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. 

Highlights

  • See the famous Cirque de Gavarnie
  • Spend a night in the highest refuge in the Pyrenees
  • Hike below the glaciers of the high peak of Vignemale
  • 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.

 


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.

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.

A superb trip with outstanding guiding, company, scenery and accommodation. I really enjoyed the variety of places we stayed in - particular highlights were our marvellous hosts in Gavarnie, dinner at the Auberge de Germ and the night we spent at the Refuge at the Lac d’Oo. The scenery was magnificent and, while we had lots of steep ascents and descents, the terrain was fairly straightforward and this is a very manageable and rewarding trip.

The scenery was amazing. The accommodation was always comfortable, unique and interesting. The hiking was pretty demanding with lots of ascent and descent.

Itinerary

  • Our trip begins in Cauterets in the French Pyrénées where your guide will join you for dinner 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 before descending to the traditional and beautiful villages of Vieille-Aure and St Lary. We spend the night in St Lary where there are many lovely cafes, bars and shops.

    Ascent: 900m (2952ft) Descent: 1800m (5904ft) Distance: 21km (13 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. Jerome and Patrick who run the refuge are great fun, and always quick to have a laugh with their guests at the Refuge Lac d'Oô. This is a traditional refuge with dormitory accommodation. Showers are available though many choose to cool off in the lake instead. 

    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.

Accommodation

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. 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. 

Hotel Lion d'Or, Cauterets

The Lion d'Or is a charming old hotel in the centre of Cauterets, but situated just off the main square in a quiet lane. All rooms are en suite and decorated in traditional Pyrenean style. The hotel is a short walk from the thermal spa if you arrive early and would like to relax in the healing waters. Shops, cafes, and bars are within easy distance. 

 

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 Jérôme and Patrick, two wonderful mountain characters! The Refuge is by a stunning lake with a waterfall as the backdrop. It is basic mountain refuge accommodation with dormitory style rooms, but there are some small twin bedrooms available and if you book early enough we will aim to secure bedrooms rather than dorms. Dinner is good with three courses, and all home made. 

There is one shower but 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. 

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. 

    Arrival

    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. We encourage you to consider train travel from the UK or elsewhere in Europe if possible. An excellent source of travel information is Rome2Rio.

    Departure

    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. 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. 

  • You must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity, including helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. We also advise you take out Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance in the event of you being unable to join the trip. The insurance referred to should only be purchased AFTER we have confirmed your trip is guaranteed to run. 

    The insurance clause set out in our 'Terms and Conditions' is below:

    Insurance: It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, cost of repatriation, and personal accident risks. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. For tours taking place outside the United Kingdom you must ensure that your insurance covers rescue from the mountains, including helicopter rescue. It is the right of the leader to make a decision to call for helicopter rescue if such assistance is needed. Costs incurred by you, the client, due to an evacuation, rescue or other emergency shall be your responsibility. Any subsequent costs incurred for expenses, not limited to but including such costs as hotels, food, transport etc, shall be borne by you, the client. You are responsible for ensuring insurance cover is adequate for the particular needs of your chosen activity. You must be fully aware of the implications involved in arranging your own travel insurance and understand the limitations and exclusions of the policy. By agreeing to our Terms and Conditions you are authorising Tracks and Trails Ltd, or the person employed to lead the trip for Tracks and Trails Ltd, to instigate rescue and/or helicopter evacuation procedures without previously obtaining the permission of the company issuing your insurance policy. We reserve the right to cancel your booking at any time if we are not satisfied you have the necessary insurance policy covering your activity. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip then please contact us for specific details. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres (9840ft), except the Tour de Monte Rosa which reaches 3316m (10,877ft). You must bring all insurance documentation with you at the time of the activity. We also recommend your insurance covers you for trip cancellation and baggage loss/damage. Tracks and Trails Ltd are unable to accept responsibility for the loss or damage to any client equipment or luggage.

    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 will encounter and accommodation you will be staying in.

    Equipment

    • 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 hiking on very hot days or rain showers, but not essential

    Clothing

    • Waterproof jacket - this MUST be waterproof. We can encounter heavy rain in the mountains and you must 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
    • Hat - sunhat
    • 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’
    • Ear plugs - optional, but strongly advised
    • Head torch - plus batteries
    • Teabags – optional. Tea can be expensive in the mountain refuges, whereas ordering hot water and adding your own tea bags is less expensive

    Comfort

    • 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

    Documentation

    • Passport, plus a paper copy
    • Mountain Rescue Insurance
    • Credit Card
    • Cash - Euros 
    • Waterproof bag for documents

    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 (eg Compeed)
    • A selection of normal plasters

    Additional Information

    When packing for a trip in the mountains it’s important to have the right equipment and clothing. We feel our kit lists are extensive (but not exhaustive) and cover the necessary items required relating to the weather conditions you will encounter and accommodation you will be staying in. If you have any questions with regards to what to bring on your specific trip then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

    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.

  • 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.

  • We do not include lunches in your trip fee for various reasons. We have found our guests have particular tastes and requirements for 'trail' or 'hill' food and it is better you choose and buy what you require. Buying supplies and trying local specialities is a great way to inter-act with local people and to practise your language skills. 

    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 your day of activity. 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 choose to 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 and whether you need to purchase items in the evening or if the shop/market is open early enough the next morning not to delay your start. In all cases we would always ask you to settle any 'bill' for lunch or drinks in the evening 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. 

  • 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

    On our trips we encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes that reflect the culture of the country and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for the traditional food of the region. 

    If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance to a certain food type which will make you ill the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free.

    If you are vegetarian then this is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet please contact us. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.

    If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we apologise, but we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness.

    Water

    The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel 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 for visits to countries outside the EU, such as Norway. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. 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 recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

    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. 

  • 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.

    UK residents should obtain and bring with them the free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance. Also note that if/when the UK leaves the European Union that the EHIC card may no longer be valid. 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.


Prices may vary depending on date.

2020

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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
  • Tracks and Trails memento - a gift to take home!

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

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.

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.

A superb trip with outstanding guiding, company, scenery and accommodation. I really enjoyed the variety of places we stayed in - particular highlights were our marvellous hosts in Gavarnie, dinner at the Auberge de Germ and the night we spent at the Refuge at the Lac d’Oo. The scenery was magnificent and, while we had lots of steep ascents and descents, the terrain was fairly straightforward and this is a very manageable and rewarding trip.

The scenery was amazing. The accommodation was always comfortable, unique and interesting. The hiking was pretty demanding with lots of ascent and descent.

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Grade: Advanced

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At a Glance

From Price £1595
Holiday Type Walking
Duration 9 Days
Group Size 10
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 2800m (9184ft)
Countries Visited France
Meet In Cauterets, France
View all Walking Holidays

Gavarnie, French Pyrénées

Lac d'Oredon and Néouvielle