Explore 360

Canyon, Kayak & Swim

Mont Rebei Pyrenees Adventure

  • Where?

    France

  • Altitude

  • Duration

    4 days

  • Weather

  • Physical

    P2

  • Technical

    T2

  • P2 - Prolonged walking over varied terrain. There may be uphills and downhills, so a good solid fitness is required. Expect to be able to do a 6 to 8 hour walk over undulating terrain with a few punchy uphill climbs carrying a pack up to 6kg in weight.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • T2 - Consider this a trek, although there may be occasion to use hands for short sections of easy scrambling. No previous climbing or trekking experience is necessary.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • Overview

  • Date & Prices

  • Pics & Vids

  • Itinerary

  • Kit List

  • FAQs

Overview

The Pyrenees, stretching for almost 500km from their union with the Cantabrian Mountains near the Atlantic through to the Mediterranean Sea, have long been regarded by climbers and hikers as an earthly paradise. But, for those who love the aquatic realm, the potential for unexpected fun and adventure is simply waiting for you to take the plunge!

Join us as we explore this majestic, rugged mountain range from an aquaholic’s perspective: swimming in its hidden lakes, canyoning the deep limestone canyons and paddling kayaks across its warm azure lakes – this is an opportunity to spend time in some of the Europe’s most captivating landscapes and see the mountains from Neptune’s perspective, as well as trekking along the paths carved into the incredible Mont Rebei.

Fully guided, and perfect for both adrenaline seekers and those looking to take their first steps into kayaking or canyoning, this unique itinerary promises an aquatic experience that will thrill you for many years to come and will guarantee to plant these crystal clear, fresh water delights firmly in your mind to visit time and time again.

Like the idea of this but prefer a more chilled out weekend? Have a look at our summer multi adventure expedition. Prefer the snow? Check out our snowshoeing weekend, or our expedition skills week! We can also arrange bespoke trips for groups of 6 or more as well – drop us an email and we can get the perfect weekend getaway arranged for you…

Find out more
Canyon, Kayak & Swim, Mont Rebei Pyrenees Adventure Canyon, Kayak & Swim, Mont Rebei Pyrenees Adventure

Date & Prices

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.

A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.
A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

Departure & Return

Duration

Price (excl. flight)

Price (incl. flight UK-UK)

Start: 13 May 2021
End: 16 May 2021

Price without flights:  £520

13 May 2021

16 May 2021

4 days

£520

N/A

Start: 28 May 2021
End: 31 May 2021

Price without flights:  £520

28 May 2021

31 May 2021

4 days

£520

N/A

Start: 10 June 2021
End: 13 June 2021

Price without flights:  £520

10 June 2021

13 June 2021

4 days

£520

N/A

Start: 24 June 2021
End: 27 June 2021

Price without flights:  £520

24 June 2021

27 June 2021

4 days

£520

N/A

Included

  • 360 leader
  • Transfers to and from Toulouse Airport, and all local transfers
  • Qualified guides / instructors for the relevant activities
  • Canyoning equipment and kayak hire
  • Accommodation in guest house or hotels, sharing
  • Meals as per the itinerary
  • 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor
  • Monthly payment plan, on request

Not Included

  • International flights to Toulouse

(Do note that due to the fluctuation of flight prices with the current Covid-19 situation, you may find there is a surcharge on flights)

  • Personal equipment
  • Insurance
  • Alcohol, laundry and other items of a personal nature
  • Meals as per the itinerary
  • Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early
  • * any optional starred activities within the itinerary are an additional cost, please ask us for more details

Pics & Vids

Itinerary

DAY 1 : Arrive Toulouse. Luchon valley: Wild Swimming

You will be met at the airport by your 360 guide for this aquatic week (if you haven’t had lunch, we’ll show you where we can grab supplies for the rive) and we’ll transfer for a 1 ½ hour drive into the heart of the Pyrenees. Every valley hides its own unique lakes and tarns and we’ll head off for an hour’s walk to reach the beautiful Lac Bareilles for a refreshing plunge and a wild swimming experience guaranteed to take your breath away. Your guide will bring a picnic lunch and we’ll spend a lovely afternoon swimming and exploring this beautiful area before continuing our transfer to the mountain town of Luchon.

(D)

DAY 2 : Aiguestortes National Park: Canyoning

An early start sees us transfer for 1 ½ hours across the border into Spain to the start of the magnificent limestone canyon of Viu. This canyon is one of dozens that carves its way deep into the rugged mountains of the Aiguestortes National Park, promising an adventure like no other.  Your 360 guide will join forces with a specialist canyon guide and together they’ll lead you through this beautifully sculptured slot canyon where every few minutes you’ll be met by a different challenge: you’ll have the chance to jump down into the crystal clear pools, abseil into narrow chambers, swim through narrow winding corridors and scramble through boulder strewn passages. Above, the sun filters through the narrow walls of the canyon to cast surreal light and shadows lending an otherworldly quality to our journey.

We pack a picnic lunch, and we’ll stop on a small beach in a sunny spot before continuing for a few more hours down this unique canyon.

At the end of the day, we’ll be driven a short way to our hotel, located besides a gorgeous mountain lake where we can water ski* (an optional activity for the day) and swim before a magnificent Pyrenean dinner.

(BL)

 

DAY 3 : Mont Rebei: Kayaking & Trekking

A delicious breakfast starts us off on another incredible experience. The Mont Rebei gorge has been heralded as one of the most outstanding landscapes in Europe and its potential for adventure recognised by a host of travel magazines including National Geographic. Today we experience this area in the best possible way by launching kayaks onto its warm azure blue waters and paddling right into the heart of this incredible gorge. Dwarfing our tiny vessels are the immense yellow and red limestone walls of the gorge where, looking up, we can see a tiny path carved incredulously into its vast vertical side. This path was created by local farmers and traders over a hundred years ago to bring their mule teams laden with produce to the remote mountain villages above the gorge and to link the Spanish provinces of Catalunya and Aragon.

After we paddle to the end of the gorge, we’ll find a shady spot to have a picnic lunch and have a chance to take a refreshing swim before stepping into the hoofprints of the mule teams and traverse their spectacular trail back to the entrance of the gorge. We quickly appreciate why this journey is rated as one of the most spectacular treks in the world as we climb wooden staircases bolted into the rock and traverse the narrow winding trail carved into the vertical walls high above the sparkling waters of the gorge.

A more magical day out would be hard to imagine and, glowing from our experience, we transfer back on spectacular mountain roads back across the French border to Luchon to check in to our centrally located hotel and head out for what’s sure to be a lively group meal.

(BL)

DAY 4 : Depart Toulouse

Today may mark the end of this incredible getaway but the fun isn’t quite over yet. Flight times depending, we’ll have the chance to prolong the adrenaline rush by taking to the air by tandem paraglider*, enjoying a hot-rock climbing* session or lesson, mountain biking* or even try our hand at fat biking* through the stunning countryside or simply enjoying a leisurely morning winding down having a spa or quiet coffee soaking up the atmosphere of this bustling town from one of its many street side café’s.

Your airport transfer timings will be advised, and after your last activity we’ll depart for our flights home.

(Please note that those starred activities above are additional to the itinerary – see the dates & prices for more info)

(B)

This itinerary is subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the trek and what you will experience.

Kit List

Bags & Packs

Daysack

Bring a 40-60L rucksack that is well worn in and with a good waist belt. A waterproof cover is advisable (remember that these covers are not 100% waterproof but act as a barrier). You can leave belongings in the van but while out for the day you will need to carry all of the kit that you are not wearing.

Dry stuffsacks

Rolltop bags that keep fresh clothing and other important items lime your passports and electronics dry in the event of a total downpour that could seep into your kitbag. Good for quarantining old socks! Please note that France has banned plastic bags. In any case, we would always advise buying reusable and sustainable nylon rolltop bags for keeping your kit dry.

Waterproof rucksack cover

To protect rucksack from rain

Sleeping Gear

Sleeping bag liner

Optional. Bedding is provided at the hotels and guest houses, but some people prefer to bring a sleeping bag liner for extra warmth. Silk is best for keeping you a little warmer.

Headwear

Warm headgear

This can be a warm hat, beanie, balaclava, anything to reduce the heat loss from your head.We’ll hope for sun, but it can be chilly in the mountains – and you might be cold after getting out of the water.

Wide brimmed hat

Keeps the sun off exposed areas like ears and the nape of the neck

Sunglasses

Category 4, wrap around style sunglasses are highly recommended. These sunglasses allow for the highest available protection against harmful UV light found at altitude and from glare from snow and sand surfaces. It’s worth spending money on good UV filters. Julbo is our preferred supplier.

Lip salve

Sun cream does not work on your lips, and they will be susceptible to sun burn without proper protection.

Sunblock

We’d recommend you buy the highest SPF you can find, as UV intensifies with altitude.

Upper Body

Base layer

This is the layer closest to the skin and its principal function is to wick, or draw, moisture and sweat away from the skin. You can also get thermal base layers for use at higher altitudes that provide an additional insulative layer while still drawing sweat during times of high exertion.

Quantity: 2

Mid layer

These are typically lightweight microfleeces or similar technology that provide varying degrees of warmth and insulation without being overly bulky or heavy to pack

T-shirts

A couple of T-shirts are advisable for this summer expedition.  The days are reasonably warm, with high temperatures at lower altitudes.

Hard Shell

These jackets are thin, highly waterproof and windproof and worn over all other items of clothing. You’ll find these made of Gore-Tex or other proprietary waterproof yet breathable technology. Inexpensive hard shells that aren’t breathable will prevent evaporation, making you sweat intensely and, as such, are not recommended.

Soft Shell

Optional. These should be windproof (not all are) and insulative. They are mostly made of soft polyester and sometimes resemble a neoprene finish which makes them very mobile and comfortable to wear. While offering a degree of weather repellence, do note they are usually not waterproof.

Gloves

Lower Body

Shorts

A couple of pairs of shorts are advisable for this summer expedition. The days can be reasonably warm, with high temperatures at lower altitudes.

Trekking trousers

These tend to be polyester so they dry quickly after a shower and weigh little in your pack. Consider perhaps a pair with detachable lower legs as an alternative to shorts.

Underwear

Merino or wicking material, not cotton. How many pairs you take is entirely up to you!

Waterproof trousers

A lightweight pair of Goretex trousers will act as a great windproof too.

Feet

Walking boots

Well worn in 4 season waterproof boots with mid to high ankle support

Spare laces

Just in case

Comfortable trainers/Crocs

For use in the evenings. With most refuges, you will need to take your boots off when you go in. Some provide croc/slippers but not all.

Trekking socks

Whether you wear a single layer, or 2 pairs, is a personal choice. Lighter weight merino wool is a good option.

Quantity: 3

Evening clothes

Comfortable clothes for the evening

Hydration

Water bottles / bladder

You’ll need enough to carry 2 litres, either in a combination of bladder and Nalgene bottles, or just Nalgene bottles.

Water purification

Although generally all water is boiled or brought filtered from the hotel in the morning, some trekkers prefer to double up and add purification tabs as well. Always good to have in your bag.

Toiletries

Wash kit

Keep it simple. Essentials are toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Moisturiser is advisable, everything else is a luxury!

Alcohol gel

A must have for good camp hygiene.

Toilet paper

Provided at the accommodation, and at public toilet facilities, but a spare in your daysack may be useful if you need to hide behind a rock during the day.

Expedition towel

Towels from the likes of Lifesystems are perfect

Medications

Personal first aid kit

The 360 medical kits are designed to be used in emergencies and are akin to an A&E rather than a pharmacy, so please come prepared with useful meds for yourself such as painkillers (Ibuprofen if you can take it and Paracetamol) plus blister plasters, plasters, antiseptic, rehydration sachets and any muscle rubs you wish to use.

Personal medication

Make sure you keep this handy in your daysack if necessary.

Miscellaneous

Camera

Bring plenty of spare batteries and memory cards. A power pack is handy for keeping things charged in the case of no charging points in the refuges (we recommend PowerTraveller).

Head torch

Bring spare batteries or a spare head torch

Snacks

Although you will be fed well, we do we advise bringing a small selection of energy bars or your favourite snacks. Have a couple per day.

Ear plugs

Optional, of course, but for protection against the inevitable snorers!

Penknife (optional)

Swimsuit

For the wild swimming, canyoning (you’ll be provided with a wetsuit on this day also) and for any other opportunities throughout the trip if you wish!

Trekking poles

Optional, but they can be useful on the trekking sections. These tend to be a personal preference, but can help with your stability and can dampen the pressure on the knees coming down hill.

Documentation

Passport

Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity: ie. your passport expiry date needs to be at least six months after the final day of travel. Make sure you also have at least two blank pages.

Copy of passport

Just in case

Dental check up

We recommend you have a dental check-up before your trip. New fillings can be an issue at altitude if there is an air pocket left in the gap

Travel insurance

Bring a copy of your own travel insurance details and relevant contact numbers.

We have a partnership with True Traveller and would recommend that you contact them when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360. However, it is vital that you ensure that the insurance cover they offer is suitable for you, taking your personal circumstances (items to be insured, cancellation cover, medical history) into account. Many other insurance providers are available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip, to include at a minimum medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude and for the relevant activities included on this trip.

EH1C (formerly E111)

While you must have travel insurance, this can save you paperwork and reduce upfront costs should you have a minor ailment or need to see a local GP if you already have one. Do be aware the details on of the EH1C will be changing due to the UK leaving the EU, so check for the current availability.

FAQs

Food and Water

Where do we get drinking water from?

Bottled or filtered drinking water will be provided during the trip. We’d advise bringing your own bottle, to reduce plastic waste where possible. During the trekking day we also pass streams in various places that you can top up from if you should run out, so take purification tablets with you, should you wish to fill up.

What is the food like during the trip?

The food is plentiful and of very good quality, often using locally sourced ingredients. Breakfasts consist of pastries, fresh bread and jams and you can expect hearty meals in the evenings. Packed lunches will be simple, but filling.

Do you provide snacks during this expedition?

360 provides some snacks for your days on the mountain, however do bring some of your favourite snacks from home, a range of fast and slow release energy snacks. The pure ‘energy’ style bars which are solid are quite tough to eat on the mountain so go with simple things. Flapjacks, shortbread, sweets, nuts and chocolate are great, snacks that you’re going to really look forward to eating and which will give you energy.

Accommodation

What is the accommodation like?

You’ll be staying in simple but comfortable accommodation in hostels or local hotels. Food will be good with ample carbohydrate content – think pasta, rice, potatoes etc, but don’t expect a la carte!

Kit

What bag do I need?

A rucksack of around 40-60L should do you just fine – it’s better to have a bigger bag with space, than a smaller one with everything crammed in!
Your day sack should contain only the essential items you will need for the day and activities and your aim should be to keep it as light as possible. We’d recommend you carry at least: a warm layer, waterproof jacket, your packed lunch and snacks, spending money, water, camera, sun cream and personal medication.
If you are borrowing or buying a rucksack, ask someone to help you adjust it to fit your back. And ensure you are making these adjustments with weight inside it, not empty. Generally, it should sit reasonably high on your back so that the weight is acting vertically downwards, not forcing your shoulders back or drooping past your backside. Again, it’s about how you feel comfortable wearing it and important to get right.
Make sure too that it is either waterproof or you have a waterproof cover for your rucksack. It’s not a bad idea to pack your gear into waterproof stuffs sacs, in case of a deluge.

Do we need any technical gear for this? Is equipment provided?

No, the hiking part of this adventure is a trek, so standard walking gear outlined in the kit list should suffice. For the adventure activities, all equipment necessary will be provided.

For the canyoning, all equipment necessary for your safety and comfort is provided for this day: wetsuit (with hood), canyon booties, harness, carabiner and helmets. You will also be given a waterproof barrel and specialist canyon rucksack to keep your belongings dry for the day.

Do I need a sleeping bag?

No, you’ll be in accommodation throughout and bedding is provided – though you may wish to bring a sleeping bag liner if you get cold.

The Activities

How fit do I need to be?

This is a fun few days of adventure! Of course, the fitter you are before coming out you’ll enjoy it far more than if you are struggling, but the days aren’t long, and the weekend is designed for all levels of experience.

Can we swim in the lakes?

That’s the idea! They’ll be cold, but wild swimming is exhilarating. It’s optional, of course (chat to us for weekend adventures that just include trekking, if you’d rather), but it’s great fun!

Are your instructors qualified?

Yes, all our instructors have the appropriate qualifications.

What experience do I need to take part in the canyoning?

No previous technical experience is required to explore the canyon. Your 360 guide will be joined by a specialist canyoning guide for this day, and they will assure your safety throughout. You will be taught the basics of abseiling so you have the opportunity to see how to do this yourself, but the guides will further safeguard your descents by providing a safety rope in places where needed. The height of the jumps varies, though some can be more than 5 metres, but the whole day is designed around you and your comfort and experience, the guides are more than happy to lower you down on a safety rope should you decide not to jump. The emphasis today is on enjoyment rather than learning technical canyoning techniques.

How long are we in the canyon for?

It generally takes between 5 and 6 hours to descend this canyon though part of this is a picnic lunch on a small sunny beach in the middle of the canyon. We choose to operate in Mont Rebei outside of the main, busier holiday periods and as such there are generally very few other teams in the canyon with us.

I am scared of jumping. Can I use a rope?

The focus of today is for you to enjoy this unique experience. Your guide will chat to you throughout, and you can decide which sections you’d like to jump. Should you wish not to jump certain parts of the descent then the guides will be more than happy to lower you down into the pool with a safety line.

When we go to Mont Rebei do we have a kayak instructor with us?

We usually plan to explore Mont Rebei on the third day of this itinerary but, though rare in summer, it can be rain or bad weather affects our canyon day so we can might need to swap these days around. However, for the time we will be in the gorge, a specialist kayak guide will join us for the day. It is their job to teach you the art of kayaking, explain the wonders of the gorge – and they also bring the kayaks back once we have finished using them.

I have never kayaked before. Will I be taught?

As with the canyoning, our main aim in offering kayaking in this itinerary is to allow complete novices to experience this fun activity safely and enjoyably – as well as those more experienced to be able to enjoy this spectacular spot. The kayaks themselves are very stable and you will be given buoyancy aids, helmets and your specialist kayak guide will demonstrate how to paddle a kayak most effectively.

Can I opt to have a single or double kayak?

Both single and double kayaks are available for you to use. Most folk prefer to have their own kayak, but double kayaks are available should you wish to share this experience with a friend or partner.

I am scared of heights - is this Mont Rebei trekking trip for me?

Absolutely! Your 360 guide is a trained mountain professional and it is their job to ensure you have the best experience by making you feel safe and comfortable in an environment which you might initially be fearful off. They will use safety ropes where needed and gently coach you through the places where you may feel uncomfortable – which allows you to on how incredible this trek really is. Over a century ago this beautiful pathway was constructed for mule teams to deliver goods to remote mountain villages and it is an extremely well-engineered and safe path. We understand your concerns but we generally find those with a worry are, by the end of this trek, happily bouncing along the path above the looming cliffs with hands in pockets!

If I don’t want to trek Mont Rebei and just kayak, is that possible?

Of course. We encourage you to explore the canyon from an eagle perspective by traversing high above the water and our guides are there for both your safety and enjoyment. But, if you decide on the day that this is not for you then the kayak guide will be more than happy to let you join them as they bring the boats back to the entrance of the gorge.

How long is the trekking section of the itinerary?

The trek back to the entrance of the gorge is around 3 to 4 hours, we will cover approximately 9 kilometres in distance. After a picnic lunch in a shady spot we’ll start the trek and make our way back at a leisurely pace. There is a great spot to take a swim after about 3 hours of walking, before we ascend a short hill back to the carpark.

How far do we kayak?

The kayaking part of this adventurous day is in the morning and begins with a thorough coaching session from your specialist kayak guide. Once everyone understands the basics and has been issued a buoyancy aid, helmet and kayak then we launch the boats into the water. The total time spent on the water is usually around 3 to 4 hours and we’ll paddle about 7 kilometres.

What grade of rock climbing can you accommodate?

The rock-climbing at the end of this week is optional and our 360 guides can cater for complete novices wishing to experience this activity for the first time through to the hardened rock hound wanting to check out Pyrenean rock!

If I don’t want to rock climb can I do another activity?

Absolutely! Luchon is the adventure capital of the Pyrenees. You can maintain your adrenaline hype and tandem paraglide or mountain bike. Otherwise for a relaxing end to the trip, you might choose to unwind by exploring the quant street side cafés of this bustling mountain town or further enhancing your aquatic experience by soaking in a hot thermal spa.

The Weather

What’s the weather like up there?

It’s likely to be lovely and sunny, and reasonably warm (pretty hot lower down). However, we’re in the mountains, and not very far from the Atlantic, so there is every risk of rain, thunderstorms, and wind. Night time temperatures can be chilly.
The climate of the Pyrenees is generally better than the UK, but there is still the risk of inclement weather, so we advise in the kit list to pack accordingly. And, just like any other holiday, having a quick last minute look at the forecast before you come out can be a useful pointer of what’s in store.

Travel

Flights aren’t included what time should I arrive and depart to Toulouse?

We haven’t included flights as this gives you options from the UK. There are many flights that arrive in Toulouse daily from many different airports – chat to the 360 office team for more information.

We will be at the airport at 11.30 am on day one of the itinerary. On the day you leave, we will be dropping the team off at Toulouse airport for 2.30 pm.  (These times are approximate and are TBC.). Please, therefore, find flights that work for these timings.

If there are any issues with this please do let us know and we will also try and help, however it might mean in getting a hire car/train or taxi to your start/finish point.

Bagneres de Luchon is 1h 40 mins drive from Toulouse Airport.

Insurance

Do I need special insurance for this trip?

You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the expedition, we cannot take you on the expedition without proof of insurance.

Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however, this can be arranged at a later date. 360 Expeditions will be requesting your insurance details 8 weeks before your departure.

We have a partnership with True Traveller and recommend them as an option when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360. Many other insurance providers are of course available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip, to include, at a minimum, medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip and for the adventure activities included.

Electronics

Will my mobile work?

In the cities, yes, out in the countryside, likely on and off! Most UK providers will provide coverage as part of your plan in France and Spain, but do check before you travel.

Will there be somewhere to charge my phone and camera?

There will be plug sockets in the rooms in your hotel, but we often advise bringing a powerpack (we recommend PowerTraveller) to ensure your phones / cameras / other electronics are charged throughout!

There is not enough positive feedback I could give 360 for the trip! Everything seemed to be perfect! The local crew, the support we had from you and Rolfe, the hotels were top notch.

Aaron Moffat
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