As we made our way over the French border, the snow flurries became a snow storm. It seemed that this wall of snow signaled that we were in the French Pyrenees.
The mountains became increasingly more beautiful the further we drove into France. While the mountains were beautiful covered in snow, they were dangerous. Along the route, signs flashed signaling that snow chains were required to proceed on the mountainous route. Our driver and tour guide shared a look of fear, indicating that our bus was not equipped with chains. Yet, we moved forward toward our destination. Our destination, Ax-les-Thermes was merely 40 minutes from the Spanish border, however it felt like a lifetime away due to our slow pace.
After driving for an hour through the wall of snow, our bus pulled over. We were in Mérens-les-Vals, a small town only 20 minutes from Ax-les-Thermes. Our tour guide announced that we couldn’t continue any further, in fear that we would get stuck in France. To make the best of the situation, we took a few minutes to stretch our legs in snowy Mérens-les-Vals. The snow was falling in chunks and it was quite beautiful.
This small town covered in snow overjoyed me. There is always something magical of the first snowfall of the season. Yet, there is something even more magical about experiencing your first snowfall of the year in the French Pyrenees. I quite literally ran through the streets, trying to appreciate each moment we had.
I had just enough time in Mérens-les-Vals to appreciate the charming stone house with their shutters drawn for the storm. However, I was still wishing I had more time to explore this town and to dip my feet in one of the natural hot Springs of the Occitanie region of the French Pyrenees.
We scrambled back to the bus and headed back toward the direction we came from. Our next planned stop was Andorra. Yet the storm caused the French border into Andorra to close. Onward we moved, toward the French-Spanish border.
To my delight, we made an impromptu stop in Enveitg. Enveitg is a tiny commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department of France. Less than 700 people live in this tiny community near the French border. Yet Enveitg has all the French feels. Our first view of the village was the Romanesque church on the side of the road. Windy roads leading to quaint churches and mountain views…this is my kind of place.
It was a short yet very sweet stop in Enveitg. While we barely made it past the main road, the views were spectacular. The views of the brick and butter yellow houses with the mountains in the foreground were like a postcard. I don’t know if I ever smiled brighter than I did looking at that view.
I scurried my feet across the ice as we made our way into town. The road we took slopped down, past the charming French houses. We didn’t make it far but we were able to get a closer look at all the details of Enveitg.
With a final farewell, we departed France and made our way back into Spain. Our quick drive through the French Pyrenees left me yearning to see more. We didn’t make it to our initial stop Ax-les-Thermes yet the trip was more than I could have hoped for. Alas the mountains will always be calling.
My adventure through the French Pyrenees was part of the Three Countries One Day trip through Explore Catalunya. This is not a sponsored post, I just loved this tour!