As a non-European, the Pyrenees are definitely off-the-beaten track Europe. Even after years of visiting the continent, this was my first time really exploring the region. A few years back, I started the Camino de Santiago in the Spanish Pyrenees, but within a day, I had walked out of them.
This time around, I planned to see the French Pyrenees. I wanted to spend a few days hiking and biking in the area. The Pyrenees is a region worth exploring; not only for the natural beauty but for the additional cultures you’ll get to explore: Basque on the west and Catalan on the east.
For three days I based myself at Can Rigall, a 300 year-old Catalan farmstead restored into an eco-hotel. From there, I hiked on a number of footpaths higher into the mountains, took the all-terrain bikes down long dirt roads, and most of all just soaked up the views. The property of Can Rigall is situated on 142 hectares of wilderness on the hillside about 800 meters above the small town of Arles sur Tec.
The photo above illustrates the isolated location of Can Rigall. It is reachable via the city of Perpignan, in the far south of France. The Pyrenees form the border between Spain and France and encompass the small country of Andorra. The towns and villages up and down the Tech Valley are also worth exploring if you have more time. The Mediterranean Sea is not too far away either.
I was a guest of Can Rigall, but the words and opinions are entirely my own. For more information about the eco-resort, visit their website: http://www.canrigall.com/