The French Pyrenees are really spectacular. In this central area of the mountain range we find high and beautiful peaks that, as they face north, keep their snow well into the summer. These impressive summits contrast with the deep, green valleys where the beautiful villages of this region are located. The numerous lakes, the small glaciers and the snowy slopes complete the landscape, forming a wonderful environment for hiking. In addition, this area offers countless different routes, from gentle walks through the valleys to ascents to the numerous peaks of more than 3,000 metres in the area, so it is possible to choose the routes according to the preferences of hikers.
For all these reasons, it is a very touristic area that offers many points of interest and complementary plans to be carried out and is also known for its proximity to the Lourdes Sanctuary and the famous stages of the Tour de France that run through its impressive mountain passes. You couldn’t ask for more from an area to fully enjoy a hiking holiday!
Our trip begins in San Sebastián. Once the whole group has gathered, we will drive to the beautiful Aure Valley which will be our first stop on this trip. We will stay in Saint Lary for four consecutive nights, taking three walks along the best routes in the surroundings and getting to know different areas of this beautiful area. In the middle of the week, we will take a day off to move to the neighbouring valley of Argelès - Gazost, where we will stay for the next three nights. During the trip, depending on the weather forecast, we will take the opportunity to visit some places of scenic, cultural or tourist interest.
In the second half of the week we will complete two more hiking routes, which, like the previous ones, will be chosen among the numerous options offered by this valley, depending on the weather forecast and the characteristics of the group. The last dinner at the hotel will put an end to this beautiful trip, returning to San Sebastián the next morning, after breakfast, for each member of the group to continue their journey, according to the plans they have.
This is the summary of the programme:
Day 1: Arrival to San Sebastián and transfer to the hotel in Saint Lary.
Days 2, 3 and 4: Three mountain hikes around this area.
Day 5: Rest and transfer day to the neighbouring valley of Argelès - Gazost, making sightseeing tours during the journey.
Days 6 and 7: Two more hiking days in this other area of the French Pyrenees.
Day 8: Departure day to San Sebastián.
The order of this programme could be changed for different reasons, such as the weather forecasts. Any change would be communicated to customers in advance.
As an important tourist area, these valleys have small family-run hotels where you can stay and enjoy the famous French cuisine. Depending on availability and travel dates, we will stay in the 2 and 3 star hotels we usually use for our trips, as they have been selected by us in person.
These hotels have comfortable rooms to ensure a good rest and their restaurants offer delicious dishes made with local products, so the stay is very pleasant. In addition, their central location makes it easy to walk around the centre of the villages in which they are located.
The dates for this trip are flexible and depend on two factors:
The procedure to arrange the trip is as follows:
|Low||May and November||1,375 €||210 €|
|Mid||April, June, September and October||1,450 €||235 €|
|High||July, August and December to March (**)||1,575 €||295 €|
(*) Prices are per person and based on two people sharing a twin or double room
(**) Easter and other special days are also considered high season
This is an ALL INCLUDED trip:
(*) Possibility to order private transfers from/to Biarritz or Bilbao, at an additional charge
(**) Possibility to organize additional nights of accommodation. Please contact us if you are interested.
Do I have to make any reservation or do anything myself? The only thing you have to look after is your round trip to and from San Sebastian (remember that we can advise and help you with the arrangements). Everything else is organised so you don't have to worry about anything, we look after everything. You just have to worry about coming here and enjoying your trip to the full.
How can I get to the area? First, you have to arrive to the city of San Sebastian, in the north of Spain. Nowadays this is very easy because this area has very good communications by land, sea and air. There are several options to fly to our different airports and our cities are connected by modern motorways. You also have the option of coming by bus, train and even by boat if you come from Great Britain. For more information, see the "How to get here" section of the "Information" tab. Once in San Sebastian, we pick you up and take you to the valleys of the French Pyrenees where this trip takes place. At the end of the trip, we bring you back to San Sebastian so that you can return home or continue on your trip from here.
What currency and language is used in the area? As in the other countries of the European Union, the currency used is the euro. With regard to languages, French is spoken in this area. English is frequently used in these areas although, sometimes, the level may be basic. In any case, a bilingual guide will be with you at all times, so you won't have any problems in understanding the locals.
Is it a safe area? Yes, fortunately this area is very safe and visitors do not usually have any problems on their trip. However, we recommend taking the usual common sense precautions against theft.
Can I book a single person trip? Yes, as long as there are other people on that same trip. Walking North Spain cannot offer guided trips for a single person. There will be an individual supplement for single person reservations.
What is the best time of year to make this trip? This trip can be made at any time of the year although the best dates are probably from May to October
What are the routes like? Are they very long or difficult? This area offers many different routes of different lengths and levels of effort. In general, the selected routes for this trip are between 9,5 and 15 kilometres, with a height gain of between 600 and 950 metres, so that everybody accustomed to hill-walking and is reasonably fit can hike our routes without difficulty. Walking North Spain is also able to choose those routes that best suit the preferences and characteristics of the group.
Will it be possible to shorten some routes? The group will be led by a single guide if there are 8 or fewer clients. With just one guide the group cannot be divided and everyone will have to follow the same itinerary. There will be 2 guides leading if there are 9 or more clients in the group making it possible to shorten the routes for part of the group.
I have some dietary restrictions, is it possible to take this into account? Of course, although one of the main attractions of this area is its gastronomy, every year we welcome people who have dietary restrictions. In these cases, we inform all the accommodations and restaurants we visit so that this is taken into account.
If you have any other questions, please click here and send us an email with your query. Thank you very much.