The Cirque de Gavarnie - a UNESCO World Heritage site
50 million years ago in the Pyrenees water and glacial erosion created a number of natural ‘cirques’ with a remarkable perfection. Gavarnie is the most famous and the most spectacular. With 16 summits of over 3000 metres and the highest waterfall in Europe it possesses a magnificent beauty.
The natural spectacle it offers is remarkable. This once hidden area «resembles nothing that is found anywhere else» wrote Victor Hugo. Adjoining the great canyons of Aragon in Spain it is part of the «Gavarnie - Mont Perdu» World Heritage site.
Practical info : Easy road access to the village from where an easy walk takes you to the Cirque (2 hours - return), can also be done on horseback or by mule.
To discover at Gavarnie
- Access to the Cirque de Gavarnie. Classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site Gavarnie is the most famous natural arena in the world. From Gavarnie village the view to the Cirque is breathtaking. An easy footpath which can be followed on foot or horseback leads to the Hotellerie at the Cirque, at the foot of the walls which reach over 3000m and close to the Grande Cascade, the waterfall has a drop of 432 metres.
- Access to the Cirque de Troumouse. Gavarnie’s neighbour, adjoining Mont Perdu, Troumouse is equally a UNESCO World Heritage site. Having a diameter of 6 km Troumouse is the largest. The statue of the virgin which dominates the Cirque offers an easy walk and gives a fine perspective over the Cirque.
- Visit to Millaris. The Cirques Information centre. This information centre and museum offers a complete panoramic history of the glaciated Cirques of Gavarnie, Troumouse and Estaubé : a discovery of mythical landscapes, the importance of water, agriculture, pastoralism, and also the World Heritage Sites.
Ice climbing in Gavarnie.
1 day / 1 night B&B in a chambre d’hotes 3 star Gites de France + an introduction and/or improvement course to the techniques of ice climbing with a high mountain guide + loan of climbing material.
From €97 / person (about £81)