Out hiking again – Punta del Pacino

On Monday I finally got back out hiking in the mountains again and it felt wonderful! I went up Punta del Pacino with Ruby. It’s a special walk for me as it was the first route that Anna and I did in the Valle de Tena and the day that we realised we’d finally found where we wanted to settle and base Hike Pyrenees.

The route is a fantastic circuit of the mountain before heading up to the summit. Despite having hiked it dozens of times it’s still one of my favourite hikes in the valley – for wildflowers, butterflies and panoramic views it’s hard to beat.

After the recent rain that we’ve had, the flowers couldn’t have been better. There were literally fields of marsh and butterfly orchids and I counted 8 varieties in total. As the route is almost a complete circuit as you hike around the peak you see different flowers depending on the aspect of the slope – it leads to a fantastic variety of wildflowers. You can see from the gallery below just how many flowers are out at the moment.

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8 + 13 =

We’ve actually been allowed out hiking for a couple of weeks now, but a mixture of managing homeschooling, keeping the office going, the new vegetable patch and some cold rainy weather has meant this is the first time I’ve headed out into the higher mountains.

We were due to be welcoming the Northern Rivers Bushwalkers club to the Pyrenees this week and I’d love to have been sharing this route and the wildlife with them – looking forward to seeing you next year instead guys!


It’s not too demanding a hike which was perfect as the legs are lacking a bit of fitness after lockdown!

I never bore of leading this hike, it’s one of our most popular and there’s always something interesting to show guests. We hike this route on most of our Valle de Tena based holidays such as the Valle de Tena Explorer and it’s also on our Village to Village self guided itinerary.

Looking forward to my next trip out. Hopefully this weekend I’ll get up a bit higher and see what the snows like up there.

Hope all of our readers are keeping well and you’ll be back in the mountains again soon.

On the summit of Punta del Pacino (1965m)

This field of marsh orchids, in a boggy area where water seeps out the ground, was particularly impressive. There were hundreds in flower as well as swathes of bog cotton.

I was surprised how much fresh snow had fallen on the higher peaks in the last week or so. Especially on the southern peaks. Somebody emailed me recently that had attempted Aneto, the highest peak in the Pyrenees, last week and was turned back by half a metre of fresh powder. Warmer temperatures are forecasted next week so should get rid of most of the recent snowfall.

PeakFinder App

An app I’d highly recommend and I love playing with is PeakFinder. You can point it at the horizon and it tells you the names and heights of the mountains you can see. Really nice info when you are hiking in a new area and for me useful in identifying peaks that are a long way off. It’s as easy as 1,2,3 to use…..


First, you get a line diagram of the mountains you should be seeing in front of you. Sometimes I find the compass doesn’t line up properly and you have to drag the horizon around a bit on the screen. Top tip: taking your phone out of the case helps accuracy – especially if the case has a magnetic clip like mine!


Press the little camera icon in the top left and you get the line drawing now overlayed over the photo of the actual mountains. You can drag the skyline around a bit to get it to match more exactly if it’s a bit off. Zoom in to get more peak names and detail, getting more sky in the picture also seems to increase the number of peak names displayed. Click the shutter button on the right when it’s lined up fairly accurately.


You now get the finished photo with peak names and heights. Before you save the final image to youur camera roll you get a chance to make final adjustments to get everything perfectly aligned. And there you – a great summit image and memory to take away with you!

Photos taken on the route.


Discover the spectacular flora of the Pyrenees

Pyrenees butterflies

Gallery of the spectacular butterflies and moths we have in the Pyrenees

Geology of the Pyrenees

Discover how the Pyrenean range was formed


  1. Colin Hancox

    Lovely walk and photos and thanks for the tip on the app, worth a try.

  2. Graham Taylor

    Not been too well, just lately Phil. I came with you on two trips Ordessa and Valle de Tena , 2011 and 2013. They were amazing. Your blogs remind me of great days in the Pyrennes. Keep them coming.

    Hope that all goes well for a return to normality for you in 2021. Hope your guests can have as good a time as I did



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