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Trek the Pyrenees from France to Spain

A challenging hut-to-hut trek to complete the Gavarnie-Ordesa Circuit in 4 days. 3.5 days off work.

  • France & Spain
  • July—October
  • Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, Toulouse (TLS) or Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées Airport, Tarbes (LDE)

The Gavarnie Cirque in France and Ordesa Canyon in Spain are considered the two most spectacular sites of the Pyrenees and on this challenge, you’ll trek both. The loop trail will take you across the border twice; firstly over the highest pass on the Compostelle trail (2200m), and secondly through Ronald’s Breach (2804m).

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 3 days trekking
  • 3 nights’ mountain refuge accommodation
  • Local, certified guide
  • All meals
  • Local transfers
  • All taxes, insurances and licenses relative to the trip

Perfect for:
Keen hikers looking for a new challenge with the experiences of crossing the border of two countries, and all in a cherished World Heritage Area.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights to and from the airport
  • Airport transfers
  • Snacks and drink
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance

This trip will run with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8.

Sure can! A lot of people do, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

You need to be relatively fit for this challenging hike; if you can run 10-15kms and do the same again the next day; or you can walk 20-30kms on relatively flat terrain and do the same again the next day, you should be able to manage this hike comfortably.

The weather is usually warm, if not hot. It can get stormy in late July-August. The weather is generally most stable and at its best for walking in September and October.

Breakfasts are generally basic; bread, jam and tea/coffee, or cakes in Spain. Some dried fruits may be available but this isn’t guaranteed. You can always bring a bag of oats if you like muesli.

Dinners are excellent; three and sometimes four courses. You can expect soup before your main meal and sometimes cheese and then dessert.

You’ll take a picnic lunch each day, provided by the refuge.

If you have any special requests, let us know and your hosts will do their best to accommodate you.

No kit will be included on this trip.

  • Comfortable walking boots or shoes (3 or 4 seasons)
  • Two walking poles
  • Fleece
  • Waterproof jacket (or big plastic poncho)
  • Waterproof over trousers
  • Lightweight puffer jacket for evening comfort in the higher refuges
  • Warm gloves and hat (for early starts)
  • Sun hat or peaked cap
  • Sunglasses
  • One pair shorts
  • One pair lightweight walking trousers
  • Two T-shirts (anything but cotton, wool is best as it is quick to dry and doesn’t smell. Synthetic is also fine – it smells but it is quick to dry)
  • Good quality walking socks
  • 40-60 litre rucksack
  • Lightweight towel
  • Waterproof rucksack cover or waterproof bags to keep your things dry
  • Sunblock for face and lips (Factor 50)
  • Personal First Aid kit (plasters, Compeed for blisters, paracetamol)
  • Roll of toilet paper
  • Water bottle or Platypus type hydration system – 1.5 to 2 litres
  • Penknife
  • Head torch for use in refuges
  • Survival blanket (light foil blanket to keep injured people warm).

Other recommendations are: - Camera - Snack bars/dried fruit/chocolate - Sheet sleeping bag liner (No sleeping bags are required – refuges provide mattresses and blankets and pillows.) - Waterproof map case - Earplugs (there will inevitably be snorers in the refuge) - Buff (good for blocking out light and noise while sleeping, keeping your neck warm, holding your hair etc. - Swimsuit (your guide will do everything they can to find swimming opportunities!) - Mobile phone - Personal medicine if required (please inform your guide in case of emergency)

You can fly into Lourdes Airport (LDE) or Toulouse Airport (TLS). Both are served by flights from all over Europe. You’re free to book whichever flights you like as long as they meet the trip start time.

Start point?
After making your way to Luz by bus or train, you will be met by your highly-qualified guide at 09:00 in Luz St Sauveur.

Finish point?
Your tour will officially end at the at 09:00 in in Luz St Sauveur when you will take the same bus or train back to the airport.

Getting there and away?
You can fly into Lourdes Airport (LDE) or Toulouse Airport (TLS). Both are served by flights from all over Europe. You’re free to book whichever flights you like as long as they meet the included transfer times.

From Lourdes Airport, there are buses to the train station and from there, connecting buses to Luz. From the airport to the train station takes around 45 minutes by car, and from the train station to Luz takes around 30 minutes; allow a little longer by bus.

From Toulouse Airport there is a shuttle bus to the train station and then regular trains to Lourdes (takes around 2 hours). From Lourdes train station, you can then get the connecting bus to Luz or a taxi for around 60€.

We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

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Location

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The Pyrenees mountain range stretches more than 430km between Spain and France and raises higher than 3,400m. Within the mountain chain lies the Mont Perdu World Heritage Area, straddling the border between France and Spain.

Luz St Sauveur sits at 711m inside one of the valleys of the Hautes-Pyrenees. Close to the Cirque de Gavarnie, Luz offers hikers some of the best mountains. The area is also popular with skiers with its own ski resort, Luz Ardiden. If you can spare the time, you should roam around the town to experience its exceptional historical heritage.

The Breche de Ronald, or Ronald’s breach, is just that; a natural breach in the wall of the cliff that forms the national border. Measuring 40m across and 100m high, and at an elevation of 2804m, the gap is a popular tourist site.

The Ordesa Canyon is an extraordinarily deep glacial gouge in the prevailing limestone. Its cliffs rise over 800m, covered in a rich varied forest on each side.

Start point?
After making your way to Luz by bus or train, you will be met by your highly-qualified guide at 09:00 in Luz St Sauveur.

Finish point?
Your tour will officially end at the at 09:00 in in Luz St Sauveur when you will take the same bus or train back to the airport.

Getting there and away?
You can fly into Lourdes Airport (LDE) or Toulouse Airport (TLS). Both are served by flights from all over Europe. You’re free to book whichever flights you like as long as they meet the included transfer times.

From Lourdes Airport, there are buses to the train station and from there, connecting buses to Luz. From the airport to the train station takes around 45 minutes by car, and from the train station to Luz takes around 30 minutes; allow a little longer by bus.

From Toulouse Airport there is a shuttle bus to the train station and then regular trains to Lourdes (takes around 2 hours). From Lourdes train station, you can then get the connecting bus to Luz or a taxi for around 60€.

We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

What to Expect

Thursday: Arrive in Luz St Sauveur

You will arrive in Luz at a time that suits your travel arrangements. On arrival you can soak up the atmosphere of the quaint mountain village steeped in history and spend your first night in comfortable hostel accommodation. Your host, Sian, will meet you for a debrief of the upcoming trip.

Friday: Cross the border via Bucharo Pass (2200m)

Your day will begin with a hearty breakfast at the hostel and you will have the chance to pick up some supplies for the days picnic in the mountains.

You’ll trek up and over the border into Spain on the first day (900m ascent, 1200m descent), starting in Gavarnie village and climbing to the Bucharo Pass at (2200m) before descending to the Spanish mountain village of Torla.

The descent down into Torla is a long one; you’ll stay at a local refuge tonight and recover with dinner and a good nights’ rest.

8-9 hours trekking

Saturday: Trek to the Ordesa Canyon

After breakfast this morning, you’ll leave Torla (1000m) and head in the direction of the Ordesa Canyon. You’ll arrive at the plateau at the bottom of the canyon after roughly 2 hours of hiking.

From the plateau, you’ll begin the steep ascent up to the Mirador de Calcilarruego viewpoint; a natural balcony hanging 600 metres above the canyon floor.

From here, you’ll continue up to the next refuge (2200m). Enjoy dinner and learn more about the group before getting some much-needed rest.

7-8 hours trekking

Sunday: Cross Breche de Ronald back into France

After breakfast this morning, you’ll leave the refuge and cross the Millaris Plateau to start your climb towards the famous Breche de Ronald (2800m).

Breche de Ronald, or Ronald’s Breach, is a natural gap in the Pyrenees border, 40m across and 100m high; via this gap, you’ll cross back into France.

From here, you’ll have a big descent (1450m) back down to Gavarnie. On arrival, your transfer will be waiting to take you back to Luz for the evening.

7-8 hours trekking

Monday: Departure

You’ll have breakfast this morning at the guesthouse before departing Luz for your forwarding journey home.

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.

Accommodation

Your first night will be spent in a comfortable Gite Le Regain in Luz St Sauveur. This is a charming traditional house nicely renovated as a hostel.

You’ll spend your second night at Refuge Lucien Briet, in the centre of Torla. There are small, comfortable dorms and you’ll have access to a communal bathroom.

You’ll spend your third night at Refuge Goriz. The dorm rooms here are large and you’ll have access to cold showers and a toilet block just outside the refuge.

On your final night, you’ll stay at Gite Le Regain, a guesthouse in the centre of Luz. The guesthouse offers small dorm rooms in a historic house, each comfortable and with their own bathroom.

Dates & Prices

Prices include

  • Accommodation
  • Guide
  • Local Transport
  • Meals As Described

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

Instant Book Icon Request To Book

Your host will confirm your booking subject to availability. There may be a minimum number of guests required to guarantee that a trip will go ahead.

Large group? Make a private booking
Special requirements? Get a quote for a custom trip

If you can't find a private trip that suits you, try a group trip or ask for a quote.

Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

Extra night accommodation Payable Before Departure
Extra Night in Luz €65.00 Per Night

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