Must Sees in the Pyrénées
Pic du Midi d'Ossau
Located 75 km from Lourdes (1 hour 30 minutes by car).
Accessed by the Cols du Soulor and Aubisque road. The Pic du Midi d'Ossau (2884 m) overlooks Lake Bouis-Artigues and the nearby Spanish border.
Its fame is due to the particular shape of its tooth-shaped peak, visible even from the plain.
In fact, it is an ancient volcano of phenomenal size. Ossau had a neighbor with a similar route with the Pic d'Anayet of also volcanic origin.
To better discover this range, the tour of Ossau (Pic du Midi d'Ossau) is an unforgettable hike from all points of view: departure from the Bious Artigues car park - Follow the edge of the lake, then join the GR 10 which goes up in the West (count one day).
The ascent of the peak itself by the normal route is very challenging with several difficult passages. All the faces of the massif (small peak, large peak) are very popular with climbers of all kinds and the routes are endless.
80km from Lourdes (2 hour journey) via the Cols du Soulor and Aubisque .
From Lac de Fabrèges, a cable car takes you to the departure of the miniature Artouste train.
Panoramic view of the Pic du Midi d'Ossau and the Ossau valley; at an altitude of nearly 2000m, from the miniature train you will discover the Soussouéou valley and the surrounding peaks including the Balaïtous.
From the arrival station of the miniature train, a path then leads in 15 minutes to Lake Artouste.
This excursion, which is exceptional due to the altitude of the miniature train, is also exceptional for the beauty of the landscapes crossed.
The Soulor and Aubisque passes
40 km from Lourdes, less than an hour's drive.
The Soulor and Aubisque passes, legends of the Tour de France cycle race, provide a link between the provinces of Bigorre and Béarn.
From the gentle slopes of the Val d'Azun, with possible excrusions to the lakes of Estaing and Tech, to the forests overlooking the very pretty village of Laruns, through the precipices of the Cirque du Litor, the landscapes are very varied.
Possibility of reaching Spain by the Col du Pourtalet .
30 km from Lourdes (45 min. by car).
Lac d'Estaing is a glacial lake located in the Val d'Azun accessible from Argelés-Gazost via the Estaing valley or the Col de Bordères.
At 1160 m above sea level, the lake is ideal for all ages; you can walk around it as well as enjoy the scenery on the café terrace. Hikes are also possible to the neighboring lakes and valleys.
The Pont d'Espagne is located 40km from Lourdes less than an hour by car.
It is so named because it served as a passage for shepherds and peddlers on their way to Spain . Today a friendly bar restaurant awaits you in front of the bridge where you can admire one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the valley.
By the waterfall path (15 minutes on foot) or by the cable car, you can then choose between the Marcadau valley and the Lac de Gaube (1725m above sea level) by the path or a chairlift.
The spectacle here is grandiose and the hikes to the surrounding lakes or peaks (the nearby Vignemale culminates at 3300m altitude) are unforgettable.
Cirque de Gavarnie
50 km from Lourdes (1 hour drive).
The Cirque de Gavarnie located on the border with Spain is one of the most prestigious sites in the Pyrenees. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is formed by a rocky barrier in the shape of an ampitheater culminating at 3248 m; its 420m high waterfall is one of the highest in Europe.
Whatever the season, you will be amazed by the beauty of the place, the diversity of colors and the majesty of the mountains.
Many walks on foot or on the back of a mule from the village to reach the bottom of the waterfall; many hikes around the ampitheater are also possible.
60 km from Lourdes, around 1h15 min. drive.
On the road to Gavarnie, on leaving Gèdre, the road towards the Cirque de Troumouse passes through the small village of Héas with its pretty chapel.
This vast mountain ampitheater (4km in diameter), less known than that of Gavarnie, is also wilder; the car park is at an altitude of more than 2100m, the surrounding peaks form a mineral wall which culminates at 3000m. The interior of the ampitheater is made up of meadows crossed by streams where herds of cows graze freely; it is also the domain of marmots which laze in the sun in rocky areas. In the middle of the ampitheater you will find a statue of the Virgin Mary from which you have a panoramic view of the ampitheater.
Ideal for family walks and high mountain sensations.
On the road to Héas a small steep road leads to the Gloriettes dam and the Estaubé ampitheater
25 km from Lourdes, 30 min. by car, Hautacam ski resort, offers you a superb viewpoint over the Argelès-Gazost valley, the Pic du Midi de Bigorre and the Pyrenees chain. At the top, you can take one of the many easily accessible paths that run along the valley or extend to Lacd'Isaby
Pic du Midi
50km from Lourdes about 1h15 min. via Bagnères de Bigorre.
The Pic du Midi is a world-famous astronomical observatory, since the year 2000 it has been open to the public and can be reached by cable car from La Mongie station.
At an altitude of 2877m, the view of the Pyrenees chain is breathtaking. From the platform between the domes of the telescopes, enjoy the magnificent views of the entire extent of the mountain chain and its summits.
The museum traces the history of the development of the peak from the first astronomical observations at the beginning of the 18th century to the start of construction of the observatory in the 1870s.
In winter, the most experienced can ski down to La Mongie and in summer the descent is by mountain bike.
A shuttle bus connects Lourdes to La Mongie twice a day. Mandatory reservation.
Col du Tourmalet
50 km from Lourdes, around 1h15 min. by car, the Col du Tourmalet connects the Gaves valley to the Adour valley.
From the top of its 2115m altitude, the " Giant of the Pyrenees ", so named because it is the highest pass in the region taken by the Tour de France, discover a grandiose landscape.
50km from Lourdes, around 1h15 min. by car, the Col d'Aspin is located between the Campan valley and the Arreau valley.
Used many times by the Tour de France cycle race, it is one of the favorite playgrounds for cycle tourists.
The Payolle lake at the foot of the pass is a place for walking and hiking in summer and a cross-country ski resort in winter. Very nice view of the Pic du Midi from the pass.