© Manon Vallin
Marmots in the Pyrenees National Park
An exceptional territory

The National Park
of the Pyrenees

  • For families
  • Wilderness
  • Sports
  • Responsible travelling

    The territory of the Gavarnie Valleys is home to an exceptional natural and cultural wealth, so much so that to protect it, the Pyrenees National Park was created in 1967. It is thanks to this that even today, you can walk and freely and freely enjoy authentic and preserved landscapes.  

    Endemic species

    Splendor of Pyrenean biodiversity

    This little gem is full of biodiversity. Whether natural, landscaped or witness to local culture, it is emblematic of our region.  

    Endemic species

    Splendor of Pyrenean biodiversity

    Endemic, that means that they are not found elsewhere, they are exclusively Pyrenean! But beware, who says endemic also says fragile... They therefore form the very essence of this exceptional territory. Among the flora of the Pyrenees we find: the lily, the ramonde, the iris or the long-leaved saxifrage.

    © Pierre Meyer
    Pyrenean lilies in bloom in the heart of the National Park
    © Pierre Meyer
    Ramonde des Pyrénées in the Pyrenees National Park

    The Pyrenees National Park is full of remarkable species.

    The regulations as well as the preservation actions put in place ensure their protection. For some of them, the Pyrenees have also become the territory welcoming the majority of their population on a French scale.

    An emblematic fauna

    A refuge for the animals of the Pyrenees  

    From the best known to the most discreet, the Park is a real refuge for these species. Here is a non-exhaustive overview of these animals that you could meet at the bend of a path.

    Manon Vallin
    Ibex in the Pyrenees National Park

    The Pyrenean ibex

    The mountain tightrope walker 

    Reintroduced in 2014 in Cauterets, its reintroduction was a success. A true mountain tightrope walker, he enjoys grazing on the cliffs. It is distinguished from chamois by its build more robust, its less contrasting dress and its lyre-shaped horns.

    The groundhog

    Icon of Pyrenean fauna 

    Did you know: barely 80 years ago there were no marmots in the Pyrenees?! Their singular whistle only resounds in our mountains since 1948.

    Tristan Buchot
    Marmotte on the way to Lac d'Especières
    Manon Vallin
    Manon Vallin
    Bearded Vulture in the Pyrenees National Park

    The bearded vulture

    Lord of the Pyrenean Skies

    A true natural renderer, it feeds almost exclusively on bones. With almost 3 meters wingspan, it is one of the largest birds in Europe.

    Manon Vallin
    Parade of the Heather cock in the Pyrenees National Park

    The Heather Rooster

    or Capercaillie

    It is one of the largest gallinaceae in Europe. Fragile species, winter is for him a decisive period for his survival. With this in mind, quiet zones prohibited to human use are set up by Park rangers each winter.

    Diversified mountain landscapes

    High altitude terrain suitable for hiking 

    From limestone massifs to granite mountains and wooded valleys, it is home to a variety of remarkable landscapes, some of which are included on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It can be said that the territory of the protected area of ​​the Pyrenees National Park is above all high altitude terrain suitable for hiking. The lowest part is around 1 m, reaching its highest point at 000 m above sea level.. 

    © Manon Vallin
    Geological formation in Gavarnie - Gèdre

    A protected space

    Regulations to observe 

    The territory is divided into two distinct parts: the membership area and the core area in which a strict regulations. In order to know the spaces where the regulations apply, we advise you to consult the carte of the National Park.  

    • bivouac : here, we make the distinction between the bivouac and the campsite. Thus the bivouac is authorized between 19 p.m. and 9 a.m. from the moment you are more than an hour's walk from a road access.  
    • Feu : In order to preserve the soil and prevent fires, fires with fireplaces are strictly prohibited. 
    • Pets : dogs, cats, rabbits and other pets must be left at home, pets have no place in the heart zone. There are three exceptions in which dogs are tolerated on a leash (Hôtellerie du Cirque, Lac de Gaube by the chairlift, Refuge du Clot).  
    • Picking : even if it is tempting to leave with a nice bouquet or good mushrooms, you will have to enjoy them with your eyes: no picking either! 
    • Motorized/non-motorized vehicles : as we know, the landscapes of our valleys are breathtaking... but you will have to take advantage of them from the mainland, in fact drones and overflights of motorized/non-motorized vehicles are subject to authorizations. It will also be necessary to leave bicycles and motorized vehicles outside the heart zone and engage on foot on the paths.  

     Hiking in the National Park

    Places of exchange 

    In the Pyrenees National Park, the exchange and sharing of information is at the heart of the experience. Two essential elements play a central role: the Park Houses, real places of knowledge and awareness, and the Monitor Guards, who watch over the preservation of this natural treasure while sharing it with visitors.

    The Houses of the Pyrenees National Park

    Places of information and awareness 

    Spread across the entire territory, the Park Houses will give you access to all the information to better understand this extraordinary heritage and understand in a fun way the workings of these unique ecosystems.  

    • House of the Pyrenees National Park and the valley - Arrens-Marsous 
    • House of the Pyrenees National Park - Cauterets 
    • House of the Pyrenees National Park - Gavarnie 
    • House of the Pyrenees National Park and the valley - Luz Saint-Sauveur 
    • Pyrenees National Park Information Point - Plan d'Aste 

    Monitor guards mobilized

    Scheduled meetings 

    Meetings with the park wardens are scheduled throughout the year, they are excellent sources of information and give rise to passionate exchanges. Flavien offers us his testimony on his work as a guard monitor in the Luz-Gavarnie valley.  

    © Manon Vallin
    Warden – Monitor of the Pyrenees National Park

    “As guards, our missions are very varied, humanly rich through the encounters we have (…) I like to be alone sometimes in the high mountains, to observe a rare androsace, a worried ptarmigan or a bearded vulture looking for food ( …) We are always on standby because everything is changing, and protecting a sensitive natural area is far from being a simple and routine mission”.

    A committed brand

    L'Esprit National Park - Pyrenees 

    Some of the inhabitants of our valleys, brought together by a common desire: to preserve and promote this exceptional territory, are committed to the Esprit National Park - Pyrenees approach. The brand radiating through various services and products (accommodation, catering, crafts, supervised outings, etc.) carries a message of solidarity by favoring the local economy. 

    The National Park Spirit Brand 

    © Antoine Garcia
    Local products of the Esprit National Park brand - Pyrenees
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