French Pyrenees: GR10 Highlightsc
French Pyrenees: GR10 Highlights
French Pyrenees: GR10 Highlights
French Pyrenees: GR10 Highlights
French Pyrenees: GR10 Highlights
French Pyrenees: GR10 Highlights
French Pyrenees: GR10 Highlightsc

French Pyrenees: GR10 Highlights

Hiking the highlights of the GR10

Get off the beaten track and away from the crowds and hike the French Pyrénées, a truly stunning part of the world. The mountains are a serrated chain of peaks featuring some of the country's most pristine landscapes and rarest wildlife, including endangered species such as the griffon vulture, and the brown bear. We follow quiet un-crowded trails as we enjoy a memorable mountain experience in a beautiful landscape. 


  • Hike below the glaciers of the high peak of Vignemale
  • Spend a night in the highest refuge in the Pyrenees
  • Enjoy stunning summer flowers and autumn colours
  • A night at the famous beauty spot of Lac d'Oô
  • Experience a pristine mountain landscape
  • Fabulous family run characterful hotels
  • First class professional guide

The Pyrénées are a range of mountains in southwest Europe forming a natural border between Spain and France. The complete traverse of this mountain range crosses from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, a total of 954km (596 miles), and 53,000 metres (173,840ft) of ascent and descent. In one week we will hike across the most spectacular section between the thermal spa resorts of Bagnères-de-Luchon and Cauterets.


Just wanted to send you a quick note of appreciation for the fabulous experience we had on our trip with your company. Marit was a fantastic guide and an overall great human that we so enjoyed getting to know and traveling with. I am already scheming how to do another one of your trips.

- Mino, USA, 2024

Fantastic scenery and an  amazing guide! The lakes and waterfalls were stunning and all very manageable hiking terrain.  The food was excellent and the accommodations were charming and cozy. The accommodation at the Auberge de Germ was the most memorable. Excellent food/wine and ambience, great tunes playing in the background, wonderful staff, huge friendly dog named Yoda, great views, peaceful, comfortable rooms. We ate dinner outside with amazing views. I could have stayed for a week!


Renay  Canada.  September 2023


This was a stunning trip and Al was an excellent guide. Accommodation varied from two very basic mountain huts to 4 star luxury in Saint Lary. The mountain scenery was varied and beautiful and we saw eagles, vultures, waterfalls and lakes. Hugely enjoyable and as expected a true Tracks and Trails journey.


Jenny  UK. Sep 23


Great balance between high mountains, huts and comfortable hotels. Great route planning leading to varied walks and fabulous scenery. One of the best aspects of the trip was walking with like minded people and making new friends.


Hilary and Alastair. UK.  Sep 23


Another great trip with Tracks and Trails, the area was stunning, amazing wildflowers and wildlife, exceeded all my expectations for the area, great variety of accommodation and future guests will certainly have a great week.

- Liz, England, 2019

The GR10 in the Pyrenees had it all--- luscious green mountains covered with blooming flowers beside crystal waterfalls. The accommodations were welcoming being both comfortable and providing delicious food. My best moment was swimming in a refreshing lake after a hot day on the trail surrounded by stunning scenery and a beautiful waterfall.

- Donna, USA, 2019


  • Our trip begins in Cauterets in the French Pyrénées where your guide will join you for dinner, at approximately 1830 hrs, to brief you on the trip. The town of Cauterets sits at 950 metres (3116ft) of altitude and is an authentic, Pyrenean mountain town well known for its thermal spa. If you arrive early you might like to spend a few hours in the thermal waters at Les Bains du Rocher relaxing before your week of hiking? Cauterets is historic and characterful and many a contented hour can be spent sitting by the river or enjoying the cafe culture. For information on how to arrive at Cauterets refer to the 'Trip Information' section of this trip.

  • We ease into our journey with a short bus transfer to the beautiful site of Pont d’Espagne, the 'Spanish Bridge', a reminder that we are only a short distance from the Spanish frontier. The Pont d'Espagne is the official gateway to the 'Parc National des Pyrénées', the oldest national park in France, set up in 1967 and one of ten national parks in France. En route to our start point you may notice the smell of sulphur from the thermal springs at Thermes de Griffons. This area is often described as a 'corner of paradise' and we can confirm it is truly beautiful with waterfalls, towering summits, wild flowers, wildlife, and the glacier of Vignemale the highest summit in the Pyrénées. We start hiking with an ascent to the gorgeous blue-water lake at Gaube. We walk along its flanks and properly begin our day’s hike climbing to the Hourquette d’Ossoue. As we climb we will stop for a drink at the Refuge Oulettes de Gaube where Vignemale fills our vision. We eventually reach our first Pyrenean high pass and then have a very short descent down to our overnight accommodation at the Refuge Baysellance. This is the highest staffed Pyrenean refuge at 2651m  (8695ft). It is here that we will spend the night with views of Vignemale, which sits at 3298m (10,817ft) and is the most famous summit in the history of climbing in the Pyrénées.

    Ascent: 1350m (4428ft) Descent: 134m (439ft) Distance: 13km (8 miles) Duration: 6h00-7h00

  • An early start today to enjoy the morning light arriving on the mountains with views to the far distance. Often vultures are seen flying overhead, and chamois are found grazing near the trail. In the Pyrénéés the chamois is called an 'isard', they are actually smaller and more agile than the Alpine chamois. Leaving the refuge we follow several switchbacks downwards passing the caves of Bellevue. The ‘Grottes de Bellevue’ were hewn out of the rock for Count Henry Russell in the 1880’s to provide accommodation for his exploration of Vignemale which he climbed for the first time on 14 September 1861.  On his own or in the company of his guides, he made numerous first ascents, surviving financially on his personal fortune and his investments. After passing the caves we continue downwards in the direction of Gavarnie, a bustling little village famed for its glacial Cirque which has the second highest waterfall in Europe. This is a day of stunning mountain scenery. Descending towards Gavarnie we pass through a UNESCO world heritage site which recognises the unique geology and history of this special part of our planet. We do not walk to the Cirque as it is not on our route, but it is visible from the village and in the evening you might like to stroll along the valley and enjoy the views. We spend the night in the village of Gavarnie which has a number of cafes, bars and shops. 

    Ascent: 436m (1430ft) Descent: 1600m (5248ft) Distance: 19km (11.87 miles) Duration: 7h-8h 

  • We begin with a transfer along the valley which means we can enjoy passing through the many small traditional villages which line the road. This is a great chance to see the stone built houses, and enjoy the architecture of the region while taking in more views of the high mountains. We will begin our hike today at the Pont de Gaubie which is near the foot of the infamous Col du Tourmalet which features in the Tour de France cycle race and did so again in 2019. It means we start our walk with a beautiful section of path, which climbs through flower meadows, mountain pastures where the native cattle graze, and onwards to the Col Madamète at 2509m (8229ft) and the lakes Aumar, Aubert, and Lacquettes which are in the  nature reserve of Néouvielle. This reserve was created in 1936 and it the third oldest in France. It is believed the name ‘Néouvielle’ is derived from the Occitan language, nèu meaning ‘snow’, and vielha meaning ‘old’ and is thought to refer to the many glaciers that used to belong to the region. If the weather is warm we may have time to stop for a swim on the way down!  A truly beautiful day of hiking. We will also have a focus on nature today with the chance of seeing mountain isards, which is the Pyrenean name given to the chamois. There are also likely to be marmottes in plentiful supply. We overnight by the Lac d'Orédon where we can enjoy a drink on the terrace as the sun goes down.  

    Ascent: 1080m (3542ft) Descent: 750m (2361ft) Distance: 18km (11.25 miles) Duration: 7h-8h

  • This morning we awake by the lovely Lac d'Orédon. After breakfast we begin our day with a climb through the pine forest to a high pass which has incredible views of the mountains which await us. In early summer this climb features the beautiful pink flowers of the Alpenrose shrub, as well as many other mountain flowers many unique to the Pyrénées. Our first major photo opportunity is at the top of this climb at the Col d'Estoudou which sits at 2260m (7412ft) and offers views to the valley below. We then begin a steady descent through the forest to the Lac de l’Oule where the local cattle are often to be found grazing or even enjoying a swim in the lake! We then begin our climb to the famous Col de Portet which sits at 2215m (7265ft) and featured again in the Tour de France in 2019. It is the highest road pass in the French Pyrénées. We can stop for a lunchtime snack at the Col and watch the grim determination of the road cyclists who arrive looking weary and hot as they tackle this giant of the 'Tour'. A few cheers and 'bravos' from our team are always welcomed by the cyclists. From the col the trail passes via the ski resort of Saint Lary making its way across high altitude pastures full of cow herds. We take a transfer for the last section of the descent to safe our knees, eliminating over 500m (1640ft) of further descent to the lovely town of St-Lary-Soulan where there are many lovely cafes, bars and shops.

    Ascent: 790m (2591ft) Descent: 1364m (4473ft) Distance: 17km (10.5 miles) Duration: 6h-7h

  • Today we can take our time over breakfast as we have a gentle day of lovely traditional villages. We will make our way from Saint Lary via the traditional Pyrenean communities of Estensen, Azet, and Loudenvielle with their ancient water mills and 'lavoirs' where the weekly washing of clothes was done. We climb through meadows on a shady trail until eventually we arrive at a high pass and look down on the town of Loudenvielle. The town lies at the foot of the Col de Peyresourde and has hosted three stage finishes in the Tour de France. We will often have lunch in the town at a small cafe situated right beside the GR10. In the afternoon we have a final short sharp climb of one hour to the gorgeous village of Germ where we stay in an Auberge. We can be sure of a warm welcome from Celine and Christophe who serve delicious meals. There are many traditional buildings in Germ and it is a lovely place to spend the evening. 

    Ascent: 1100m (3608ft) Descent: 650m (2132ft) Distance: 15km (9.3 miles) Duration: 5h-6h

  • At Germ we wake up to more superb views of the French and Spanish summits of the Pyrenees. The mountain lifestyle and agricultural traditions reign heavily in this particular area and we often pass farmers with their herd dogs beginning their day of work. From the ancient village of Germ the GR10 heads back into the high mountains to cross the Couret d’Esquierry at an altitude of 2131m (6989ft). In early summer our route features many fine examples of Pyrenean flowers native to the area. We traverse the mountainside in the shade of the morning to reach an immense bowl where the cattle herds graze on the lush mountain grass. After a brief rest we begin our climb proper to the Couret d’Esquierry where we can enjoy a view of our route down to Les Granges d'Astau where we can have some lunch. We then have a final leisurely climb to our mountain refuge where we will spend the night by the stunning waterfall and lake of Lac d'Oô. This is a famous beauty spot where we will find many people who have hiked up for the day, however, come late afternoon the crowds descend back to the valley and we are usually left with only those hiking the GR10. This is a traditional refuge with basic dormitory accommodation.

    Ascent: 1260m (4132ft) Descent: 1085m (3558ft) Distance: 17km (10.6 miles) Duration: 6h00

  • Our final day and it is a great one! The walk to Bagnères-de-Luchon, an ancient thermal spa town, will plunge you into a high mountain landscape where you can savour your last day on the GR10 of the French Pyrénées. We leave our lakeside mountain refuge to hike in the direction of the massive waterfall at the end of the lake which provides some great photo opportunities. We then zig zag up the trail heading for the Hourquette des Hounts a high pass sitting at an altitude of 2275m (7462ft). Descending into a wild and remote valley we then make our final climb of the trip to our second mountain pass of the day, the Col de la Coume de Bourg at 2272m (7452ft). We then traverse the mountain following a ridge line towards the top of the Superbagneres ski lift. After enjoying a cool drink at one of the cafes we will take the lift down to the town of Bagnères-de-Luchon lying over 1000 metres (3280ft) below us. A great end to a great trip and a great way to save your knees. We arrive at the tree-lined boulevard which forms the town centre with its many bars, cafes and shops. The perfect end! 

    Ascent: 1180m (3870ft) Descent: 850m (2788ft) Distance: 14km (8.7 miles) Duration: 6h00

  • We will depart from Bagnères-de-Luchon an historic spa town in the French Pyrénées.  You may like to stay a day extra and spend time relaxing in the healing thermal waters for which the town is famous? The town has a lovely tree-lined boulevard with many bars and cafes where you can enjoy watching the world go by. The town is well served by public transport, full details of which are available under 'Trip Information'.

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment. 


On all our trips we aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. We are painstaking in our research to give you the best option possible and one that is good value. Our suggested accommodation, listed below, is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable we will book alternative accommodation of a similar standard.

On this trip you will have 8 nights half board accommodation. On 5 nights we will be in lovely hotels or auberges and you can expect private bedrooms with en suite facilities based on two people sharing a room. On 2 nights we will be in high mountain refuges where the accommodation is most likely in dormitories of mixed gender, though at one of the refuges we may be able to secure twin rooms, what we call a 'twin' means two single beds in one bedroom. On 1 night at Lac d'Oredon you may be in rooms with 2-3 people of the same gender, but we will aim for private twin rooms for 2 people if these are available. We find that our guests love the accommodation of this trip for its variety and character and especially because of the wonderful people who run the hotels, mountain refuges and auberges. Note that it is very rare to have air conditioning in European mountain areas, and most bedrooms do not have this facility. 

Hotel Asterides Sacca, Cauterets


The 3-star Hotel Asterides Sacca provides a fantastic base from which to explore the spa town of Cauterets upon your arrival and also the starting point for your holiday.  The hotel offers lovely rooms and the spa area provides an oasis of quiet to relax after your journey from home!

Refuge Bayssellance

This is a traditional mountain refuge and is the highest staffed refuge in the French Pyrenees. Pierre, the guardian, looks after us well, and our evening meal if plentiful and tasty. It is a wonderful place to spend the evening watching the sun go down over the mountains. Like all refuges accommodation is dormitory style. There is running water, but there are no showers. We love it here! An 'apero' while watching the birds of prey wheeling overhead is to be savoured. 

Hotel Le Marbore, Gavarnie


The Hotel Le Marbore is a gem! It is like being transported back to a bygone age. On arrival the adorable Roseline will be waiting to greet us. She runs the hotel with her husband and we are assured a warm welcome. The rooms have en suite facilities and are very comfortable. There is a cosy bar area, and the food is excellent. Breakfast is a large buffet with plenty to sustain us for the day ahead. The hotel is in the centre of the village and a short walk from views of the famous Cirque de Gavarnie. 

Chalet Hotel Lac d'Orédon


After a stunning walk past numerous lakes we arrive at our lakeside accommodation at Lac d'Orédon where Christelle, the manager, will be waiting to welcome us. This basic hotel is run by the local community to provide accommodation for hikers. It is spotlessly clean and with early booking we secure bedrooms rather than dormitory accommodation. The meals are plentiful and there is a good breakfast. Hot showers are appreciated. There are beautiful views from the terrace where an evening aperitif can by enjoyed. 

Hotel Mir, Saint Lary


The Hotel Mir is a lovely place to spend the night. Tucked away just off the bustling main street the garden area, terrace and hotel provide a tranquil spot to enjoy the evening. The hotel is named after alpine skier,  Isabelle Mir who took two silver medals at the Olympic Games in 1968. She also claimed two world championships in 1968 and 1970. The legacy lives on with the hotel featuring many black and white photos of Isabelle racing. The hotel is run by the third generation of the Mir family. 




Auberge de Germ


We adore this traditional Auberge in the tiny quaint village of Germ. It is run by Christophe and his partner Celine and the food is quite simply fantastic. With a lovely terrace to enjoy the evening sun it could not be better. The decor is characterful and tasteful, and the rooms cosy and comfortable. Rooms have en suite facilities and they have a very good wine selection. 

Refuge Lac d'Oô


Tonight we are in the Refuge Lac d'Oô which is run by Serge Duplan and his family. The Refuge is by a stunning lake with a waterfall as the backdrop. It is very basic mountain refuge accommodation with dormitory style rooms, but there are some small twin bedrooms available that are very simple with wooden floors, no curtains and basic iron bed frames with a mattress. If you book early enough we aim to secure the bedrooms rather than dorms. 

There is one shower with plenty of hot water. Often we don't even bother with a shower and simply swim in the lake! The lake is a famous beauty spot and many people make the hike just to have a beer or wine on the terrace. Dinner is good with three courses, and all home made, and breakfast is very 'French' in other words bread and jam, and coffee.

Hotel Alti, Bagnères-de-Luchon


Our 3*** hotel is situated on the main street of this ancient spa town and ideally place for strolling along the boulevard and enjoying the sights. The Hotel Alti has clean and comfortable rooms which are all with en suite facilities and there is also a small swimming pool. We will eat dinner out tonight as it is lovely to experience the side-walk cafe culture of this traditional Pyrenean town.  


The town has hosted many stages of the Tour de France cycle race and cyclists tearing along the main street after tackling one of the major cols are a regular sight. The breakfast buffet is plentiful, and the hotel is well place for onward travel.

  • Getting to the start of this trip and travelling from the end of the trip is easy. It involves a few buses and trains, but works efficiently and is relatively inexpensive. We have also known guests to depart from Bagnères-de-Luchon on the evening of the final hiking day of the trip to allow them to overnight at the airport in Toulouse for an early morning flight and this has worked well. 


    We encourage you to consider train travel from the UK or elsewhere in Europe if possible. An excellent source of travel information is Rome2Rio.  Please see our travel blog for information on travelling through Europe via coach or train.  If travelling by public transport you will need to take a coach or train to Lourdes (very easy via Toulouse-Matabiau) and from there take a bus to Cauterets.   Full details of both bus and train times can be found and booked here

    If you are intending flying to join this trip the nearest airport is Toulouse, in France. If you are travelling from the north of the Uk then we have found that flying via Dublin can produce some good connections, rather than having to go via London.

    At the airport you can take a Navette (shuttle bus) to the main railway station in Toulouse which is called Toulouse-Matabiau. The shuttle bus runs every 20 minutes, takes 25 minutes and costs approximately 8 Euros. On arrival at Toulouse airport follow the signs to 'Transport' and on exciting from 'Hall C' you will find the Navette on the right and the tram, which also runs regularly through the day, on the left. 

    There are regular trains throughout the day from Toulouse-Matabiau to Lourdes, where you then take a bus to Cauterets. You might also like to consider spending a night in the world famous city of Lourdes either before or after your trip. Full details of both bus and train times can be found and booked here


    You will depart from the town of Bagnères-de-Luchon, France. It is possible to take a bus from Bagnères-de-Luchon to the train station at Montrejeau which has direct train links to Toulouse-Matabiau where you can then take the Navette (shuttle bus) to Toulouse airport or continue your travel elsewhere. The bus stop in Bagnères-de-Luchon is from the Place Marechal de Richelieu which is just behind the main street. Otherwise you can walk for 10 minutes down to the 'Gare', the old railway station, where the bus also stops. 

  • When booking a trip we ask you to acquire insurance to cover you for the following:

    Mountain Rescue Insurance

    It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, mountain rescue, cost of repatriation and personal accident risks. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. The maximum altitude for any trip can be checked on the 'At A Glance' box on each trip page. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip, then please ask us for specific details.

    Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance

    You should also have insurance to cover trip cancellation and curtailment. Please note that your deposit and balance payments are non-refundable, unless it is Tracks and Trails who cancel the trip due to a failure to reach the required minimum numbers. In this case we will offer you a refund or the option of transferring to another trip if one is available. We also advise that you should have insurance which covers baggage loss/equipment damage as Tracks and Trails will not be held responsible for loss/damage to baggage/equipment.

    COVID-19 Insurance

    As well as medical cover, we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance so that if you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to (or during) your trip, you will be financially covered for cancelling your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable, but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please read the clauses below detailing trip cancellation and curtailment.

    Travel Insurance covering COVID-19 is now available from a number of suppliers, Campbell Irvine, Trailfinders and Staysure. Please check their websites for the latest information on what is and isn't covered. It is likely that more companies will offer COVID related cover in the future.

    All of the above insurances are detailed in our Terms and Conditions

    If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

  • Summer mountain weather in the European Alps can vary considerably, and in this respect it is no different to any mountain environment where the terrain influences the weather and it can change from valley to valley. 

    However, in the summer months it is generally good in the Alps, but it can deliver everything from glorious sunshine, to rain, fog, high winds and even snow. Temperatures can reach over 30°Celsius (86°F) in July and August, but can drop to 5°Celsius (41°F) on the high passes, or 'Cols' as they are known in the Alps. Essentially, as with all mountain journeys, you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°Celsius (59-77°F) in the valleys and 5-15°Celsius (41-59°F) on the passes.

    Even in mid-summer we can be faced with overnight snow especially when we have spent the night in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut at higher altitude. 

  • When packing for a trip in the mountains it is important to have appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you might encounter and accommodation you will be staying in. If you have any questions with regards to what to bring, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.


    • Walking boots - comfortable, with a good tread on the sole. Ideally they should also be waterproof. We have no objection to ‘low cut mountain walking shoes’ if they have a stiff sole for rough terrain. Be aware that early season snow can remain on the high passes and boots may be necessary!
    • Walking Poles – optional, but highly recommended
    • Rucksack – 30-35 litres in size. We suggest it has a chest and waist strap and you try using it loaded before your trip
    • Rucksack liner or cover - to keep the contents of your rucksack dry. 
    • Water container - 1 to 1.5 litres, or hydration system
    • Short gaiters – useful, but not essential
    • Umbrella - useful for shade on very hot days/rain showers


    • Waterproof jacket - this MUST be waterproof. We can encounter heavy rain in the mountains and you need to be able to stay dry and warm
    • Waterproof over trousers - we consider these vital items for the reason given above. We reserve the right to ask you to purchase waterproof trousers if we deem them necessary, or to ask you to miss a day of the trip if you are not properly equipped for the weather
    • Trousers - comfortable walking trousers that allow free movement
    • Shorts/skort
    • Sun hat
    • Warm hat
    • Gloves x 2 - one thick, one thin
    • Base layer e.g. t-shirt, thermal tops
    • Fleece jacket/shirt
    • Socks - technical walking socks 2/3 pairs
    • Duvet jacket/second warm jacket
    • Thermal leggings - optional

    Items for the two nights in mountain refuges

    • Sheet sleeping bag liner - a lightweight ‘silk or cotton liner’ which can be used under the blankets or duvet provided by the refuge. You do not require a ‘sleeping BAG’
    • Pack towel
    • Ear plugs - optional, but advised
    • Head torch - plus batteries
    • Teabags – optional, as tea is expensive in the refuges, whereas ordering hot water is less expensive


    • Sunscreen
    • Lip salve
    • Sunglasses - eye protection is essential
    • Tissues - we recommend a few biodegradable bags to dispose of rubbish
    • Antibacterial hand wash - small bottle
    • Toiletries - lightweight mini-bottles/packets, including soap/shower gel
    • Swimwear - optional. We sometimes swim in the lakes
    • Clothing for evenings in your hotels/mountain huts 
    • Lightweight footwear - slippers are provided in most mountain refuges, but not in hotels. We advise bringing lightweight sandals or ‘flip flops’ for the evenings
    • Supplementary snack bars/chocolate/trail mix - recommended especially for those with gluten free and coeliac diets
    • Book/Kindle/Music


    • Passport, plus a paper copy
    • Mountain Rescue Insurance
    • Credit Card
    • Cash - Euros 
    • Waterproof bag for documents
    • GHIC - if travelling from UK for medical cover

    Personal First Aid

    • Personal medication - if required
    • Antiseptic cream/spray
    • Painkillers/anti-inflammatory
    • Glucose tablets
    • 2 x Rehydration sachets – like Dioralyte
    • A few throat lozenges
    • Blister plasters
    • A selection of normal plasters

    **Supplementary snacks if you follow a gluten free or coeliac diet**

    Leaders are all first aid trained and will carry their own first aid kit

  • On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit and safety of the group.

    The 'group kit' will be minimal and usually just a case of sharing a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. For example on a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person. 

    If you are booking a trip in winter there will be a few additional safety items. These will be distributed in such a way that no one is over burdened. 

    Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.

  • When booking a holiday as a solo traveller a twin bedded room comprising of two single beds, is booked as standard. This will be with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. Single rooms are often limited in supply so if you would like to pay a supplement for a single room we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible. As many of the overnights on this trip are in mountain refuges (huts) a single room will only be possible on certain nights. This trip has a single supplement of £250 which is for the six nights and does not include Chalet Hotel Lac d'Oredon or Refuge de Baysellance.

  • Tracks and Trails go to great lengths to work with first class guides and instructors who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, insured, and hold the correct documentation for the countries that they work in.

    Note your guide has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment. 

    Your hiking guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. International Mountain Leaders are not only qualified to ensure the safe management of the group, but are also a source of knowledge about the local flora and fauna, and traditions of the area which you are visiting. You can learn more about our guides and instructors on the About Us page.

  • On this point-to-point trip you will have luggage support on all but two of the nights, which means your bags are transferred each day to the next accommodation and you only need to carry a small/medium sized 'rucksack' for items you might need during the course of the day. Please refer to the kit list for this trip for guidance on the size of rucksack required. On the nights you are in the mountain huts at Refuge Baysellance and Refuge Lac d'Oô you will need to carry just a few extra items in your rucksack.

    As your luggage will be moved along the route by taxi we ask that you keep the weight to a maximum of 15kgs (33lbs), and ONE bag per person. Many of the taxi companies who move your bags impose a 15kg (33lbs) limit and restrict the number of bags simply because they have to unload and reload the vehicle many times each day. If you take more than one bag you may be asked to pay a supplement. Also with regard to weight be aware that you may have to carry your luggage to your bedroom, which may involve climbing several flights of stairs as not all hotels have elevators. Luggage on wheels is generally a good idea.

    If you need to leave luggage at Toulouse, which is likely to be your arrival point if flying, there are options to leave luggage in the city using the service of Nanny Bag.

  • We do not include lunches in your trip fee for various reasons, the most important of which is food waste. In general our guests have particular tastes and requirements for 'trail' or 'hill' food and it is better you purchase your own snacks rather than throw away items from the picnic lunch which we would supply.

    Lunches on our trips are 'picnic' style lunches, in other words you take a packed lunch with sufficient snacks, food and fluid to sustain you throughout the day. Buying snacks and trying local specialities is a great way to inter-act with local people and to practise your language skills.

    If there is the possibility of lunch being taken at a restaurant/farm/cafe beside the trail, your guide/instructor will advise you of this. Each evening you can order a picnic or a sandwich from the hotel, or your guide/instructor will advise you of other options such as a local shop or market. In all cases we would ask you to settle any 'bill' for lunch or drinks the evening before you depart, and not in the morning when there may be a queue.

  • On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip. 

    We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day. 

    The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required. 

  • Your leader will carry the correct maps and you are not expected to navigate, but if you would like to have maps of the itinerary you will find that those listed below cover the route:  

    IGN 1647 OT: Vignemale 1:25,000

    IGN 1748 OT: Gavarnie 1:25,000

    IGN 1748 ET: Néouvielle 1:25,000

    IGN 1848 OT: Bagnères-de-Luchon 1:25,000

  • It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency which in this case is Euros. However, there are ATM's at various points along this journey namely Cauterets, Gavarnie, St Lary, Loudenvielle, and Bagnères-de-Luchon. Before arriving at Cauterets you will probably have passed through Toulouse, and Lourdes which have many ATM's.

    On many of our trips we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will only accept payment in the local currency in cash.

  • Food

    We encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for traditional food and where the menu reflects the best that the region provides.

    The hotels to there best to accommodate the dietary needs of our guest . If you are vegetarian this is not a problem as the hotel is used to being asked for vegetarian meals. If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance which will make you ill then the accommodation will cater for this as best they can but we would ask that you make it clear on your booking form of any food intolerance so that we can discuss your needs with the hotel at the earliest point possible. When using remote mountain huts the staff are usually able to offer breakfast and dinner which meet with the clients needs.  Packed lunches can be more problematic and so we do suggest that, if you do have a specific dietary requirement, you bring a range of suitable snacks to supplement the lunches.  If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet, gluten or lactose intolerance  contact us

    We request that you do not CHANGE your dietary requirements during the trip as we will have pre-ordered your meals.


    The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel or mountain hut is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water.

    At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly.

  • A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for the country you are visiting, paying attention to your citizenship. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.  

    We ask that you carry a paper copy of your passport with you on your trip. We suggest keeping your passport in your rucksack, and a paper copy of your passport in any luggage you might have. If your trip is without luggage transfers then keep a paper copy somewhere in your rucksack, separate from your original document. 

  • We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    Plug, Socket & Voltage by Country

    Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera. 

  • Tracks and Trails pays guides/instructors a fair and appropriate fee for their professional service. However, if you feel your guide/instructor has provided an excellent service that went 'above and beyond' then it is at the discretion of each guest whether to tip or not.  Guests will often give a tip of between 2 - 5 per cent of the total value of their trip. It is entirely up to you and any gesture will no doubt be appreciated no matter the size. 

  • Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your  departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.

    For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance.

    If you have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it will be valid until the expiry date on the card. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC to replace it. The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) lets you get state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number. 

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.

    You can read our full policy here.

What's Included

  • Eight nights accommodation; dinner, bed and breakfast
  • Luggage transfers daily; except 2 nights in mountain refuges
  • Cable car descent to Bagneres-de-Luchon
  • Bus fare from Cauterets to Pont d'Espagne
  • Transfer from Gavarnie to Pont de la Gaubie
  • Guiding services of a qualified International Mountain Leader

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Drinks and other beverages
  • Transfer to the meeting/departure points
  • Mountain rescue insurance – this is compulsory for all guests
  • Lunches; we find our guests prefer to buy local produce
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Grade: Advanced


At a Glance

From Price £2060
Holiday Type Walking
Duration 9 Days
Group Size 4-10
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 2800m (9184ft)
Countries Visited France
Meet In Cauterets, France
View all Walking Holidays

Gavarnie, French Pyrénées

Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
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