The escalating excitement in our van mirrored the surrounding landscape as we made the ascent through the Pyrenean foothills to the village of Panticosa, one of Collett’s long standing summer walking destinations.
Panticosa, Collett’s base in the Spanish Pyrenees is surrounded by 360° of spectacular snow peaked mountains, the village offers an ideal centre for many diverse walking holidays. Over the past week, we have been able to undertake a number of these walks and even the more experienced members of the team cannot deny the breath-taking beauty they’ve been presented with, whether that be gazing up at the formidable Pic du Midi d’Ossau over the French border, or looking down from one of our most popular shorter walks, La Sierra de la Partacua, towards the vibrant blue of the Búbal Lake.
The appeal of the landscape is heightened by the alpine flowers and plants which have been able to thrive here and so far, the season seems to be exceptionally brilliant in terms of floral bloom. Just a short drive from the village you can see the much sought after Lady’s slipper orchid which is afforded the extravagance of 24 hour protection due to its scarceness. The higher pastures are currently filled with a huge array of different flower species such as the Trumpet Gentian, Early Purple Orchid, Birds Eyes Primrose and Pyrenees Buttercup to name a few, providing a visual pick and mix for flower enthusiasts.
The warm early summer weather has not only been beneficial to the plant life but has also allowed much of the snow to clear. As a result we’re expecting many of the higher level walking routes and trails to be open very soon. For now however we have been able to enjoy the element of drama which the remaining snow brings to the views of the higher peaks. Walking up from the base of the magnificent Ordesa Canyon & Monte Perdido National Park (A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve) earlier in the week proved to me that we don’t have to be on the top of a mountain to fully appreciate the landscape. The valley is defined by a crystal clear river punctuated by waterfalls before opening up into a corrie at the base of the highest mountain in the Spanish Pyrenees, El Monte Perdido, translated to ‘the lost mountain’.
With so many opportunities around us for spectacular walking days, the team is full of enthusiasm for the season ahead and we’re looking forward to sharing the unique charm this area has to offer with each of our guests.
See Walking Holidays in the Pyrenees for more information.
Thanks to Caitlin Richardson for the excellent blog post and to Felicity (Flee) Lee for the excellent photos – See Dan & Flee’s Adventures.