Visiting France The blog

Visit the abbey of Saint-Martin-du-Canigou in the Pyrénées

March 12 2018
If you're visiting the Atlantic end of the Pyrénees, a great day out is to visit the Abbey of Saint-Martin-du-Canigou. This is a working abbey, still home to monks, but visitors are welcome. The abbey was founded in 1009 on a peak in the mountains. To reach it, take the long, tiring, and ultimately rewarding path that winds up the mountain. The view from the top makes it all worthwhile. Enjoy the serenity of the cloisters while you get your breath back.

When you descend, try the alternative path down on the east side: it's narrower, steeper, and more challenging, but will get you down faster and with a great view of the mountains as you descend.

The abbey is located close to the Spanish border. The two nearest cities are both on the Mediterranean coast: Perpignan on the French side, and Figureres in Spain. As you head inland, it becomes a sparsely-populated land of tiny medieval villages and great mountains.

If you fancy visiting the Pyrénées, find a home in the Southwest of France.