Pic du Midi de Bigorre
With a clear line of sight to the stars, this mountain peak used to be reserved especially for astronomers and scientists as it is home to a large observatory that offers panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains. Today, the peak is open to public and is accessible via a cable car ride [+33 562060178 ad/ch €32/21] from La Mongie ski resort, which ends with a tour.

Pic du Midi


Gavarnie (pop 165)
 was a depopulated, dreary little mountain village. Standing 1375m above sea level, this village used to be a resting place for the pilgrims who were headed to Santiago de Compostela, in Spain. However over the years, this village has managed to capitalize on the passing crowds from Lourdes, as well as the influx of outdoor enthusiasts. Hence today, Gavarnie functions as a decent winter sport site and a summer walking trail hub. Many routes around the region start from here, leading to the impressive Cirque de Gavarnie – a natural rock amphitheatre that stands at an elevation of 1500m. Cloaked by the Gavarnie Falls, this natural rock formation acts as the dramatic venue for the Gavarnie arts festival, held d in July. The rock walls of the cirque stand 800m wide at the base, widening to 3000m wide on top. Dropping by the cirque is recommended on many walking routes.

Cirque de Troumouse
Cirque de Troumouse is the lesser known cousin of Cirque de Gavarnie. Also a natural amphitheatre, Ciruque du Troumouse however, retains a quiet, lonesome vibe as it sits up in a little explored valley, north of Gavrnie. Relatively hard to access, this area is open to visits only between May and October.