Hautes Pyrénées – High Pyrenees
On the French side, the Hautes-Pyrénées are a department (ie an administrative area) in the Midi-Pyrénées region but it is generally a term used to describe the section of the Pyrenees with the highest peaks. These peaks include the Vignemale, the Pic du Midi Bigorre and Monte Perdido, as well as the Neouvielle an Arbizon mountain ranges. The impressive Breche de Roland, a natural gateway from France to Spain, spans the imposing Cirqu de Gavarnie, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the thousand metre high walls of the Spanish Ordesa canyon.
The region contains the Pyrenees two largest national parks, the French Parc National des Pyrénées and the Spanish Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido. Both parks have incredible and variable scenery, as well as circling birds of prey, lynx and brown bears.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the High Pyrenees is how untouched they are. They are not criss-crossed by roads open all year but a short drive and easy walk can leave you in true wildernes