The area offers an exceptional range of outdoor activities : hiking, horse rides, trekking with donkeys and use of electric bikes are amongst the many activities available in the Canigou area. Every year several thousand visitors climb Mount Canigou to reach its summit. If you are planning to climb to the summit, please ensure you are adequately prepared, informed and equipped.
Access the Canigou summit, on foot
There are several routes to access the Canigou summit, either on foot or partly by 4x4. The quickest route begins at the Chalet des Cortalets which can be reached by 4x4: the most breathtaking route, ending with a stone staircase called the ‘Chimney’, starts from Mariailles. All routes and practical information are available in Conflent documentation regarding access to the Canigou summit.
Time indications on the signs should only be used as a guide as they do not take breaks and individual pace into consideration.
Seen as the ascent to the summit of Mt. Canigou requires mountaineering skills, you should be an experienced hiker and adequately prepared, especially when there is snow on the summit. It is important to check weather conditions before leaving (Météo France: 00 33 (0)8 99 71 02 66) and be aware of weather conditions when climbing.
High, non-slip boots, altimeter, compass, windcheater, warm clothing, hat or helmet, food and drink, sun cream, first aid kit and the IGN 1:25,000 TOP 25 2349ET map, which is imperative and is not replaceable by the Canigou summit access document.
You can also book a professional, state-certified mountain guide to accompany you.
The Massif du Canigou is accessible to everyone
IIn 2005, the Languedoc-Roussillon region, the Pyrénées Orientales’ Departmental Council and financing from the European LEADER program, supported a project to train mountain guides to obtain a Handisport qualification certificate and to buy three all-terrain chairs that can be pulled by donkeys. Joëlette training and rental is also available - a joëlette is a single wheel all-terrain chair that allows people with disabilities to access.
Access the Massif with donkeys
It is possible to be accompanied by donkeys. They can carry all the necessary equipment, as well as children, so that you can explore the different trails.
Access the Canigou summit by car
Access to the Canigou summit is regulated and tracks leading to the Cortalets and Mariailles refuges are subject to prefectural orders. Some 4x4 transport companies are allowed to use the forest tracks during the day. The drivers who know the area well will enable you to discover the mountain safely and from a different perspective. A bag-carrying service for hikers is also available.
It takes two to four days to access the summit, depending on your pace, mode of transport and weather conditions. The Canigou massif has several refuges in which you can spend the night before continuing your ascent the following day. Bivouacking is allowed in the Canigou classified site, the camp must be set up by nightfall and taken down at sunrise.
Fires are allowed in intended specific locations.
The Grand Site du Canigou is an exceptional natural place; please help us to preserve it this way and take your rubbish down with you.
Track access is regulated by prefectoral orders.
As of the 6th of November 2017 and until further order, motor vehicles shall be authorized on the Llech, Balaig and Mariailles tracks.