A rugged and magnificent mountain wilderness
- A wealth of flora, fauna and butterflies – and a backdrop of vast mountain landscapes.
- Fascinating diversity between the Spanish and the French sides
The spectacular mountains of the Pyrenees stretch for 480km from the Atlantic coast across to the Mediterranean forming an impressive natural frontier between France and Spain. These mountains have a rugged grandeur that will bewitch you. As well as accommodating some of Europe's most exhilarating high and moderate walking trails, they host some staggering flora and many traditional mountain villages, rife with character and charm.
Wonderful walks in Europe's last mountain wilderness
The spectacular mountains of the Pyrenees stretch for 480km from the Atlantic coast across to the Mediterranean and form an impressive natural frontier between France and Spain. The mountains rose from beneath a shallow sea millions of years ago when the European and African continental plates collided. Since then the gigantic glaciers that covered most of Europe during the last great ice age shaped the magical natural features we see here today – hanging valleys, vast cirques, sharp peaks and rugged crests.
The backbone of the range, the frontier ridge, lies just to the north of our base in Panticosa. It is a chaotic jigsaw of wild rock formations and crags, which reach for the sky with many soaring effortlessly above 3000m. These peaks dominate much of the Valle de Tena, our home in the Pyrenees. This glacial valley boasts the vast limestone walls of the impressive Sierra de la Partacua and the Sierra de Tendeñera, which rise abruptly in the south, forming much of the overwhelming panorama that is enjoyed from Hotel Sabocos in Panticosa, our delightful base.
A little lower down a majestic mountain landscape unfolds with a heady mix of lush green meadows, abyss-like canyons, awe-inspiring cirques, azure blue lakes, u-shaped valleys, pristine woodlands, sparkling tarns and cascading streams.
Not surprisingly, walkers have been coming to the Pyrenees for years, venturing into this magnificent terrain from picturesque mountain villages. From Panticosa we walk on both the Spanish and the French sides of the frontier ridge. In spite of their proximity to each other, the differences between the two sides are quite dramatic. Our walks will help you see just how different the Spanish and the French sides are in an area where the common denominator is breathtaking mountain scenery.
The Floral & Fauna of the Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a floral crossroads where the alpine gentians, primulas and pasque flowers of northern Europe meet the wild daffodils of the Iberian peninsula. Many species are unique and such is the variety (with around 160 endemic species) that the Pyrenees are often referred to as the Flower Garden of Europe.
In pictures – The Pyrenees
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