Trekking in the Pyrenees
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.
T1 - No technical skills are needed. A good steady walking ability only is required.
Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.
Date & Prices
Pics & Vids
The area known as the “Thousand Lakes” offers some of the best in Pyrenean trekking. The mesmerising 1000-lakes route weaves between winding rivers, sheer ravines, cool ponds, raging waterfalls and fertile marshes, and reaches some of the range’s highest summits. Our weekend break offers a relaxed taster of its astonishing beauty.
As the earth warmed giant glaciers melted away leaving in their wake a landscape that’s hard to fathom but a pleasure to explore. Jagged mountains jut like crocodile teeth above hidden cirques and hundreds of lakes sparkle like jewels in the earth’s every fold. The world’s largest bird of prey, the Lammergeyer, is frequently spotted circling the rugged ridge-lines and the shrill whistles of marmots’ echo down the valley as trekkers approach. Alpine flowers dot the forest floors and pastures lending vivid life to the natural pastel colours of the landscape.
We spend a night in the spa town of Bagneres-de-Luchon, then trek through the stunning Arran Valley, stay at the remote Ventosa Refuge where we can take in incredible sunsets and wake up to a magical sunrise, before continuing to the highest point of our journey Col de Colomers (2,605m). It’s a packed, memorable weekend with a knowledgeable fun guide. You’ll return home ready to face anything – even Monday.Find out more
Date & Prices
Departure & Return
Price (excl. flight)
Price (incl. flight)
Start: 19 July 2019
End: 21 July 2019
Price without flights: €310
19 July 2019
21 July 2019
- Accommodation with breakfast at a characterful guest house (1 night based on 2 sharing)
- 1 nights stay in a picturesque mountain refuge
- 2 days guided walking with a highly experienced and qualified Mountain Leader
- Packed lunches for Saturday and Sunday on the mountain
- Dinner Saturday night in the mountain refuge
- Transport to and from mountain base in Spain
- 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor
- Monthly payment plan, on request
- Return travel to Bagneres-de-Luchon
- Personal walking kit
- Friday evening meal in town
- Alcoholic beverages
- Travel insurance
- Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early
Pics & Vids
DAY 1 : Friday Evening
Meet with your host at Bagneres-de-Luchon train station check in to characterful guest house. A relaxing fun evening will be spent dining out in one of the many restaurants in this beautiful spa town.
DAY 2 : Saturday
Head towards Arran Valley in Spain. Once we have arrived at our destined car park (around 1,900m) we will spend the next 5 hours trekking in the peaceful picturesque Pyrenees until we reach the Ventosa refuge, our home for the night. Evening spent having a relaxing dinner while inevitably gazing at the stars.
DAY 3 : Sunday
Today we continue our exploration of this amazing picturesque landscape. We say goodbye to the hospitable refuge and continue walking to the highest point of the day, the Col de Colomers (2,605m). Where our challenging trek is rewarded by an incredible vista, not only can we see the route we have just climbed winding to our north but as we gaze across to the south we can capture the panorama of the Cirque de Colomers surrounded by dozens of sharply defined summits and sheltering hundreds of dazzling lakes and tarns.
Once we have soaked in the impressive views we begin our decent back down and begin heading home.
After spending 2 full days in the tranquil Pyrenees, you will be feeling rejuvenated and ready to face Monday morning’s excitement.
These are subject to minor changes depending on weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the trek and what you will experience.
Please get in touch with the office as this is yet to be updated on the website.
Food and Water
Where do we get drinking water from?
All drinking water is from the refuge or can be bought at various stops for the first day’s walking. We pass streams in various places that you can top up from if you should run out, so take purification to add to it in the form of silver chloride or chlorine.
What is the food like in the refuge?
The food in the refuge is plentiful and of very good quality,often using locally sourced ingredients. Breakfast consists of pastries, fresh bread and jams and you can expect a hearty meal in the evening.
What are the guesthouse and refuge like?
Papilio guesthouse is a comfortable lodge that sleeps 10 to 12 guests. Book accommodation to your own preference. The Refuge is dormitory style accommodation but each person will have their own bunk bed.
Can you get a hot shower there?
Yes, hot showers are available. There may be a small supplement for hot water.
Health and Safety
What happens if there is an issue on the trek with a client – a fall or an illness?
360 Expeditions have conducted detailed risk assessments and put the necessary plans in place to cope with any accidents or illness whilst out on the trek. Our expedition leaders are highly qualified and experienced mountain leaders who hold expedition first aid qualifications and are used to working in remote environments. Their training allows them to deal with situations quickly and safely.
Should someone find themselves requiring further medical attention,the leader will organise for that individual to be taken from the trail and transferred to the nearest hospital. The leader and the 360 office team will also be on hand to offer guidance and support for insurance claims and contacting next-of-kin.
What clothes do I need?
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. 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.
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. 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.
What flights would you suggest?
For this expedition, you will need to book flights to Toulouse Blagnac Airport. You can fly with any of the following airlines from several major airports in the UK: Easyjet, RyanAir and British Airways.
When booking your flights please ensure that your flight arrival times coincide with train times from Toulouse-Matabiau train station to Bagneres-de-Luchon train station. 360 will meet you at Bagneres-de-Luchon train station. Alternatively, you can rent a car from one of the many car hire companies at Toulouse Airport.
Do I need special travel insurance for the expedition?
You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the expedition. We cannot take you on the mountain without proof of insurance.
We have a partnership with True Traveller and would recommend that you contact them when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360.
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.
Do I need an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for this expedition?
As the trip is based in France it is also worth having a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as this “gives card holders the right to access state-provided healthcare on temporary stays in other European Economic Area (EEA) countries or Switzerland. Treatment should be provided on the same basis as it would be to a resident of that country and is provided either at reduced cost or, in many cases, for free.
The EHIC covers treatment that is medically necessary until the card holder returns home. This includes treatment for pre-existing medical conditions.” If you don’t already have one, you can apply for one here and it is free.
Many travel insurers won’t cover your medical costs in the unlikely event that you need medical treatment whilst you are away which could have been covered by an EHIC.
Can I charge my camera / iPod in the mountains?
The refuge does have electricity so you will be able to plug things in to charge, but depending how busy the refuge is, you might find yourself competing for a socket with other guests.
Will I be able to get WIFI along the way?
The refuge doesn’t have WiFi due to its remoteness, but you will be able to get it at the guest house.