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The Heart Of The Pyrenees 8 Days Self-Guided Walking Tour (Level 3)

  • 8days
  • Spain

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Walking Tours Europe
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A World Class Journey To The Heart Of The Pyrenees

This sometimes challenging (but always rewarding) walk offers so many highlights and so much variety! It is a journey from the gentle pleasures of the renowned Azun valley up into the very heart of the Pyrenean mountains. Walk along ancient paths until reaching the most magnificent highlight of any Pyrenean journey, the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the Cirque du Gavarnie. There are astounding cliffs rising to 10,000 feet, and numerous waterfalls - the Grand Cascade shoots out of the cliff face before falling over 1,400 feet to the ground below.. Then there are the herds of cattle, the marmots, the birds of prey, the villages, the hotels, the restaurants, the traditional and contemporary dishes - and a night 8,000 feet up where the light-pollution-free stars feel as close as the mountains do in daylight. Unforgettable? Most certainly!

Tour Character: Level 3 Walking

This holiday includes sometimes challenging, but always rewarding walking, and is suitable for people who are reasonably fit, and used to walking for much of a day. It can get hot in July and August, as well as much more crowded. We would recommend June and from mid August to the end of September as the best months.

Included in this Tour:

  • 7 nights in 3.5* and 2 star hotels
  • Dinner
  • 1x picnic
  • Bed and breakfast plus one picnic
  • Luggage transfers (please keep weight to 10kg)
  • Detailed walking instructions
  • 1:25,000 IGN map
  • 24/7 customer phone service

Not included:

  • The journey to the start point and from the finish point
  • Lunches except one picnic
  • Drinks with meals
  • Non- standard menu items

Arrival/ Departure: 

  • SNCF runs overnight sleeper and daytime trains from Paris to Lourdes, which is also easily accessible by road (all motorway except the last 10 or so miles).
  • You can fly to Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées airport direct from Paris everyday
  • You can park your car for free in Marsous (or in Lourdes). 
  • With transfers you will be taken back to the Lourdes airport or railway station (extra cost)

Notes:

  • Guarenteed departure with 2 people
  • Ensure to bring appropriate clothing and equiptment for walking
  • Daily departure from 15th June to September
  • Extra nights and transfers on request

Slow Tours offers a range of Walking Tours Europe

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  • Day 1

    Arrival at Arrens-Marsous

    Standard option: You make your own way to Arrens-Marsous, where it is easy to park your car. You can leave your car here for the week. With extra airport pick-up: We meet you at Lourdes airport or railway station (or a hotel of your choice in Lourdes) and take you up to Arrens-Marsous.

    Arrens-Marsous is in one of the most attractive Pyrenean valleys, the Val d'Azun. There will be a great sense of anticipation as all around you are the hills you'll begin walking through the next day. You stay in one of our favourite places in the whole of the Pyrenees, although it is "only" a chambres d'hotes rather than a hotel. Maison Sempé is a beautiful 17th Century village house built of stone and wood in the local style with so much character and ambience that descriptions don't do justice to. The bedrooms (with en suite facilities, of course) are truly memorable with wooden balconies that give you wonderful views of the village's stone houses and the hills beyond. What makes it even more special are your hosts, Sylvie and Jean-Paul, who speak English, are most welcoming, and are full of fascinating information about the area. You'll also eat well!

  • Day 2

    Arrens-Marsous - Estaing

    You begin your journey with gentle valley walking to the 12th century golden chapel, or chapel of stars, at Pouey Laun before taking an ancient lane up through woods. You are now on the famous GR10, which runs for 900 kilometres from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, yet, except from July to mid August, you can walk all day and barely see anybody other than shepherds. At the Col des Bordères, you can see the restored summer barns and shepherds' accommodation in use as they have been for centuries, and at the summit called Predousset you can enjoy magnificently panoramic views over the Azun valley. You now stroll through extensive alpine type pastures, rich with flowers in early summer, and begin your descent to the tiny valley of Estaing. Finally for today, you follow the stream to arrive at Estaing lake with its reflections of the peaks all around. We transfer you from the lake to Marsous for another night at the Maison Sempé. After your efforts you will enjoy Sylvie's homemade cooking even more this evening!

    Walking time : up to 5h. Distance : 12 to 18km. Elevation : + 800m / - 500m. Transfer time : 15 minutes.

  • Day 3

    Estaing - Ilheou lake - Cauterets

    We take you on a short transfer back to the Lac d'Estaing from where you continue up the GR10 through pine forest and on to the high pastures at Arrioussec where you will see herds of the traditional horned cream cows of the Pyrenees, which are so tranquil that you can often walk among them without any of them moving an inch! From the Col d'Ilhéou, you walk to Ilhéou lake - a great place for a well earned rest - then can enjoy a gentle downhill walk to the lovely Cambasque valley where we meet you to save those just-a-little-too-far extra miles to Cauterets. A really rewarding day's walking. You stay at the very appreciated Chambres d'hôtes Les Ruisseau between Cauteret and Pierrefitte

    Walking time : Upto 6h. Distance : 12km. Elevation : + 1050m / - 850m. Transfer time : 30 minutes.

  • Day 4

    Cauterets - Gaube valley - (Petit Vignemale) - Baysselance refuge

    As you will by now have realised, mornings generally begin with an uphill climb, while afternoons are for descending - essentially because towns and villages are in valleys - and today is no different, except you have a lot of ascent and minimal descent - but then you have a privileged stay tonight still high up in the Pyrenees. You begin by walking up to Gaube lake in which you will see mirrored the imposing grandeur of the north face of Vignemale and the crevasses of the Petit Vignemale glacier - one of the most beautiful and dramatic of panoramic views in the Pyrenees. You now walk alongside a glacial torrent, and among alpine meadows interspersed with numerous waterfalls before arriving at the Oule ttes mountain refuge from which mountaineers climb Grand Vignemale (3298m). You, however, climb up gradually to the Col d'Ossoue, which gets you very close to Petit Vignemale. You can climb to the summit if you want to, or just go straight down to the wonderful Baysellance refuge where you will spend a truly memorable night. Built of stone with a copper vaulted roof in 1899, and refurbished in 2003, this unique refuge is the highest staffed refuge in the Pyrenees at 8,000 feet, and offers simple, shared accommodation with private, but shared bathrooms (no hot showers), unfussy but plentiful meals, a warm welcome from Peio and Morgane, a convivial atmosphere, and, above all, a magnificent location, both in daylight and at night when the light pollution-free stars seem almost as close as the mountains. It really does feel like a privilege staying here.

    Walking time : Up to 5 to 6h. Distance : 12,5km. Elevation : + 1300m / - 100m. Transfer time : 20 minutes.

  • Day 5

    Baysselance refuge - Gavarnie

    Get up early enough, and you will see the sun rise over Ossoue glacier - well worth it! You can take pleasure in the fact that where yesterday was all about ascending, today is all about descending. You walk down the lovely Ossoue valley with its streams, waterfalls - and marmottes. In meadow areas at certain altitudes, they are ubiquitous, and eminently photogenic. However, your eyes will increasingly be captivated by the sight of the Cirque de Gavarnie, which you may be surprised to find actually challenges some of yesterday's panoramic views as the best you've ever seen! You stay for 2 nights at the positively traditional and very comfortable two star Hôtel du Marboré in the centre of Gavarnie village, but with exceptional views of the Cirque de Gavarnie and the 1,300 feet Grand Cascade waterfall, not least from its terrace. Bernard will prepare dishes for you which bring together the best of traditional Pyrenean cuisine (stews, meats, mushrooms, cheeses and more), while Roseline will ensure you have a warm welcome, and everything you need.

    Walking time : Upto 6h. Distance : 15,5km. Elevation : + 100m / - 1400m.

  • Day 6

    Cirque de Gavarnie

    This is what most people regard as the most exceptional and memorable site in the whole of the Pyrenees. You walk fairly gently up a wide pat to the Bellevue plateau, with privileged panoramas of the high mountain scenery all around you. From the top, you descend into the centre of the enormous natural "amphitheatre" that is the Cirque du Gavarnie with its myriad waterfalls - many impressively long and powerful - sheer bare rock cliffs, and contrasting peaceful valley bottom. The appropriately named Grande Cascade at about 1,300 feet is over 300 feet higher than the Eiffel Tower and one of the highest in Europe. The bucolic final section is along the valley bottom, or, more challengingly, by the Espugues route, which cuts across a rocky cliff face. Either way, you arrive back in the village of Gavarnie. Truly memorable, we are confident you will agree.

    Walking time : 4 or 5h. Distance : 11km. Elevation : + 500m / - 500m.

  • Day 7

    Gavarnie - Troumouse Cirque

    We transfer you to the Troumouse valley so you can begin your walk visiting the historic Héas chapel - a 16th century pilgrimage chapel built to house a wooden Black Madonna found by local shepherds, and which miraculously (say some) survived an avalanche - before gradually walking up to the Aires cabin situated in the middle of the incredible "arena" that is the Cirque de Troumousse, rising to almost 10,000 feet. You then descend to the Auberge de Maillet before continuing to the much photographed turquoise waters of the Gloriettes lake, which often reflects the magnificence that is Mont Perdu. There can be no doubts about why this whole area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can now either get picked up here or descend on foot to Gèdre village (adding an extra 2h30m) by crossing the Coumély plateau with its historic stone barns, and then taking the Lucien Briet footpath descending steeply (but safely) down to the village. And that, we're afraid to say, is it for this walking holiday. For your last night, you stay at the recently refurbished, very comfortable and renowned three star with its impressive and enjoyable restaurant serving local traditional dishes transformed into contemporary masterpieces by chef-owner. The Brèche de Roland - Roland's Breach - is a 40 metre wide, 100 metre high gap in the cliffs dividing the two sides of the High Pyrenees, and legend claims it was cut by Count Roland using his sword Durendal after losing the 8th century Battle of Roncesvalles. The hotel is the only place that you can see the breach from the bottom of the valley.

    Walking time : 5h. Distance : 14,5km. Elevation : + 800m / - 600m. Transfer time : 30 minutes.

  • Day 8

    End of stay

    Standard option: After breakfast, we will take you back to Arrens-Marsous to collect your car. With extra airport pick-up: After breakfast, we will take you back to Lourdes airport or railway station

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Tours marked with are special prices.

Start End Max. No. Guests Accommodation Price p.p.
Jun 15 2024 Jun 22 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jun 16 2024 Jun 23 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jun 17 2024 Jun 24 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jun 18 2024 Jun 25 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jun 19 2024 Jun 26 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jun 20 2024 Jun 27 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jun 21 2024 Jun 28 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jun 22 2024 Jun 29 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jun 23 2024 Jun 30 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jun 24 2024 Jul 01 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jun 25 2024 Jul 02 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jun 26 2024 Jul 03 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jun 27 2024 Jul 04 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jun 28 2024 Jul 05 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jun 29 2024 Jul 06 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jun 30 2024 Jul 07 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 01 2024 Jul 08 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 02 2024 Jul 09 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 03 2024 Jul 10 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 04 2024 Jul 11 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 05 2024 Jul 12 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 06 2024 Jul 13 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 07 2024 Jul 14 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 08 2024 Jul 15 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 09 2024 Jul 16 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 10 2024 Jul 17 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 11 2024 Jul 18 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 12 2024 Jul 19 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 13 2024 Jul 20 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 14 2024 Jul 21 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 15 2024 Jul 22 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 16 2024 Jul 23 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 17 2024 Jul 24 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 18 2024 Jul 25 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 19 2024 Jul 26 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 20 2024 Jul 27 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 21 2024 Jul 28 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 22 2024 Jul 29 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 23 2024 Jul 30 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 24 2024 Jul 31 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 25 2024 Aug 01 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 26 2024 Aug 02 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 27 2024 Aug 03 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 28 2024 Aug 04 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 29 2024 Aug 05 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 30 2024 Aug 06 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Jul 31 2024 Aug 07 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 01 2024 Aug 08 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 02 2024 Aug 09 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 03 2024 Aug 10 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 04 2024 Aug 11 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 05 2024 Aug 12 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 06 2024 Aug 13 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 07 2024 Aug 14 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 08 2024 Aug 15 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 09 2024 Aug 16 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 10 2024 Aug 17 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 11 2024 Aug 18 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 12 2024 Aug 19 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 13 2024 Aug 20 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 14 2024 Aug 21 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 15 2024 Aug 22 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 16 2024 Aug 23 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 17 2024 Aug 24 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 18 2024 Aug 25 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 19 2024 Aug 26 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 20 2024 Aug 27 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 21 2024 Aug 28 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 22 2024 Aug 29 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 23 2024 Aug 30 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 24 2024 Aug 31 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 25 2024 Sep 01 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 26 2024 Sep 02 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 27 2024 Sep 03 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 28 2024 Sep 04 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 29 2024 Sep 05 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 30 2024 Sep 06 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Aug 31 2024 Sep 07 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 01 2024 Sep 08 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 02 2024 Sep 09 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 03 2024 Sep 10 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 04 2024 Sep 11 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 05 2024 Sep 12 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 06 2024 Sep 13 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 07 2024 Sep 14 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 08 2024 Sep 15 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 09 2024 Sep 16 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 10 2024 Sep 17 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 11 2024 Sep 18 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 12 2024 Sep 19 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 13 2024 Sep 20 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 14 2024 Sep 21 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 15 2024 Sep 22 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 16 2024 Sep 23 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 17 2024 Sep 24 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 18 2024 Sep 25 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 19 2024 Sep 26 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 20 2024 Sep 27 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 21 2024 Sep 28 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 22 2024 Sep 29 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 23 2024 Sep 30 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 24 2024 Oct 01 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 25 2024 Oct 02 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 26 2024 Oct 03 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 27 2024 Oct 04 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 28 2024 Oct 05 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 29 2024 Oct 06 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€
Sep 30 2024 Oct 07 2024 12 Single rooms 2,000€
Double rooms 1,669€

Car rental in Spain

If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.

Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote

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