Welcome to this week’s episode of Low Season Traveller Insider Guides.
Today we’re delighted to be joined by the aptly named, Penny Walker who is a creator and curator of sustainable adventures in the Pyrenees Mountains.
One of the reasons we love recording these podcast episodes is that we get to meet fascinating and passionate people from some incredible destinations around the world. And meeting Penny for this episode really got us thinking about the types of travel which can be enjoyed in the low seasons closer to home…
So, we’re currently working on some amazing initiatives and special tours at Low Season Traveller just now and we’re hoping to share those with you, our dedicated podcast listeners first but we’ll tell you more about these in the coming weeks.
For now, get yourself a cuppa, and get comfy as we bring you over to the marvellous Pyrenees Mountains…
EPISODE SHOW NOTES:
The Pyrenees form the natural border between France and Spain and stretch from the Atlantic in the West to the Mediterranean in the east.
They’re easily accessible by train, with a new night train service now linking Paris with Toulouse, the gateway to the mountains.
The ferry is another low impact option. Take the cross Channel ferry and then drive down with a stop in a B&B en route, or take the overnight ferry from Portsmouth or Plymouth to Bilbao or Santander and enjoy a scenic, leisurely drive to the mountains.
The Pyrenees are an unspoiled, authentic mountain destination and a great alternative for outdoors lovers who’d like a change from the busier Alps.
Wildlife lovers will be in their element here in the low season as they discover the population of over 60 brown bears concentrated in the central Pyrenees who’re at their most active in the Spring and Autumn.
The Pyrenees also have the rarest vulture in Europe, the Lammergeier, plus ibex, chamois, eagles and numerous other birds of prey.
The mountains are dotted with mountain refuges which are catered from June to the end of September, providing a great overnight experience for hikers and outdoors lovers looking for an offgrid early or late season mountain experience.
In May and June, riversports are in their element as the rivers become super-charged by the snowmelt from the high mountains. Rafting, canyoning, riverboarding and kayaking are great options for the adrenaline junkie!
The central Pyrenees are a world class MTB destination with the Enduro World Series choosing the area for two stages of their championships in 2021. There are also have numerous way-marked and graded XC routes which are best tackled in the late spring or early autumn.
The Pyrenees mountains are known for the gnarly cols that feature in the Tour de France. Us lesser mortals can choose to ride them on an e-bike which can be rented locally. There are also endless cycling possibilities on the gently undulating, quiet country lanes that snake through the foothills and which are accessible to the leisure cyclist all year round.
The thermal spa facilities in the central Pyrenees are exceptional with our favourite being in the Louron valley with its geo-thermally heated, family friendly outdoor pools with stunning views of the high mountains. These facilities are open year-round.
Food is big in the Pyrenees, with farms producing every type of cheese you can imagine as well as hams and charcuterie from the native black ‘noir de Bigorre’ pigs.
Adventure Creators offer guided visits to the best market in the area in the Medieval village of Arreau, to enable visitors to meet our favourite producers and learn about their products.
The smaller accommodation providers, especially the family owned B&Bs in the area, really appreciate low season custom so your presence will be greatly valued.
Social Media Links:
Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqwZGveCPc2xeMRWAK7-iKg