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Elevation  2,786 m
First ascent  1285
Easiest route  Hiking
Prominence  550 m
Mountain range  Pyrenees
Parent range  Pyrenees
Canigou httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Similar  Massif du Canigou, Carlit, Puigmal, Pic de Bugatet, Pedraforca

The Canigou ([kaniɡu]; Catalan: Canigó [kəniˈɣo], [kəniˈɣu]; el. 2,784.66 m./9137 ft.) is a mountain located in the Pyrenees of southern France.


Map of Canigou, 66500 Vernet-les-Bains, France

Due to its sharp flanks and its dramatic location near the coast, until the 18th century the Canigou was believed to be the highest mountain in the Pyrenees.


The Canigou is located in Pyrénées-Orientales, south of Prades and north of Prats-de-Mollo-la-Preste. Its summit is a quadripoint between the territories of Casteil, Taurinya, Valmanya and Vernet-les-Bains. Its location makes it visible from the plains of Roussillon and from Conflent in France, and as well from Empordà in Spain.

Twice a year, in early February and at the end of October, with good weather, the Canigou can be seen at sunset from as far as Marseille, 250 km away, by refraction of light. This phenomenon was observed in 1808 by baron Franz Xaver von Zach from the Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica in Marseille. All year long, it can also be seen, with good weather, from Agde, Port-Camargue and the Montagne Noire.

Trekking and sightseeing

Jeep tracks on the north side of the massif lead to the Chalet des Cortalets (at 2150 m) which is a popular outpost with walkers.

There are two ancient monasteries at the foot of the mountain, Martin-du-Canigou and Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa.

Canigou Flame

The mountain has symbolical significance for Catalan people. On its summit stands a cross that is often decorated with the Catalan flag. Every year on 23 June, the night before St. John's day (nuit de Saint Jean), there is a ceremony called Flama del Canigó (Canigou Flame), where a fire is lit at the mountaintop. People keep a vigil during the night and take torches lit on the fire in a spectacular torch relay to light bonfires elsewhere. Many bonfires are lit in this way all over the Pyrénées-Orientales, Catalonia, Valencian Community, and Balearic Islands theoretically.

but in practice only goes through the Pyrénées-Orientales and Catalonia


The Canigou inspired the epic poem "Canigó" by Catalan poet Jacint Verdaguer i Santaló. In these verses Verdaguer compares the snowy mountain to a Magnolia flower (pages 27–28):


Canigou Wikipedia

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