Lac de Gaube: Where the peaks are reflected
In the Hautes-Pyrenees, Lake de Gaube is 1,725 metres above sea level, perched above the village of Cauterets. To reach it you can take a chairlift from Gaube which is open in summer, then a gentle 20 minute downhill walk to complete your journey. Or, if you’re feeling like a challenge, then cross the Pont d’Espagne bridge and take a 1h30 minute hike through the pine forest. It’s well worth the effort to see the crystal clear waters reflecting the Vignemale Mountain, the highest in the French Pyrenees.
Lac de Gaube
Lac de Suyen: Perfect for the whole family
Head for the small valley of the Gave d'Arrens, near the Tech dam, where there’s a family friendly hiking route to the Lac de Suyen. From the information point at the Maison Plan d'Aste, take the path which winds between the fir trees, and about 30 minutes of walking later, you’ll discover the beautiful lake. If you feel like continuing, a short walk will bring you to a waterfall and shepherd’s hut known as the Toue de Doumblas, sheltered under a huge rock.
Maison Plan d'Aste
Lac de Pourtet and Lac Nère: A change in levels
For a more challenging hike, strictly for experienced walkers, a tour of these lakes will take around six and a half hours of hiking on the steep slopes of the Cardinquère massif. In this lofty and magnificent rocky location, discover the Lac du Pourtet (2,420 metres altitude) and then descend to Lac Nère, at 2,309 metres above sea level. If you’re lucky you may see ibexes, the wild mountain goats which roam the slopes.
Lac du Pourtet and Lac Nère
The lakes of Ayous: Breath-taking views
In the Ossau valley, a succession of lakes provide bold hikers with breathtaking views of the peak of Midi d'Ossau, which stands at 2,884 metres above sea level. Lake Roumassot, Lake Miey, Lake Gentau and Lake Bersau tempt you to take a refreshing dip on a warm day. The lake of Roumassot can be reached after an hour and a half of walking from the Bious-Artigues dam. Lake Bersau, the highest lake, takes 2h30 to reach. Don’t forget to look up - the cliffs of the Ossau Nature Reserve are home to colonies of tawny vultures.
Take a tour of the lakes of Carlit: For those who always want more
Discover 11 lakes in one hike. Start at Lake Bouillouses, near the resort of Angles in Capcir. The trail can get quite busy in summer, as it’s a popular walk to Pic Carlit, the highest peak in the Eastern Pyrenees. Hikers can choose from several different routes to discover the lakes, from a tour of around three hours to a more demanding circuit requiring five hours of walking.
Lac d’Aumar: Fir trees and crystal clear waters
At the heart of the natural reserve of Néouvielle, in the Aure valley, Lake Aumar sits at 2,192 metres above sea level. The trail follows the shores of Lake Orédon before heading into the fir trees, along a stream peppered with waterfalls. When you arrive at the fir tree lined lake of Aumar, you’ll be able to see the Néouvielle massif reflected in the crystal clear waters, it really is quite magical.
Néouvielle Nature Reserve