This website contains descriptions of walks near Vernet-les-Bains, France, including walks to the summit of Canigou.
The walk descriptions have been written by Alan Mattingly*, author of "The Cathar Way" and "Walking in the Cathar Region" (see www.cicerone.co.uk).
This site was originally written in response to requests from English-speakers for descriptions, in English, of walks around Vernet-les-Bains. The descriptions were subsequently translated into French - see the parallel website at www.randos-vernetlesbains-canigou.eu.
The descriptions have been written in a personal capacity, for non-commercial purposes. They can be used by anyone for personal use, for non-commercial purposes.
For each walk description there is:
- a page in HTML format containing a map of the walk's route and a description of the route;
- a page in PDF format (A4 size) showing a map of the walk's route and, on that, a description of each stage of the walk, with small photos of places where there is a change of direction;
- a web page containing a profile of the route, indicating sections of ascent and descent;
- a web page containing photos of places passed on the walk (or seen from the walk), with links to websites giving information about places of special interest along the walk;
- a web page containing only the text of the walk description.
You can save a route description (in either HTML or PDf format) on a smartphone or tablet, in order to study the description and map later on, when following a walk on the ground. Or you can print the description (with its map) in PDF format, on a sheet of paper.
These options should be sufficient to follow a route on the ground. However, you are strongly advised also to take with you the 1:25,000 scale IGN "carte de randonnée" map for the area covered by the walk (that is, for walks close to Vernet and to the Pic du Canigou, the IGN map 2349ET, "Massif du Canigou").
You can translate the text of a walk description (into, for example, German, Catalan or Spanish) with "Google Translate". A "plug-in" to facilitate such a translation appears at the top of several pages of this site.
The pages which contain only the text of a walk description are provided so that, if you wish, you can translate that text online, then print out that translation and take it with you on a walk (along with, for example, a printout of the walk map in pdf format).
The text of the walk descriptions has been written in a way that is intended to minimise translation errors.
Several pages of this website have been prepared using the web services (free and remarkable) of géoportail (www.geoportail.gouv.fr), OpenStreetMap (www.openstreetmap.org), OpenCycleMap (www.opencyclemap.org), Google Maps (www.google.fr/maps) and Google Earth (www.google.fr/earth).
Waymarks and publications:
When you follow the descriptions of walks in this website, you will often (but not always) see painted waymarks along the paths. These waymarks usually indicate circuits which are described in guidebooks which are sold in local shops and in leaflets which are available from local tourist offices.
These publications include:
- the "fiches rando" prepared by the Vernet-les-Bains tourist office**,
- the "fiches randonnées du Conflent" published by "Tourisme Canigó - Conflent",
- "Les Pyrénées-Orientales... à pied" and "Tours et Ronde du Canigó", guidebooks published by FFRandonnée,
- "Canigó Boucles de Piemont", a guidebook published by Chamina Édition.
Some of the routes described in this website are the same as, or are similar to, waymarked circuits which are described in such publications. Other routes in this website follow only short sections of circuits which have been waymarked and published elsewhere. On some routes in this website it is possible that you will see no waymarks at all.
The waymarks can be yellow, or yellow-and-white, or red-and-yellow, or red-and-white, or sometimes other colours. The colours and appearance of waymarks in any area can change from one year to another.
These waymarks can be helpful from time to time when you are following the walks which are described in this website. However, whether or not you see such waymarks when following a walk, you must give priority to the description of the walk which is given in this website. Always follow that description carefully.
The estimated times which are given for the walks do not include time for long pauses, picnic lunches, etc.
Other walk descriptions by the same author (in English) can be found on wikiloc.
** Translations in English of the tourist office "fiches rando" can be found HERE.