Travel to the French Pyrenees – Episode 760

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Travel to the French Pyrenees (Podcast) - Amateur Traveler

Hear about travel to the Pyrenees Mountains in France as the Amateur Traveler talks to Penny Walker from about the area she now calls home.

Penny says, “I’m based in the central French Pyrenees, literally midway between the Atlantic coast and the Mediterranean, which is an absolutely wonderful part of the world. I have to say I’m absolutely taken with the mountains and the way of life and this part of France. I’ve been living here for nearly 15 years now.  It’s the environment, the unspoiled nature of the Pyrenees mountains. It’s so unspoiled. It’s a very authentic mountain destination. Certainly, people who are outdoors lovers, people who love culture and food and wine, it’s unmissable.”

Penny recommends you take a flight or a train to Toulouse in southern France and then rent a car to access the area. But this is an area that begs to be explored on foot so she recommends a few hikes like the Port de Balès or the Port de Venasque. If you are not able to hike there are gondolas that you can take up into the mountains for a view, such as the one in Bagnères-de-Luchon in the Luchon Valley.

Penny recommends we take a hike with a guide to track some of the local brown bears, see the bearded vultures, marmots, or the Pyrenean chamois which is a goat-antelope.

The area has hidden gems like the thermal baths at Balnéa or a natural hammam (steam bath) in a cave called Le Vaporarium.

For students of history, you can explore the Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí which is a UNESCO World Heritage site or the Caves of Gargas with signs of human habitation going back 27,000 years.

After your hike, you can enjoy the regional cuisine with goat’s cheese, saffron, and chocolate. Penny recommends some local producers and some local restaurants where you can enjoy the regional dishes.

Explore this less touristy part of France with great food, views, and history.

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Out Travel The System

This episode of Amateur Traveler is sponsored by Expedia‘s flagship travel show Out Travel The System. Learn where to stay, what to do, and how to live like a local.

AirMedCare Network Fly-U-Home

This episode of Amateur Traveler is sponsored by AirMedCare Network Fly-U-Home. If hospitalized more than 150 nautical miles from home, they’ll transport you to a hospital of your choice in one of their medically equipped, private aircraft by specially trained nurses and paramedics at no out-of-pocket cost to you.

Use the code TRAVELER to a $60 gift card.

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Show Notes

Travel to Toulouse, France (Podcast)
Port de Balès
Port de Venasque
Pyrenean chamois
Louron valley – Pyrénées2vallées
Le Vaporarium
La Chapelle (Bagneres-de-Luchon)
Les flocons Pyrénéens
Safran de l’Arbizon, safran bio, confitures originales et sirop
Caves of Gargas
Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí – UNESCO World Heritage Centre


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Travel to the French Pyrenees (Podcast) | Things to do in the Pyrenees - Amateur Traveler #france #pyrenees #travel #trip #vacation #things-to-do-in Travel to the French Pyrenees (Podcast) | Things to do in the Pyrenees - Amateur Traveler #france #pyrenees #travel #trip #vacation #things-to-do-in

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

2 Responses to “Travel to the French Pyrenees – Episode 760”

Gene Latour


Hi Chris, We have rented a car and would like to hike for 5-6 days in the French Pyranees (are hiking the Carros de Foc on the Spanish side the week prior). Read about and like to do some hikes like Lacs du Pic d’Ayous, Pic du Canigou, Pique rouge de Bassies and maybe Cagire loop. What would you recommend, are there some loops or multi-day where we stay in some refuges or we can also just move around and do day hikes. Gene

Chris Christensen


Gene, that one I need to ask the community about, as I don’t know.

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