The Gavarnie Valleys: A summary of the best sites in the Pyrenees !
Here, where the summits touch the sky at a height of more than 3,000 metres, discover a territory steeped in authenticity, traditions and breath-taking landscapes: the Gavarnie Valleys. A name that resonates like the promise of life-size adventures, unusual discoveries and stunning panoramas.
Argelès-Gazost Valley, Barèges-Tourmalet, Cauterets, Gavarnie-Gèdre, Val d’Azun and Luz Saint-Sauveur Valley … all towns with ski resorts on their doorstep, “Grands Sites” (major sites) of Occitanie, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, International Dark Sky Reserve, spas and charming stone villages.
At the foot of the Gavarnie Cirque, at the top of the Pic du Midi, biking the Col du Tourmalet, hiking to a lake in Val d’Azun … in the Gavarnie valleys you experience sublime beauty. In the heart of the Pyrenees National Park, these resorts are the heart and soul of this mountain massif and they beat to its soft and gently rhythm.
Must see sites
Gavarnie Imagine a glacial cirque at a height of 3,000 meters, at its heart one of the highest waterfalls in Europe (427 meters): you have Gavarnie Cirque ! Listed as a UNESCO, World Heritage site, it is also a gateway to the Pyrenees National Park.. Its two neighbours the Troumouse and Estaubé cirques are speechless when faced with so much beauty and such fantastic dimensions!
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We love :
– Visiting the 3 Cirques: Gavarnie, Troumouse and Estaubé. Head to Lac des Gloriettes and Plateau de Saugué – both worth a detour.
– The Gavarnie Festival: in the heart of the fabulous Gavarnie Cirque, every summer an exceptional high altitude theatre festival is held. 25/07 to 06/08: Don Quichotte.
– Immerse yourself in the spirit of Pyreneanism, with the “Patrimoine en Balade” (Heritage walk) app.: let yourself be guided through the village by the words of the inhabitants with their singsong accent.
At the foot of the Tourmalet, the Barèges valley combines sporting activities with relaxing moments thanks to its thermal waters. The highest thermal centre,with waters that treat rheumatology and ORL ; Cieléo has a wellness area in addition to spa treatments. The hilltop villages of Sers, Betpouey, Viey and Viella are typical examples of mountain architecture.
– the Col du Tourmalet, stage finish in the fourteenth stage of the Tour de France, 20 July 2019.
– The Pic du Midi camped at a height of 2,877m, the most beautiful panorama of Pyrenean mountain range is accessed by cable car, “International Dark Sky” accredited.
– The Néouvielle Nature Reserve, dotted with lakes and ridges in a perfectly preserved high-mountain environment. A gold mine for photographers, a real treat for walkers.
Dotted with pretty hilltop villages, the valley of Luz Saint-Sauveur immerses you in mountain life: from the unique flavours of the locally farmed produce to its authentic hosts and locals, to the sweetness of the sun’s rays which illuminate Luz (Spanish for “light”) and bathe its surrounding peaks in sunlight. This is a way of life!
On aime :
– “La Carde”,has been making woollen products, with an unparalleled craftsmanship, using local sheep’s wool since 1891. Blankets, scarves, sweaters …, 100% tradition, 100% local!
– PDO Barèges-Gavarnie lamb : The ewes roam freely in the high mountains, which gives their meat its unique and delicate taste. At the end of September, a whole weekend of celebration is dedicated to it!
– The Castle of Saint Marie, , in Esquièze-Sère, is an amazing 10th century castle offering a panorama of the valley and its hilltop villages.
At Pont d’Espagne, classified Grand Site Occitanie (Major site of Occitanie), you can immerse yourself in this site with its many waterfalls, hiking routes and mountain lake paths. Lac Gaube is undoubtedly the most well-known, accessible by chairlift or on foot.
– Bask in the naturally warm waters of the “Bains du Rocher” , spa in both indoor and outdoor pools, in winter or summer.
– Visit the town and soak up its Belle Epoque atmosphere. .
– Taste Berlingots, the local delicacy.
Privileged holiday resort, Argelès-Gazost’s ideal and strategic location and its microclimate have always made it attractive to visitors. Its palm trees,its “English park” (parc à l’anglaise) with its large villas have afforded this beautiful spa town the nickname of “Little Nice”. Up above the town is Hautacam, of Tour de France fame, with its year round adventure park and breath-taking panoramas.
– The Pyrenees Animal Park, ranked among the 3 most beautiful zoos and parks of France, meet the animals (bears, wolves, marmots and many others!) who live here in semi-freedom.
– The Mountain Luge, in Hautacam, a comfortable and secure sledge set on rails – a must for all the family – thrills and laughter guaranteed!
– Le Jardin des Bains, spa puts the healing thermal waters to good use in a sumptuous wellbeing centre, surrounded by glass windows and wooden structures.
Let yourself be charmed by its authentic villages, poetic bridges, unspoilt nature, mountain lakes, barns and herds. Pastoralism is the soul of these mountains that change with the seasons and give Val d’Azun cheese its delicious fragrance of freedom.
– Meet the marmots in the mountains, with a guide from Val d’Azun Mountain guide office of who will divulge the secrets of this emblematic animal and the mountains.
– Cow, sheep or mixed, taste this delicious cheese made in the same way for centuries, buy direct from the farm or at the local markets.
– Stroll through the streets of Arras-en-Lavedan, a village of Artitude with its contemporary art works, all whilst enjoying the view over Argelès-Gazost valley.
To find out more about this exceptional area in the heart of the Pyrenees and to plan your visit, go to www.valleesdegavarnie.com
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