Adventures / Sub Zero

Hike the Pyrenees and Relax in a Thermal Bath

Crunch through the white peaks, frozen lakes and snow-blanketed plateaus of the Spanish Pyrenees

This trip is no longer on sale

Trip Ref #10420

Adventures / Sub Zero

Hike the Pyrenees and Relax in a Thermal Bath

Crunch through the white peaks, frozen lakes and snow-blanketed plateaus of the Spanish Pyrenees

DURATION

4 nights

LOCATION

France and Spain

ANNUAL LEAVE

3 days off work

SEASON

Jan-Mar

GROUP SIZE

Up to 8 people

MEETING POINT

Toulouse Airport, France

ACCOMMODATION

Guesthouse · Mountain hut

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

This one combines wintery conditions and uneven terrain, so you should be reasonably fit and ready to face some steep uphill sections

Clip on your snowshoes for an epic winter trek through the cols and cliffs of Aigüestortes National Park

Soak your aches away in the healing sulfur waters of Bagnères-de-Luchon’s thermal baths

Bed down in a high Alpine refuge deep in the mountains and fuel up on traditional tapas

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

Included

Guides

Expert, English speaking, mountain guides

Accommodation

2 nights in mountain refuge and 2 nights in a guesthouse

Meals

4 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers and everything in-between

Equipment

All your snowshoeing gear

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Toulouse Airport

11:00 on Day 1

Ends

Toulouse Airport

15:00 on Day 5

Transfers

Your adventure begins at 11:00 on Day 1 when your host will meet you at Toulouse Airport. A single group transfer by van is then taken to Bagnères-de-Luchon, your starting point for your winter skills Pyrenees adventure. On the final day, your host will transfer you from Bagnères-de-Luchon at 13:00 back to Toulouse Airport (TLS), arriving at around 15:00 in time for any evening flights.

If you arrive earlier or later, you can either arrange a private transfer with your host (see Optional Extras for price) or you can take a train from Toulouse-Matabiau the main railway station in Toulouse to Montrejeau Gourdan Polignan and then switch to the bus line (394) for the final leg to Bagnères-de-Luchon which takes in total about 3 hours.

Travel options

Toulouse Airport (TLS) is accessible via various direct flights from the UK and mainland Europe. Flights from the US generally connect through Paris, London or Frankfurt.

For those who wish to avoid flying, Toulouse train station is well connected with high-speed trains from London via Paris. The journey will take an average of 13 hours and usually involve 2 changes.

Day 1

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

For the first and fourth day of the trip, your evening meals will be local dishes in restaurants selected by your guide. The mountain huts offer full board. Breakfasts are usually continental - think juices, teas, coffee, yoghurts, bread and jams. Dinners, meanwhile, are hearty - expect soups, a main course with meat, vegetables and a side dish (rice, polenta, pasta), and dishes like vanilla pudding, crème brulée and fruit salads for dessert.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Bagnères-de-Luchon

You'll spend 2 nights at the Free Range Chalet (or similar), a beautiful guesthouse located in Bagnères-de-Luchon. This guesthouse was constructed during the boom era of the late 19th century in the traditional Luchonnaise way. Inside the building, the owners have tried to preserve as many original features as possible, whilst modernising the facilities. All of the bedrooms are en-suite and have been tastefully redecorated.

Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park

You'll spend 2 nights at the Refuge de Colomèrs located in the Aigüestortes National Park in the Val d’Aran. It has room for sixty people distributed in five rooms with bunk beds. It has mattresses and blankets, a bathroom, a shower with cold water and a food and drink service.

Upgrades

Due to the limited number of rooms, it is not possible to request a private room upgrade for this trip.

Day 1

Welcome to the spa town of Bagnères-de-Luchon

Your host will meet you on arrival at Toulouse Airport and transfer you to the mountain town of Bagnères-de-Luchon, where you’ll have your first views of the snow-covered Pyrenees. Settle into your guesthouse then get to know your guide and fellow adventurers over dinner and hear all about the winter adventure ahead.

Day 2

The Spanish Pyrenees

Snowshoeing

5-6hrs · 9km · 835m up

After breakfast, you’ll leave France behind and drive to the Spanish side of the Pyrenees, Val d’Aran. It's then time to don your snowshoes and head up through the snow-covered Aiguamox valley. You’ll stop for a hot drink at the Banhs de Tredòs before continuing through the pine forests to reach the Refuge de Colomèrs (2,135m), located next to the frozen Lac Major de Colomèrs and surrounded by jagged white peaks. Settle in for a cosy evening and dinner at the mountain refuge.

Day 3

Col de Colomèrs (2,605m)

Snowshoeing

6-7hrs · 11km · 470m up · 470m down

Enjoy breakfast at the refuge before wrapping up and venturing out into the crisp winter air. It'll be another big day on the snow as you continue to explore this stunning landscape. You'll leave the lake behind and climb upwards by the remote pass to the Col de Colomèrs, topping out at 2,605m. With incredible panoramas all around, you’ll be surrounded by sharp peaks and blue tarns. Get your fill of views, then make your way slowly back to the refuge for a hearty meal, a glass of wine and a good night’s sleep.

Day 4

The final push

Snowshoeing

5-6hrs · 7km · 835m down

Rise and shine for your final day of snowshoeing. You’ll start by zigzagging past lakes and pine forests, which open up to reveal the magnificent views from this stunning route. Continue your way down into the forest until reaching the valley floor where you'll unclip your snowshoes, jump in the van and transfer back to Bagnères-de-Luchon in France. In the evening you'll head out for a celebratory team dinner at a local fondue restaurant.

Day 5

Bidding adieu

Spend the morning easing those tired muscles in Bagnères-de-Luchon’s thermal baths and hot springs. After a good soak or a stroll through town, it's time to head home. Your transfer will pick you up from your guesthouse and transfer you to Toulouse airport in time for your onward journey.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Snowshoes

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Backpack 60+ litres (big enough for all your personal things but remember you will be carrying it)
  • Daypack (20+ litres)
  • Waterproof liner for kitbag or rucksack

CLOTHES

  • Down jacket
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Breathable wicking layers
  • Fleece jacket or similar
  • Thermals (merino best)
  • Warm hat
  • Inner gloves
  • Ski gloves
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts / skirts
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear & socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses (make sure they’re decent UV and side protection)
  • Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Lightweight shoes for inside refuge
  • Goretex gaiters (or equivalent)
  • Hiking boots (worn-in and 4 season waterproof boots with mid-high ankle support)

SLEEPING

  • Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner
  • Sleeping bag (3 season)

OTHER

  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel Insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle (x1 litre)
  • Mug (for mid-day tea and coffee breaks)
  • Energy bars and snacks
  • Trekking poles

Pre/Post Trip Accommodation in Bagnères-de-Luchon (Single)

Payable Before Departure

Pre/Post Trip Accommodation in Bagnères-de-Luchon (Single)

Per Night

Pre-trip accommodation in Bagnères-de-Luchon (Twin/Double)

Payable Before Departure

Pre-trip accommodation in Bagnères-de-Luchon (Twin/Double)

Per Night

Private Airport Transfer- One way

Payable Before Departure

Private Airport Transfer- One way

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 66kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

No previous snowshoeing experience is required. The hikes are of moderate difficulty, suitable for reasonably fit people who are happy hiking for up to 6 hours a day with regular stops.

You will also need to carry your own big pack on days 2 and 4, so keep that in mind when packing. On the other days you will only need to carry a ‘day pack’ with essentials (extra layer, snacks, water, suncream, camera etc).

Snowshoeing is a type of hiking that uses a special type of footwear - a snowshoe - to spread your weight over a larger area to help you move easily across snow-covered terrain. While today's snowshoes look modern, snowshoeing has actually played a vital role in mountain life for centuries, with traders and trappers using early wooden incarnations of snowshoes to move freely through the wilderness.

Snowshoeing is incredibly easy, comfortable, and safe. You simply clip your snowshoe to the outside of your hiking boot and off you go. You'll be in the hands of local, experienced, and trained mountain guides who know the area intimately and will guide you safely throughout the hike.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion and are non-compulsory on this trip. Of course, if you feel that your guides provided an exceptional experience then you are welcome to tip as much as you feel is appropriate. You should factor in tipping 10% on top of the bill in any bars and restaurants during the trip.

The water in the Pyrenees is safe to drink and you are able to fill up freely at the refuge and guesthouse that you stay at. Make sure to bring a couple of 1-litre reusable drinking bottles or a bladder.

During the winter months the daytime temperature ranges from 2°C to 8°C. At 2000m the daytime temperature ranges from -5°C to 2°C. The Pyrenees receives most of its precipitation in the winter, normally falling as snow. However we can expect mostly clear and sunny days with the odd day of cloud or snowfall. It should be noted that mountainous areas do generate their own weather systems and stormy weather cannot be ruled out at any time of the year.

Absolutely, you can leave anything you don't need at the guesthouse in Bagnères-de-Luchon at the start on your trip. You'll carry your own bag up to the mountain hut so we recommend packing light.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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