Across the Spain-France Border: Trekking in the Pyrenees

A Guided Trip – 7 Days & 6 Nights

The mighty Pyrenees extend from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, forming a massive natural boundary between France and Spain. The diverse valleys of these wonderful mountains offer an endless range of possibilities for outdoor adventures in a magnificent natural environment steeped in traditional culture and fascinating history.

Take a hike on the wild side and join us on this trip of outstanding natural beauty, towering summits and deep canyons.  This trip with 2 overnights in mountain huts in spectacular settings takes place in a unique Trans-National Zone – including national parks on both sides of the range: Spain’s Parque Nacional de Cañones de Ordesa y Monte Perdido and France’s Parc Nacional des Pyrénées - designated as a World Natural Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, a true paradise for wild flower lovers and nature enthusiasts and home to most of the highest summits in the Pyrenees.

  • Hike in two national parks, one on each side of the Spain-France border: what a treat! Trek from Spain into France and back through 2 of Europe’s natural jewels: Spain’s Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido, and France’s Parc National des Pyrénées.
  • Glorious views, exuberant flora and abundant fauna: a nature photographer’s dream. One of the world’s finest locations for alpine flowers, including the famed Eidelweiss. Marmots and chamoix observe us from rocky perches and birds of prey soar overhead, including the Lammergeier – one of Europe’s rarest birds of prey.
  • Sleep a night in a mountain hut in each of the 2 national parks. Truly spectacular locations, blankets, hot meals and insight into local mountaineering culture, make them a unique experience not to be missed!
  • Medieval villages: Visit medieval stone villages with Romanesque churches and walk on cobbled stone paths and bridges
  • Begin in Barcelona: This allows you to explore the architectural, culinary and cultural jewels of Spain’s most dynamic city.
  • End the trip in your choice of 3 of northern Spain’s most interesting cities: Pamplona – on the Camino de Santiago and famous for the Running of the Bulls during its San Fermin Festival; or one of two coastal towns in the Basque Country: San Sebastián, considered one of the county’s most beautiful cities or Bilbao, home to the Guggenheim Museum and an international airport.

Day
1

Arrival To Barcelona

Arrival in Barcelona and transfer on your own to hotel near the Gothic quarter. Enjoy exploring this vibrant Mediterranean port city. Highlights include at least 8 architectural sites featuring the Catalan Modernisme Style which have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status such as La Sagrada Familia, Parque Güell and Casa Milá. Don’t miss strolling the aisles of La Boquería—of one of Europe’s most colourful markets or the picturesque Ramblas street.  Overnight: hotel  in Barcelona

Day
2

Barcelona To Torla

Free time in the morning. At noon meet your tour leader for an orientation session, then lunch at a nearby restaurant frecuented by Picasso and other famous contemporary artists. Afternoon transfer to the picturesque village of Torla, at 1489 m/ 4885 ft. elevation, the gateway to Spain’s spectacular Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park.  Overnight: hotel in Torla

Day
3

Ordesa Canyon Hike

Today’s excursion is one of the highlights of the trip, where our expert local guide leads us on a trail along a “Faja” – or narrow grassy band running high across Ordesa Canyon’s limestone walls. On this hike you’ll experience breathtaking views, wildflowers galore and beautiful waterfalls.  Overnight: hotel in Torla  

Day
4

Gavarnie Cirque & Parque Nacional des Pyrenées (France)

We climb to the Spanish-French border at Bujaruelo Pass (2273 m / 7457 ft), but here there’s no passport control or immigration police, just marmots and the wind! We enter France, traversing along the northern slopes of Mt. Taillón, to finally reach the Serradets Hut (2587 m / 8488 ft) perched high in the Gavarnie Cirque, one of the most spectacular hut settings in the world, with views of 445m Gavarnie Falls, among the highest in Europe.  Overnight: Serradets Hut at 2500 m. (France)

Day
5

Breche de Roland & Parque Nacional de Monte Perdido y Cañones de Ordesa

We cross back into Spain via La Brèche de Roland (2804 m) a characteristic gap in the massive wall of the ridgeline. A meandering descent through boulderfields and rock ledges leads us to high meadows, typical grazing grounds of local chamoix – called sarrios. Flowing rock formations lead down to Goriz Hut (2200 m), ensconsed in yet another wonderful setting at the foot of Monte Perdido and overlooking the jewel of the national park – Ordesa Canyon.  Overnight: Goriz Hut, 2,200 m. (Spain)  

Day
6

Ordesa Canyon

Today we return to civilization! First we must descend to the canyon floor via the Soaso Cirque and Cola de Caballo waterfall, then follow a comfortable riverside path, past a seemingly endless succession of waterfalls on our way down to the meadows at Pradera de Ordesa (1300 m). A short transfer brings us back to Torla.  Overnight: hotel in Torla

Day
7

Transfer to Bilbao, via Pamplona and San Sebastián. Tour Ends.

The tour officially ends after breakfast, with a transfer to Bilbao, in Spain’s Basque Country on the Atlantic coast. On the way we pass through Pamplona and San Sebastian where you’ll have the choice of getting off. We can book hotels for you in any of these 3 cities.

Includes:
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 6 dinners with wine; 5 lunches (picnic lunch bags or tapas in restaurants)
  • All transportation as specified in the itinerary
  • Services of a bilingual tour leader/guide throughout the entire itinerary & certified local mountain guides on hiking days.

 

Price per person in twin/double rooms: 1.965€

Single room supplement: 130€

Does not include: air travel, Barcelona airport or train station pickups and transfers at start/end of trip, travel insurance, any accommodation or travel costs outside the Itinerary, gratuities, entrance fees to any tourist sites (except the ones specifically mentioned in the itinerary description), porterage, laundry or minibar items at hotels or any other items of a personal nature.

For extra nights at start and/or end of tour, please consult us for prices and availability.

  • Duration: 7 Days, 6 Nights
  • Meeting Point: your hotel in Barcelona
  • Ending Point:  Bilbao, San Sebastián or Pamplona – your choice
  • Difficulty:   Moderate to Challenging
  • Daily distances & times: 14.5 – 24.5 km / 9 – 15 miles. Most days are about 5 to 6 hours of walking.
  • Accommodations: 3* or 4* hotel in Barcelona; 2* or 3* or equivalent hotel or inn in Torla and 2 nights in mountain huts. Our criteria always focus on quality of “character” (historical and/or traditional-style buildings where possible), location and service with a preference to local family-run enterprises. Good food is also a must!
  • Guided Dates: see calendar.
  • Custom Dates: Custom dates can be arranged for groups of 3 or more people: mid-June to mid-October.
  • Group size: 4 – 14

Central Pyrenees Trekking Picture Gallery