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
- 1 night hostel accomodation
- 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.
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
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.
All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.
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.
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.
Luz St Sauveur - arrive any time on Thursday by 18:30
Your adventure begins at your hostel accommodation in Luz St Sauveur on Thursday. Get any flight which suits your travel arrangements provided you arrive in Luz by Thursday evening. Your guide will meet you at around 18:30 to debrief you before the hike starts the next day.
We recommend you fly into Lourdes Airport (LDE) - which is the closest airport - or Toulouse Airport (TLS).
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€.
Luz St Sauveur - 09:00
Your adventure will officially end at 09:00 back in Luz St Sauveur. We then suggest you then make your way back to the airport - again either Lourdes Airport (LDE) or Toulouse Airport (TLS) are the best option.
Dates & Prices
Bespoke trips only
There are currently no planned group departures. Please contact this host to request a quote for a custom trip.Request a Quote
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