The area fo the Pyrenées Luchonnaises is well known for its many lookout mountains. On one hand the tallest mountains of the whole mountain range (Aneto, Maladeta) as well as three of the famous Cirques are close, on the other hand several lower north-south running ridges offer easy access to round-topped 2000ers with wonderful vistas. One of these ridges is loccated between Val de Luchon and Val d'Aran, exactly where the French-Spanish border suddenly bends northward, following the ridge. Where the border bends back estward you find one of the highest summits of the ridge, also one of the last (northernmost), Pic de Bacanère.
There are several routes to the mountain, the most popular one starting at Artigues, a small mountain village north-east of Bagnères de Luchon and heading up a wide open scenic ridge, Serrat de Créspés. A direct route from Spain follows a steep, forested valley and the most scenic route is the ridge traverse from Col du Portillon, which, however, is lengthy and pathless and thus the most difficult approach. Most visitors rather turn southward from the col to get closer to the Pyrenees main ridge instead.
As indicated above, Pic de Bacanère is a flat topped mountain with an almost flat slope towards its west. Towards Val d'Aran, however, it drops rather quickly making a direct ascent quite cumbersome, if not impossible. It is separated from its southern neighbour, Plan de Monmajou by an only slightly pronounced saddle, Col des Taons de Bacanère, in which you find the ruins of an old customs hut. Obviously the col is part of an old trade route between Val d'Aran and Val de Luchon.
Plan de Monmajou itself is also an interesting lookout, mostly because it offers an unobstructed view towards the south. It is covered in heather and thus a beautiful sight to see during autumn, when these plants bloom. The area is also popular among the Isards, the Pyrenees Chamoix, which you can observe in herds from both summits.
360° Summit Panorama
- From France
- Take motorway A64 to the exit Montréjeau
- Take A645 to its end near Loures-Barousse
- Switch To N125 which leads you to Bagnères de Luchon.
- Look out for signs to the mountain village Artigue. A road turns off to the left.
- Follow this road to the small parking lot in front of the village (great view there!)
- From Spain
- Take motorway A2 to Lerida
- Switch to N230 which will take you all the way to Vielha and Les, where a hike to Sommet de Prat Pardin starts. From there you have to follow the ridge northwards until you reach Pic de Bacanère
There's no real red tape to speak of. From the French side the hike starts at Artigue and you'll have to pass through the village, which is a bit of a maze. Make sure you don't end up in somebodys garden. Also, the mountain is located on the French - Spanish border so bringing an ID is mandatory (even in times of open borders).
Being a spa town and ski resort, Bagnères de Luchon offers lots of accommodation of all kinds. For more information follow the following link:
Maps & Books
- Luchon - Comminges - Louron
- Pyrénées Centrales V
Vallées d'Aure et de Luchon
- Pyrenäen 2 / Pyrénées 2