The view from Pilon de Belmatx

The day’s walking begins in St Laurent de Cerdans, a riverside Catalan village nestled among chestnut forests. The trail rises from the water through these woods, to the Pilon de Belmatx. At a little under 1,300 metres, there are of course many higher points in the Pyrenees, but you’d be hard pressed to find many more spectacular views. To the northwest, the range’s highest mountains parade a thicket of snow-capped summits while to the north the Tech Valley rushes away into green foothills. The stunning panorama reaches around to take in great swathes of Spain and France, and also marks a halfway point in the journey. From here, you walk with your back to those grand summits, and towards the Mediterranean, its deep blue twinkling on the eastern horizon.

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