Pastoralism in the heart of the Pyrenees
During your walks discover an exceptional heritage that will let you see the life of mountain farmers of yesteryear. In the Pyrenees, pastoralism has always been synonymous with animals roaming free.
Animals in the open air
There are so many animals roaming free in the high pastures ! Then, the sound gets closer, and there is the herd. Amazing ! Watch how they move; as true mountain dwellers they are incredibly agile and robust !
Can you see the accompanying sheepdog ? The Pyrenean Mountain Dog who is responsible for protecting the herd ?
Humans, animals and the mountain in harmony
Exploring the traces of the pastoral past
If you stroll through the villages or along the hiking paths, you will find signs of the intense agropastoral activity of the past.
During the walks ...
Walks for all abilities will help you discover the ingenuity of leytés (stone milk fridges in the waterways) and puits glaciaires (cool boxes improvised in wells), the extreme deprivation of the huts, courtaous (stone shepherd huts in the summer pastures) around which shepherds sang their songs, the positioning of the dry stone walls…
Hikes to discover pastoralism in the Pyrénées
All “floors” of the mountain reveal signs of a history intimately linked to an agropastoral economy. A whole host of huts are destinations in themselves. For example, the Courtaou de La Lit, the Courtaou des Esclozes and the Cabanes Tramezaigues are like cherries on the cake of wonderful hikes !
The pastoral heritage in our villages
Even if you aren’t a hiker, you can still be amazed by the wealth of pastoral heritage in the villages. In Campan, a stunning example of a series of leytés can be seen in the village centre. And in all the villages you pass through, take a good look at the special way that the Ostaus (year-round housing) are laid out, linked of course to pastoral activity. These barns were inhabited during the summer months to exploit the fodder in the often very steep zones intermédiaires (areas between the high summer pastures and the harvested hayfields). They are among the witnesses to these lives shaped by hard work.
A night in the middle of the summer pastures
Sleep on one of the most beautiful pastoral sites of the destination and in a real shepherd’s hut
Go on a stroll among animals in freedom. Sit near the hut and imagine the time when the valleys lived at the rhythm of the seasons of pastoral activity in the Pyrénés …
- Green signs indicate the behaviors to adopt on summer pastures
- For everyone’s safety, please keep your dog on a leash in pastoral areas.
- Do not get too close to animals (no selfie!), It could be very dangerous.
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