“Pass’Aran” is a wonderful uninterrupted tour which allows you to walk freely to and from the “Val d’Aran” and “Ariège”. The four possible departures for the tour are : “Montgarri” on the Spanish side, “La Maison du Valier”, the stopover gîte at Eylie and the parking “La pucelle” (Orle valley) on the French side.
The paths, all marked, require you to be in a good physical condition and to have some experience in map reading. The route goes through spectacular unspoiled landscapes and crosses several passes over 2400m high. For those with a real taste of adventure, you can climb the high peaks such as the “Crabère”, the “Mont Valier”, the “Barlonguère” or the “Maubermé”. All the information about the tour can be found on the maps in the five shelters (gîtes and refuges).
The tour is in a sense a journey into the past. The peasants removed rocks and stones from the fields and built low walls and barns which have become synonomous of the area. The paths etched into the mountainside are witness to the miners’ struggle to earn a living in the mines high in the mountains. Sherperds and herdsmen still spend their summers in the mountain pastures. In the past the smugglers and guides created this tour “Pass’Aran” in order to survive. The “Val d’Aran” and the “Castillonnais” are only crossed by paths, there are no roads or tracks.
That is why Pass’Aran is certainly the most beautiful cross-border tour of the Pyrenean moutain range.
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par Núria Rafanell 2012