Must see attractions in The Pyrenees

  • Top Choice
    Pic du Midi

    If the Pyrenees has a mustn’t-miss view, it’s the one from the Pic du Midi de Bigorre (2877m). Once accessible only to mountaineers, since 1878 the Pic du…

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    Top Choice
    Parc Animalier des Pyrénées

    Around 12km south of Lourdes, off the D821 near Argelès-Gazost, this fantastic animal park is home to many species that were once commonly sighted across…

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    Top Choice
    Grotte de Niaux

    Most people know about the prehistoric artworks of the Dordogne, but far fewer realise that ancient painters left their mark in caves all across the…

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    Top Choice
    Sanctuaires Notre Dame de Lourdes

    The spiritual centre of Lourdes is the subterranean grotto where Bernadette Soubirous is believed to have experienced her visions in 1858. From the Porte…

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    Grotte du Mas d’Azil

    Twenty-five kilometres northwest of Foix, near Le Mas d’Azil, this rock shelter is famous for its rich finds of prehistoric tools. Visits are by guided…

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    Rivière Souterraine de Labouiche

    Deep beneath the village of Labouiche, 6km northwest of Foix, flows Europe’s longest navigable underground river. Discovered in 1908 by a local doctor, it…

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    Château de Pau

    Originally the residence of the monarchs of Navarre, Pau’s castle was transformed into a Renaissance château amid lavish gardens by Marguerite d’Angoulême…

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    Château de Montségur

    For the full Monty Python medieval vibe, tackle the steep 20-minute climb to the ruins of this hilltop fortress, 32km east of Foix (and don't forget to…

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    Musée Bernadotte

    This townhouse is the birthplace of one of Napoléon’s favourite generals, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte (nicknamed ‘Sergent belle-jambe’, on account of his…

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    Parc de la Préhistoire

    Eighteen kilometres south of Foix, near Tarascon-sur-Ariège, this excellent museum-park provides a useful primer on the area’s prehistoric past. The…

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    Château Fort

    Lourdes’ imposing castle stands on a sheer hill just behind the town. There’s been a stronghold here since Roman times, but the present building combines…

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    Falaise aux Vautours

    The griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) was once a familiar sight over the Pyrenees, but habitat loss and hunting have taken their toll on these strange,…

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    Lombrives

    Twenty-two kilometres northwest of Ax-les-Thermes on the N20 near Ussat-les-Bains, Europe’s largest cave system burrows its way through the soft limestone…

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    Pic du Jer

    Panoramic views of Lourdes and the central Pyrenees are on offer from this rocky outcrop just outside town. There are two routes to the top: a punishing…

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    Château de Foix

    The Ariège’s most unmistakeable landmark is Foix’ triple-towered castle, the stronghold of the powerful Comtes de Foix. Built in the 10th century, it…

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    Eaux-Bonnes

    During the 19th century, the small village of Eaux-Bonnes (literally, Good Waters) flourished as a spa resort thanks to its geothermal hot springs, which…

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    Musée de Montségur

    Tucked into the sleepy village of Montségur, this small museum contains a collection of Cathar relics, models of siege weapons and visual displays of what…

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    Le Cachot

    In 1857 Bernadette Soubirous’ family fell on hard times and were forced to move to this dingy former prison, where they lived communally in a room…

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    Écomusée de la Vallée d’Aspe

    Four sites around the valley, collectively known as the Écomusée de la Vallée d’Aspe, explore the area’s heritage and agricultural traditions. There are…

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    Grottes de Bétharram

    Grottes de Bétharram is a network of subterranean caverns that has been carved out from the limestone, glittering with impressive formations of…