Trekking in the Posets-Maladeta Natural Park

5 Days & 4 Nights - Self-Guided or Guided

This tour explores the Posets-Maladeta Natural Park, a protected area with the greatest concentration of 3,000 meter peaks in the entire Pyrenees. Our route is a 3-day circular trekking circuit around Pico Posets, at 3375 meters, the 2nd highest peak in the Pyrenees, staying overnight en-route in 2 mountain huts in superb settings in the high valleys.

This is a classic route in some of the most spectacular and remote terrain in the entire Pyrenees, the massive natural boundary between France and Spain.

  • Fantastic scenery – with so many big mountains around, numerous tributary valleys provide an incredible variety of terrain. France’s Pyrenees National Park is just on the other side of the ridge along the northern edge of the park. High summits, glaciers, magnificent waterfalls, canyons, and fertile lands of forests and meadows, offer a fantastic contrast of colours and landscapes – nature at its finest and a superb environment for any outdoor lover
  • Traditional mountain culture – The valleys in this area preserve traditional landuse practices in which the relationship between humans and the environment have evolved over the centuries in a balanced, intelligent and sustainable manner, for mutual benefit.
  • Glorious views, exuberant flora and abundant fauna – a nature photographer’s dream.  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. A great location for alpine flowers, including the famed Eidelweiss – many mountain wildflower specialists consider the Spanish Pyrenees one of the best sites in the world.
  • A world-class mountain environment – for the Spanish mountaineering and climbing community, the Posets-Maladeta area is perhaps the country’s top location. Nearby Benasque is the home to the Spanish Mountaineering School. The area offers myriad opportunities for ice climbing, alpine and ski mountaineering, traditional and sport rock climbing, via ferrata, parasailing, mountain biking, etc.
  • Local guide option – a great way to add an extra measure of safety, access more adventurous terrain and learn more in-depth about the area’s fauna, flora etc. is to hire a locally born and raised professional mountain guide for the hike.We’ll arrange it for you!
  • Optional Posets summit ascent – add an extra day to climb to the summit of Pico Posets, 2nd highest in all the Pyrenees – a non-technical hike – with an elevation of 3371 meters. AUGUST ONLY.
  • Aínsa – where you’ll stay on your first and last nights – one of the most attractive historic towns in the Pyrenees, strategically located at the confluence of the Cinco and Ara rivers, with impressive views of the Pyrenees. Various accommodation options depending on budget. The town is easily accessible from Barcelona or Madrid. Various accommodation options in this area, or in the Valle de Chistau, just 10 km from the hike trailhead.
  •  2 Mountain Huts – Refugio de Angel Orús, situated at 2150 m to the S of Pico de Posets & Refugio de Estós, situated at 1890 m to the E of Pico de Posets.

Day 1 – Arrival in Aínsa

Individual arrival in Aínsa, one of the most beautiful medieval villages in the Pyrenees, Check into your charming hotel and explore the twisting streets.

Overnight: 2* (3* equivalent) hotel in Aínsa – other options available

Day 2 – Hike to Refugio de Angél Orus

Transfer to the hike start point – accessible by forestry track in 4×4 jeep taxi – in a lovely alpine setting comprising a collection of summer pastures with stone-built cabins or huts, where livestock herders spend the season with their animals. We’ll begin our trekking circuit in an anti-clockwise direction around the massive bulk of Posets, with the high point on the hike being at nearly 3,000 meters!

Approx. Distance & Elevation Gain/Loss:  10.7 km / 6.6 mi & + 1165 m / — 815 m (+3822 ft / – 2674 ft)
Overnight: mountain hut – Angél Orus 

Day 3 – Hike from Refugio de Angél Orus to Refugio de Estos

A magnificent day, through wonderful alpine scenery along the southern flank of Posets, crossing into the beautiful and rarely-visited Batisielles cirque. En-route, you’ll visit a collection of glacial lakes known as “ibones” before descending into the Vall d’Estos and your overnight lodgings at the hut.

Approx. Distance & Elevation Gain/Loss: 11.3 km ( 7 mi)   + 970 m / — 1180 m (+3182 ft / – 3871 ft)
Overnight: mountain hut – Refugio de Estós 

Day 4 – Hike from Refugio de Estos to hike start point. Return to Aínsa

A great final day traversing along the northern slopes of Posets, ascending along the lovely Estós Valley, and crossing a high pass to enter the idyllic Valley of Añes Cruces, with the French border just a short distance to the north. A final descent brings you back to our start point and now end point of our circular trek. A pre-arranged taxi or your own private vehicle to return to your first night’s hotel for the night.

Approx. Distance & Elevation Gain/Loss:  11 km (6.8 mi)  +750 / – 930  m (+ 2461 ft / – 3051 ft)
Overnight: as on Day 1 

Day 5 – Departure and end of tour

Tour ends with breakfast. From Ainsa you travel back onward via your choice transport (see “The Facts”)

PosetsCircuit

Includes:

  • 4 nights accommodation (2 nights hotel; 2 nights mountain hut)
  • 4 breakfasts, 3 generous picnic lunch bags, 2 dinners (at huts); other nights explore on your own.
  • Detailed daily route notes, 1 high-quality topographic map and colour photocopied supplementary topographic maps with daily walking routes marked. Hotel contact information, some local city and town maps, public transport schedules and other information necessary to complete your personal itinerary. One set per room.
  • Telephone numbers for local English-speaking contact for help in event of emergencies, etc
  • Local transfers to hike start points as needed on Days 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7.
  • Local transfers to walk start points ARE NOT INCLUDED on Day 5 (when based in Espot).
  • Pickups and transfers from walk end points to return to your hotel are NOT included and will be at your own expense. Hikes will always end at a locations where you can get or call transport. In most cases such transfers will cost between 5.50 euros to 10 euros per person using the national park 4×4 taxi service. In other cases, transfers could cost more. However, we have designed all walks to end at a reasonably close distance from your lodgings. Consult us for more details.
  • Certified Mountain Guide on Days 2, 3, 4 on guided version
  • Airport transfers or travel to and from tour start and end points are NOT included. (see Dates & Details).

OPTION TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL MOUNTAIN GUIDE FOR A DAY OR MORE

Hiring a local expert mountain guide will add great value to your experience. Our guides are locally born and raised and have in-depth knowledge of local culture, fauna, flora, geology, etc. Costs range from 200 to 300 euros per day depending on your objectives. Ask us for more details.

Price
Price per person in twin/double rooms: consult us €

Single room supplement: consult us

Discounts available for groups of 3 or more.

  • Duration: 5 Days, 4 Nights
  • Start & End Point:  Aínsa   (285 km NW of Barcelona. 3 hr 30 min by car. 490 km NE of Madrid. 5 hr 30 min by car)
  • Self-drive is best option. If not, transfer options to & from Ainsa area are: high speed train from Barcelona to Lleida (approx. 1 hr) + local taxi to Ainsa (1 hr 50 min) OR we can arrange a taxi to pick you up in Barcelona (3 hr 30 min). Consult us for prices and more details.
  • Hike Difficulty Rating: : C-/C+ (moderate to moderately challenging)
  • Terrain: mostly hilly terrain throughout. Occasional steep and/or rocky ascents. Typical walking surfaces include medieval “paved” paths and sheep drovers’ trails, dirt forestry tracks, grassy meadows and rocky mountain paths. Occasional easy trackless sections marked with cairns.
  • Daily distances: 10.5 – 11.5 km /  6.5 – 7.1 miles
  • Accommodations: for nights in hotels/inns, many choices available, including: 1* (excellent) family-run hotel in the Chistau Valley (10 km/6 mi from the trailhead). Several good 2* hotels in Aínsa. 5* hotel in refurbished monastery near Aínsa.
  • Available Dates: July 15 – Sept 30.