The great mountain barrier of the Pyrenees
, separating France and Spain, stretch from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean. In winter the mountains are the preserve of skiers and other winter sports enthusiasts, but in summer the mountains and foothills come alive for everyone. Walkers, cyclists, bird-watchers and lovers of spectacular scenery all congregate here, yet rarely see each other.
Navarra and Aragon are two medieval kingdoms which lie towards the west of the Pyrenees.
's capital is Pamplona which is well-known for its fiesta of San Fermines
and the famous 'running of the bulls' which takes place 6 - 14 July. Apart
from non-stop partying, the highlight is when the bulls are left to charge
through the old town while crowds of young men run in front. The city is also
worth visiting outside of this time. Apart from being easier and cheaper to
get accommodation, there is much to see: the main attractions being its Renaissance
Cathedral, old walled quarter and imposing citadel.
To the east of Navarra is Aragon
, a relatively remote area of Spain and totally
unspoilt. With its lakes, rivers, mountains and lush valleys the area is popular
for both sports and nature lovers. Aragon's three provinces are Zaragoza, Huesca
Finally at the eastern end, Cataluña has it's own Pyrenean part. Here are yet more rocky mountains and green valleys, this time blessed with the distinctive culture of the Catalans.