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Observe the panorama from the Pic du Midi

by | 22 Nov 2019 | An unusual moment, They share

» They share » Observe the panorama from the Pic du Midi

That’s a big question! The colours, atmosphere and even the temperature change depending on the time of day. Photography fans will never be disappointed as the view from the Pic du Midi is always photogenic.



The morning: maximum visibility!

So rather than recommending a time to go, I’m offering a rundown of the day so you can see what’s interesting at different times.

The warmer the air gets, the less clear it becomes. So logically, you can see the furthest in the morning. Well, not all the way to the Ocean or the Mediterranean, that’s just legend! But you can see 300 km of the 430-km Pyrenees mountain range.

From the foothills of the Soule (Pays Basque) via the numerous 3,000-metre peaks, including Aneto, the highest peak in the Pyrenees, right to the heights of Ariège – you’ll get your fill of mountain views! OK, it’s a bit cold, and you have to get up a bit earlier (even though you’re on holiday!) to take the first cable car at 9.30 a.m., but it’s worth it! 

lutôt que de vous conseiller un moment, je vous propose de parcourir la journée et de voir ce qui sera intéressant à chaque heure

En fait, plus l’air chauffe, et plus il devient opaque. Donc logiquement, c’est le matin que l’on verra le plus loin. Bon… Pas non plus jusqu’à l’Océan ou à la Méditerranée, çà c’est la légende…. Mais dans les 300 km sur les 430 km de la chaîne des Pyrénées, ça c’est possible.

Depuis les premiers reliefs de la Soule (Pays Basque) en passant par de nombreux 3000, dont l’Aneto, le plus haut sommet des Pyrénées, et jusqu’aux sommets de l’Ariège, vous ferez le plein de panoramas montagne ! Alors ok, il fait un peu plus frais et il faut se lever un peu plus tôt (même si c’est les vacances !) pour prendre la première cabine du téléphérique vers 9h30 mais ça vaut le coup !

©Pic du Midi
©Paul Compere

Midday: it’s getting warmer! 

Although the air is less clear, the temperature is more agreeable so you can spend longer enjoying the view. OK, you may not be able to see 300 km of the mountain range, but 250 or 200 is still a lot; and the main sites and peaks are still visible, including Aneto, Vignemale, Néouvielle and Gavarnie.

Also, there’s more to look at than the view as some animals wake up at this time. The sheep and goats climb higher and sometimes perform chilling balancing acts!

At this time of day, you may see some birds flying close overhead including griffon vultures, Egyptian vultures or maybe even the lord of the Pyrenees skies: the bearded vulture!

The end of the day 

It’s getting colder, but the skies often remain hazy. The peaks’ shadows get longer, and you can see the interplay between them and the valleys’ depths. The light softens. This is when you should look east and watch the Pic’s shadow gradually stretch further across the piedmont plain.

Winter really is the best! The sun sets early, but the Pic remains open to visitors so you can watch it.

A rare, magical moment, I’ve even seen people wipe away a little tear.

©Mathieu Pinaud
©Claire Soucaze

To finish, here are a few tips and tricks

If you arrive early in the morning, dash over to the northeast side and try to spot the Montagne Noire, the foothills of the Massif Central. 

All day long: take the time to look north. Often visitors are grabbed by the view to the south and the Pyrenees mountain range but to the north is the piedmont plains, the Vallée de Campan and Payolle, the Plaine de Tarbes and a glimpse of Gers and Béarn.

Looking north, east and west, you will see what makes this view from the Pic so unique: there are no peaks higher than the Pic in these directions.

That’s what makes it, at nearly 3,000 m and with a very remote position compared to other peaks of similar altitude, a unique viewing platform over the Pyrenees mountain range!


  • The Pic du Midi culminates at 2,877 meters above sea level
  • Annual closure in May and November 
  • Book your tickets online or at the tourist office 
  • More information: here

Your day at the Pic du Midi

A unique and exceptional discovery

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