Cirque de Gavarnie – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Grand Site Occitanie
This is definitely somewhere for those who love wide open spaces and being away from it all ! The world-famous, mythical natural attraction is a wonderful place for all the family at any time of year. You just have to see the waterfall to understand all the wild beauty of the Cirque de Gavarnie, a circular glacial plateau with a 6.5km circumference at 1,500m altitude.
The splendid paradise of multi-coloured limestone and dark green pine trees is reached from the village of Gavarnie, on the border with Spain. It is part of the Parc National des Pyrénées and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 as part of the Pyrenees-Mont-Perdu ensemble.
Walking and hiking at Cirque de Gavarnie
The site is easily accessible. The walk from the village to the foot of the cirque and back takes 2 hours and is suitable for children. For an element of fun, you can go on horseback or by donkey.
There are lots of walks and hikes to enjoy the beauty of the Cirque de Gavarnie, but the two best-known are the one which leads to the ‘Grande Cascade’ waterfall via the Hôtellerie and the one which climbs up through the famous Brèche de Roland. According to legend, the gap was opened by Roland, Charlemagne’s nephew, when he was trying to destroy his sword, Durandal, after the Battle of Roncevaux.
Around Cirque de Gavarnie – the Pyrenees-Mont-Perdu ensemble