Explore 360

The Thousand Lakes

Spanish Pyrenees

  • Where?


  • Altitude


  • Duration

    6 days

  • Weather

  • Physical


  • Technical


  • P2 - This trip is challenging and a good solid fitness level is required. There will be prolonged walking over varied terrain and you should be training to comfortably walk for 6 to 8 hours, 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


Diving into the depths of the stunning Spanish Pyrenees, the rugged beauty and vast sprawling valleys of the Parc National d’Aigüestortes i Sant Maurici in Catalonia immediately takes your breath away. ‘Aiguestortes’ means ‘twisted waters’ in Catalan and sure enough, as you pass over each col and into the bowl of each valley you will be greeted with lake after lake tucked in every hidden and twisted corner of the mountains. We’ll be trekking through high mountain forest, rich in beech and pine, crossing meadows and mountainsides blanketed in colourful flowers and passing hundreds of sparkling snow-fed lakes. Look further still and you can spot marmots darting between rocks, vultures flying over head and lizards scuttling over hot rock. The landscape is both alive and thriving, whilst being a true escape into tranquillity. Mountain legs are built on these very trails, the Pyrenees hasn’t got its reputation as the ultimate adventure playground for nothing.

360’s majestic 4-day trek explores these hidden beauties and embraces the unique camaraderie and warm hospitality of the remotely located mountain refuges. The Pyrenees stretches out for over 400km with peaks rising to 3,400m. A land of contrast, grandeur and natural beauty- the 1000 lakes in the Spanish Pyrenees is the experience you didn’t realise needed to be on your bucket list.

Find out more
The Thousand Lakes, Spanish Pyrenees The Thousand Lakes, Spanish Pyrenees

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.

We currently have no scheduled dates for this expedition, however if you give the office a call on 0207 1834 360 it would be easy for us to get this up and running.


  • 360 leader
  • Airport transfers to and from Barcelona
  • Transfers to and from mountain base
  • Accommodation in Vielha with breakfast
  • Refuge accommodation during trek including dinners & breakfasts
  • Packed lunches during trek
  • Dinner on first night

Not Included

  • International flights to Barcelona
  • Personal equipment
  • Insurance
  • Alcohol, laundry and other items of a personal nature
  • Food not included in the itinerary
  • Final dinner
  • Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early

Pics & Vids


DAY 1 : Arrive Vielha

We will meet you at Barcelona airport and transfer you to the gorgeous ski town of Vielha where you’ll have some time to settle into your accommodation.

If there is time this afternoon we will explore the town, before your evening briefing covering essential information for the following days, talks on food, personal equipment and weather forecasting before a relaxing dinner.

Night in guest house.


DAY 2 : Trek to Refugi de Saboredo

After an early breakfast, we’ll transfer (1.5hr drive) to our start point in the Val d’Aran in Catalonia, Spain. Without further ado, we launch into this spectacular trek. Initially we trek through native stands of Pyrenean black Pine opened up by lush meadows of Alpine flowers.  A steady climb brings us to our first big lake near the Refuge de Colomers where we have lunch. From here we enter a wild and rocky landscape as we meet the Haute Route Pyrenees and climb steadily over the Gran de Sendrosa pass (2,200m) to the beautifully located Saboredo Refuge.


(Trekking time 5-6 hours)

DAY 3 : Refuge de Ventosa I Calvell

Today we are well above the tree-line and before us lays a day of mountain discovery. An early start sees us traversing the banks of two beautiful lakes tucked beneath the Ratera Pass where we link up with the famous GR11. We drop back down to the Cirque de Colomers and its many sparkling lakes and tarns. Adding colour are dozens of alpine flower species and the loud squeaks of marmots. We make our way north and ascend the Colomers pass (2,400m) until we reach the refuge of Ventosi I Cavell which many call the most spectacularly located refuge in the Pyrenees.


(Trekking time 5-6 hours)

DAY 4 : Refuge de Restanca and Pico Montardo

After a hearty breakfast at the refuge, we’ll start our trek eastwards towards Pico Montardo, towering 2,833m above the refuge de Restanca. The path takes us from the refuge up to the Crestada pass on the Haute Route, one of the three long distance trails that cross the Pyrenees. From the pass, we head up the ridgeline to the summit of Montardo and outstanding views over the French border and across miles of Pyrenean summits, including its highest – Pico Aneto.  After our ascent we drop down to the friendly Restanca refuge situated at the lake sharing its name.


(Trekking time 5-6 hours)

DAY 5 : Out via col de Caldes and seven lake circuit

Today we say a spectacular goodbye to the thousand lake area by climbing over the col de Caldes (2,400 metres) and dropping into the Cirque de Travessani. Todays path links with the GR11 and joins what many call the show-case circuit of this area; the seven lake walk. Since we are in no hurry the brave can take on the seven-lake swim challenge (or dip!) and we descend back down to our starting point, Baños de Tredos for our transfer back to France and a fantastic celebration meal.


(Trekking time 6-7 hours)

DAY 6 : Return to UK

Today we say a spectacular goodbye to the thousand lake area.

We will transfer to Barcelona where depending on flight times, you will either have time to explore the thriving city and its stunning architecture or be dropped off straight to the airport.


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


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) Whilst on the mountain you will need to carry all of the kit that you are not wearing


Pack some fresh clothing into bags to keep them dry in the event of a total downpour that seeps into your kitbag. Good for quarantining old socks

Waterproof rucksack cover

To protect rucksack from rain

Sleeping Gear

Sleeping bag liner

Silk is best for keeping the bag clean and you a little warmer


Warm headgear

This can be a warm hat, beanie, balaclava, anything to reduce the heat loss from your head

Wide brimmed hat

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


Category 4 wrap around style is 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. Worth spending money on good UV filters. Julbo is our preferred supplier

Lip salve

Sun cream will not work on your lips and they are very susceptible to burn without proper protection


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 draw (wick) 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


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 are not recommended

Soft Shell

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, they are not waterproof

Lower Body


A couple of shorts are advisable for this summer expedition.  The days are 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


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

Waterproof trousers

A lightweight pair of Goretex/eVent trousers that will act as a great windproof too


Walking boots

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

Spare laces

Just in case

Comfortable trainers

For use in the evenings

Trekking socks

Single layer or wearing 2 pairs is a personal choice and lighter weight merino wool is a good option

Quantity: 3


Water bottles / bladder

2L capacity either in a combination of bladder and Nalgene bottle or just Nalgene bottles

Quantity: 2

Water purification

Although generally all water is boiled some prefer to double up and add purification tabs as well. Always good to have in your bag

Evening Wear

Evening clothes

Comfortable clothes for the evening


Alcohol gel

A must have for good camp hygiene

Toilet paper

Provided on the mountain but a spare in your daysack may be useful if you need to hide behind a rock between camps

Wet wipes

Great for washing when shower facilities become a thing of the past, one packet will suffice

Expedition towel

Towels from the likes of Lifesystems are perfect

Wash kit

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


Personal first aid kit

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

Personal medication

Keep this in your daysack



Bring plenty of spare batteries and memory cards

Head torch

Bring spare batteries or a spare head torch

Penknife (optional)

Ear plugs

For protection against the inevitable snorers!


Although you will be fed well we do we advise bringing a small selection of energy bars. Have a couple per trekking day


For the odd swim

Trekking poles

These tend to be a personal preference but help with your stability and can dampen the pressure on the knees coming down hill



Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity.  With your passport expiry date at least six months after the final day of travel.

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

Copy of 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 medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.

EH1C (formerly E111)

While you do 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



What are the refuges like? Is it better than camping?

The refuges are basic, these are inaccessible mountain huts – albeit large. They all have running water, so flush toilets are standard. Most will have hot showers, but on a busy day that hot water will be in high demand and may run out.

Accommodation is in dormitories, so earplugs are recommended if snorers keep you awake. Food will be good with ample carbohydrate content – think pasta, rice, potatoes etc, but don’t expect a la carte, food often has to be flown in by helicopter! Given we are all carrying our own kit we don’t want to be weighed down by tents and cooking equipment, and as the refuges have beds and washing facilities they are considered the sensible and more comfortable option on these routes.


What? No porters?!?

We’re trekking in summer, so you should be able to pack light. You really just need fresh socks, a pair of shorts to walk in, some trousers for the evening, your boots, and waterproofs in case of sudden showers (we are in the mountains). Then a light summer sleeping bag and book. So a lot of that kit you give a porter on a Kilimanjaro expedition isn’t as necessary here. You will be sent a comprehensive kit list when you join.

So what bag do I need?

A rucksack of around 40-60L should do you just fine. Aim not to carry any more than 10kg. You will be able to leave some kit with the minibus for when you get back off the mountains. 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, or even bin bags, in case of a deluge.

Do we need any technical gear for this?

No, this is a trek, so standard walking gear outlined in the kit list should suffice.

The Trek

I’ve skied in the alps, I’ve seen how busy it can get in winter, is summer the same?

Summer in the Pyrenees can be busy within striking distance of the main car parks and operational chairlifts as they attract the local walkers, bikers and day trippers. But once you are a few hours away from these it will feel like you have the whole mountain range to yourself, with occasional people sharing the same path as you. It is a huge area, and most of the time you’ll see more wildlife than people. In the evenings the huts can get busy as people tend to centre on them having come from all directions, but the next morning all those people will disappear once more.

How fit do I need to be?

Although we’re not at altitude, or in somewhere like the Himalayas, don’t underestimate this trek. The days are relatively long with reasonable altitude gains (and losses) each day. If you make an effort with fitness before coming out you’ll enjoy it far more than if you are struggling up every hill each day barely able to notice the spectacular views.

Can we swim in the lakes?

They’ll be cold but there’s no reason why not.

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 high up will be decidedly 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 (see above). 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.


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

We haven’t included flights as this gives you options from the UK. There are many flights that come to Barcelona daily from many different airports.

We will be at the airport at an agreed time – we will let you know in advance.

On the day you leave, we will be dropping the team off at Barcelona airport together.

Please, therefore, find flights that work for these timings.

If there are any issues with this please 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.


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 mountain without proof of insurance.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip. To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.

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.


Will my mobile work?

On and off, don’t rely on it but there could be exposed points where you get a signal, notable higher up. In valleys you’ll be hard pushed to get a signal unless they are populated.

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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