Pyrenees National Park and Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park

Countries: France , Spain
Regions concerned: Hautes-Pyrénées department, Pyrénées-Atlantiques department, Nouvelle Aquitaine region, Occitanie region (France); Autonomous Community of Aragon (Spain)



Backing onto the French-Spanish border, the Pyrenees and Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Parks maintain close relations. A common cross-border charter was signed in 1988 in order to lay the foundations for cross-border cooperation.

Ten years later, a new cooperation charter was signed between the two parks. It enables joint planning of cooperation projects, notably in the field of land use planning. In 1997, under the common name of “Pyrénées-Mont Perdu”, the two parks were declared a UNESCO world heritage site.

The territory

France’s Pyrenees National Park and Spain’s Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park form one single natural area. This “shared destiny” that unites the two organisations is based on a common ethnic, linguistic and cultural origin.

The Pyrenees National Park, located in the “Hautes-Pyrénées” and “Pyrénées-Atlantiques” departments, was the third national park created in France. Backing the French-Spanish border for nearly 100 km, it is structured around two zones:
- an uninhabited core area of 45,705 ha, which benefits from enhanced protection
- a peripheral area of 206 352 ha, qualified as a "pre-park" on the edge of the central area which represents 86 municipalities and 40,000 inhabitants.

Comprising six valleys, it offers hikers 118 lakes, 350 km of marked trails and unique plant and animal species. Created with the aim of protecting the brown bear, it has extended its missions to the entire natural and cultural heritage.

The Pyrenees National Park represents a territory but it also is a "public administrative institution" under the authority of the Ministries of the Environment and the Budget.

The Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park is located in a 15,600 ha area, surrounded by around 100,000 ha of Spanish national hunting reserves. Created by royal decree, the park was extended and reclassified in 1982. It is characterised by steep and desert mountainous landscapes: deep canyons, waterfalls, desert highlands… It is one of the oldest of Spain’s ten National Parks. It covers parts of the municipalities of Torla, Broto, Fanlo, Tella-Sin, Puertolas and Bielsa in Aragon.