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Pyrenees: The GR10

from $2,399.00

Highlights of the classic Pyrenean hiking trail

  • Reviews 2 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Challenging
    7/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    5 - 15
All about the Pyrenees: The GR10.

The GR10, running the length of the Pyrenees, is one of Europe’s classic hiking trails. The ‘GR’ stands for Grande Randonnee meaning ‘big walk’ in French. Roughly following the French-Spanish border from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, the route takes in the great variety of the Pyrenean landscape and features some of the finest trekking in the region. On this trip we explore the best sections of this trail between Gavarnie and Bagneres de Luchon and will enjoy varied terrain, stunning mountain scenery and the culture of the beautiful Pyrenean villages.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts and 4 dinners
* 4 nights in gites, 5 nights in 2-star hotels
* All transport (by private bus) and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Airport transfers (at designated times)

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (hotel nights only on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • The best sections of the GR10
  • Western Europe’s greatest wildernesses
  • Spectacular mountain scenery and Pyrenean villages
  • Delicious French mountain cuisine
  1. Day 1 Start Gavarnie.

    Start Gavarnie. In the evening our guide will hold a welcome briefing to discuss the itinerary and answer any questions.*Hotel Marbore or similar*

  2. Day 2 Walk in Gavarnie horseshoe and up to the Espuguette hut.

    Our first walk will be in Gavarnie horseshoe and up to the Espuguette hut from where we will be able to take in some incredible views of the surrounding area. This is the perfect walk to begin with, allowing us to warm up before we start the more challenging point-to-point walking that will make up the remainder of our itinerary. Depending on the preference of the group, we also have the option of extending the walk by 400m by climbing to the Hourquette d’Alans (2430m).Ascent: 680m Descent: 680m Distance: 10km*Hotel Marbore or similar*

  3. Day 3 Follow the GR10 to Pragneres; transfer to Bareges.

    In the morning we begin our trek along the GR10 in the direction of Luz Saint Sauveur until we reach the village of Pragneres. We will then take public transport and transfer for approximately 1hr 40mins to Bareges and a more enjoyable section of the GR10, a scenic balcony walk on the east bank of the Gave de Gavarnie.Ascent: 500m Descent: 900m Distance: 14km*Gite l’Oasis Barèges or similar*

  4. Day 4 Trek along the Aygues Cluses Valley; enter Néouvielle National Reserve.

    Today’s challenging walk will take us into the heart of the central Pyrenees. In the morning we take a short transfer to the GR10 into the valley of the Aygues Cluses stream and then to the Col de Madamete (2509m) before entering the stunning Néouvielle National Nature Reserve. In the nature reserve we will pass by many beautiful lakes such as the Madamete and Aumar lakes before descending to L’Oule hut, our accommodation for this evening./As L’Oule refuge is not accessible by road, you will not have access to your main luggage on this night. This means that you will need to carry a few essential items in your daypack for your overnight in the refuge. /Ascent: 1250m Descent: 680m Distance: 17km*Refuge de L’Oule or similar*

  5. Day 5 Climb to the Estoudou Ridge (2260m) and up to the Col de Portet; transfer to Saint Lary.

    We begin our day with a climb to the Col Du Portet (2215m). From here, we walk the rest of the way to Saint Lary following the GR10 at first and then continuing on a beautiful local trail offering fantastic views of the valley. Depending on conditions and the preference of the group, we have the possibility of extending the walk by an additional 250m and climbing to the Pic de Montarrouyes (2462m).Ascent: 650m Descent: 1250m Distance: 15km*Hotel Pons or similar*

  6. Day 6 Free day in Saint Lary.

    Free day. There are plenty of options available in and around Saint Lary such as the thermal baths; an amazing place with 32°c water, caves, waterfalls, a Jacuzzi and a pool. Mountain biking and road cycling is also available nearby where it is possible to cycle one of the cols of the Tour de France. In addition to this there are many museums, bars and restaurants in Saint Lary. Please note that options may be limited at the start and end of the summer as some shops and attractions only open when the summer season is in progress.*Hotel Pons or similar*

  7. Day 7 Morning trek up to the Col d'Azet (1580m); descend to Germ.

    This morning we will climb the Col d’Azet (1580m) and cross some beautiful Pyrenees meadows before descending to Germ near Lake Genos. We then have the option of extending the walk by 200m to the Tuc du Labatiadere (1737m).Ascent: 800m Descent: 620m Distance: 14km*Gite Germ or similar*

  8. Day 8 Enter the Aube Valley; climb to Esquierry Pass (2131m); walk to Grange d'Asteau.

    Today we enjoy a really pleasant walk in a remote part of the Pyrenees. We begin by entering Aube Valley and then climbing to the Esquierry pass (2131m). This is a particularly beautiful spot with many types of wild flowers around. We then descend to the Grange d’Asteau; a lush, green section of the GR10 surrounded by high mountains such as the Espingo peak (2856m).Ascent: 1200m Descent: 1000m Distance: 13km*Grange d’Asteau or similar*

  9. Day 9 Ascent to the Coume de Bourg Pass (2272m) via Lac d'Oô; ridge walk down to Superbagneres.

    For our final section of the GR10, we have another challenging and beautiful walk. First we climb to Lake Oo, where we can buy refreshments at the local hut before climbing further to the Coume de Bourg pass (2272m). We then have a stunning ridge walk descending to the ski resort of Superbagneres. From here we can either walk or take the cable car down to Bagneres de Luchon.Ascent: 1100m Descent: 600m Distance: 13km*Hotel de Paris or similar*

  10. Day 10 End Bagneres de Luchon.

    Following breakfast we say our goodbyes. Those on the group transfer will be taken to the airport. We arrive in the afternoon.

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Where you stay

Hotels, Gites or mountain huts

On 4 nights of the trip we will be staying in simple mountain huts and sleeping in dorm rooms with shared bathrooms (4-12 beds per room). For the other 5 nights we will be in 2* hotels with comfortable en suite rooms. Wi-Fi will be available on some of the nights.

Single accommodation (available on request – hotel nights only)

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 4 dinners included.

Breakfast ‐ typically continental with cereal, fruit and yoghurt available.

Lunch ‐ picnics and sandwiches will be available to buy locally.

Dinner ‐ local mountain dishes including meat stew, pasta, duck and gratins along with salads, cheese and soup (including garbure which is a local soup). Deserts include tarts and panacotta. Vegetarian food available but limited options (please inform our office if you have special dietary requirements).

Activity level 5 – Challenging

This trip involves 6 full days of point-to-point walking as well as a loop walk at the start of the trip to help you acclimatise. The walks are generally quite long and involve ascents of 500-1200m (average approximately 900m) but descents will typically be less (average approximately 700m). Although the paths are well maintained, there are sections that are rough underfoot. At times the terrain can be rocky with loose scree and some scrambling will be necessary. As this is a group holiday you need to be confident that your fitness will allow you to enjoyably walk at a consistent and steady pace that matches the group average, therefore allowing the group to finish the day at a reasonable time. You will also enjoy the trek a great deal more if your fitness allows you to walk the route with relative ease.

On 4 nights of the trip, we will be staying in simple mountain huts and sleeping in dorm rooms with shared bathrooms (4-12 beds per room). Mountain huts in the Pyrenees tend to be quite basic.

On one night (day 4), you will not have access to your main luggage as the refuge is not accessible by road.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Spectacular Pyrenees

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Day four (the third walking day) when we trekked in the Neouvielle Nature Reserve. This was the longest trekking day, with spectacular mountains and lakes (including the opportunity to swim in the clear waters of a mountain lake before lunch for those who wished it). The view from the highest point of this walk was well-worth the exertion of getting there, as was the feeling of achievement when we arrived at our lake-side accommodation sat down to enjoyed a well-deserved cold beer.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Pierre is an outstanding guide - his knowledge of the local area is impressive and he is a marvellous ambassador for the Pyrenees. A local who knows the mountains like the back of his hand, his knowledge and passion for the wildlife and the history and heritage of the region is infectious.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I was a little nervous about the gite accommodation would be like but I needn't have worried - it was fine, often with delicious home cooking for our evening meal. As we were travelling late in the season (September) we were the only group staying in two of the locations and so pretty well had the place to ourselves. In contrast, what should have been one of the nicest gites was a little underwhelming because it happened to be overrun by an very large group on the night that we were there - obviously there was nothing to be done about this and as with any selection of accommodation, you are bound to like some places better than others. I didn't have a sheet sleeping bag so took with me a single bed duvet cover which worked well. Weather was generally warm - do bring shorts, T-shirts and sunscreen as well as long trousers. There was some rain but this tended to be in the late afternoons once we had completed our day's walk - apparently a typical pattern for the time of year. On most days we were able to buy things for packed lunches the afternoon before - the fresh bread, cheese, fruit, etc. was delicious. I also found it worked well to have nuts / raisins / chocolate to snack on during the day - you might find it helpful to take along some small containers for lunch items.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An excellent trip with a first class guide and a great group of fellow-walkers. Some of the days are quite long and the activity rating of 'challenging' is accurate - you will need a reasonable level of fitness and prior experience of trekking to enjoy this trek to the full. Don't forget to take walking poles which most members of our group found really helpful and which Pierre taught us to use effectively.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Stunning Mountains and Villages of the Pyrenees

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the many beautiful and medieval towns in the area (including an 8th century tower/castle). I live in the hot desert southwest in the US, so I enjoyed the forest walks-even in the rain.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Pierre was a great leader with extensive local knowledge and mountain expertise. He provided expert leadership and was very helpful. When I was having a bit of trouble with one of the steep descents, he stayed with me the entire way down. He is definitely the best guide I've had on any Exodus trip. He is very passionate about what he does and this greatly added to my enjoyment of the trip.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for all types of weather and lots of mud. I would recommend bringing hiking poles. Three or four of the nights are spent in gites with shared dormitories and, sometimes, not so comfortable quarters. I was glad I brought ear plugs and an eye mask - wish I'd brought a comfortable bed pillow also! Think about what you want to do on the free day in St. Lary as many of the activities require advance booking. I went on some day hikes in the area and visited the spa. The Vaporarium in Luchon is only open in the afternoons on most days, so plan accordingly if this is something you'd like to do.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My only minor quibble with the trip planning is that Exodus needs to smooth out some of the picnic arrangements. On two or three days I had to shop for my lunch in the evening, then leave it on the window sill to stay cool for the next day's hike! Fortunately, we had cool nights so this was OK. If it had been hot, we all would have been stuck. As I was on the inaugural hike for this particular trip, I suspect Exodus will have this worked out by the time the second group departs.

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Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
September 12, 2019
Available
$2,399.00
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