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15 Unmissable Things to Do in the Pyrenees Mountains

Ishaan Govardhan Jul 8, 2019
Often overshadowed by its bigger cousin: the Alpine range, the majestic Pyrenees mountain range deserves to be an essential part of the European backpacking experience.
Straddling the Spanish-French border, the Pyrenees range stretches for 305 miles. Its valleys are always draped in a carpet of either wildflowers or snow, depending on the season.

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Whether you're on the Spanish or the French side of the Pyrenees, there are plenty of pure white, snowy slopes to ski on, come winter. Who needs the Alpine range?

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Conquering the Pyrenees during winter is especially challenging. Go on a guided snowshoeing expedition into its white wilderness. See if you can bag the tallest peak: Mt. Aneto.
Novice ice climbers should head for the Soulcem Valley. It's the perfect place to learn the ways of ice climbing and build up your confidence.

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When the Pyrenees snow melts, revealing sheer rock underneath, it's time to go rock climbing. There are climbing routes of varying difficulties for you to conquer in the Ariege region.

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With the snow gone, enjoy unfettered access to beautiful hiking trails that will take you across the majestic Pyrenees.

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There are plenty of caves for you to explore in the Midi-Pyrenees. If you can handle it, you can even go spelunking or abseiling into the dark.
Shower in pure Pyrenees mountain water, as it falls in towering cascades and flows in softly gushing streams. Pristine waterfalls like Cirque du Gavarnie are aplenty.

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A few Pyrenees treks are best enjoyed on horseback. Keep an eye out for the stunning wildlife.

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The Pyrenees might be one of the best kept secrets in the world of mountain biking. Get ready for thrilling descents at breakneck speeds and beautiful views!

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For the full Pyrenees experience, you should stay at a campsite surrounded by nature.
If camping is not your style, you can descend to one of the French or Spanish mountain towns which act as basecamps. The gorgeous French town of Lourdes is definitely worth a visit.
For an experience straight out of a fairytale, visit the Castle of Foix. It stands tall in the foothills of the Ariege Pyrenees.

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About 12 rivers wind their way down the Pyrenees mountains. Thrill-seekers shouldn't miss the opportunity to go white-water rafting on one of them.

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Take to the air for an unbeatable bird's eye view of the Pyrenees panorama. Besides paragliding, you can even rent a hot air balloon.
For a truly unique vantage point on the Pyrenees vistas, jump aboard The Little Yellow Train (Train Jaune). Every leg of this lofty train ride offers spectacular views of lakes, valleys and glaciers.