The most comprehensive trek of the Pyrenees, from Bilbao to Barcelona
MTS Senior Guide, professional mountaineer, and published historian Erik Perez leads another exciting adventure for us through the iconic Pyrenees! The natural border between Spain and France and the heartland of Basque country, their towering rugged peaks, enormous waterfalls and high meadows offer challenging and breathtaking terrain—a hiker’s paradise! Every day, you’ll have the chance to learn about the culture, architecture, and natural surroundings of a region while trekking through the ancient mountain kingdoms of Aragon and Catalonia. Our picturesque country inns and luxurious paradores ensure that every day ends on a high note. With guided visits in both Pamplona and Barcelona, you are guaranteed not to miss a beat!
7 days strenuous hiking on varied terrain (maximum elevation 9,900'); some long drives
- Traverse from Bilbao to Barcelona, including stunning Montserrat, on the most comprehensive trek of the mountains available
- Hike in remote trails, past 1,500 foot waterfalls, and return daily to your exceptionally upscale accommodations
- Enjoy custom guided tours of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Gaudi Museum in Barcelona
Duration: 9 days Start Location: Bilbao End Location: BarcelonaDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive in Bilbao, Spain
Arrive in Bilbao, Spain. After meeting your guide, you’ll have a short trip briefing, then visit the futuristic iconic Guggenheim Museum. This afternoon, a walking tour of Pamplona.
Day 2 : Torla and Ordesa National Park
This morning, we’ll hike in Ordesa National Park, home of Monte Perdido, the Pyrenees’ third highest peak. We’ll take the Cola de Caballo back to our hotel in Torla.
Day 3 : Gavarnie
Today, the trail brings us through forests along the Ara River to San Nicolas de Bujaruelo. We’ll cross the Bujaruelo Pass into France, then descend into Gavarnie, famous for its majestic waterfalls.
Day 4 : Monte Perdido
From Gavarnie, we’ll cross back into Spain via Espuguettes-Puerto Nuevo de Pineta and the Circo de Pineta, ending at the Parador Nacional de Bielsa in the province of Aragón.
Day 5 : Monte Perdido
We’ll hike from the parador today, traversing the Circo de Pineta to the Balcon de Pineta and Lago Helado de Marboré, hiking along the high peaks of Pico Marboré and Monte Perdido.
Day 6 : Aneto
We’ll transfer from Bielsa to Benasque, then continue to Puerto de La Besurta and hike below Aneto, the highest peak in the Pyrenees, to the Valle de Aran. Free evening to explore town.
Day 7 : Catalonia
Today, we’ll hike through Catalonia! After a 90-minute transfer, we’ll hike from a meadow below the Puerto de la Bonaigua up to Lagos de Gerver, then drive to Montserrat, the sacred mountain of the Catalans!
Day 8 : Montserrat
Take a cable train from Montserrat and hike below the impressive sandstone pinnacles of Cavall Bernat. We’ll descend to Montserrat Monastery, then transfer to Barcelona for a tour of the Gaudi highlights. Festive farewell dinner tonight!
Day 9 : Fly Home
Bid “adios” to Spain and transfer on your own to the Barcelona airport for your flight home.
DATES: Best time to go: July - September Departures: Aug 30, 2014 - Sep 7, 2014 Jul 18 - 26, 2015 Aug 15 - 23, 2015 Can be done back to back with Hiking the Picos de Europa (SHH) August 23, 2015 Sep 5 - 13, 2015
Hotel Tres ReyesPamplona
Grand Hotel VignemaleGavarnie
The Vignemale hotel is a 3 stars hotel in the Pyrenees mountains facing the majestic Cirque de Gavarnie. At the heart of the Pyrenées National Park, the hotel welcomes you to : adventure travel, summer holidays, week-end getaway or social events.
Parador Nacional de BielsaMonte Perdido
This welcoming mountain enclave is located in the eastern sloping Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park. It was declared to be a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997 and is also a renowned area for enjoying sports and outdoor activities.
The fresh Pyrenean air, the clean waters of the river Cinca or the tradition of the Nuestra Señora de Pineta roman hermitage, will leave you feeling healthy, relaxed and calm.
The floors, walls, and exposed wooden beams and columns are filled with modern and accommodating furniture. Some of the bedrooms have spectacular views over this beautiful natural enclave.
The High Aragon cuisine contains strong flavours and seasoning producing simple but tasty dishes: migas aragonesas (fried breadcrumbs with sausage and grapes), Cinca river trout cooked in sherry, young roast lamb, wild boar stew and teresicas de Aragon (puff pastry dessert).
Parador de ArtiesLleida
The snow capped peaks of the Pyrenees, the clear blue skies and the green luxuriant valley of Val d'Aran is the setting for this Parador.
The Parador is of recent construction using the local style of architecture.
The site is that of the House of D. Gaspar de Portola whose claim to fame is the discover of California.
The design has a steeply sloping roof so that a heavy weight of snow cannot accumulate. This results in the bedrooms having 'dormer' windows looking out onto the roof. The traditional mountain design is continued in the wooden beams being featured in the bedrooms.
The lounges in the hotel are spacious and tastefully decorated among which the Salon Chimenea particularly stands out.
Parador de CardonaCatalonia
It is an impressive ninth century fortress which dominates the valley of the river Cardoner.
The Parador sits on top of a hill. In 986 A.D. it was decreed that the local population could have salt every Thursday in return for one days work a week maintaining the fortifications.
Within the castle is the church of San Vicente which was built in 981 and enlarged 40 years later.
The 2nd century Minyona tower is reputedly have been the prison of Adeles, the daughter of the Duke of Cardona, who was held by her brothers after falling in love with a loader of the Moors and had converted to his religion, She was only incarcerated for a year before she died.
Incorporated within the Parador is a gothic cloister, the Duke's patio and an ancient cistern for the storage of water. Everywhere there are moats, towers and walls to defend the castle.
There are numerous decorations in keeping with the surroundings. The furniture is of medieval designs but with modern comfort being important in the design.. Walls are decorated with tapestries and wrought iron torch holders.
Given its excellent situation, in the centre of Barcelona, our hotel allows easy access to the most significant architectural sites. It also permits you to attend to your business needs or enjoy a day shopping.
Gallery Hotel stands out due to its professional team: offering high quality, personalised service, making you feel as if you were at home in the centre of the city.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
Erik was born and raised in Asturias, Region of Northern Spain, with the big range of Mountains called Picos de Europa and Cordillera Cantabrica. He is an accomplished climber (climbing Mont Blanc numerous times), backcountry and downhill skier. Erik has been with MTS since 1989 and has received his certification to be a IFMGA/UIAGM guide which is the highest professional award attainable in mountaineering. He has written two guidebooks on hikes and climbs in the Picos de Europa. Erik studied Humanities at the University of Oviedo, Capital city of Asturias and received a Masters degree in History.