Are you looking for somewhere nice to go for a day trip? Then the Pic du Midi is a great idea! With an elevation of 2874m, you can be sure to enjoy a great view over the Pyrenees. There are several ways to enjoy your stay there. Here is our advice on how to make most out of it.
The way to the Pic du Midi
The way to the Pic du Midi from Toulouse is quite long, but it is definitely worth it. You can make it a bit shorter, but I would definitely recommend you to go over the Col d’Aspin on your way there.
Take the route over the Col d’Aspin
I would recommend you to take the scenic route over the Col d’Aspin on the way to the Pic du Midi, as part of it is known for the Tour de France. You will see many keen cyclists that make their way up the hill and you will have a great view over the valley. Once at the top enjoy the view.
Make a lunch stop at the Lac de Payolle
The Lac de Payolle is a great lake to stop to go for a walk or enjoy one of the many activities like horse riding, hiking, mountain biking and many more. It’s great place to enjoy some peaceful countryside or to spend the day there with your family. Your kids will love all the activities they offer.
Tip: take your picnic with you and enjoy the great atmosphere of a mountain lake.
Getting up the Pic du Midi
There are different ways to get up the Pic du Midi depending if you would like to make it a hiking trip or a rather chilled trip. You can either walk up the hill by foot or via the funicular.
Talking the funicular up to the Pic du Midi
The funicular is less sporty, but offers you a great view already on the way up. It will only take 15min to get to the top and it is fully made of glass to make you enjoy the great view (no worries, my friend who is afraid of height managed very well and felt safe). If you go down by night, there will be no light in the cable car and you will fully enjoy the stars.
Tip: you can park your car for free in La Mongie, where the cable car starts from.
Hiking up the Pic du Midi
You can of course also hike up to the summit, which will take you approx. 4h return. The way up is clearly marked and really well done, so no rock climbing necessary. On your way up you will pass the lac d’Oncet, a very pretty mountain lake. You will then make your way up and soon discover the amazing views over the mountain chain.
Start of the hike is at the parking lot in the turn called Toue on the D 918 (northwest of the Col du Tourmalet).
Your stay at the Pic du Midi
The Pic du Midi is a great place to visit during day and night. If you can have both in one day, that is obviously the best, but not possible every day. During the day, enjoy the view around, have a look at the sun through the telescope, walk on the “Pontoon in the Sky” or enjoy the sun in one of the many long chairs.
Tip: don’t forget your sunscreen for the day as it gets quite hot.
Day ticket: The day package includes the way up with the funicular, a visit to the planetarium, the walk on the pontoon and if you like you can add a lunch at the restaurant to it.
You can go up the Pic du Midi during the evening on some special nights. The package includes the ascent with the funicular, the dinner in the panoramic restaurant, different workshops around the theme of astronomy and the walk around the platform. The sunset at the top is magic and really a thing to do.
Tip: don’t forget a heavy jacket, as it gets really cold up there as soon as the sun is gone.
For a special experience, you can spend the full night at the Pic du Midi. Talk the cable car up and spend the evening at the summit, enjoy the sunset and spend the night there. It is quite pricy €399 per person, but it’s quite a special moment. Let’s cross fingers that you can see some stars.
I had the chance to participate in The Avener concert at the Pic du Midi last week. We went up at 4pm to enjoy the views during the day, chill in the long chairs, enjoy the sunset and see the stars once the night arrived. I would highly recommend to join one of these events, as you can enjoy the Pic during the day and also during the evening.
Have a fun day at the Pic du Midi, hiking up or taking the funicular. I am sure that the breathtaking views are worth every km you drive from Toulouse.