Canigou is a mountain in the Eastern Pyrenees in the south of France. Its summit reaches 2,784.66 metres (9,136.0 ft). You can often see the Canigou from Pouzols-Minervois.
On the eastern side the mountain slopes down from its dramatic flanks all the way to the Mediterranean, a distance of 50 km (31 miles). Until the 18th century, the Canigou was wrongly believed to be the highest mountain in the Pyrenees.
Le Fort Pouzols-Minervois has a very special relationship with the mountain. Although there is a staggering 160 km (97 miles) between the house and the Canigou, under the right atmospheric conditions the views are clear and only slightly interupted by the Montagne Noire. This is particularly the case in late February and October, although its snow-covered flanks can often be seen at other times of year. But within minutes the Canigou can be shrouded in clouds again as if it was never there in the first place.
The Canigou is important in Catalan culture. Annual ceremonies are held on and around the mountain, including a procession on 23 June to light a flame on top of the mountain. There are two ancient monasteries at the foot of the mountain, Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa and Martin-du-Canigou.
Thanks to something called the Canigou effect, twice a year the mountain can be clearly seen as far away as Marseille (250 km, 160 miles). This is an optical illusion whereby reflections of the mountain make it seemingly possible to look beyond the horizon. You can certainly enjoy good views of it on the beaches at Valras and Agde most of the time.
To see the sunrise and sunset over the Canigou from Pouzols-Minervois, there is no better vantage point than the roof terrace at Le Fort. Relax with a refreshing drink and binoculars by the side of the rooftop pool and watch the spectacle unfold right in front of your eyes.
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