Canigó, December 2004
|Elevation||2,784 m (9,134 ft)|
|Prominence||550 m (1,800 ft)|
|First ascent||According to tradition, in 1285 by Peter III of Aragon|
The Canigou is located less than 50 kilometers from the sea. 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.
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
Lo Canigó és una magnòlia immensa
The Canigó is an immense magnolia
- Histoire du Roussillon - Le relief des Pyrénées-Orientales
- Guide du Roussillon et de l'Andorre : touristique, historique, social, économique, Perpignan, Sud Roussillon, 1968, 286 p.
- Cárdenas, Fabricio (2014). 66 petites histoires du Pays Catalan [66 Little Stories of Catalan Country] (in French). Perpignan: Ultima Necat. ISBN 978-2-36771-006-8. OCLC 893847466.
- Pyrénées Team - Croix du Canigou
- Vermut a la rebuda de la Flama del Canigó
- Festes - l'espai on comença la festa
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Canigou.|
- Canigo.cat All information about the Canigou massif: nature, culture and itineraries (in Catalan)