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The Pyrenees, a European mountain range, form the border between Spain and France. The mountain range stretches approx. 430 kilometers from west to east, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The Pyrenees cover a total of six French departments and four Spanish regions. Furthermore, the principality of Andorra lies entirely in the mountains. The highest mountain is the Aneto at 3404 meters, located in the northeast of the Spanish region of Aragon. The mountain chain was created by a collision of the Iberian Peninsula and the European continent some 50 million years ago. On both the French and the Spanish sides you will find several beautiful national parks.

The Aneto


The Pont d'Espagne is situated on the edge of the Pyrenees National Park at an altitude of 1,496 meters. This is the place to admire the most beautiful waterfalls in the region of the Hautes-Pyrenees. This protected two valley area is best visited on foot. The Vallée du Marcadau is a beautiful landscape of plains, lakes and peaks, and the Vallée de Gaube is simply breathtaking. Both can be reached by cable car. The upper portion of the Vallée de Gaube leads to a superb lake and a blocked pass at the end close to the north face of the Vignemale, the highest peak on the French side of the border with Spain.

Pont D’Espagne


A Bastide is a French medieval fortified village and quite typical of Gascony. A related building style is that of the Castelnau, also a fortified village but in the vicinity of a castle. Both Bastides and Castelnaux were built during turbulent times from 1255 to 1316. The architectural origin of the Bastide is based on a square plan with a marketplace in the middle surrounded by buildings and connecting roads. In the direct vicinity of Le Peyran, you will find beautiful examples of well preserved Bastides. Besides Marciac itself, you will find the Bastides of Beaumarches, Fourcès, Tillac, Bassoues and Larressingle all worth visiting.

The Bastide of Tillac


We are quite sure it rings a bell: Lourdes, the famous pilgrimage site in the Hautes-Pyrénées, situated in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Here Bernadette Soubirous, as a 14 year old girl in 1858 claimed to have witnessed several apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the cave of Massabielle. In 1864 a statue was erected in honor of Our Lady of Lourdes at the site of the apparitions. A chapel was built which soon proved to be too small. It was made into a crypt for the first basilica, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Over the years two basilicas and several other buildings have been constructed, now all part of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. Bernadette herself entered the convent of Nevers in 1866. She was canonized in 1933.

The basilica and cave of Lourdes