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The French Pyrenees |pmagnadbiard| Pixabay
The French Pyrenees |pmagnadbiard| Pixabay

10 Top Things to See and Do in the Pyrenees

Picture of Jennifer Migan
Updated: 26 September 2017
The Pyrenees is the perfect place for nature lovers to visit. The incredible sights throughout the region will leave you speechless. To help you plan your trip, here are the 10 things you should see and do in the Pyrenees.

Take a Hike… Everywhere

The Pyrenees is a hiking paradise. There are tons of spots to visit throughout the region and you’re sure to be blown away by the variety of fauna and flora and the breathtaking views. Make sure to get your camera roll ready, because you definitely want to capture all these beautiful landscapes on camera!

Moms, Meet Your Fellow Mama Bears at the Parc Animalier

You will certainly love this big natural park where you will see over 400 species and 600 animals, including bears – which are by far the most emblematic animal of the Pyrenees region. This is the perfect family excursion and if you have young children, you should encourage them to get in the open-air paddocks to feed the marmots.

Parc Animalier des Pyrénées, 60bis Avenue des Pyrénées, Ayzac-Ost, France, 

Plunge in the Cirque de Gavarnie

Depicted as the “Colosseum of Nature” due to its gigantic size and its shape similar to an amphitheater, the Cirque de Gavarnie should be on your priority list while visiting the Pyrenees. You can access this UESCO World Heritage Site from the Gavarnie village.

Cirque de Gavarnie, 

Go to Lourdes, one of the Most Spiritual Sites in the World

Originally known for its fortified castle, Lourdes gained worldwide recognition in 1858 after peasant Bernadette Soubirou claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary in several occurrences. Nowadays, Lourdes is the second most-visited city in France and ranked third in the world for Catholic pilgrimage after Rome and the Holy Land.

Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes, 1 Avenue Mgr Théas, Lourdes, France, +33 5 62 42 78 78

Walk Across the Beautiful Pont d’Espagne Area

This charming area, greatly appreciated by tourists, is another spot you don’t want to miss while you are visiting the Pyrenees region. Its easy access makes it suitable for everyone. This protected site is also a great place in the winter for those who practice cross-country skiing.

Pont d’Espagne, 

Start Your Day at the Lac de Gaube

After passing the Pont d’Espagne, start off your day with an hour-long hike across Cauterets that will lead you to the splendid Lac de Gaube. The beauty and sense of tranquility of this unique place will without a doubt leave a great impression on you.

Lac de Gaube, Cauterets, France

Lac de Gaube|am|Pixabay

Let the Chemin des Cascades Take Your Breath Away

Picture yourself encountering one astonishing waterfall after another in a dream-like environment? Make sure to allocate some time to live this unforgettable experience. Make sure to wear good hiking shoes because the road can be a little bit slippery at times. One last thing, do not forget your camera or you will regret it.

Chemin des Cascades, Cauterets, France

Climb to the Pic du Midi

Enjoy the greatest panoramic view of the Pyrenees mountain chain. This magical summit can be reached via cable car and is an unmissable attraction that should be at the top of your list when planning your trip. To make it an even more memorable experience, you should book a night in one of their luxurious refuges, where you will sleep by the stars and witness the sun rise.

Pic du Midi de Bigorre, Bagnères-de-Bigorre, France

Slide Through the Pyrenees Chain Canyoning and Abseiling

You will for sure feel the rush floating down the numerous water streams in the Pyrenees. Canyoning and abseiling are fun activities that even kids (from 10 years) can take part in, and it’s a unique way to enjoy the incredible scenery surrounding you.

Get Your Hawk Eye Vision on Point

Close to Lourdes, you should go to the Château de Beaucens and attend the fantastic show at the Donjon des Aigles running from Spring until the end of September, which features some of the most prestigious raptor species. An absolute must-see.

Château de Beaucens, Donjon des Aigles, 100 Rue du Château, Beaucens, France, +33 5 62 97 19 59