Mont Perdu, Hautes-Pyrenees: visitors guide
Visit Mont Perdu, France
Mont Perdu ('lost mountain') is a mountain on the border between France and Spain in the Midi-Pyrenees department, and situated in an inaccessible region deep in the Hautes-Pyrenees department.
Mont Perdu geography
It is the third highest mountain (altitude 3,352 metres) in the Pyrenees, with the summit of Mont Perdu actually being found in Spain (where it is known as Monte Perdido). The summit is one of the three peaks - the others being the Cylindre de Marboré and the Soum de Ramond - which together comprise the 'Massif du Mont Perdu'.
Approaching from France the mountain is hidden behind the Cirque de Gavarnie, the Cirque d'Estaube and the Cirque de Troumouse, themselves awesome spectacles, and the other mountains of the region, many of which offer magnificent views of Mont Perdu.
On the Spanish side the mountain is approached by two of Europe's deepest canyons which are also part of the Massif du Mont Perdu).
The World Heritage Site
The region around Mont Perdu is a listed World Heritage site. Much of the protected region falls within Spain (in the Ordesa National Park), while the French part falls entirely in the Pyrénées National Park.
It is the landscape and countryside and also the way of life that are being protected, both for the traditional dwellings and agriculture, and for the very wide range of flora and fauna to be found in the region. The landscape is a stunning mix of desolate mountains, pastoral countryside, lakes and forests.
There is of course a relationship between the inaccessibility of Mont Perdu and its preservation as a world heritage site. It is because the region is so hard to access that it has remained so untouched by the changes that have affected most places during the 20th century.
One of the most popular places from which the mountain can be seen is the Pic du Midi de Bigorre, itself accessible by cablecar.
The Pyrenees National Park is not easy to explore properly from the comfort of your car. Hiking through the mountains is a much preferable way to appreciate the scenery and peace of the region - however there is no particularly easy route for a casual exploration of Mont Perdu!
Reaching the Cirque de Gavarnie is straightforward but the most popular route then takes several days, including camping at night - in any event your trip will need careful planning, experience at mountain walking, and detailed advice!
The most detailed guide I have found is at Climbing Mont Perdu (French only). (Guided group tours are also available that take several days.)
Map of Mont Perdu and places nearby
Visit near Mont Perdu with France This Way reviews
... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Hautes-Pyrenees
Address: Gavarnie, Luz-Saint-Sauveur, Argelès-Gazost, Midi-Pyrenees, 65120, France || GPS: latitude 42.735, longitude -0.01
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Gavarnie église St Jean Baptiste (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site
- Cirque de Gavarnie: grand site of france (4 km)
- Cascade de Gavarnie: site of natural beauty (5 km)
- Cirque d'Estaubés: site of natural beauty (5 km)
- Brèche de Roland: site of natural beauty (5 km)
- Cirque de Troumouse: site of natural beauty (10 km)
- Pont d'Espagne: site of natural beauty (17 km)
- Aragnouet chapelle des templiers (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (17 km)
- Cirque du Marcadau: site of natural beauty (18 km)
- Cirque du Lys: site of natural beauty (21 km)
- Col du Tourmalet: site of natural beauty (23 km)
- Cirque du Litor: site of natural beauty (33 km)
The French version of this page is at Mont Perdu (Francais)