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6 Nights – Crown Jewels of the Pyrenees – Posets Maladeta Massif & Ordesa National Park

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7 Days, 6 Nights
Max People : 14
Iberian Adventures > Destinations > Pyrenees > 6 Nights – Crown Jewels of the Pyrenees – Posets Maladeta Massif & Ordesa National Park
Tour Details

A Self-Guided Trip – 7 Days & 6 Nights

This tour explores the highlights of the area with the biggest mountains and most spectacular terrain in the entire Pyrenees:  The Posets-Maladeta Natural Park and the adjacent Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park.

You’ll spend the first part of the trip in the Benasque Valley, in the heart of the Posets-Maladeta Natural Park. This protected area is home to the greatest concentration of 3,000 meter peaks in the entire Pyrenees.  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

The 2nd half of the trip will be in the more well-known Parque Nacional de Cañones de Ordesa y Monte Perdido, part of a larger area designated by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage site—an “outstanding mountain landscape”—spanning the contemporary national borders of France and Spain, centered around the 3rd highest mountain in the Pyrenees –  Monte Perdido, a calcareous massif that rises to 3,352 m/10,997 ft, and including two of Europe’s largest and deepest canyons and three major cirque walls.

Duration:

7 Days, 6 Nights
Want more or fewer days? Longer or shorter itineraries can easily be arranged as a custom trip. Contact us!

Access:

Easily accessible from Barcelona or Madrid, you can also easily travel from here to other locations of interest in northeast Spain such as Pamplona, Bilbao or San Sebastian.

Self-drive version itinerary:

This trip is designed for those who prefer to hire or rent a car and drive to the area on their own. This allows more flexibility in terms of route choice. Some hikes may require a short local taxi or national park bus to complete the route (details provided on booking the trip).

Difficulty:

Each day our self-guided trips offer an easier/shorter option B + to C (easy to moderate), and a longer, more challenging option (C to D).

Distances:

from 5 to 19 km, depending on route choice.

Elevation gain:

from 200 to 1000 m, depending on route choice.

Time:

from 2 to 7 hours, depending on route choice.

Terrain:

Mostly hilly terrain throughout with 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. The challenging/longer options may involve occasional easy trackless sections marked with cairns.

Accommodations:

3* charming hotel in Benasque.

In Aínsa area, various options include: 2* family –run traditional hotel in the heart of the old town to a 5* refurbished monastery luxury hotel.

Self Guided Dates:

Daily departures June to end of October.

Price per person in double or twin rooms:

XXXXXXXXXX
Single supplement: XXXXXXXXXX

Price includes:

6 nights accommodation; daily breakfasts; 4 Picnic lunch bags.

Arrival information packet to be picked up at 1st night’s hotel, containing:

  • 2 large high-quality full-colour topographic maps at 1:25,000 scale (1 for for each area). One set per room.
  • Detailed daily route notes with colour topographic map printouts with daily walking routes marked. One set per room.
  • Hotel contact information, some local city and town maps with hotels marked, public transport schedules and other information necessary to complete your personal itinerary.
  • Telephone numbers for local English-speaking contact for help in event of emergencies, etc.

 

Optional Mountain Guide:

All our routes are designed to be safe and our notes and maps will enable you to enjoy them to the fullest on your own. However, you can consider hiring a local mountain guide for a day or more to add special value to your experience. A guide will provide in-depth insight to local nature, fauna, flora, geology, customs and culture as well as adding an extra measure of safety should you want to try something a big more adventurous or “off-trail” than our standard routes. Ask us for more information. Costs range from 180 – 250 euros per day for a private guide. Just enter your preferred number of days to have a guide in the trip reservation process and the new price will be automatically calculated.

Highlights

Posets-Maladeta Natural Park – This protected area is home to the greatest concentration of 3,000 meter peaks in the entire Pyrenees including the 2 highest – Aneto (3404 meters / 11168 ft) and Posets (3371 m / 11060 ft) .  High summits, glaciers, magnificent waterfalls, canyons, and fertile lands of forests and meadows offer a fantastic contrast of colors and landscapes – nature at its finest and a superb environment for any outdoor lover.

Parque Nacional de Cañones de Ordesa y Monte Perdido – part of a larger area designated by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage site—an “outstanding mountain landscape”—spanning the contemporary national borders of France and Spain, centered around the 3rd highest mountain in the Pyrenees (and the highest limestone mountain in all of Europe) –  Monte Perdido, a calcareous massif that rises to 3,352 m/10,997 ft, and including two of Europe’s largest and deepest canyons and three major cirque walls.

In both areas, France’s Pyrenees National Park is just on the other side of the ridge along the northern edge of the park. In Posets-Maladeta, you’ll have the option of crossing the border on some hikes!

Glorious views, exuberant flora and abundant fauna: a nature photographer’s dream. This part of the central Pyrenees is one of the world’s finest locations for alpine flowers, including the famed Eidelweiss. Marmots and chamoix observe us from rocky perches and myriad birds of prey soar overhead, including the Lammergeier – one of Europe’s rarest birds of prey.

Benasque – A historic stone-built village with a fabulous setting in the heart of the Benas Valley, Benasque is home to the headquarters of the Spanish Mountaineering School and gateway to the Posets-Maladeta Natural Park.

Aínsa – 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 central massif. The town offers the advantage of excellent access to both the western and eastern sectors of the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park.

Fine food & wine – Spain offers some of the world’s best cuisine, and the Pyrenees are no exception! Local dishes features traditional and modern recipes based on fresh produce from the region’s agriculture, and if you enjoy wine, the local Somontano and Cinca areas, although not so well-known internationally, produce some of Spain’s best wines.

Itinerary

Day 1Arrival in Benasque

Individual arrival in Benasque, beautiful medieval village and the nerve-center for mountaineering and outdoor activities among the biggest mountains of all the Pyrenees. Check into your charming hotel and explore the twisting streets.

Overnight for next 3 nights – 3* family-run hotel in Benasque

Day 2 & 3Benasque Valley

This area probably offers more options of differing levels of difficulty and views, etc than any other single base anywhere in the Pyrenees. Choose from many options depending on your interests and local conditions. Here are some examples:

– Mountain Huts – 2 different options to visit manned huts in impressive settings, starting point for many classic climbs to the many 3,000 meter plus summits all around them.

– Passes to France – 2 different options, follow ancient trails used to cross high passes between France and Spain, offering fantastic views throughout.

– Pico Salvaguardia – an easy, non-technical ascent to a summit right on the France-Spain border, a fantastic viewpoint over the highest peaks in all the Pyrenees.

Day 4Transfer from Benasque to Aínsa. Hike

Today’s short drive of just over 1 hour takes you through spectacular Pyrenean landscapes on your way to Aínsa. Check into your hotel and head up to Bielsa Valley for an afternoon hike either on the eastern side of the Ordesa National Park or an old smugglers trails up to the France-Spain border.

Overnight for next 3 nights – various options available ranging from : 3* – 5*.

Day 5 & 6Hike in Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido

Choose from various hikes on either the eastern or western side of the National Park.

Western sector: Short drive to Torla (50 min). Options include:
– Fajas – 2 different options for circular hikes along “fajas” – lovely ledge-like trails along the Ordesa Canyon walls, offering amazing views. Shorter and longer options are available.
– Waterfalls – 2 different classic hike options in Ordesa Canyon, to visit some of the many beautiful waterfalls, that are among the highlights of Spain’s most famous Pyrenean national park. On these hikes you’ll experience wildflowers galore and a succession of lovely waterfalls. Fauna you are likely to see include marmots, chamoix and the Lammergeier – or Bearded Vulture, one of Europe’s rarest birds of prey, which makes its home here in Ordesa.

Eastern sector: Short drive to trailheads (45-60 min). Options include:
– Pineta Cirque – explore the impressive walls and hanging valleys of this
– GR-11 – hike a section of this famous long distance footpath running the length of the range
– smugglers trails – follow one of several ancient paths up to the France-Spain border.

Day 7Depart

Tour ends with breakfast. From Aínsa you travel onward

Map
Photos