©Fabricio Cardenas 

19 January 2024  |  Nature

Holidays in the mountains - Pic du Canigou

Mountain holidays in the south of France and the Pyrenees-Orientales; climbing the pIc du Canigou is an unforgettable adventure in the Eastern Pyrenees. The Eastern Pyrenees are home to one of the region's most iconic mountains, the majestic Pic du Canigou.

At 2,784 meters high, Canigou is the highest point in the Eastern Pyrenees and has long captivated the imagination of hikers, mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts. Climbing this legendary mountain offers an unforgettable adventure, combining physical challenges, exceptional panoramic views and total immersion in the natural beauty of the Pyrenees.

Preparation and Itinerary

Hikers have several routes to choose from, each offering a unique experience. The most popular path is the one starting from the Refuge des Cortalets, accessible by car from Vernet-les-Bains. This well-marked route offers a gradual climb through varied landscapes, from beech forests to alpine meadows, preparing hikers for the spectacular view that awaits them at the summit.

The Challenges of climbing: A Demanding but Rewarding Journey

The ascent of Canigou remains a sport. Although the trail is well maintained, it has steep passages and significant elevation changes, requiring good physical condition and appropriate shoes. However, every effort is rewarded with breathtaking panoramas throughout the climb. Hikers will be able to admire the magnificent landscapes, from the forest to the rocky expanses higher up.

The Canigou Summit: Supreme Reward

Arriving at the summit of Canigou is a transcendent experience. The views stretch as far as the eye can see, offering a 360-degree panorama of the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean and even the distant coasts of Catalonia. The Pic du Canigou is also famous for its metal cross which sits at its highest point.

Canigou Mountain

 ©Jordi Gili 

The Cortalets Refuge

If you are starting from the foot of the mountain, you might consider spending the night in one of the mountain refuges, such as the Refuge des Cortalets. You will be able to take advantage of the night to admire the stars and recover for the ascent of the peak the next day.

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Virginie Erre

After gaining a Masters Degree from the Panthéon Sorbonne, I worked as a real-estate agent for luxury properties and now am a manager with Pure France high quality holiday rentals. I am also a yoga instructor.

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