In this trip report we share with you our one day hike in the Pyrenees-Orientales, France. As in the year of 2020 we did hike mostly in the region where we live in Pyrenees, this trail was another discovery of ours. It is a 12-14kms long circuit hike starting and finishing in Font-Romeu town leading to Pic dels Moros (2138m). We expected it to be easy to moderate difficulty and having around 450m of elevation gain.
The trail started to go in the dense pine forest following the wide dirt farmer’s routes. On the sides of the route we could see a lot of mushrooms hiding in the needles and the grass and some violet flowers that were still blossoming in October. There we met a beautiful white horse as well peacefully eating the grass at the side of the hill.
The weather in the middle of the day was quite warm and nice with just several clouds on the sky. But lately the weather wasn’t stable at all in the region with lots of windy and rainy days in the row. And it wasn’t a typical weather pattern for the Cerdagne valley with usually more than 300 sunny days in a year. And seeing the forecast for the next couple of days there was a probability of snow and a +0C temperature coming. But we still hoped to have a chance to do enough autumn hiking and enjoy as many beautiful days as we can.
The first part of the trail was following the smooth and easy route and we were able to hike through it quickly. It was going mostly in the shade and in the dense forest. Here and there we could spot the violet crocus flowers on the sides of the trails out on the meadows.
From the very beginning, we had our GPS trek at hand on our phone and were following its directions. But at some point we noticed the blue sign number 4 on the trees which was probably one of the trail runner ones and were glad to know it follows our direction.
We crossed the small river by a wooden bridge and following the number 4 sign, the trail directed us uphill so it became steeper but still it wasn’t really difficult. Soon we came out from the forest to a more open space like a mountain plain and started to see the beautiful mountain range views behind us. There were lots of cows pasturing there that had a huge territory at their disposal.
From there as we were out on an open space we felt quite a strong wind blowing in our face and saw some darker and bigger clouds on the horizon in front of us. They were moving very fast up on the sky and so we could make a conclusion that the wind was stronger than expected. But there was still enough of blue sky and we hoped that the clouds will pass by us.
At the crossroads we met a yellow indicator of our trail leading to Puig dels Moros called PR42 and it stated that we had only 4.3kms to go before the peak. We were glad to see the actual local trail sign and indicator as it meant we don’t have to check our map as often and can enjoy the trail being more relaxed.
The first few kilometers of this part leading to the peak were going along the dirt farmer’s roads again and going flat or climbing very gently uphill. On the indicators, we saw that this part is called the panoramic trail and there was a good reason for that. There were wide angle views of the surroundings on all sides and your view weren’t blocking the trees nor the forest so you could enjoy the beauty of the mountain ranges.
There the glorious Carlit mountain range opened to our eyes but at this time the peaks were covered in clouds which actually made it even more atmospheric. At one point we confused the trails and turned the wrong way thinking that it will be the shortest way to the peak. There were lots of cow’s and horse’s paths crossing the main trail that were looking very similar so it was easy to mix up. So we had to go through the bumpy field with no good trail until we met the other crossroads with the sign only 2 kilometers away from the peak.
On the final part the trail still continued to follow quite an easy and gentle ascend all the way to the top, so there were no extreme parts on it. And it actually reminded us of our last day of Tour du Canigou trail we did recently when we did a similar trail hiking up to the mountain plateau but had more of elevation gain to do.
We almost didn’t notice how we got to the top of Pic dels Moros (2138m) because of how easy the ascend was. On the info board we learnt that this place is very favorable for the paragliding activity because of the rising thermals, amount of sunny days and topography of the Cerdagne valley overall. From the highest point we could admire the great views of the Cerdagne valley with its endless fields, small villages and surrounding mountain ranges with the peak of Puigmal and the epic mountain rocks on the other side of the Carlit range. This place had a lot of potential for taking great shots using photo and video equipment. Unfortunately that day we couldn’t spent as much time as we´d like to standing at the top because of the storming wind blowing very strong and it being quite cold. We realized that in the end it wasn´t the best day to ascend the peak but it was hard to know it in advance. We definitely could feel at that moment that the weather is changing with such big movements of the air mass. But as we´ve seen the great potential of the spot we decided to come back there another day in a better weather.
We decided to get down choosing another trail which looked like a shortcut to Font-Romeu town where we started and was following narrow paths in between the forest. When we descended a bit down we had our lunch break in the shelter of the forest and had a bit of rest there as well.
That another trail we chose was still pretty easy and not steep but it was confusing sometimes due to how narrow the path was and how many similar ones were around. Sometimes it seemed to be disappearing completely. So it wasn’t a definite trail and it is necessary to have your map at hand always to not lose the right direction.
Soon we came to the same part that we already did on our way up and since then it was very easy to follow. While hiking there it came to our mind that even though the trails can be confusing at times but this is one of the reasons why we love this area so much. There are so many different trails to choose from and even if you wander away from the actual trek you can still find your way back following the smaller paths. This area is amazing if you like to get lost in the forest, walking peacefully on the easy trails and just enjoy nature knowing that you will definitely come out on some bigger trail eventually. And this way you can discover many hidden trails and do many kilometers without getting too far away hiking in one area.
In such peaceful way we finished our trail and came back to Font-Romeu town. It was a beautiful and interesting hike for us and very easy too. We can say it was probably the easiest peak we’ve ever conquered and we can’t even name it like that. It felt more like a peaceful walk in the forest and coming out to the incredible viewpoint at some point with wide angle views on all sides from where you can see many attractions of the region. So we definitely can recommend this trail to everybody who wants an easy hiking experience but yet get very beautiful views on the way. It’s important to make sure that you choose the right day with the calm and warm weather so that you can take your time being at the peak taking pictures or just admiring the view. It was our experience with this hike and we hope that yours would be much better and even more enjoyable.
If you are interested in exploring more hiking trips in Pyrenees you can check out our other hike reports from the region here: