© Antoine Garcia
Reflections in a lake in the Néouvielle Nature Reserve
Preserved treasures of the Gavarnie Valleys

Nature Reserves

  • Wilderness
  • Sports
  • Responsible travelling

    The richness of the Gavarnie Valleys lies in its varied natural landscapes, which have been protected and preserved for years. To pass on this heritage to future generations, spaces complementary to the Pyrenees National Park have been created: the Regional Nature Reserve of Pibeste-Aoulhet and the Néouvielle Nature Reserve. 

    Neouvielle Reserve 

    NATIONAL NATURE RESERVE 

    Visiting the Néouvielle Nature Reserve is like entering a small world apart, preserved from human activity, where fauna and flora live in symbiosis. Accessible by car from the Vallée d’Aure and Lake Orédon, while on the side of Bareges and the Aygues-Cluses Valley, an approach on foot allows you to gently understand this exuberant nature. It is one of the first reserves to have emerged in France which, due to a warmer and drier microclimate, offers the perfect cocoon for many species. 

    © Antoine Garcia
    Visit the Néouvielle Nature Reserve

    Hikes to mountain lakes

    More than 70 lakes to discover

    From valleys to passes and from passes to summits, the trails undulate around more than 70 lakes and ponds.  
    During a hike, we let ourselves be surprised by a palette of surprising colors, ranging from deep blue to emerald.

    Personalized big lakes from Aubert, Orédon or Cap-de-Long to the most small lacquers, the bodies of water are here sources of life and the nest ofendemic species like the desman, an aquatic “trumpet-rat”. A veritable breeding ground, more than 570 species of algae have been identified in these preserved areas. 

     Hikes from Barèges

     Roaming in the Néouvielle Massif

    © Antoine Garcia
    Hiking in the Néouvielle Nature Reserve
    Manon Vallin
    Protected flora of the Néouvielle Nature Reserve
      Zoom on ...

    The hook pine

    Emblematic pine of the Pyrenees, the hooked pine adorns the edge of the lakes and the slopes of the reserve.

    It is easily observed particular silhouette, which testifies to years of adaptation to its environment to survive drought, cold or frost in winter.

    Pibeste-Aoulhet Reserve 

    REGIONAL NATURE RESERVE  

    Located at the entrance to the territory, the Pibeste-Aoulhet massif welcomes its visitors with open arms to the Gavarnie Valleys. From its line of ridges, the 360-degree view allows you to observe the high cross-border peaks as well as the plain near Lourdes and St-Pé-de-Bigorre or the confidential valley of Bergons.  
    Regional nature reserve the most extensive of metropolitan France, this astonishing mountain range holds many surprises. Of its forests enchanted virgins to her deep caves passing through his cliffs aerial, this reserve is surprising. 

    Pierre Meyer
    Rosalie of the Alps

    A preserved flora and fauna 

    Composed of more than 70% by different forests, the terrain then alternates between clearings and cliffs. 1659 species of flora, lichen and fungi adorn this karstic massif where many bird species have taken up residence. It is also easy to observe majestic birds of prey nestled against the walls during a hike. Different mammals mountaineers have also settled in this natural setting, as the isard or the Mediterranean Mouflon

    Pierre Meyer
    Observation of the Egyptian vulture in the Pibeste-Aoulhet Reserve

    Meeting with ...

    Manon Vallin
    Nature Reserve Facilitator
    Julien Delga GUARD OF THE PIBESTE-AOULHET REGIONAL NATURE RESERVE

    As a nature facilitator, I like to raise awareness about the exceptional heritage of the Reserve, and share my knowledge with all audiences. What I like most is sharing. We give a lot and we receive just as much, or even more. Accompanying children and seeing their wonder when they put their eyes through a telescope for the first time to observe animals is a lot of emotion. Transmitting and exchanging, receiving anecdotes about a particular place or species, is very enriching.

    Hikes all year round

    4 season trails
    © Manon Vallin
    Snowy Pibeste-Aoulhet Regional Nature Reserve

    The sunny paths of Pibeste and their southern orientation allow discovery in all seasons. Winter, it is one of the few sectors that offers non-snow-covered routes. The perfect place to take a day break, away from the crowds. At spring, it is a privileged place to observe the fauna and flora which is slowly waking up. Summer, the forests will offer a moment of freshness, or a breath of fresh air from the ridges. Autumn, the hiking trails are bordered by flamboyant vegetation and the hikes are lulled by the sound of the crackling of the leaves under his feet. 

    Gerard Ganglion
    Woman hiking in the fall in the Pyrenees

    From caving to trail running on the ridges 

    Subject to this reservation, a well-hidden world is explored over the seasons. The monitors of potholing of our valleys lead us through a maze of conduits, caves and galleries that dot the underground between St-Pé-de-Bigorre and Lourdes. From rooms to sources, by exploring these galleries, we set off to discover the bowels of the Earth. 
     
    Higher up, the limestone cliffs and ridges of Pibeste open the way to beautiful hiking routes. between. A favorite spot for runners in all seasons, the Pibeste exhibition allows you to go running during the long summer evenings as well as in winter, in the dry, when the weather is mild. 

    © Tristan Buchot
    Pibeste Integral Trail

    To discover in pictures...

    “On the path to naturalness, the forests of Pibeste-Aoulhet”
    Travel journal
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