15 Pretty Towns and Villages in the Pyrenees

Pau Castle, Aquitaine, France | © Sergey Dzyuba/Shutterstock
Pau Castle, Aquitaine, France | © Sergey Dzyuba/Shutterstock
Photo of Esme Fox
10 October 2017

The Pyrenees is a vast mountain range that splits the two countries of France and Spain, and runs right through the middle of tiny Andorra. One of the most picturesque regions in Europe, it’s dotted with many charming towns and villages. Here’s our pick of 15 of the prettiest towns and villages in the Pyrenees.

Lanuza, Spain

Lanuza lies in Spain’s region of Aragon and sits right on the edge of the vast Lanuza reservoir, surrounded by soaring mountain peaks. Filled with charming stone chalets, cottages and one small church, it’s those surrounding views that really make this place special.

Lanuza, Spain

Puigcerda, Spain

The town of Puigcerda sits in the north of Catalonia, just two kilometres (1.2 miles) from the French border. Dotted with brightly coloured buildings, it’s a treat for the eyes and the camera lens – particularly with the views of the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees in the distance.

Puigcerda, Spain

Arreau, France

Also found in the high Pyrenees, to the south-east of Lourdes, is Arreau. Here, the old stone houses cling to the sides of a babbling mountain stream. In summer, it’s surrounded by wide open spaces of lush undulating meadows, while in winter, its backdrop features snow-white ridges.

Arreau, France

Besalú, Spain

Besalú lies in Catalonia, in the low foothills of the Pyrenees, and is one of the region’s most spectacular-looking towns. This old medieval village, set next to a river, is accessible via an impressive bridge and a castle-like entranceway. Once inside the maze of steep cobbled streets, its charms are only further revealed.

Besalú, Spain

Portbou, Spain

The last town in Catalonia before you reach the French border, Portbou is unique because it sits both in the foothills of the Pyrenees and along the Mediterranean coast. The houses here slope down the mountainsides towards the pretty promenade and its sweeping crescent beach.

Portbou, Spain

Casteller de N’hug

Situated on the Catalan side of the Pyrenees, close to the Cadi Moixero Natural Park, Casteller de N’hug stands at 1,400 metres (46 feet) above sea level. Characterised by old stone houses, the village is also the source of the Llobregat River, which flows all the way to Barcelona, before pouring out into the sea. The village also holds a well-known sheepdog contest and has a small museum where you can learn more about Pyrenean culture.

Casteller de N’hug, Spain

Benasque, Spain

Situated in the province of Huesca, just below the Pyrenees National Park and very close to the border with France, sits the idyllic little village of Benasque. Built alongside a cool mountain stream and framed by craggy mountain peaks, it’s ideal for adventure sports such as hiking and whitewater rafting.

Benasque, Spain