Ski resort sheet
Gavarnie-Gèdre, or Gavarnie-les Espécières, is a ski resort in the Pyrenees placed in the village of Gavarnie-Gèdre in the Hautes-Pyrenees department in the Occitania region. It is part of the Ski Resort International group, a subsidiary of the PGI Management group.
It is well known for the quality of its snow, always fresh and natural, where altitude becomes big part relevant.
Gavarnie resort’s history
The port of Boucharo (Bujaruelo for Spaniards) rises up to 2270m. This altitude is relative: among the high massifs of Vignemale and Gavarnie, its easy access made it a privileged passage between France and Spain.
The town of Gavarnie has not always been worldwide known by skiers; nor does it enjoy a pastoral tradition as important as its neighbor Gèdre. Gavarnie is nestled on one of the main routes that cross the Pyrenees through Boucharo’s port.
The Gavarnie church is a must-see for travelers, who once praised the Virgin of Bon-Port before setting out on the route to Spain.
In 1794, Boucharo’s port was under special surveillance on the French side, since a soldier’s camp was sent to protect the territory from possible Spanish attacks. These events are framed when European monarchies opposed the First French Republic.
Gavarnie is the cradle of Pyreneanism (a movement that combines mountaineering and mountain culture, romanticism and ascensionism) since the town was the birthplace to many of the best considered mountain guides (Passet, Bernat-Salles …)
Gavarnie Skiable Domain
A medium size skiable domain, located in the heart of the Gavarnie-Gèdredes Pyrenees, recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site. An ideal destination for a family mountain holiday in a splendid natural setting. The ski area is adapted to all levels, surrounded by breath taking landscapes; including the majestic, world-famous Brèche de Roland and other peaks over 3000 m.
A destination where we will not only have fun sliding down the ski slopes, but also enjoying and sharing the pureness and simplicity of the views that surround the resort. This resort offers 28 trails of all levels, including the longest green track in the Pyrenees (“Les Marmottes”). The Gavarnie-Gèdre ski area is made up of two parts.
A snow front (at the bottom of the domain), specially suited for children and beginners, where learning becomes a game in a pleasant environment; it has wide and marked slopes for everyones safety.
The rest of the area is rather higher, with many viewpoints and picnic areas, especially in the famous Brèche de Roland. Wide slopes for all levels, including the longest green trail in the Pyrenees; from the highest point in the area to the bottom of the resort it has 6 km of descent.
Gavarnie gives away a sky full of stars every night
It may seem weird to many night owls in the city, but here the sky at night has nothing to do with what we see in the city. If we are lucky enough, we will be able to see the stars maybe one day, however, in this resort the strange thing is the night that does not appear starry.
Far from the big cities and light pollution, the night in the valleys of Gavarnie is a magical show where stars fill every corner of the sky. You just need to choose one of the outskirts of the resort to fully admire the stars. Or just hitting the resort, another equally valid option.
Among the many options, may the best is to head to the top of the mountain or to a summit, and have the sky as a dome on your head, surroundeding everywhere we look. There is no such magical moment than lookin up the constellations; to Jupiter, the Ursa Major or to appreciate the Milky Way, with the eyes wide open, but also with the heart, to allow the universe to touch us through its immensity.
The Cols du Tourmalet, Couraduque, Soulor, Hautacam, Col des Tentes or the Saugué plateau are ideal places to contemplate the sky, all reachable by car. During summer, bring a blanket to lie on the grass, a pull and be enchanted by this unique moment to share with that special person. Although with kids it can also be a magical experience. Is up to you.
It doesn’t take an athlete to fully enjoy the resort
In addition to its ski area, Gavarnie offers a large playground, in the heart of the Cirque de Gavarnie, perfect for many activities. While some will relish crowning the valley ridges on cross-country skiing (with or without guides), others will find the 40 routes equipped with ice climbing more attractive.
For those looking for a relaxed holidays and “moderate” physical effort, you can go on snowshoe excursions organized by mountain guides: themed outings to discover wildlife, in a family atmosphere, or if we rather, with a sportier approach.
Open all year, the Gèdre leisure center offers varied and original activities. This is the case of the Bob Luge descent, where 700m of descent and 8 turns await adults and children. The resort also has a climbing area: 350 m² for 18 m high, with 15 climbing lines and suitable itineraries for all levels, as well as a boulder area. The indoor and natural skating rink is open during the day with some designated dates for night skating, a classic that should not be missing in any other resort.
Cultural offer of the region
Speaking about culture, the church of Gavarnie has remaining ruins from the medieval period, the Gèdre-Dessus mills speak for themselves of an ancestral activity in harmony with the environment; in the area we also find the Pyrenees cemetery or the statue of Notre-Dame des-Neiges at 1519 m.
The Millaris museum is an opportunity to learn more about the region: a tour through the most picturesque landscapes of the region, the management of water resources (mills, hydroelectric power station), and agriculture, sheeping history of the valley and Unesco’s world heritage. Cradle of Pyreneism and heir to a long mountain tradition, the Gavarnie-Gèdre ski resort, also known as the Espécières resort, offers an environment like no other in the high mountains.