Here in the heart of the Hautes Pyrenees our region is known as the Pays Toy.
The Pays Toy is to be found 25 miles south of the pilgrimage town of Lourdes, the geographical limits are from the village of Luz St Sauveur to the Spanish border at Gavarnie, Bareges and the Col du Tourmalet to the east, the Ardiden massif to the west.
Long snowy winters, steep slopes, extensive high mountain pastures, hot sunny summers.
The Pays Toy possesses administrative boundaries which are essentially defined by the nature of the relief- ridges and summits:
The area is dissected by two rivers (or Gaves, the local word for a mountain river) the Gave de Pau and the Bastan.
There are 17 communes: BAREGES, BETPOUEY, CAUTERETS, CHEZE, ESQUIEZE-SERE, ESTERRE, GAVARNIE, GEDRE, GRUST, LUZ-SAINT-SAUVEUR, SALIGOS, SASSIS, SAZOS, SERS, VIELLA, VIEY, VISCOS et VIZOS.
The Pays Toy has 3500 habitants in an area of 43302 hectares between 600m (2000ft) and 3298m (11000ft) of altitude, the summer pastures represent 60% (25000 ha) of this area, the rearing of sheep for meat production being the main agricultural activity.