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The Pyrenees

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A frontier between France and Spain

Between France and Spain, the Pyrenees are a mountain chain in the southwest of Europe which constitute a high stone border wall. They form a veritable geographic barrier separating the Iberian Peninsula to the south from the rest of Continental Europe to the north. The magnificently tumultuous rocky summits rise to an altitude of nearly 3,400 metres and are a real slice of heaven for hikers, offering gorgeous scenery and views of the Atlantic. Above the Basque Country, 10 kilometres from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, the Petit Train de la Rhune tourist train for example can take you up to the Basque peak for an incredible panoramic view of the coast of Aquitaine. It also serves as a natural frontier between France and Spain and is home to the Principality of Andorra with its countless shops selling duty-free products. Take advantage of your stay at Camping Landes Azur to pop over for a visit!

Extending 430 kilometres in length, the Pyrenees pass through the Occitan and New Aquitaine regions and six French departments: Pyrénées-Orientales, Aude, Ariège, Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées and Pyrénées-Atlantiques. You are invited to visit Lourdes, the third most important Catholic pilgrimage destination in the world and the second city in France in terms of hotel capacity. You should also visit Carcassonne, one of the top medieval town of Europe which receives close to 2 million visitors annually and where you can admire amazing panoramic views of the Aude section of the Pyrenees. The highest peak on the French side of the Pyrenees is the Vignemale (3,298 metres). After the Alps, the Pyrenees are known as the second largest and tallest mountain range in Europe and boast extraordinary flora, fauna and scenery.

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Sports and activities
In the Pyrenees

If you are a sporting type, pop into one of the Pyrenean resort towns like La Mongie, Font Romeu, Saint-Lary or Cauterets, at any time of year. If you are a nature lover, set off to explore the Gavarnie Cirque and the 423 metres tall Gavarnie Falls, both located in the Pyrenees National Park, inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The Pic du Midi is an equally remarkable site but in a completely different style. From atop its altitude of 2,577 metres, it offers an incredible and unique panoramic view of the Pyrenean mountain chain and the Bigorre region. The Pic du Midi is capped with a planetarium and a scientific observatory where you can participate in observation activities. You can also visit many other sites like the Aspe Valley Eco-museum, the Mont-Louis Solar Furnace, Le Chioula Ski Resort, the Aquascope water treatment museum, the village of Le Sautel, the Arescoume Pass, La Madeleine Chapel and many more. The Pyrenees also provide a base for more than 35 ski resorts and Nordic skiing areas, including Issarbe, Artouste, Val d’Azun, Cauterets, Saint-Lary-Soulan and Nistos, to name but a few. And if you enjoy snowshoeing, you can set off to explore the Aspe and Ossau Valleys. The Pyrenees are also brimming with spa towns like Bagnères-de-Luchon, Aulus-les-Bains and Ax-les-Thermes. Those towns are very popular amongst spa-goers and holidaymakers concerned with getting and staying in shape. The region is also home to more than 10 wellness centres, including the Baths of St. Thomas, Spassio by Balnéa, Cieléo, Edénéo, Aquensis, Le Jardin des Bains and Sensoria Rio.

The Pyrenees are also criss-crossed by three GR national hiking trails. By order from west to east, there is the GR 10 on the French side, the GR 11 on the Spanish side and the HRP (Pyrenees High Level Route). Hikes for every skill level provide the chance to explore the Pyrenees as you follow waymarked trails from the Basque Country to Catalonia. The region enjoys an abundance of natural treasures which you can admire on your hikes, such as lakes, cirques, forests, plantlife, wildlife and geology. For example, the Pyrenees contain the largest cave in Europe, a must-see attraction in the Pierre Saint-Martin cave system. If you want to discover the local cuisine, stop for a bite in one of the countless restaurants in the area, like the tapas bar Le Bistrot, the brasserie Le Teïde, the 3-star hotel restaurant Chez Pierre d’Agos, the pizzeria Le Pizzarium and many, many more. Wait no more: book now to come and explore the Pyrenees during your holidays!