This is a lovely national park which stretches along the border between France and Spain. It was established in 1967. Pyrenees National Park delights visitors with six alpine valleys and different varying elevations. This park has an interesting and unique resident known as the Pyrenean desman which is a relative of the mole. This little animal has the body of a mole, a trunk-like nose and webbed feet. Here it can enjoy living in the mountains and eating insect larvae and small shellfish which it can find on the banks of streams here.
Visitors to this area can enjoy a most unique attraction. This is a “tiny” railway along a narrow gauge and counts as Europe’s highest track. Visitors can reach it by cable car. Called The Petit Train d’Artouste it was built in the 1920s so that workers could get access to massive hydroelectric dams under construction. Now every summer visitors come to ride the rails taking a six-mile journey that goes from the peak of La Sagette to Artouste Lake all at an altitude of 6,562 feet.
Pyrenees National Park is home to around 40,000 people who make their home in 86 villages. The mountain slopes here are covered by yew and fir forests. At altitudes of about 7,874 feet there are lots of mugho pine trees (also known as mountain or dwarf pines) and purple Pyrenean irises and rhododendrons. Above this altitude the peaks are rocky and bare and topped with snow.
Among the wildlife here are bears, vultures, golden eagles, griffon, and the Pyrenean chamois. There are also around 2,500 plant species. It is a national park for all seasons but gets the most visitors in the summertime when there are many outdoor activities to pursue and there is also the exciting Tour de France. The fall is very colorful and includes lots of festivals. In the spring all the meadows are full of flowers. Wintertime people participate in winter sports.
Photo and info: