02 August 2018
If you can imagine a harmonious collection of mountains, lakes and valleys, interspersed with lush green meadows, thick forests and crystal clear...
Are you already planning to visit Barcelona ? Of course there are many reasons why you would be, this Catalan city has so much to offer. A rich and diverse culture, the colourful Ramblas, the amazing architecture and cultural heritage, the Castellars, Gaudi, Puig I Cadafalch, the football, and I haven’t even mentioned the wine or the tapas !
My husband Hugo is crazy for castles. The mere mention of the siege of Montsegur brings tears to his eyes. We both love walking. I’ve wanted to go back to the Pyrenees since walking in the foothills with my aunt, many years ago.
There is a special magic about the Catalan coast, near the border of France and Spain. Far from the crowds and the sandy beaches, this is a wild coast with a fusion of light, wind, sunshine and rock, the brightly painted houses, the exotic plants and the pretty fishing boats have worked together to create the atmosphere that has drawn many a famous artist to the region.
The first thing that usually springs to mind when you think about a passage on foot across the whole of the Pyrenean chain is the famous GR10. This is a trail that runs close to the border between France and Spain, from Hendaye on the Basque Atlantic coast to Banyuls-sur-Mer on the Catalan Mediterranean coast.
Where to go in the Pyrenees ? 3 of the Unmissables : the Cirque de Gavarnie (one of the most beautiful places in the Pyrenees), Lourdes (visited by well over five million pilgrims every year) and the Royal Monastery of San Juan de la Peña (a beautiful Monastery) !
We have probably all heard of the Cathars, but do you know who they really were or where they came from ? In fact the Cathars were a religious group that flourished in region of France known as the Languedoc from the 11th Century. One of the most famous of these castles is the Château de Montségur. If you decide on a walking holiday in this area, From Cathar Castles To Mediterranean Collioure, for example, a visit to this castle is an absolute must.
Bilbao, set deep in the Basque country, is a truly captivating city in Northern Spain that has been regenerated in recent years to become a cultural hub and a gastronomical delight. With a juxtaposition of old and new on every corner, Bilbao offers Gothic architecture and historical bridges that straddle the River Nervión, nestled next to dazzling new buildings made of titanium, glass and limestone. Quintessentially Spanish, but with its own unique identity, the coastal city of Bilbao is a must-see for anyone looking to experience the real Spain.
With views that extend across the entire Pyrenean Mountain range and far beyond, the Pic Du Midi de Bigorre is one of the most majestic summits in the Hautes-Pyrénées. Standing proud at 2,877 metres above sea level, the mountain is renowned for its beautiful landscapes, high octane sporting events, fine cuisine and a world famous observatory and museum.
Our “Pyrenees” has expanded over the last 30 years. The mountains haven’t moved, but we have explored and enjoyed more adjacent regions – so our “Pyrenees” is anywhere you can just about see the Pyrenees on a clear day - with binoculars !
The Pyrenees are significantly warmer and drier than the Alps – especially in these climate changing days when farmers are introducing irrigation schemes that a few decades ago would have been thought jokes.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends on what you like doing most.