These are the mountains which present, between France and Spain, an astonishing scene of culture, of history and of beauty. Let us leave the mediterranean landscapes and set off for the Pic du Canigou: dominating and grandiose, it has some marvellous sights... steep mountain passes, abbeys and villages clinging to the mountain - here we are in Roman territory. Impressive settings for the beautiful abbeys of Saint Martin du Canigou and of Saint Michel de Cuxa and, close to the latter, Prades celebrates that immensely popular Catalan violinist, Pablo Casals. You have arrived at Villefranche de Conflent, a fortified town, its citadel and its fort linked by 1000 underground steps.
And then comes the Cerdagne, a beautiful valley. Mont Louis and its ramparts and, up there, a picture of delight: Font-Romeu, where the preparations for great sports take place, is surrounded by some very fine resorts where you will practice cross-country or downhill skiing in a magnificent environment.
The summer and winter delights of spa towns. Luchon is typically "thirties". Here, an immense area opens out before you, a place where hydrotherapy and skiing combine to put you back into great form. Among other resorts, you will find: Piau-Angaly, the highest, with superb snow quality. Bareges-Tourmalet and la Mongie, the largest skiing area in the pyrenees, Gavarnie-Gedre where you will discover the wild cirque of Gavarnie, and its great cascading waterfall: at 3,000 metres this is an incredible wall.
Discover Gourette, one of the most sporting
resorts in France and Somport-Candanchu in the heart of the National Park of the pyrenees.
On leaving Luchon, you simply must visit
Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges and the sumptuous Roman remains of its cathedral, an essential stopping place along the Route de Compostelle. Another town to explore, Pau, English, saw the birth of Henry IV Its boulevard des pyrenees offers an exceptional panoramic view over the mountain range, from the peak of the Midi de Bigorre to the peak of Anie.