The Aran Valley lies at the northwesternmost tip of the Pyrenees. Surrounded by mountains reaching an altitude of 3,000m, it remained very isolated until the Vielha Tunnel opened in 1948. This remoteness helped preserve its local traditions and Aranese language. The stunning landscape is depicted by green meadows dotted with the grey slate roofs of the valley's 39 villages, often huddled around a Romanesque church. Its high altitude has since seen the creation of ski resorts.