Top 10 things to do in La Mongie

Les 10 choses incontournables à faire à La Mongie

What can you do in La Mongie, the ideal destination for outdoor activities and thrills?

Every year, La Mongie delights outdoor sports enthusiasts in search of adventure. Summer and winter alike, it welcomes explorers in search of nature and adrenalin. The resort is nestled in the heart of the Grand Tourmalet ski area, at an altitude of 1,800 metres. This is the largest ski area in the French Pyrenees!

In summer, mountain biking, climbing, trails, via-ferrata, canyoning and other mountain sports activities are on offer to the curious, while the cold season invites fans of sliding, snowshoeing or dog sledding to enjoy its white coat. Whatever the season, the setting is idyllic: forests, carved stone, torrents, rivers and lakes shape the landscape and offer an unparalleled experience. Whether you go on your own, with friends or family, there’s something for everyone: from accessible activities to the most challenging routes. Discover our top 10 must-do activities in La Mongie!

What to do in La Mongie in winter?

Explore the Grand Tourmalet ski area on skis or snowboard

Ski station La Mongie

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  • ❄️ Number of tracks: 58
  • 🗓️ Opening dates: April to December
  • 💙 We love: skiing facing the Pyrenees, the Pic du Midi revealing its curves

Looking for thrills and spills in breathtaking surroundings? Head for the Grand Tourmalet ski area ! Here, skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts will find something to suit them, with over 100 km of pistes on the menu.

Lovers of skiing and snowboarding, you’ll glide down the mountain surrounded by tall conifers and the sinuous lines of the Pyrenean peaks. In all, you’ll have a choice of 70 slopes, from beginners to the most experienced sportsmen and women. And if you’re into snowboarding, there are also 2 snowparks on the estate, where you’re sure to catch a thrill-seeking show!

The icing on the cake is that La Mongie is at the foot of the slopes. All you have to do is put on your boots and equipment, then head to the lifts for an adrenalin-filled session. If you’re planning a family vacation, the resort also has facilities for your little ones. There’s a nursery, ski schools and a snow garden especially for your little ones.

Good to know: the Grand Tourmalet is also home to the Barèges ski area, located on the western slope. This is one of the region’s most famous spas. There’s nothing like a moment of escape after a hard day’s sport! To get there from La Mongie, you can take theMarmotte itinerary, 11km long (and perfectly accessible for beginners).

💎 Editor’s advice 💎

To avoid waiting too long in store, we highly recommend renting your equipment in advance of your vacation! With this in mind, Génération Voyage offers you a 5% discount on the total amount of your online rental.

Ride the only freeride area in the Pyrenees, in total freedom

Freeride Pyrénées La Mongie

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  • 🗓️ Opening period : December 3 to April 23
  • 🎫 Price: €48 (freeride package only)
  • 💙 We love: skiing on one of the world’s 50 most beautiful sites

For off-piste enthusiasts, the Pic du Midi is home to the only unsupervised, unmarked and undeveloped freeride area in the Pyrenees. As you can see, only the most experienced sportsmen and women will be able to tackle this major challenge, equipped with top-quality equipment.

Let your hair down on ungroomed runs, in a completely wild setting, surrounded by some of France’s most legendary peaks. The starting point is the lookout point at the summit of the Pic du Midi. Just don’t forget to take the Mongie side to get back to the resort. On the program: 1,400 meters of ascent and 10 km of descent. Pure pleasure!

Good to know: the descent takes you as far as Artigues-Campan. From there, you’ll need to take a shuttle (don’t forget to book it at the Pic du Midi cable car departure point) to return to La Mongie.


Climb the Col du Tourmalet by snowmobile

col du Tourmalet en motoneige

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  • 🗓️ Opening period: early December to early April, daily from 5:30pm.
  • 🎫 Price: from €20 per person
  • 💙 We like: the instructor’s expert advice, for even more sensations

Among the many speed sports available in the Grand Tourmalet area, snowmobiling is one of the most popular. Straddle the Col du Tourmalet and its snow-covered giants, and discover the villages of La Mongie and neighboring Barèges. All along the way, the Pic du Midi stretches as far as the eye can see, in the heart of the majestic Pyrenees.

There’s no better way to get off the beaten track than with this unforgettable ride through the wilderness. Thanks to your two wheels, you’ll be able to access paths that are inaccessible on foot or on skis. It’s the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in nature, in the heart of vast, untouched spaces that are seldom used. Keep an eye out for mountain wildlife!

To drive your motorcycle, all you need is a « B » driving license. However, if you prefer to admire the scenery, you can also take a seat in the back and have an experienced instructor drive you! He or she will be at your side throughout the tour, whether you’re a driver or a passenger, to ensure your safety.

The little extra for youngsters: circuits have been set up for teenagers and children aged 6 and over, so that they too can take on a few challenges. They can enjoy outings of between 10 minutes and 1 hour, accompanied by a professional. After all, the whole tribe has to enjoy it!


Ski touring to the top of the region’s greatest peaks

Ski de randonnée Pyrénées La Mongie

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  • 🗓️ Opening period : December – April
  • ⌛ Duration: one day
  • 💙We like : evolving in areas totally untouched by human footprints

Ski touring is for nature lovers and off-piste enthusiasts in search of unspoilt landscapes. It’s a physical sport that takes you up the mountain on special skis with a firm grip on the snow, exploring wilderness areas where you can often find yourself alone!

La Mongie is full of surprises. From the resort, you can access numerous summits via a variety of itineraries. One of our favorites is Le Panoramic. As its name suggests, it offers a panoramic view of the Barèges and La Mongie valleys, along the Col du Tourmalet road. Accessible to beginners, the trail has a 590 m vertical drop and covers a distance of 3.7 km (allow around an hour and twenty minutes). The perfect opportunity to take the whole gang for a ride!

From Barèges, another itinerary, just as accessible to beginners, offers you the chance to discover the region on ski touring: the Bastan. Meet at the Tournaboup parking lot to begin the ascent. This will take you straight to the high-altitude restaurant, where you can take in the view of the peaks while enjoying a hot meal. This itinerary is ideal if you’re planning to take young children with you, as it’s only 189 m ascent (allow 30-45 minutes).

💎 Editorial tip: the Néouvielle massif 💎

This tour is for skiers with a little more experience. The Néouvielle massif, with its 1,200 m vertical drop, offers climbers a cinematic setting. Crystal-clear streams meander through the pines, dominated by chiselled rock and a few lakes scattered in the hollows of the mountains.

Among the possible itineraries, we recommend the route up the Aygues Cuses valley to the Col de Madamète (keep a sharp eye out, as you’ll be skirting a lake with the same name), perched at an altitude of 2509 metres. It’s well worth the climb, as you’ll be able to admire a 360° panorama from the top! The famous Pic du Midi de Bigorre imposes its stature above the lakes of Aumar and Aubert, bordered by the inescapable summit of Néouvielle and its vertiginous height of 3071 metres: a shot or two is in order…

Important: never forget to take the trifecta with you on a ski touring trip: avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel. Bear in mind that these are often snow-covered areas with few visitors. Safety measures are essential. With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to enlist the services of a mountain guide, if you’re new to the activity.


Put on your best snowshoes and explore the Campan valley

campan pic du midi de bigorre

Photo credit : Shutterstock

  • ⌛ Duration: 3 hours to 2-3 days
  • 🗓️ Opening period : December to April
  • 💙 We like: seeing the Payolle lake frozen during the cold season

Departing from La Mongie or Bagnères-de-Bigorre, enjoy a unique excursion to the heart of one of the most beautiful valleys in the Pyrenees. Here, nature is at its best, offering a backdrop worthy of the finest mountain pictures: wide-open forests, vast immaculate expanses, emerald-colored lakes… It’s no wonder the Campan valley is nicknamed « Little Canada ».

Armed with your snowshoes, head off into unknown territory in the company of a local aficionado. Your instructor will take you on a discovery tour of this site, where human presence is rare, with the exception of a few huts and wooded cabins scattered through the vegetation. Please note that the walks are accessible to young and old alike, and present no particular difficulty. Keep your eyes peeled: the Pic du Midi will appear as a backdrop along the way!

Good to know: you can choose between different itineraries, from half a day to two days, depending on the time you have available and your preferences.


Try your hand at ice climbing at the Pic du Midi

cascade de glace au Pic du Midi

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  • 🎫 Price: adult €45 / 5-17 years €27
  • 🗓️ Opening period: December-April
  • 💙 We love : breaking ice at altitudes of up to 3,000 metres

In addition to the great classic outdoor sports(canyoning, climbing, hiking…), there’s also a popular activity for extreme sportsmen and women in winter around La Mongie. For the adventurous, the Pic du Midi site now offers an introduction to ice climbing. In the heights of this renowned summit, indulge in a highly original activity!

To get there, you’ll need to take the cable car, located in the center of La Mongie. Once at the top, you’ll need crampons and ice axes to play stuntman. Supervised by an instructor, you’ll be able to take your first steps on the ice, with expert advice on how to follow your trajectory.

4 different climbing lines are available to climbers, accompanied by a mountain guide. Beginners are welcome, provided they can brave the heights! For even more thrills, don’t hesitate to take to the footbridge suspended above the void. All around you, the mountains seem sculpted from the snow…


What to do in La Mongie in summer?

Take the cable car up to the Pic du Midi …

Le téléphérique du Pic du Midi La Mongie

Photo credit: Picdumidi.com

  • ⌛ Climbing time: 15 minutes
  • 🎫 Rates: adult 47 € / – 18 years 29 € / Free for children 3 to 5 years old
  • 💙 We love: taking a gourmet break at an altitude of over 2,000 metres, at restaurant 2877

Climb aboard the Pic du Midi aerial tramway – one of the region’s major natural attractions – and take a trip to 7th heaven! Settle comfortably into your glass-clad cabin, and admire the spectacular scenery, with its webs of snow, craggy rocks and wild vegetation. In just 15 minutes, you’ll reach a height of 2,877 meters – an unforgettable experience!

Suspended in the air, you can dominate the Pyrenean chain stretching betweenSpain and France. On arrival, the panorama is breathtaking: the mountains seem to weave a hand-stitched relief, while the dome of the astronomical observatory rises in imposing silhouette.

It houses the Pic du Midi planetarium – Europe’s highest – built in the early 20th century by astronomy enthusiasts. We highly recommend a visit, to take advantage of its terrace offering a 360° view of the Pyrenees and Massif Central. You’ll discover how the space was built, through the testimonies of the first porters who transported the dome by mule! An adventure for the whole family.


Hiking at La Mongie in all seasons

Randonnées à la Mongie dans les Pyrénées France

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  • ⌛ Duration: between 2h and one day depending on the itinerary
  • 🗓️ Best period: December-April/May-October
  • 💙 We love : admiring the luminous waters on the Madamète lakes circuit

At any time of year, La Mongie has something for everyone. During the summer, it unveils its immense green expanses, ideal for cycling (mountain bikers have a field day), trail running and many other outdoor activities on the banks of the Adour. When it’s cold outside, the area is decked out in a white coat, giving way to snowshoes and cross-country skis!

Among the many hikes available in La Mongie, the Lac d’Oncet hike is a must. As its name suggests, it takes you to discover this lake, a favorite with walkers and mountain bikers alike, nestled cozily in the jagged rock. Averaging three hours in length, the trail forms a loop of around 8 km. Beginners and experienced climbers alike can enjoy the trails in summer and winter alike. When winter arrives, you’ll just have to think about bringing your snowshoes for easier access.

More experienced climbers can tackle the Pic des Quatre Termes. Stretching over just under 10 km (allow around 5 hours’ walking), this hike winds its way between some illustrious regional landmarks, well known to local climbers: the Pic de Contadé, culminating at 2,714 meters, but also a vast array of mountain lakes: Campana, Caderolles, Gréziolles. In fine weather, they offer hikers a sumptuous, sparkling display.

Note to families: this route is not recommended for young children. It traverses rocky scree that is a little arduous and requires a certain amount of skill. We also recommend that you bring crampons with you to the summit.


Take to the skies in a paraglider over the Col du Tourmalet

parapente dans les pyrénées en france

Photo credit : Shutterstock

  • ⌛ Duration: 20 to 25 minutes
  • 🗓️ Opening period : April to November
  • 🎫 Price: €140
  • 💙 We like: seeing the Massif du Néouvielle and its nature reserve from the heights

What if you were to leave the earth for a moment and fly over one of France’s most legendary mountain passes? Well-known to Tour de France cyclists, the Col du Tourmalet delights naturophiles of all kinds.

For a bird’s-eye view, there’s nothing like a first flight in a paraglider! You’ll fly over the Bastan valley, criss-crossed by picturesque forests and streams, and outlined by pristine mountain peaks. Accompanied by an expert instructor, you’ll take to the skies, admiring nature as it slips away beneath your feet…

Our adrenaline junkies’ tip: continue your adventure at the Col du Tourmalet! Discover this illustrious spot with a paragliding-skiing session. An activity that combines the pleasure of gliding with extreme sensations.


Brave the bowels of the Saint-Lary-Soulan cave in a caving expedition

Spéléologie La Mongie station de ski

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  • ⌛ Duration: 2 to 3 hours
  • 🗓️ Opening period : April to September
  • 🎫 Price: €35 or €60 depending on formula
  • 💙 We love: abseiling in the dark, lit only by the light of a headlamp.

The Pyrenees are great for hiking of all kinds, but they can also be discovered in the depths of the rock. Embark on an epic journey into the heart of the caves and indulge in caving at the Saint-Lary-Soulan cave!

Starting out from Arreau, professional speleologists invite you to discover an underground world of caves, stalactites and tortuous reliefs. After a 5-minute drive, you’ll arrive at your long-awaited destination. Punctuated by a few abseiling descents, this activity will take you into the heart of the cave, where you’ll brave the darkness and come across a few bats along the way.

Good to know: Note that there are two routes on offer: the first is accessible from the age of 6, while the second, a little steeper, is aimed at a minimum age of 12.


Now you’re ready to explore La Mongie, for an experience like no other! To enhance your stay, here are some other ideas for activities in and around the resort:

  • Explore the Grand Tourmalet in the company of sled dogs !
  • Take a leap into the void with a bungee jump near Tarbes
  • Step back in time with a mule-driving caravan in the heart of the Pyrenees
  • Treat yourself to a life-size playground near Gèdre, by trying out canyoning

Our tips for a successful stay in La Mongie

How do I get to La Mongie?

🚗 By car: if you’re arriving from France, access is via the A64 freeway. There are two options here

  • From Toulouse, take exit 14 (Tournay) to Bagnères-de-Bigorre
  • From Pau, exit 12 (Tarbes-Ouest), then D935 to Bagnères

After the exit, continue to Sainte-Marie-de-Campan via the D935, then the D918 to La Mongie.

Important: In winter, don’t forget to bring your snow chains and snow tires!

🚅Bytrain: from Paris, you can take a train to Tarbes station (allow 5 to 6 hours for the train, with a change at Dax), then you can reach the resort by bus.

Where to stay in La Mongie?

La Mongie offers a wide choice of accommodation. All you need to do is choose the right type of rental. Would you like a chalet at the foot of the slopes, where you can enjoy complete autonomy? A hotel with all the comforts and services you could wish for? Or an apartment rental that combines a reasonable budget with practicality? You should also consider the location of your rental: offers and prices will vary depending on whether you’re right in the center or on the outskirts of the resort.

If you’re planning to go skiing or snowboarding, it’s best to opt for accommodation as close as possible to the slopes and ski lifts, so you don’t have to carry your equipment for too long. What’s more, if you want to make your own meals, it’s a good idea to opt for accommodation close to supermarkets. The same goes for restaurants and other leisure activities: it’s more comfortable not to be too far away, unless you prefer to be isolated in the middle of nowhere!

Our selection of the best accommodations

❄️Les 5 most beautiful chalets for rent in La Mongie

🏠Thebest Airbnb rentals in La Mongie