Gavarnie, Hautes-Pyrenees, South West France

Category: Midi-Pyrenees - City and town guides
Department : Hautes-Pyrenees
Post code : 65120
Rail link : Lourdes
Nearest ski resort : Gavarnie - Gedre
Nearest airport : Tarbes
Commerce : Few shops, bars and restaurants
Economy : Tourism
To visit : Cirque de Gavarnie, Grande Cascade, Breche de Roland
Events : Festival de Gavarnie
Market : No
Population: 160 (INSEE2006)

Key points about this information item Gavarnie, Hautes-Pyrenees, South West France



Gavarnie is a hamlet in the Hautes-Pyrenees department of South West France and has little to offer except being a gateway into the Pyrenees Mountains. 



Located 8 Km south of Gedre, Gavarnie is in the heart of the Pyrenees National Park and gives great access to spectacular views and walks.



Gavarnie is now a tourist town that exists to cater for the thousands of visitors in the summer months.  There a few hotels, cafes and gift shops, but little else.  The main reason day-trippers com here is to see the Cirque de Gavarnie and this constitutes the majority of visitors.


The walk to the Cirque de Gavarnie will take between 1 and 2 hours each way depending on your fitness, but the route is a well maintained level path all the way.  This gets you as far as a view point at the foot of the Cirque.  If you are not up to the walk, there is a regular procession of donkeys taking people back and forth.


The area does have a great deal more to offer, including the Breche de Roland, a huge break in the Cirque allowing access to Spain.  There is also the Grande Cascade, the highest waterfall in Europe.  For the committed walker, there are plenty of routes and climbs from the reasonably easy to serious hikes that require crampons and ropes.



The economy of Gavarnie is now wholly based around tourism.



Driving is by far the easiest method of getting to Gavarnie.  From Lourdes, follow the road for Luz-St-Saveur and then follow signs for Gavarnie or Gedre on the only main road.


There is a regular bus service from Lourdes, allowing you to leave your car behind and avoid the 4€ charge for parking in the village outskirts.


Take a look at the Gavarnie webcam



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