The photo of the Tourism Office, was taken during one of the "fog-days". The area is otherwise quite charming. Info about weather, hikes, lodging, tours… Check out the second photo to see where the Office is situated.
Good website, but… the English version is not working (yet?).
Apart from restaurants, and shops with souvenirs and ski gear and outfit, there is not much to see in the village.
The town is on the small side and beside some newer ski resorts, most buildings are from the seventies, which is synonym of ugly. But there are some cosy corners and the town is upgrading.
The Col du Tourmalet is the highest road mountain pass in the central Pyrenees. Elevation 2115 m and about 4 km from La Mongie. The pass is very popular because it’s a climb in the famous Tour de France. Every day we saw cyclists from different countries struggling to make the climb or coming down the mountain at dizzy speed, trying to avoid the straying sheep and cows. (see second photo and video on this page)
At the top of the Col, is a memorial to Jacques Goddet, former director of the Tour de France and a large statue of Octave Lapize (photo1) in his "altogether" on his bike. Octave Lapize is a French cyclist who died during a German attack in the 1st World War.
There is also a restaurant (photo 4) on the top and a small souvenir shop.
Warning when driving down in the direction of Luz-St-Sauveur: grazing sheep on the hills towards the mountains cause falling stones.
Photo 3: general view from the Col over the Valley
One of the main attractions, beside skiing, is the tramway to the highest peak of the area “Pic du Midi”. At the summit (2877m) once can enjoy the most beautiful panorama of the Pyrenees, with a wide view over multiple other peaks, far over the Spanish border.
On this Pic du Midi, is the observatory of aerology. Some places are open to the public. There is also a museum about the building of this observatory, and about weather phenomenons, for instance about lightning strokes. One can spend quite a while here on the top of the mountain and have a meal or a drink in the restaurant or just enjoy the sun.
When misty in the village, it’s often sunny here.
Average visit time: take out 2 hours without lunch
Departures of the tramway: every 15 minutes in La Mongie
On the first photo, you see the tramway which is almost arriving at the Pic du Midi.
The second photo shows the terrace on the Pic.
The third: guided visite on the Pic