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The French Pyrenees 10 days hiking
Walking in the French & Spanish Pyrenees.

ITINERARY - difficulty grade B ( height gains of up to 800m, 2,700 ft a day )

Day 1: France

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Meet in Pau: and travel to the mountain town of Cauterets on the threshold of the Pyrenees National Park. Cauterets is our base for three nights. By vehicle, ascend the winding road into the Cambasque Valley, one of several valleys that converge on Cauterets. Enjoy an afternoon warm-up hike by following a portion of the long distance hiking route known as the GR10 (Grande Randonnée 10) up the open valley. The trail passes by a waterfall and tiny Lac Noir before arriving on the shores of picturesque Lac d'Ilhéou, a perfect introduction to the Pyrenees high country. Cauterets is our base for three nights.

Our hotel is normally the very comfortable Hotel Bois-Joli, Cauterets.
See for more information aout this beatiful region.
Day 2: France Marcadau Valley: Transfer to the Pont d’Espagne (Bridge to Spain) in the Pyrenees National Park. Hike past meadows, waterfalls, and rushing streams in the lush landscape of the exquisite Marcadau Valley.
Day 3: France Hourquette d'Ossoue: We return to the Pont d’Espagne for a chance to explore the Vallée de Gaube which leads to the base of Vignemale— the highest peak in the French Pyrenees. We hike past the still waters of Lac de Gaube, the renowned "mirror of Vignemale," to the Refuge des Oulettes. From here, you can enjoy a stunning view of the vertical north face of Vignemale. Our goal is the Hourquette d'Ossoue, a lofty pass high on the shoulder of Vignemale.

Day 4: France


Gavarnie. We hike to Gavarnie via the Vallée de Lutour. This vigorous high mountain crossing will lead you past alpine lakes and over a remote pass through one of the most pristine landscapes in the Pyrenees National Park.
Alternatively, you can travel to Gavarnie by vehicle stopping en route to hike in the Cirque de Troumouse where alpine pastures are nearly encircled by impressive mountain ramparts. Gentle paths wind their way through meadows and fields of wildflowers and alongside shallow tarns. Our hotel in Gavarnie faces the sheer walls of the stunning Cirque de Gavarnie. Settle in for a three-night stay. (5 hrs hiking).
Our hotel is the friendly and helpful Hotel Compostelle, Gavarnie, France.

Day 5: France

Cirque de Gavarnie: Hike into the awe-inspiring Cirque de Gavarnie via a trail that climbs quickly to the Plateau de Pailla before making a gradual descent into the cirque. Portions of this trail follow natural limestone ledges.
Day 6: France Brèche de Roland: Transfer to the Col de Tentes, a mountain pass near the Spanish frontier. From here we hike to the Refuge Sarradets just below the legendary Brèche de Roland. Afetr a short pause we continue on a never-to-be-forgotten hike into the brèche itself. Stand in this enormous notch at the top of Gavarnie’s cirque wall and gaze over the magnificent Ordesa Canyon into Spain. Legend has it that the brèche was carved by the sword of Roland, nephew of Charlemagne, in the 8th century.
Day 7: Spain Torla, Spain: Travel to the Spanish stone village of Torla at the mouth of Ordesa Canyon. We hike to Torla via the pass called the Port de Boucharo on one of the old pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. From the Port de Boucharo, the trail descends into Spain's Ara River Valley. Near the valley floor are some wonderfully old specimens of the red-berried European yew (Taxus baccata)—called tejo in Spanish. The path eventually arrives at the picturesque stone bridge that spans the Ara River at San Nicolás de Bujaruelo. The path continues downstream through beautiful stands of white fir (Abies alba)—known as abeto in Spanish—to the mouth of the Bujaruelo Valley and Torla.
Alternatively, you can travel to Torla by vehicle via the mountain pass known as the Col de Pourtalet. En route, stretch your legs on a short stroll through the open meadows of the Cirque d'Anéou at the foot of the striking Pic du Midi d’Ossau. Torla is our base for four nights.
Our hotel is the Hotel Edelweiss, Torla, Spain
Day 8: Spain The Ordesa Canyon: A brief shuttle ride transports you into the Ordesa Canyon with its 800 meter high glacier-carved walls. Hike to the spectacular Circo de Soaso by way of the main trail along the canyon floor. The trail passes through beautiful beech forests and leads past the lovely Cascada de la Cueva ("waterfall of the cave") and the stair-stepped cascades of the Gradas de Soaso. From the Circo de Soaso we return via the Faja de Pelay—a natural limestone ledge that contours the south canyon wall about 2,000 feet above the floor of the canyon. The walk along the Faja de Pelay is one of the classic hikes in the Spanish Pyrenees—spectacular and dramatic and well within the reach of an experienced mountain walker. The views from the Faja de Pelay are magnificent and include Monte Perdido and the conspicuous notch of the Brèche de Roland (Brecha de Roldán, in Spanish). Eventually the trail reaches the Refugio y Mirador de Calcilarruego from where the Senda de los Cazadores ("Hunter’s Path") descends in a series of switchbacks to the valley floor.
Day 9: Spain Pardina Canyon: We walk through wild and lonely canyon country. Vultures soar over the remote Pardina Canyon (which you’ll traverse via the exciting Faja de la Pardina), waterfalls plunge over limestone cliffs, and dark beech forests offer welcome shade as you make your way down the Añisclo Canyon to San Urbez. Here, cross a marvelous stone arch bridge spanning the narrow gorge of the Vellós River to trail's end.
Day 10: France

Ordesa Canyon: Today we explore the Northern side of the famous canyon, following the Faja Petazals as it climbs out of Spruce forest onto hillsides covered with yellow broom and other spring flowers. (5hrs walking)
Day 11
Tella & Pau: We travel back to Pau, France via the Tunel de Bielsa. En route, we stop for a hike at the remote mountain-top village of Tella. Pine, rosemary, lavender, and boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)—known as boj in Spanish and buis in French—line the fragrant path as it loops by four stone chapels dating from the 11th to the 16th centuries. Take time to enjoy the peace of the surrounding mountains before continuing the journey to Pau.
Our hotel is normally the Hotel Le Renaissance, Pau.
Day 12
Fly home? or at least back to Pau or Toulouse for sight-seeing.
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Based on:
2 people sharing a twin room in 2-3* hotels.
A single-room supplement is readily available if you prefer.

What is included:
Inclusive of everything, Pau to Pau i.e. airport transfers, bed and breakfast (nights 1-11 inc), big picnic lunches (days 2-11), all cable cars and lifts, minibus transport and 2 guides.

What is NOT included:
Insurance, alcoholic drinks and your postcards and obvious personal spending, including medical supplies. Lunches on travel days (days 1 and 11).

Key points:
* Everything is included in the price. There are no "local payments" and your picnic lunches are included.
* We have time to enjoy the scenery, in comfort, with good quality accomodation and food.
* We have minibus support, and 2 GUIDES, throughout the trip.

  Trip Facts:
Total Distance -
Average height climbed a day -
Highest pass -
Languages - French (6 days), Spanish (4 days).
Difficulty - For good hikers
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