Located in southern France along the Spanish border, the Pyrenees stretch
from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Mediterranean Sea in the east.
In between are snow-topped peaks and lush valleys packed with history
and culture. The Tour de France's famed mountain ascents over Col du
Tourmalet and Col d'Aspin take place here.
Lourdes, one of the world's most significant Catholic shrines where the
Virgin Mary was reported to have appeared in 1858, stands as one of
Europe's biggest attractions. And the Cathedrale
Ste-Marie-de-Comminges, the Mont-St-Michel of the Pyrenees, is just one
of many architectural monuments in the region. And, of course, there is
scenery. The Cirque de Gavarnie, a jagged amphitheatre of peaks
accented by the longest waterfall in Europe (1,388 meters/4,554 feet),
towers as the supermodel of the Pyrenees. Author Victor Hugo described
them as an "incredible coliseum of chaos." See? Even famed writers have
difficulty properly describing these mountains.