valley, which you can explore on the many hiking routes available, always overlooked by the Vignemale peak, which is more than 3,000 metres above sea level.
Together with the Marbore, the Taillon and the Grand Astazou, they form four of the most impressive mountains you can see. Below, but better known, is the Tourmalet, which has been, for several editions, one of the key points in the Tour de France.
The hiking routes in all these areas will take you to the Roland Gap or the Gavarnie Cirque, but this is not the only activity you can do in the area, as snow sports are also very famous in the Pyrenees. Almost forty ski resorts, including Saint-Lary and Mongie, will make you enjoy the snow on top of your skis.
After a day of doing sports, the best thing to do is to relax, and where better than in a spa resort? The pure water that comes down from the mountains has led to 18 venues where you can relax, such as Cauterets or Bagnère-de-bigorre.
As far as cultural tourism is concerned, the villages here are worth mentioning. One of the more touristic sites here such as Lourdes, one of the most visited ones all year long, especially by religious people who visit the Sanctuary of Lourdes and its large square. Next to it you can also visit the Massabielle Grotto.
Cauterets is a small mountain village located in the valley of the same name, and next to another of the tourist landmarks of this region, the Pont d'Espagne, an impressive stone bridge from which you can see the waterfalls.
Mirepoix, Saint-Lizier or Catelnaud la Chapelle, offer many a contrast with the landscape views of Ciboure, one of the most touristic places in the coastal area, while still preserving the essence of the mountains.
Not that we should forget about the gastronomical side of this region, which will give you a taste of the local culture through its many flavours. Couserans cheeses, foie gras or one of the star dishes of French gastronomy, cassoulet (a delicious meat and bean casserole), will add the finishing touch to a perfect visit to the Pyrenees.
Welcome to the best adventure you will ever live in the mountains!