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Spain & France Across the Pyrenees Hiking

High Mountain Passes & Luxury Paradors

 

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, heritage buildings revamped as hotels. 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

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Arrive:

Bilbao, Spain

Depart:

Barcelona, Spain

Price: from $5,595

Duration:

9 Days

Departures:

See Dates

Group Size:

4-16 Guests

Min Age:

16 yrs

Activity:

Level 4

This is a challenging hike with substantial elevation gain and loss of over 4000 feet some days. You should be an experienced hiker who is comfortable hiking 6 - 9 hours per day. Terrain varies from established paths, loose rock, and scree. Hiking poles are recommended.
Learn more here.

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

  • Arrive in Bilbao, Spain

    Day 1

    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.

    Accommodation: Hotel Bujaruelo-Torla, Spain

    Located in the center of Torla, near the entrance of Ordesa National Park, Hotel Bujaruelo is a welcoming hideaway with airy public areas, including a cafe and bar featuring a lovely outdoor terrace. The spacious, colorful rooms and stellar service make it a fantastic base from which to explore the park.

    Transportation: 4.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike through Forests & Meadows to Gavarnie

    Day 2

    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.

    Accommodation: Grand Hotel Vignemale-Gavarnie, France

    Rising up like a fairytale chateau amidst the Pyrenees, the Grand Hotel Vignemale lures adventure travelers of all types. In addition to incredible scenery that surrounds it, the charming hotel features cozy rooms and a tea room/bar, a great place to unwind after a long day of hiking.

    Activity: 6-7 hours/10 miles hiking with 3,201' elevation gain & 2,937' elevation loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Take a Dramatic Hike to Monte Perdido

    Day 3

    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!

    Accommodation: Parador Nacional de Bielsa-Monte Perdido, Spain

    A welcoming mountain retreat located in Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park, Parador Nacional de Bielsa offers a great hideaway for taking in the fresh Pyrenean air. Rooms are outfitted with modern amenities and comfortable furniture; some bedrooms have spectacular views. The restaurant serves delicious Aragonese cuisine, such as Cinca River trout and roasted lamb.

    Activity: 9 hours/12 miles hiking with 4,700' elevation gain & 4,000' elevation loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Admire Sweeping Views from the Balcon de Pineta

    Day 4

    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.

    Accommodation: Parador Nacional de Bielsa-Monte Perdido, Spain

    A welcoming mountain retreat located in Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park, Parador Nacional de Bielsa offers a great hideaway for taking in the fresh Pyrenean air. Rooms are outfitted with modern amenities and comfortable furniture; some bedrooms have spectacular views. The restaurant serves delicious Aragonese cuisine, such as Cinca River trout and roasted lamb.

    Activity: 8 hours/8 miles hiking with 4,158' elevation gain & loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Discover Benasque in Maladeta Aneto Natural Park

    Day 5

    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.

    Accommodation: Hotel Llanos del Hospital-Benasque Huesa, Spain

    A beautiful outpost located amidst black pine forests, glaciers, and snowcapped peaks of Posets-Maladeta Nature Reserve, Hotel Llanos del Hospital offers secluded accommodations with an old-country feel, vistas of the highest peaks of the Iberian Peninsula and stellar wildlife watching opportunities (look out for bears, deer, wild boar, otters, vultures, and eagles).

    Activity: 2-3 hours/5 miles hiking with 500' elevation gain & loss

    Transportation: 2-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike below Aneto, the Highest Peak in the Pyrenees

    Day 6

    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.

    Accommodation: Parador de Arties-Lleida, Spain

    The snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees and the green luxuriant valley of Val d'Aran set the scene at Parador de Artie, a shining example of 14th- and 15th-century Aragonese architecture. The interiors feature cozy rooms, sloping ceilings, and wooden beams. During the summer, nap in hammocks by the bar, take a dip in the swimming pool, or unwind at the lounge.

    Activity: 6 hours/10 miles hiking with 1,944' elevation gain & 3,200' elevation loss

    Transportation: 25-minute private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Enjoy a Gentle Climb in Catalonia

    Day 7

    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.

    Accommodation: Parador de Cardona-Catalonia, Spain

    Housed in a 9th-century fortress that dominates the Cardoner River valley, this impressive hotel oozes history. Within the Parador, take in an 11th-century church, a Gothic cloister, an ancient water cistern and moats, towers and walls everywhere. The interiors feature medieval-inspired furniture, walls decorated with tapestries, and wrought-iron torch holders, all paired with modern amenities.

    Activity: 4 hours/6 miles hiking with 1,000' elevation gain & loss

    Transportation: 3.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Montserrat and See Gaudi Masterpieces in Barcelona

    Day 8

    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.

    Accommodation: Hotel Gallery-Barcelona, Spain

    With its superb location in the center of Barcelona, Gallery Hotel allows easy access to the city's most significant architectural highlights, as well as shops, restaurants, and other attractions. Guest rooms are sophisticated and stylish, and amenities include a fitness center and a rooftop pool and terrace, perfect for sunbathing during the day or cocktails in the evening.

    Activity: 3 hours/6 miles hiking with 860' elevation gain & 2,392' elevation loss

    Transportation: 1-hour cable train transfer and 1-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Fly Home

    Day 9

    Transfer on your own to Barcelona International Airport for homeward-bound or onward flights.

    Meals: Breakfast

Spain & France Across the Pyrenees Hiking

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

This journey was designed by top MT Sobek guide Erik Perez, a professional mountaineer and published historian passionate for northeastern Spain.

Reason #02

Our adventure pairs explorations into the region's natural landscapes with guided city tours, all featuring insights into the local culture and history.

Reason #03

After a thrilling quest through a breathtaking scenery of peaks, waterfalls and high meadows, days end at picturesque country inns and upscale historic hotels.

Meet your guides

Erik Perez

Erik Perez

Erik was born and raised in the Asturias region of northern Spain and has been leading MT Sobek globally since 1989. Erik holds the coveted IFMGA/UIAGM certification, which is the highest professional award attainable in mountaineering, and has written two guidebooks on hikes and climbs in the Picos de Europa. Erik studied Humanities at the University of Oviedo-the capital city of Asturias-and received an MA in History. He is passionate about sharing the landscapes and rich cultures of northern Spain with MT Sobek travelers.

Leo San Sebastian

Leo San Sebastian

Leo was born in the mountains of Spain's Basque Country and made his home in Jaca, in the heart of the Pyrenees, where he spends his winters on backcountry skis. He has been guiding in the Pyrenees for many years, as well as in Nepal, Morocco, Tanzania, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Pakistan, India, and the French Alps. He has also taught skiing in Colorado. He is an International Certified Mountain Guide (UIAGM) and a professional ski instructor (ISIA). Leo is fluent in English, French, and Basque.

Activities

Rewarding hikes and scenic drives through dramatic landscapes of the Pyrenees, and informative city tours of Pamplona and Barcelona.

Lodging

Charming mountain hideaways, medieval castles, revamped historic landmarks (paradors) and modern city hotels, all featuring modern amenities and superb locations.

Climate

July is sunny with possible storms in the afternoon. September is clear and cooler. Temps will range from 50 F to 85 F.

FAQ

Who will meet me on arrival?

If you are arriving at the airport on Day 1, your guide will meet you and transfer you to the hotel in Bilbao.

What type of vehicle is used for transfers on this trip?

We use vans or a bus for transfers, depending on group size.

Can I skip any of the hikes if I need a rest day?

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.

Do we go inside of the Sagrada Familia Temple in Barcelona?

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.

Can I wear trail shoes/cross training shoes on this trip?

No, we highly recommend hiking boots with ankle support for this trip.

Do the hotels on this trip have pools?

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.

2022

Scheduled Dates

  • Jul 16 - 24, 2022
    $5,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,300 single supplement
    Available
  • Aug 27 - Sep 04, 2022
    $5,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,300 single supplement
    Available

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Private

Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private Trip.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Private Trip Pricing:

2021 Pricing

6 to 7 guests from $6,495 per person double occupancy

8 to 16 guests from $5,995 per person double occupancy

2022 Pricing

4 to 5 guests from $5,995 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $5,795 per person double occupancy

8 to 9 guests from $5,695 per person double occupancy

	

Make Your Own Dates in These Months

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.