Hiking with animals
Symbol of the Pyrénées Orientales and classified ‘Grand Site de France’ in July 2012, the Canigou is an exceptional natural site that is ideal for hiking. Visible from the Languedoc, the Ariège and Gerona it is also an identifying feature of the Pyrenean landscape.
Whether you are hiking, walking with a donkey or just taking in the surrounding nature, the Massif du Canigou is unique and not to be missed: the heart and soul of Catalonia.
The Canigou, unspoiled and perfect for hiking
Mount Canigou is a true look-out post that dominates the Roussillon plain and Mediterranean Sea and it offers spectacular views.
Located in between two valleys : the Tech (Vallespir) and the Têt (Conflent), the Massif du Canigou is cherished by nature lovers, it is home to incredible biodiversity due to its geographical situation, exposure, temperatures and altitude, the Canigou offers an exceptional range of flora and fauna. As you wander, you may spot certain Mediterranean or mountain plant species and also observe the diversity of its natural habitats: garrigue, deciduous and resinous woodland, moors, rocky fields, snow-covered valleys... Multiple landscapes and atmospheres punctuate the winding paths that will lead you to the summit.
As exceptional as this biodiversity may be, it is also fragile and it is everyone’s responsibility to preserve it.
The Massif du Canigou comprises nine Natura 2000 sites and three national nature parks.
Rich in natural resources, the Massif du Canigou has a significant network of paths (750km) which can be accessible to amateur walkers as well as expert hikers. The Tours, Rondes and Boucles du Canigou allow you to discover the whole mountain range through its peaks, forests, moors, villages, legends and heritage – an experience to be enjoyed at your own leisure!
If you wish to discover more, there are many other hiking tracks that will give you a chance to explore Conflent : a heritage and hiking hot spot. If you are climbing to the Canigou summit please make sure you are adequately prepared.
The Canigou, Grand Site de France - classified site
In July 2012, the Canigou became a Grand Site de France. Which enabled special protection to preserve the natural mountain environment and to highlight its characterizing cultural heritage. The objective is to protect the natural environment while promoting local development to ensure the site’s longevity.
The management of this Grand Site de France is provided by the Syndicat Mixte du Canigó Grand Site de France that also manages the Natura 2000 program. In doing so, the Syndicat Mixte du Canigó Grand Site de France has already placed car restrictions within the classified site and has created a map of pedestrian and equestrian routes.
Since 2018 the Canigou became a Grand Site Occitanie also.
Canigou, a territory full of life
Mount Canigou has always fascinated men. It is dear to the Catalans and people of the Pyrenees and always appeals to its thousands of visitors who climb it each year.
If you are in Conflent the weekend before the Saint-Jean, for the Trobada, you can experience the fervor of Catalan traditions which persist and punctuate seasons and mountain life. Mount Canigou also sees hundreds of hikers and runners striding across it during the first week in August, for the Championnat du Canigó.