Tag Archives: Hike Pyrenees

Summer 2020 walking holiday brochure

Summer 2020 Pyrenees walking holiday brochure

Our summer 2020 walking holiday brochure is available to download as a pdf or to view online. Our brochure has all the dates and prices for our guided and self guided holidays next summer. This year, to cut down on a lot of paper and brochure air miles, we’ve decided not to publish a printed brochure. All of the information is available on our website or on the downloadable pdf.

As usual, we’ve got a busy summer lined up. We start in April and May with two fantastic twin-centre holidays:  Mar y Montaña and Riglos & Alquezar. Both have superb scenery, great early season weather, lovely hotels and restaurants.

Mid-summer we have our guided holidays in the Valle de Tena and the Ordesa National Park,  as well as a lovely itinerary in the Picos de Europa.

For those that prefer self guided hiking look out our Village to Village itinerary in the high Pyrenees or the Villages of the Guara which is perfect earlier in the season.

Whichever holiday you choose, you can be sure that our local qualified guides will show you the best hikes in the area and that with them you’ll experience the real Pyrenees.

If you have any questions about our holidays or would like to check availability, just drop us an email at info@hikepyrenees.co.uk and we’d be glad to help.

We hope to see you in the Pyrenees next summer!

Hiking in the Pyrenees

Already enjoying another great summer in the Pyrenees

Summer is back in the Pyrenes and there isn´t a better way to welcome it than going hiking.

These first weeks of the season we are walking surrounded by white snowed peaks and colorful flowers on green meadows, by semi-frozen lakes and strong flowing streams and waterfalls, and seeing butterflies and lizards that enjoy the heat of the summer sun up in the mountains.

The mountains lways look fantastic at the start of the season, and we’ve great expectations of another great summer season on the Pyrenees.

If you’ve already booked your walking holiday in the Pyrenees you’re in for a treat. If not we’re here hiking all summer – come and join us and discover these stunning mountains!

Snowshoeing in the Pyrenees

Snowshoeing from Cotefablo to Toronzué (2263m)

The great snow conditions continue in the Pyrenees and yesterday we got the snowshoes out. The weather didn’t look that great up the valley so we headed across to Cotefablo – the pass halfway between Biescas and Ordesa/Torla. It’s south of the high cliffs of the Sierra de Tendeñera so gets much better weather than just 10km north on the other side of the cliffs!

Many of our guests will know the spot as we sometimes head here in the summer to hike up to the summits of Pelopin or Erata. It’s nice and high at around 1500metres so there’s usually snow right from the off. Yesterday we headed in the other direction to the north to the peak of Toronzué (2263m).

The Hike Pyrenees team

The ‘A-Team’ – Gustavo, Brecas and David

Four of us headed out – David our guide who I’m sure spme of you will have hiked with, Gustavo and Brecas two friends from Biescas and Ruby our dog who had her first winter mountain day and had the most fun of us all!

Heading out from Cotefablo

Heading out from Cotefablo

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Foz de Salinas hike, a day on our Riglos and Alquezar holiday

Anne, Andy, Anthony, Karl, Annabel and Robert are this week our guests for a new edition of our Riglos and Alquezar holiday. It is the second year we run this holiday and, after a first group in April, this week our new guests are enjoying the atmosphere of several small and untouched villages of the Pre-Pirenees as well as beautiful hikes under a rather warm and sun shining weather.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be with the group for their 3rd hikes in the area of “la Foz de Salinas”, where Phil guided us on some very pleasant and quiet paths.

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Hiking on our new self guided itinerary in Guara Natural Park

The self guided season has started earlier than previous years in Hike Pyrenees: our firsts guests has already arrived and are walking on the beautiful paths and tracks of Guara Natural Park!

Before they came, we double checked the route directions we had prepared for our new Villages of the Guara Natural Park self-guided holiday. These routecards are booklets with maps, directions and pictures that we give to our guests in order to make their navigation easier for each of their hiking day.

Phil taking a picture for the routecard of Lecina to Paules de Sarsa itinerary.

Phil taking a picture for the routecard of Lecina to Paules de Sarsa itinerary.

The  last route we checked was a relatively short and easy hike between the Villages of Lecina and Paules de Sarsa, two very quiet and remote villages in the most rural part of the Park.

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Mountaineering in the Pyrenees: 25 Classic Mountain Routes

Not only do I enjoy long and strenuous treks in the high mountains, I enjoy mountaineering in almost, if not all it’s forms, from bouldering, through to sport climbing, ski touring, alpine climbing, and climbing in the Greater Ranges.  Enjoying all these disciplines generally mean a number of things, including:

a) the next trip is always planned
b) day’s off are spent doing more of what I love
c) new guidebooks to an area I frequent excite me

Here, in the Spanish Pyrenees, one of the trickiest things when it comes to climbing and mountaineering, is finding information for particular routes and areas, as the information (route diagrams, photos and descriptions) might be found hidden on a blog somewhere on-line, in a routes book in a local bar or cafe, in a guidebook, which may be out of print, or through word of mouth.  It’s a very different story to back in the UK, where every mountaineering and climbing route can be found in up to date and by and large, easy to get hold of guidebooks, normally without fail.

I was therefore quite excited to see that Vertebrate Publishing had recently translated into English ‘Pyrénées, les plus belles courses’ by mountain guide François Laurens.

None of the routes mentioned in the guidebook are new, far from it, but up until now, much of the information for these 25 mountaineering routes, only really existed in French or Spanish, and whilst there will be plenty of you who are reasonably handy when it comes to understanding either of these two languages, mountaineering descriptions can often use very specific terms, for which the exact translations may prove crucial when actually trying to follow the exact line when out in the mountains, so an English guidebook is hugely welcome.

The 25 hand-picked routes, many of which are ridge traverses and rock climbs span much of the Pyrenees, although are largely concentrated to the higher, central Pyrenees (Aragon on the Spanish side, and the eastern end of the Pyrenees Atlantiques, Haute Pyrenees and Haute Garonne on the French side).   The format for each route description will feel very familiar if you’ve used the more well known guidebooks, for the Alps, by the same publisher.  For those that haven’t, fear not, this guidebook is very easy to use, unlike many of the older, monochrome (and out-of-date) guidebooks available for the area.

The descriptions start with the essential facts: starting points, difficulty, timings, best time of year, required gear and first ascensionist, followed by a brief history of the route, before giving a detailed description of the route, and just as importantly, the decent.  Coloured photos and topos and maps are used throughout.

There’s no doubt, that this guidebook gives an inspiring selection of some of the classic mountaineering routes in the Pyrenees, however, I do have a couple of thoughts:

Firstly, the guidebook is quite francocentric, with only a fraction of the routes being easily accessible to those on the Spanish side, of which all bar one are in the central and eastern parts of the autonomous community of Aragon.

Secondly, the Pyrenees cover an enormous distance and area, and to have only selected 25 routes for such an extensive range seems like a slightly wasted opportunity to open up what are some of Europe’s most beautiful mountains to the rest of the world.

Gudiebook Mountaineering in the Pyrenees

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Discovering Ordesa

Things are now quietening down now for our season here in the Pyrenees, and last week, we ran our final Discover Ordesa week.  For those seeking a bit more peace and quiet in the hugely popular (and rightly so) Ordesa & Monte Perdido National Park, mid-September can prove to be a fantastic time to visit, particularly as we can drive into the main car park in the National Park, known as the ‘Pradera’ (during the peak season, there is a compulsory shuttle bus service from Torla to the Pradera). Continue reading

Looking at the improbable Faja de las Flores

Guiding the Faja de las Flores – Ordesa

The Faja de las Flores is a spectacular high level walk which traverses the northern cliffs of the canyon along a weaker sedimentary layer which is in-cut. ‘Faja’ means girdle in english and the faja paths in Ordesa traverse different parts of the canyon at varying levels. Due to their nature, the faja paths are fairly narrow and a head for heights is often needed, particularly on the Faja de las Flores which is 1km above the valley floor!

This week I had the pleasure of guiding Sean and Sue along this famous route. The weather was perfect; cool in the morning for our monster ascent from the valley floor and beautifully clear skies for fantastic views.

Sean and Sue on their way up to the start of the Faja de las Flores

Sean and Sue on their way up to the start of the Faja de las Flores

On the way up there are 2 sets of ‘clavijas’ to tackle (iron pitons placed in the rock to help on steeper sections), and about 1000m of ascent to do.

Once at the start of the route it looks as if there is no place for a path but as you get closer the eroded band shows itself and you can see it winding it’s way along the cliff face.

Once on the narrow traverse path we took our time, enjoyed the views and cautiously looking down at the valley floor.

At the other end of the traverse we we’re able to get great views of  the ‘Breche de Roland’ and the ‘Tres Serols’

We had a great day up there and after 17 km and 1150m ascent and of course descent we were all pretty tired but very happy, especially once the G&T was served!

 

A view of the Sierra de la Partacua on day 2

Some more photo’s from our recent hikes in the Pyrenees

As mentioned previously, it’s been a busy start for Hike Pyrenees and there’s more than one camera here at  HQ. So here’s my favorite photo’s from the season so far from the dual level hikes in the Valle de Tena and Ordesa. With wild flowers in abundance, vultures dominating the sky and beautiful scenery, it’s hard to know which way to point the camera!

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Views of the French Spanish Border from Collado Pacino

Views of the French Spanish Border from Collado Pacino

 

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Views from the summit of Pelopin 2007m

Views from the summit of Pelopin 2007m

Summit of Pic Peyreget

A great season so far…

Well, the 2014 hiking season here in the Spanish Pyrenees is well and truly under way, and despite the occasional late afternoon thunderstorm, things have been ticking along nicely.  Our self-guided holidays are proving to be as popular as ever, with about half of the guests hiking the 6 day Village to Village Walk in the Valle de Tena.  Other guests have explored the Ordesa Valley, Camino de Santiago and other spectacular areas of the Valle de Tena.

It’s also been busy on the guided holidays.  We’ve run a few more dual level holidays this season, allowing walkers to choose between gentle and more strenuous walks, both in the Valle de Tena and Ordesa, on each of their 5 days, giving them the opportunity to enjoy a diverse range of environments, from flower filled meadows through to rugged high mountain terrain.  Highlights have included hiking the Faja de Pelay in the Ordesa Canyon, visiting the Ibones de Arriel above the GR11 and popping over the border to walk in the French Pyrenees.

Phil has also run a new walking holiday this season, in the Western PyreneesThis holiday is split between  the two beautiful villages of Ezcaroz in the Valle de Salazar and Erratzu in Baztan, and is aimed at those looking for relaxed days in the mountains.   Many of the guests on this holiday had hiked with us before (mostly on our Lakes & Valleys holiday), and were looking to explore the Pyrenees further.  Phil will be running this trip again in September.

We’re also all looking forward to running our Refugio Week later this month, which tackles the highest peak in the area, Monte Perdido, which at 3355m, looms over the head of the Ordesa Canyon.

Ordesa Valley

Thanks for a great summer

Phil, Anna, Ken & Hannah would like to say a big thank you to all of our guests that made this summer such an excellent and memorable season for Hike Pyrenees. It makes our hiking a pleasure when we’ve such great and friendly guests – we hope you enjoyed the hiking as much as we did! We had some fantastic holidays in the Valle de Tena and Ordesa and I thought I’d put up some of my favourite photos of the season that will hopefully bring back some good memories for our guests.

Jon hiking on the Faja Racon in Ordesa

Jon hiking on the Faja Racon in Ordesa

Some of the highlights were two groups summiting Pico Posets the second highest peak in the Pyrenees and an ascent of Monte Perdido in June when there was still a huge amount of snow around.

On the summit of Monte Perdido (3355m)

On the summit of Monte Perdido (3355m)

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New route option on our Village to Village holiday

At the Cucuraza viewpoint looking south

A great new viewpoint has been constructed above Panticosa which has allowed us to add a new option on day 3 of our Village to Village walking holiday. Cucuraza (1758m) sits high above Panticosa and gives fantastic views down onto the village and across the southern and western sides of the Valle de Tena.

From the viewpoint you link up with a footpath that passes into the northern end of the valley before descending into the village of Sallent de Gallego (the next stop on the village to village tour). It’s a fantastic option with great views throughout the day.

Views from the Cucuraza viewpoint

Views from the Cucuraza viewpoint

A good path heads fairly steeply up through the woods north of Panticosa. You initially pass through oak, box and beech before getting to some beautiful Scots Pine in the higher reaches. As you leave the woods the views are just fantastic and you take a short side trip to the viewpoint for birds eye views down onto Panticosa.

Looking down onto Panticosa

Looking down onto Panticosa

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The second highest peak in the Pyrenees: Pico de Posets 3375m

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Me on the summit of Pico de Posets

On the 28th July, Phil & I will be running a Tour of Posets Refugio trip (our first of two this season), which will cover approximately 94km and up to 6770m of ascent over 6 days and include a complete circuit of the second highest peak in the Pyrenees including an ascent of Posets (3375m) itself and four other three thousand metre summits.

In preparation for this, I headed over to the Posets-Maladeta Park to recce the ascent of Pico de Posets from Refugio Angel Orús, and to check the snow conditions following the late arrival of summer.   The starting point for my ‘quick hit’ saw me starting at Eriste, for the short yet scenic walk, through the impressive granitic Vall De Grist up to Refugio Angel Orús at 2100m.  The following morning, an early start allowed me to gain the snow filled Canal Fonda before the snow turned too soft, it also meant making the most of the morning shade.  Above this, the terrain was made up of broken rock and largely clear of snow, and I was on the summit by 9am, from where I was greeted with wonderful vistas of the surrounding mountains.

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Heading up Canal Fonda

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Looking north from the summit ridge

A super quick descent (of 1650m) down the westerly facing slopes ofPosets, made easier by the snow cover, saw me down at Refugio de Biados by 11:30am, where I had planned on spending the night, however, with so much of the day left, I opted to push-on and started making my way along the GR11.2, up to the Collado de Grist (2865m), from where I made the short scramble up La Forqueta and its SE summit, before making my final long descent, past Refugio Angel Orús and down to the van at Plleta de l’Estallo for 5pm, just as the heaven’s opened up!

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Looking back up the westerly slopes of Pico de Posets

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Mamot near Refugio Angel Orus

So, overall, a great outing, and it was good to explore the area in preparation for the forthcoming trip. I would still highly recommended that hikers wear stiff boots and carry an axe and a set of crampons, as particularly early on in the day, the snow will still be firm underfoot.

Private group walking holiday in the Pyrenees

Enjoying the views from Punta Del Pacino

This weekend saw the end of a fantastic bespoke trip for Elaine and friends from California and Hawaii. We often get groups who are keen for  longer trips with us and for Elaine we put together a 10 day itinerary which took in 3 contrasting places in the Pyrenees; the Valle de Tena, Bestue to the west of Ordesa and Torla situated at the mouth of the Ordesa Canyon we also included a night in a refugio high in the mountains.

Starting in the Valle de Tena we first hiked up Punta Del Pacino 1965m which had great views in all directions whilst the ground was carpeted with wild flowers. Next we walked into the valley of La Ripera and under the impressive cliffs of the Sierra de Tendenera.

Cloudless skies whilst hiking along the La Ripera valley

Refugio Respomuso situated in the scenic Circo de Piedrafita

Next came our refugio trip. We set off from La Sarra and followed the GR11 arriving at Refugio Respomuso, our home for the night. with snowy views, great company and some good beer and wine available to all, the evening flew by in a cloud of laughter! The following day saw the team split, with one group heading off towards Collado de la Fecha on the French /Spanish border equipped with axe and crampons and the other half heading back down to the valley to rest their tired legs. Continue reading

Thanks for a great walking season

Relaxing on the rim of the Añisclo Canyon

The summer 2012 season is over and we’d like to thank all of our guests for making it another fantastic summer for Hike Pyrenees. We got up same great peaks, saw fantasic flowers and wildlife, ate plenty of tapas and had a fantastic time showing you all the Pyrenees.

Phil, Anna, Hannah and George would like to thank everybody who came to the Pyrenees this summer. We hope you all had great holidays and we’d love to see you back in the Pyrenees in the future.

On the sumit of Pico La Muga with clouds whirling over from France

As always during the summer I’ve not had time to post many pics of our adventures in the Pyrenees so I’ll be posting some of our favourite pictures on the blog over the next few weeks.

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On the Faja Racon in the Ordesa Valley

First walking holidays of the season

Punta del Pacino

The season is well underway here in the Pyrenees and we’ve had a couple of Lakes & Valleys guided walking holidays as well as lots of guests doing self guided walking holidays. We’ve been blessed with some fantastic early season weather with lots of warm sunny days and perfect views.

Punta del Pacino has – as always – been one of our most popular walks with it’s fantastic panoramic views from the summit.

Hiking near Panticosa

Walking in the Valle La Ripera near Panticosa

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Tour de France 2012

Tour de France

Watching the Tour de France last summer

The Tour de France schedule has been released for 2012 and once again it’s passing close by us. Our Peaks & Passes walking holiday on the 15-22 July will be a Tour de France special and on the rest day we’ll go and see the race which is a fantastic event. This year the stage is just 4 days from the end of the race and the penultimate mountain stage so we’ll really be at the business end of the race and everything will be up for grabs.

Last summer we had a great day watching the Tour at a fantastic spot just outside Laruns. We made a day out of it taking a picnic, sampling some beautiful French cheese and relaxed waiting for the riders to come past.

The caravan passing by before the riders

Before the riders come past it’s the craziness of the caravan when we all become kids again and collect the Tour de France key rings, souvenir sweets and other tat that get’s thrown out by the passing vehicles!

The peleton approaching

Watching the peleton go past is quite incredible. So many riders packed so closely together you can’t believe they don’t crash at every corner. It’s a fantastic event, a great day out and a must for any cycling fan – why not come along and see the Tour with us next summer!

You can view the full Tour de France 2012 schedule here.

Summer 2011 Stansted to Zaragoza flights on sale

Ryan Air have just released their flights for summer 2011. Zaragoza is the most convenient airport for the Aragonese Pyrenees and Ryan Air has flights from Stansted on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays. Hike Pyrenees transfers meet the Sunday evening flight. Prices currently start from just £100 return.

See Hike Pyrenees Summer 2011 dates and prices, book your walking holiday early and take advantage of the cheap flights.

Tour de France visits Pyrenees in 2011

Contador in the yellow jersey with the pelaton behind

Contador in the yellow jersey with the pelaton behind

The Tour de France stages for 2011 have been announced and once again the Tour is passing through Laruns – just over the French border from us. It’s a fabulous experience to see the riders and on the 15th July we’ll run an excursion to see the Tour for all Hike Pyrenees guests.

Why not combine a trip to see the Tour with your walking holiday? Continue reading

Pyrenees Charity Hike

Dougal and his fundraising crew in the Ordesa Valley

Dougal and his fundraising crew in the Ordesa Valley

 Last week Dougal and his fundraising crew came over for a challenging 4 days hiking in aid of Claire House Childrens Hospice. We had brilliant weather and tackled 4 fantastic routes.

Crossing a snowfield heading up to Pico Anayet

Crossing a snowfield heading up to Pico Anayet

Our first days hiking took us to Pico Anayet – a spectacular, pointy peak of 2545m. There’s a lot more snow than normal in the Pyrenees this summer so we had to cross a few snowfields before tackling the chains and the scramble to the summit.

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