Be prepared to experience emotions that only nature can evoke. Near Cauterets in the Hautes-Pyrénées, the Pont d’Espagne (Bridge of Spain) and its waterfalls encompass all the power and romance of the Pyrenean mountains. In addition, this exceptional site is one of the most accessible in the Pyrenees National Park.Head for Cauterets in the département of Haute-Pyrénées: a small, charming mountain village with a lively atmosphere, renowned for its thermal baths, ski resorts and delicious «Berlingot» sweets.In the fifties, Cauterets refused to allow dams to be built in its valleys’ lakes for the production of hydro-electric power. As a result, the water flows freely in the mountains overlooking the town. It gushesthrough the pines in a series of waterfalls and fills the potholes hollowed in the rock by the water. You can admire this sight on the road to the Pont d’Espagne, particularly if you stop in front of the Lutour and Ceriset waterfalls.Whether you are travelling along the waterfall path by car or on foot, you will soon arrive at the Pont d’Espagne site, gateway to the Pyrenees National Park. The oldest of France’s national parks, this park was established in 1967. It extends for more than 100 km from east to west. It includes six high valleys that border Spain, and has an exceptionally well-preserved biodiversity.The Pont d’Espagne and the Lac de Gaube higher up are two of the most prized sites in the Pyrenees National Park. In both summer and winter, meditation, walking, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and tobogganing will delight young and old alike. To make it accessible to all, this site is equipped with facilities that were designed to respect the environment: car park, receptionbuilding, shuttles, hostels, etc.A marked path will take you to a footbridge, where you can admire the famous Pont d’Espagne, arched over gorges fi lled with foaming torrents. You can then take the Gaube chair lift, which will transportyou quietly to the lake.After a 15-minute level walk, the glorious crystal-clear waters of the lake will appear. On its bank is the old hostelry, where travellers stayed in the 19th century. Celebrated by French romantics and by Victor Hugo, the Lac de Gaube is dominated by the impressive silhouette of the Vignemale. At 3,298 metres above sea level, it is the highest summit of the French Pyrenees.