8 events to experience in the Pyrenees this winter

Whether sporty, traditional or celebrating nature, there’s something for everyone in the Pyrenees’ events calendar this winter. Take your pick from international competitions, cultural festivals and local derbies – there’s no shortage of opportunities to discover the Pyrenean spirit. Here are the key dates for your diary!

The acrobatic one: Freestyle Ski World Cup, Font-Romeu

From January 7 to 11, for the fourth consecutive year, Font-Romeu Pyrénées 2000 is hosting a stage of the FIS Freestyle World Cup. Over 100 skiers compete with extraordinary acrobatic skills. The real must-see is the Men’s and Women’s finals on Saturday January 11.

Freestyle Ski World Cup (French Only) (External link)

The traditional one: Pig Festival, Saint-Lary

Each year for seven years, Saint-Lary has celebrated the emblematic product of its region: the Bigorre black pork. Tastings, competitions and large-scale banquets take place on January 18, led by another local musical tradition, the banda. A good dose of ancestral traditions to punctuate your skiing holiday.

Pig Festival (External link) (External link)

The canine one: Musher Race, Font-Romeu

On February 8 and 9, the Font-Romeu resort is hosting a sled dog race for the second time in its history. On the highlands of Calme, around 30 teams are expected to qualify for the Saturday afternoon, followed by the finals on Sunday morning.

Musher Race (French Only (External link)

The technical one: Altitoy Ternua, Luz Ardiden

The 12th edition of this ski touring race will take place on March 7 and 8. With its series of technical and spectacular routes from the Pic du Midi to Gavarnie, the Altitoy Ternua has covered part of the Grande Course since 2012, making it one of the events of the ski-mountaineering world championship.

Altitoy Ternua (External link)

The freeride one: Xtrem Freeride, Saint-Lary

For two days, competitors race down the resort’s most beautiful off-piste runs in teams of two, as timed races. Visit Saint-Lary on March 7 and 8 for the 20th round of this freeride raid that unites several snowsports – skiing, snowboarding and telemark – and on the night in between the two days of trials, competitors organise a bivouac, well worth experiencing too.

Xtrem Freeride (External link)

The fast one: French Speed Skiing Championship, Gavarnie

In March (exact date TBC, depending on the international championship), the resort of Gavarnie will host the French speed skiing championship over two days, devoted to training and racing. The Quicksilver Challenge takes place at the same time, which pitches young racers – 6 to 18 years old – against each others.

French Speed Skiing Championship (French Only) (External link)

The musical one: Garosnow Itinerant Festival

A travelling electronic music festival, Garosnow (January 11-12 in Les Angles, March 15-17 in Luchon-Superbagnères and March 29-31 in Cauterets) has been moving around various Pyrenean resorts for several years. Enjoy the music on big stages but also in many bars and other unusual places in resort.

Garosnow (French Only (External link)

The social one: Derby des Pyrénées, Piau

The 17th edition of this race is set to take place on March 21. Each year, 300 participants take off on a big downhill on skis, snowboards or telemarks. The race is suitable for all levels as you can choose your own itinerary; straight down the slopes for the adventurous, or via blue pistes while dressed in fancy dress for others. Live bands and aperitifs round off the entertaining day.

Derby des Pyrénées (French Only) (External link)