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Europe > Pyrenees

Pyrenees

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The Pyrenees are a European mountain range on the border between France and Spain. Andorra is also to be found in the range.

Understand[edit]

The Pyrenees are among Europe's highest mountain ranges, separating Spain and the rest of Iberia from France and the rest of Europe. Sections of this mountain range have been designated as WV-Unesco-icon-small.svg UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Get in[edit]

The Pyrenees are highly accessible thanks to numerous airports the length of the chain. On the French side at the Atlantic end, Biarritz/Bayonne is the closest airport to the mountains although Bordeaux airport is only a couple of hours away. Further East, Pau and then Tarbes/Lourdes airports are in the central foothills whilst Toulouse is the major hub serving the central Pyrenees. Carcassonne and Perpignan airports serve the Mediterranean end of the chain.

There are numerous crossing points which take the traveller from the French to the Spanish side of the mountains. In the centre of the chain, a road runs alongside the River Garonne from Saint Beat along the Aran Valley and into Spain. Further West, the Bielsa tunnel up from Saint-Lary-Soulan is a well frequented crossing point as is the Puymorens tunnel which is on the main Toulouse to Barcelona route.

By train[edit]

A high speed rail line links Perpignan and Figueres and connects to the French TGV and Spanish AVE networks. Another rail line at the western edge contains a break of gauge and is thus used more rarely these days.

Regions[edit]

The mountain range crosses three countries:

France[edit]

Spain[edit]

Andorra[edit]

The entire country is contained within this mountain range

Cities[edit]

Few major cities are to be found directly inside the mountain range

Stay safe[edit]

This is a high mountain range, with peaks up to 3,404 m (11,168 ft) high so you should be prepared for what that entails, including sudden changes in weather, severe weather, avalanches and other dangers of the mountains. The Pyrenees are also one of a few regions of Europe still containing bears, which usually don't bother humans, but can attack and even kill when drawn in by food or if humans get between a mother and her cub.

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