Pyrenees: Tips

General

The Pyrenees is a mountain range in French, Spain and Andorra. Even that it is easier with speaking French and Spanish, it is also possible to get around with English. People are in general nice and try to help out as good as possible. In order to get to the area, the closest airports are Bilbao (Spain), Toulouse (France) or Barcelona (Spain).

Transportation

The easiest to go around in the area is by renting a car. In France a toll fee needs to paid when driving on the highway towards the Pyrenees – for us it was 7 Euro from the Toulouse airport to Garvanie. It can be paid with coins or credit card at the station.

Streets are shared between cars, campers and racing bicycles. So always look out for the cyclists who are training for the next tour-de-france. In general the streets are in good shape. The closer you come to the national parks borders the smaller the streets gets, in some small towns it is only 2 meters wide. In case of a camper be aware that is can get really tide.

Accommodation

In the Pyrenees area you can find accommodation for every range of budget, depending on your preferences. Hotels, Hostels, Camping, Camper parking space.

The following 2 camping sides we stayed at:

  • La Bergerie campsite in Gavarnie (France)
  • Campsite of the Hotel Restaurante Lamiana in Tella (Spain)
Both cost 15 Euros for 1 tent and 2 people per night.
 
One important information for the free campers. Camping in the borders of the National Parks are not allowed. Outside of the Park there are possibilities of free camping and parking the camper van at the side of the road.

Money

In general all the places take credit card (restaurants, entry fees, …). You can pay in France and Spain with Euro.

Hiking & more

The Pyrenees area an outdoor playground and is not short of hiking paths (GR11, GR15 and the Camino the Santiago). On top of that there are tour providers for Canyoning, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Canoeing, Climbing, Fishing and more.

The interesting thing is that in the national parks have  no gondolas or managed huts like in the Alps of Switzerland, Germany or Italy. All the mountains had to be climbed by food, which made the paths mainly empty and completely to our taste.

Weather

The weather is a bit unpredictable in that area. It can be that in one valley it is raining and the other has sunshine all day. This can be completely different between 15 kilometers.

  • High Season: 5 July to End August (up to 35 degrees)
  • Low Season: June and September (up to 20 degrees)

The 8 June was the opening season of the campgrounds in Garvanie (France). So we were lucky that we did not been there earlier in the year. Other campgrounds like in Fabia (French) were still closed.

It seems that on Spain the season is a bit more flexible as more campgrounds were already open. Nether the less we had from 4 degree at night up to 25 degree during the day all kind of weather. From pure sunshine all day, to hard rain for hours. As well at night until 9 am, it can be still cold from 4 to 6 degrees.

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