Scaling the heights

The Pic du Midi

One of the lovely things about living in the foothills of the Pyrenees is the ever-changing views; the mountains have a life of their own and like to put on a good show. Today we woke up to a dusting of fresh snow on the top of the highest peaks which completely changed the landscape and the perspective and motivated us to make a quick trip up to one of the highest peaks to take in what must be one of the best views in France.

This is an ideal time of year to head up into the mountains – the air is clear and cool in the mornings but beautifully warm in the afternoons and the clarity of the light is almost unreal. The highest easily accessible peak in the Pyrenees is the Pic du Midi where a journey of two cable cars whisks you up to 2877 metres. (The actual highest peak in the Pyrenean range is on the Spanish side, Pico de Aneto at 3406 metres.)

The cable car to the summit

The Pic du Midi is visible from all over this region, particularly driving around the Haute Garonne, its telescopes and large aerial making it stand out clearly from the other peaks. Most people take the trip to the top just for the view and it is certainly worth it for that alone although also at the summit you will find the highest museum in Europe. More serious star gazers can book into the small hotel (just 19 guests) for an overnight stay with conducted tours and use of the telescopes – as well of course, gourmet dining. At night from the top, they say you can see the lights all the way from Biarritz to Barcelona.

For me it is just great to be driving around looking at the Pic du Midi every day and knowing what it feels like to stand up there, on the top of the world.

One of the telescopes and the view from the top


Comments are closed.