The Central Pyrenees – Aragon & Gascony

The Pyrenees is so varied and has many micro-climates or regions that have been partly or wholly independent for centuries. Each has something special to offer a visitor.

Our favourite section of the Pyrenees is the central part, incorporating the Community of Aragón in Spain, and the ancient French provinces of Bearn and Gascony, in the southern parts of the modern French Department called Hautes-Pyrénées.

This is a fantastic area to explore, one replete with ancient villages, with people sometimes herding their sheep and goats and living the traditional ways. The hiking here is phenomenal, and you are unlikely to come across any other hikers other than the occasional Spanish or French aficionado of wild landscapes and nature.

Here there are numerous hidden corners, old villages, rugged and gentle landscapes, green, wooded and steep on the French side and generally drier, hardier and more “open sky” on the Spanish side.

There are many possibilities here, as the choice for relatively untouched corners in this area is ample, including the isolated Chistau Valley, or the spectacular and rounded Guara Mountains with its clear rivers, and the ancient Moorish-looking bastion of Alquézar. One of the areas we find hard to resist recommending are the Ansó and Hecho Valleys, and the corresponding Cirque of Lescun and Aspe Valley on the French side of the mountains.

This is an ideal area for anyone enjoying hiking and exercise, combined with an interest in realtively untouched local character and plenty of ancient villages.