Mont Perdu visitor guide

Photo of Mont Perdu

Visit Mont Perdu, France

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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'.

Gavarnie and waterfall

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.)

You can find more travel ideas in the Hautes-Pyrenees guide and the Midi-Pyrenees guide.

See also: 

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Visit near Mont Perdu with France This Way reviews



The natural highlight of the Cirque de Gavarnie, a great circular cliff, is one of the most scenic places in the Pyrenees

Gavarnie guide


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Luz-Saint-Sauveur guide
Col du Tourmalet

Col du Tourmalet

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Col du Tourmalet guide


It is the abbey church in Saint-Savin, and the surrounding countryside, that make a visit recommended

Saint-Savin guide
Pyrenees National Parc

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Pyrenees National Parc guide


Deep in the Pyrenees on a small river, Arreau is a delightful small town to explore

Arreau guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Hautes-Pyrenees

The French version of this page is at Mont Perdu (Francais)