Travel from Bilbao to Barcelona on this comprehensive trek across the iconic Pyrenees - a hiker's paradise. Learn about the culture, architecture, and natural surroundings of this fascinating region as you hike through the ancient mountain kingdoms of Aragón and Catalonia. Marvel at towering peaks, high meadows, and enormous waterfalls while traversing challenging and magnificent terrain. Wrap up each day's adventure at a picturesque country inn or a luxurious parador. With guided tours of Pamplona and Barcelona that bookend the trip, experience the best of this mesmerizing region.
Set out on strenuous but rewarding treks through the extraordinary scenery of the Pyrenees
Explore Ordesa National Park, called the "Spanish Grand Canyon" for its dramatic cliffs and valleys
Enjoy bird's-eye views of the majestic Gavarnie stone amphitheater, with waterfalls pouring over 1,500-foot walls
Arrive in Bilbao early morning to rendezvous with the group at 11am. After a briefing, enjoy a 2-hour drive to the capital of Navarre province, Pamplona - best known for the famous "running of the bulls." Enjoy a walking tour, followed by lunch in the old town. Then transfer to Ordesa National Park, founded in 1918 as Spain's first national park, with sheer cliffs, lush forests, and deep valleys, all dominated by Monte Perdido, the third highest peak in the Pyrenees. Spend the night in the mountain village of Torla.
This morning, transfer to the trailhead for a hike along the banks of the Ara River through beech and pine forests. At San Nicolas de Bujaruelo, cross the river on a beautiful stone bridge, the remains of an old Roman road. Continue through meadows and high pastures to Bujaruelo Pass (7,920') and the French border. In the late afternoon, descend into the French town of Gavarnie, enjoying spectacular bird's-eye views of the majestic amphitheater, where foaming waterfalls pour over 1,500-foot walls.
Enjoy dramatic views of the scree field and valley below as you take a challenging 9-hour hike down a very steep scree slope in the area of Monte Perdido. From Gavarnie (4,554'), cross again to the Spanish side via Espuguettes-Puerto Nuevo de Pineta (9,441') and the Circo de Pineta, ending at the Parador Nacional de Bielsa (also known as Parador Monte Perdido) in Aragón's Valle de Pineta - a truly impressive mountain setting!
On today's hike, follow switchbacks to the Balcon de Pineta and Lago Helado de Marboré. This strenuous route goes along the highest part of the base of Pico Marboré and Monte Perdido, two of the area's high peaks. From the Balcon (9,900'), enjoy dazzling views of the valley below.
Transfer to the village of Benasque in Maladeta Aneto Natural Park. After visiting the village, drive a little further to Llanos del Hospital, under the peaks of Aneto, the highest of the Pyrenees, and Maladeta. Check into the hotel and enjoy a delicious lunch before the 2-hour hike to Aigualluts, the lower meadow below Aneto Peak. Enjoy dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Hike towards Puerto de la Picada through a tranquil landscape with grazing horses and swaying grasses. After the initial ascent on a good trail with magnificent views of the Aneto (11,168') and Maladeta (10,866') peaks, reach the highest point of the Puerto (8,182'). Then enter Catalonia and the Vall d'Aran (7,755') as you descend to the waterfall of Uelhs deth Joeu (Eyes of the Jew). After a short transfer, reach the parador and enjoy time to stroll through the mountain village of Arties or swim in the parador's outdoor pool.
You are now in the Catalonia (Cataluña) region of the Pyrenees, which has a separate identity from the rest of Spain. After a 30-minute transfer, embark on a gentle climb from a meadow below the Puerto de la Bonaigua (6,270') through boulders up to Lagos de Gerver (7,300'), a sparking lake surrounded by green lichen and bushes bursting with red berries. Then descend to the road, where you board a bus for a 3-hour drive to the Montserrat area, near Barcelona. Enjoy an overnight in a beautiful medieval castle.
Transfer one hour to the cable train of Montserrat, the sacred mountain of the Catalans, and hike via the Pla de Ocells and below the sandstone pinnacles of Cavall Bernat (4,950'). The setting of Wagner's opera Parsifal, this mountain range is a mystical landscape of towering pillars and smooth pinnacles. Descend to the 9th-century Benedictine monastery and shrine of the Black Madonna. In the afternoon, transfer one hour to Barcelona, check into the hotel and enjoy a sightseeing tour, taking in Gaudi-designed buildings. Enjoy a farewell dinner with the group.
Transfer on your own to Barcelona International Airport for homeward-bound or onward flights.
This journey was designed by top MT Sobek guide Erik Perez, a professional mountaineer and published historian passionate for northeastern Spain.
Our adventure pairs explorations into the region's natural landscapes with guided city tours, all featuring insights into the local culture and history.
After a thrilling quest through a breathtaking scenery of peaks, waterfalls and high meadows, days end at picturesque country inns and upscale historic hotels.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Rewarding hikes and scenic drives through dramatic landscapes of the Pyrenees, and informative city tours of Pamplona and Barcelona.
Charming mountain hideaways, medieval castles, revamped historic landmarks (paradors) and modern city hotels, all featuring modern amenities and superb locations.
July is sunny with possible storms in the afternoon. September is clear and cooler. Temps will range from 50 F to 85 F.
If you are arriving at the airport on Day 1, your guide will meet you and transfer you to the hotel in Bilbao.
We use vans or a bus for transfers, depending on group size.
You are welcome to skip a day of hiking, but you must be willing to travel in our van along with the guide(s) as they support the group and transfer to the next night's hotel.
No, we do not go inside of the Sagrada Familia. If you would like to visit the temple, we recommend doing so on your own after the trip.
No, we highly recommend hiking boots with ankle support for this trip.
There are two hotels that have pools on this trip: The Parador Nacional de Arties on Day 6, and the last night's hotel in Barcelona, the Gallery Hotel.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"Challenging trails, comfortable inns, excellent wine, good food, and very knowledgeable guides. The mountains are beautiful. Overall, this was an outstanding tour."
MT Sobek Guest, Across the Pyrenees
"Eric is an excellent lead guide who is passionate about his role and makes sure that every small detail of the trip is planned perfectly. It is an amazing journey through northern Spain and southern France!"
MT Sobek Guest, Across the Pyrenees