The Parc Animalier des Angles in the Pyrénées-Orientales is a unique way to explore Pyrenean wildlife in a striking mountainous forest area. In a spacious set-up on the slopes of the Carlit Massif, you can spot wild animals in their natural environment. Therefore, you better put on your walking boots when visiting this animal park!
My family and I visited the Parc Animalier des Angles once before when the kids were smaller. However, even with the kids being teenagers on our latest visit, we still enjoyed it. After buying our admission tickets, we were given a map that clearly indicated all the animals who live in large enclosures. You will need to walk quite a bit to see all the animals. But, as far as I am concerned, this is part of the fun. Especially since you will be walking in a beautiful setting surrounded by a stunning pine tree forest.
You can either choose to walk the 1.5 kilometre path (red signs) or the 3.5 kilometres one (yellow signs). We walked the longer trail, so it felt like a hike combined with a zoo visit. However, we (and especially the kids) didn’t realise that we had walked for a couple of kilometres, as we were busy trying to find the animals. The first part of the walk brought us inside the enclosures of the mouflons, Spanish ibex and the animal emblem of the Pyrenees: the isard. Being so close to the animals gave us the opportunity to observe a mother ibex and her baby enjoying the sun.
The other wild animals’ enclosures were closed, but still very reasonably sized. We finally spotted groundhogs, or marmots, that we had never seen in the wild when hiking in the Pyrenees. And although the lynx did his very best to remain unseen, we spotted him from afar. Because of the large enclosures, I suggest you bring binoculars or a zoom lens on your camera. But even then, you might not see all of the animals. Unfortunately, we didn’t see the wolves or the foxes this time. But the deers made up for it, as we saw plenty of them.
The European bisons stayed in their shelter, where we could hardly see them with their dark brown coats blending in with the shade. However, luckily one mother decided to come out with her baby. Such a pretty sight! Via the beautiful botanical trail along a little stream, we walked to the terrace to observe the brown bears. One tip: don’t put your cell phone over the railing of this terrace to capture a photo of these powerful animals. Apparently, some people did, and one of the bears sat on a couple of cell phones… All in all, it took us about 2.5 hours to enjoy a leisurely visit of the whole Parc Animalier des Angles.