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Hiking to the Cirque de GavarnieHiking to the Cirque de Gavarnie

Hiking to "Le Cirque de Gavarnie" is one of the best choices you can take while travelling in the Pyrenees! And the great thing is that it's a very easy and short hike on a wide trail, that can be done by everybody even kids.
The Cirque de Gavarnie is a very steep semicircular rock formation, from where several waterfalls are descending to the ground. Just on top of the cliffs it's Spain, while on the bottom, where you are actually hiking, it's France!

The waterfall appearing behind the side of the mountainThe waterfall appearing behind the side of the mountain
I arrived to Gavarnie by bicycle, since I was on a bike trip from Portugal to Italy, but you can get there with public transportation or private one.
From the village just follow the signs and the people and you'll walk next to a river on a mostly flat track. Later the path will climb a bit and it will become a little bit rocky, but nothing strenuous. You can actually already see this spectacular landscape from the village itself!

View of the waterfall from the higher part of the hiking pathView of the waterfall from the higher part of the hiking path
I was there in the middle of August, and there was still some ice melting on the sides, temperature in the morning being 12 °C. Some friends were there 2 weeks before and told me that you had to cross a snow bridge in order to proceed. So verify weather conditions according to where you go.

Snow melting into the mountain streamSnow melting into the mountain stream
Almost at the end of the path there is even a restaurant with an impressive view of the "Cirque de Gavarnie" if you want to take a rest.
Or just a few hundred meters in front there is a wide green area where you can sit and enjoy the best view of the rocky formations and the waterfall!

Davide taking a rest on the best spot to admire the Cirque de GavarnieDavide taking a rest on the best spot to admire the Cirque de Gavarnie
The mountains creating the Cirque de Gavarnie are about 3000m high, and the waterfall, over 400 meters high, is the highest in Europe!
After a break you can proceed further and go all the way to the waterfall.
My personal suggestion is to do it only if you have plenty of time. In fact it gets steep and slippery from here on, and the view doesn't get any better. It's more for the challenge and to say that you "touched" the waterfall. Or to better say it: the water fell into you!

Splashes of water next to the waterfallSplashes of water next to the waterfall
I was just impressed, I knew it was a touristic and crowded attraction, but even if I was there on a Sunday morning in August, top touristic season, I managed to enjoy it and to be impressed!
You better go hiking early in the morning to avoid the crowds and remember to check the weather forecast for possible storm! Always be safe in the mountains, and Cirque de Gavarnie is no exception!.

Davide VadalàDavide Vadalà
In 2009 I quit my job to chase my dream of exploring our planet in a sustainable way and I haven't stopped yet. I love nature, sustainability, travel photography, handicrafts and hiking, and I never stop dreaming. More about Davide Vadala'.

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 Oti e Davide Long Avatar We travel as cheap as possible, hitchhiking, and hosted by people. Our only expense is food: if you want you can help us with a free donation. Thank you, Davide & Oti  ♥ Contribute 

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Davide and Oti

We are Davide and Otilia, two friends with itchy feet, living a non conventional life traveling around the world and learning everyday something new....
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