Buried in the folds of the jaw-dropping Cirque de Lescun is the mountain village of Lescun, a settlement that has remained essentially unchanged since the 19th century. It is home to an idyllic 120 year old stone lodge called Maison Willert.
Situated in the heart of the Pyrenees at an altitude of 900 metres (2950 feet), Lescun is best known as the postcard-perfect gateway to the magnificent amphitheatre of peaks from which the village takes its name.
This is a hamlet with a heartbeat. The centre of the vibrant community is the village shop, which sells fruit and vegetables, locally-produced cheese and fresh bread, and other provisions you’ll need during your stay.
Lescun is also home to the legendary Hotel du Pic d’Anie, and a friendly bar that serves a tasty three course meal on summer evenings. (The homemade Béarnaise soup alone is usually enough to sate the most ravenous of appetites.)
As well as a smörgåsbord of day hikes, the settlement is also a popular jumping on and off point for the world-famous long distance walks of GR10 and the Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne (HRP).
Just a short distance away is the extraordinary Chemin de la Mâture. This intriguing wave of stone rock was chiselled out in the 18th century in order to create a trail down which tree trunks were carried. These trunks were ultimately turned into sailing masts for ships.
In winter, Lescun provides the perfect antidote to frenzied après-ski. An original Bayonne fireplace welcomes you home to Maison Willert after a day on the slopes at the ski resorts of Candanchú, Astún and Somport, which are half an hour’s drive away.
Whether you choose to snowshoe, fish, cycle or simply relax in the comfy sitting room during the daytime, you’ll be able to enjoy the sunset from the cottage’s large south-facing terrace with a celebratory drink in hand.
Lescun is the ideal base for exploring Pyrenean highlights such as the ancient monastic church of Notre Dame de la Pierre in the medieval French village of Sarrance, the fortified town and cathedral of Jaca in Spain, and the renowned monastery of San Juan de la Peña.