Walking Holidays

Europe’s majestic mountains ~ with a genuine specialist
Organised & Self-guided Walking

p +44 (0) 1799 513331
- Open Today - 9am to 5.30pm

An enthralling twin-centre itinerary for the moderate walker exploring some of the gems of the Pyrenees.Includes both the UNESCO Ordesa & Anisclo Canyons and one night in a high mountain refugio.

23 – 30 June • 7 – 14 July • 11 – 18 August
£875 per person

A sublime week exploring the dramatic and extensive Ordesa & Monte Perdido National Park offering you a unique twin-centre holiday either side of a night in a remote mountain refugio. This itinerary showcases this UNESCO World Heritage Site in all its glory – and includes the lesser-visited but just as stunning Anisclo Canyon.

On our Ordesa National Park Explorer Walking Holiday you will venture into the rugged, high mountain wilderness of both canyons where you will find a stunning landscape dotted with mountain lakes and spectacular views. Your luggage will be transferred between the two hotels leaving you free to immerse yourself in your sensational surroundings. This really is hiking in the Pyrenees at its most dramatic! The holiday price includes accommodation, breakfast, three course dinner with wine (7 nights), packed lunches (6 days), return transfers to and from Zaragoza – and all transport to and from the walks.

Explore the UNESCO Ordesa & Anisclo Canyons

The Ordesa Canyon, Pyrenees - Walking Holidays in the mountains The Ordesa Canyon, Pyrenees - Walking Holidays in the mountains
hike the GR11 in the Pyrenees with Collett's Mountain Holidays hike the GR11 in the Pyrenees with Collett's Mountain Holidays
Ordesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking Weeks Ordesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking Weeks
Ordesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking Weeks Ordesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking Weeks
Ordesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking Weeks Ordesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking Weeks
The Ordesa Canyon, Pyrenees - Walking Holidays in the mountains The Ordesa Canyon, Pyrenees - Walking Holidays in the mountains
The Ordesa Canyon, Pyrenees - Walking Holidays in the mountains The Ordesa Canyon, Pyrenees - Walking Holidays in the mountains
hike the GR11 in the Pyrenees with Collett's Mountain Holidays hike the GR11 in the Pyrenees with Collett's Mountain Holidays
Peaks & Passes Walking and Hiking in the Pyrenees Peaks & Passes Walking and Hiking in the Pyrenees
Peaks & Passes Walking and Hiking in the Pyrenees Peaks & Passes Walking and Hiking in the Pyrenees
Ordesa Canyon - Pyrenees Ordesa Canyon - Pyrenees
Ordesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking Weeks Ordesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking Weeks
Ordesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking Weeks Ordesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking Weeks
  • Includes airport transfers to and from Zaragoza and daily transport to trailheads
  • 3 nights in the Hotel Palazio, Nerin
  • 1 night in Refugio Goriz, located at 2200m
  • 3 nights in Hotel Bujaruelo, Torla, gateway to the Ordesa Canyon
  • Breakfast each day (buffet breakfast in the hotels; basic breakfast in Refugio Goriz)
  • Packed lunch each walking day (6 days)
  • 3 course evening meal, wine included (7 nights)
  • Detailed route notes & transport to/from the trailheads each walking day

See Pyrenees – Ordesa National Park Explorer for more information and to download our factsheet.

An enthralling twin-centre itinerary for the moderate walker exploring one of the gems of the Pyrenees. Includes both the Ordesa & Anisclo Canyons and one night in a high mountain refugio.

  • The jaw-dropping landscapes of the Ordesa & Monte Perdido National Park
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring spectacular canyons, pristine lakes and an exquisitely rugged mountain wilderness
  • This holiday includes both airport transfers and all transport throughout the week
  • Grade: Moderate
  • 23 – 30 June 2019
  • 7 – 14 July 2019
  • 11 – 18 August 2019
  • £875 per person
  • Single Supplement – £125

Ordesa National Park Explorer
 Ordesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking Weeks

Exploring the jewel in the crown of the Pyrenees.
Hiking at its most dramatic for intermediate walkers.

A sublime week exploring the dramatic and extensive Ordesa & Monte Perdido National Park offering you a unique twin-centre holiday either side of a night in a remote mountain refugio. This itinerary showcases this UNESCO World Heritage Site in all its glory – and includes the lesser-visited but just as stunning Anisclo Canyon.

You will venture into the rugged, high mountain wilderness of both canyons where you will find a stunning landscape dotted with mountain lakes and spectacular views. Your luggage will be transferred between the two hotels leaving you free to immerse yourself in your sensational surroundings. This really is hiking in the Pyrenees at its most dramatic! The holiday price includes accommodation, breakfast, three course dinner with wine (7 nights), packed lunches (6 days), return transfers to and from Zaragoza – and all transport to and from the walks.

Click on the ‘Itinerary & Factsheet’ tab above and find out more.

Itinerary & Factsheet

A Pyrenean Walking Holiday – Ordesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer

To download and print this factsheet for our Ordesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking Weeks, click here.

Ordesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking WeeksOrdesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking WeeksOrdesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking WeeksOrdesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking WeeksOrdesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking WeeksOrdesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking WeeksOrdesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking WeeksOrdesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking WeeksOrdesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking WeeksOrdesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking and Hiking Weeks

At a glance

Grade : Moderate
Ascents : 380m to 920m each day
Walking Time : 4 ½ to 7 hours each day
Terrain : Way-marked paths which can be steep, rocky and loose underfoot. Some short sections are very steep and may be considered by some to be exposed. Previous hiking experience, surefootedness, a good head for heights and a good level of fitness are essential. If you are in any doubt whether this holiday is suitable for you, please call the office on 01799 513331 or email enquiries@colletts.co.uk and we will be happy to discuss the route in more detail with you.

Day 1 (Sunday)
Arrive & Settle in

After being picked up from Zaragoza, you will be transferred (2 ½ hours) to the delightful 3*Hotel Palazio, our base in the remote village of Nerin for your first three nights. Settle into your room after a quick check-in. Dinner shall then be served at 8.30pm in the hotel restaurant where an informal welcome briefing will take place between courses.

Day 2 (Monday)
Anisclo Canyon

Walking time: 4 ½ – 5 hours, Ascent/Descent 380m – Today is spent hiking in the depths of Añisclo Canyon: a truly spectacular location with sweeping forests and immense cliffs that dominate the deep gorge, where crystal clear waters from Monte Perdido flow. The picturesque cascades have carved out deep natural pools, which are home to mesmerising waters varying from jade green to intense emerald. Overnight : Hotel Palazio, Nerin

Day 3 (Tuesday)
Mondoto Peak

Walking time: 3 ½ – 4 ½ hours. Ascent/Descent 680m – After exploring the depths of the Anisclo Canyon yesterday, today we head upwards and climb the dominant peak of Mondoto, which seemingly peers over and into the 1000m canyon. Rest assured, the route is not difficult but the views will take your breath away! Overnight : Hotel Palazio, Nerin

Day 4 (Wednesday)
Cuello Arenas to Refugio Goriz

Walking time: 5 ¾ – 6 ½ hours. Ascent 920m – Today we ascend to the huge grasslands of Cuello Arenas and on to the stunning Cuello Gordo, where the jaws of the Arrazas canyon open up before us. Our route then traverses a natural balcony high above the Ordesa Canyon to Refugio Goriz nestled at the foot of Monte Perdido and Soum de Ramond.
Overnight : Refugio Goriz. You will sleep in mixed sex dormitories, and your evening dinner will be provided by the refugio – which serves a basic but nonetheless adequate three course evening meal (wine will be provided). Refugio Goriz is very remote and you will need to carry your own personal belongings for the overnight stay in the refugio.

Day 5 (Thursday)
The Ordesa Canyon by the Fajas Petazals and Racun

Walking time: 4 ½ to 5hours. Ascent – 200m / Descent 950m – Today we leave Refugio Goriz and descend beside the Cola de Caballo waterfall before joining the Camino de las Cascadas on the canyon floor – as it meanders alongside a succession of small stepped cascades. Soon the high altitude wide and grassy pastures give way to ancient pine and beech forests. Our route then embarks on a beautiful balcony path at the foot of yet more immense cliffs, following the Faja Petazals and Los Canarellos. It then opens out into the imposing Cotatuero Cirque, the centre-piece of which is a dramatic waterfall. For those seeking a longer route, from here it is possible to extend the route by following the Faja Racun on to the Cirque de Salaron at the foot of the impressive Tozal del Mallo. Either way, the route finishes with a beautiful section of descent through pine and beech forest to the canyon floor at Pradera. You will then make the short transfer (25 mins) to the picturesque village of Torla by national park shuttle bus where you will spend the next two nights at the Hotel Bujaruelo.
Overnight : 2*Hotel Bujaruelo, Torla. Your luggage will have been transferred from Hotel Palazio to Hotel Bujaruelo

Day 6 (Friday)
Collado del Cebollar Mirador

Walking time: 6 ½ -7 hours. Ascent/Descent 960m – From Torla our walk today climbs up to the Collado del Cebollar. Whilst not in the heart of the Ordesa Canyon itself, it is nevertheless one of the most beautiful panoramic mirador lookouts there is; perfect for appreciating the depth and breadth of the canyon. Outstanding views of the secluded and picturesque Bujaruelo valley can also be enjoyed from here. Overnight : 2*Hotel Bujaruelo, Torla

Day 7 (Saturday)
Faja de Pelay and Ordesa canyon

Walking time : 7 – 8 hours. Ascent/Descent 800m – Today you will make the short journey back into the Ordesa canyon on the national park shuttle bus. The final walk of the week is a true classic. This stunning high-level walk begins with an intense ascent to a breathtaking mirador (lookout) high above the canyon floor. It then continues along a natural – at times narrow – balcony which has been formed by millions of years of erosion. Once on the faja, there unfold magnificent views of the Ordesa canyon far below, Refugio Goriz, Monte Perdido and the Brèche de Roland. After the exhilaration of the faja, you will meander back along the valley floor through delightful forests of beech, pine and fir, with time to enjoy the cascades which you bypassed on Day 5. Overnight : 2*Hotel Bujaruelo, Torla.

Day 8 (Sunday)
Departure

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast, and time to pack.
The transfer to Zaragoza will depart at around 1pm.

Please note – whilst our aim is to follow this itinerary as closely as possible it may of course vary as a result of adverse weather or trail conditions.

Included in the price

  • Accommodation;
    • 3 nights in the 3* Hotel Palazio, Nerin
    • 1 night in Refugio Goriz, located at 2200m
    • 3 nights in 2* Hotel Bujaruelo, Torla
    • Breakfast each day (buffet breakfast in the hotels; basic breakfast in Refugio Goriz)
    • Packed lunch each walking day (6 days)
    • 3 course evening meal, wine included (7 nights)
    • Detailed route notes
    • Transport to/from the trailheads each walking day
    • Transfers to/from Zaragoza Airport or Zaragoza ‘Delicias’ Rail Station.
    • If you are interested in visiting Barcelona or Madrid at the start or end of your holiday with us, consider the high speed AVE train to and from Zaragoza Delicias. Journey times – approx 90 mins. See www.renfe.com for train times.

    Not included in the price

    • Flights & Insurance

    Places are limited, so book early – Call us on 01799 513331 or make an enquiry here.

    At your own risk

    You join our organised itineraries and make use of our ideas & information at your own risk. It is important that you understand that whilst our own walkers have substantial local knowledge and are familiar with the routes which our organised walks follow, they are not qualified mountain guides.

Accommodation

Hotel Palazio
The delightful 3* Hotel Palazio

Walking Holiday Accommodation in the Pyrenees - 3* Hotel PalazioRefuge Goriz - Ordesa National ParkWalking Holiday Accommodation in the Pyrenees - Torla

Our base for the first 3 nights of your Ordesa National Park Explorer holiday is the perfect springboard for the Anisclo Canyon and the southern reaches of the National Park. The Hotel Palazio is stunningly located and enjoys a remote and high mountain location overlooking its spectacular surrounding peaks and valleys. Rest assured, you will escape the hustle and bustle on this holiday! It is a simple hotel, yet reassuringly modern with friendly and attentive staff, who will make you feel welcome and ensure you are comfortable. You will soon feel at home in this special location, indulging in a gloriously unspoilt wilderness perhaps unequalled elsewhere in European mountains.

An extensive breakfast buffet is available each day. Each evening we will enjoy a delicious (typically Spanish) three course evening meal (with wine included) in the hotel’s restaurant.

Refugio Goriz

Refugio Goriz was built in 1961 and is one of the best-known huts in the Pyrenees nestled in the heart of the Ordesa & Monte Perdido National Park. It is the ideal base for a stopover as part of a longer itinerary, itself lying on the well-known GR11 trans Pyrenean traverse. The facilities at Goriz are fairly basic and sleeping is in large mixed dormitories, but what it lacks in facilities it more than makes up for in location – a high and exposed mountain setting with stunning views of the Ordesa Canyon and its surrounding summits – such as Cilindro, Marboré, and Taillón.

Hotel Bujaruelo

Our base for the final three nights of our Ordesa National Park Explorer is the charming 2* Hotel Bujaruelo which is situated in Torla, nestled very much at the entrance to the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park. Having spent three nights in the remote and peaceful Hotel Palazio, then one night in the remote Refugio Goriz, Hotel Bujaruelo offers all the vibrancy of a village, which is a strategic gem for the national park, whilst still providing a sense of being in the great outdoors. All rooms are en-suite, and have a traditional mountain style design complete with traditional wood floors. Most rooms benefit from a small balcony with superb mountain views. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.

Hotel Bujaruelo also offers spacious areas in which to relax, including both a cosy lounge and a café-bar with a large terrace for sunny afternoons and evenings. It is also only a stones throw from the village centre, where quaint cobbled streets and atmospheric nooks and crannies can be found hiding characterful bars and cafes where well earnt post walk drinks and tapas can be enjoyed.

Click here for more about our accommodation in the Pyrenees

Airport Transfers

Airport Transfers

Getting to the Pyrenees is easy and transfers are included in the price of your holiday.
We organise one transfer every Sunday to/from Zaragoza Airport and Delicias Rail Station. We aim to pick up any guests arriving by train at around 1615, before then picking up those guests who have arrived on the 1640 Ryanair London Stansted Flight.
At the end of your holiday, we aim to leave Panticosa at around 1300 in order to drop guests back at the airport at 1500 in good time for their 1705 return flight to London Stansted. We will then continue on to the rail station which is only 15 minutes away.
Places are limited, so please check availability before you book your flights. Exact timings will be confirmed approx three weeks before your holiday

Call us on 01799 513331 or make an enquiry here.

Notes

Notes

To download and print this factsheet for our Ordesa & Anisclo National Park Explorer Walking Weeks, click here.

Your ‘Ordesa National Park Explorer’ will be spent at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member of the party is responsible for their own safety and has a duty of care to their fellow walkers.

The following is an explanation of the status of our organised ‘Ordesa National Park Explorer’ – which we refer to as organised, not guided.

Our ‘Ordesa National Park Explorer’ is a series of self-guided walks which are made available to you on a basis of goodwill so that you might enjoy a route you might not otherwise have undertaken if you had visited the area independently. It represents nothing more than the opportunity to go out on a beautiful walk in the company of like-minded individuals.

It is a fact that mountains, mountainous areas and activities undertaken in them are associated with personal injury and death. By coming to such areas, you are exposing yourself and your party to the possibility of personal injury or even death. In such an event, Collett’s Mountain Holidays will not be held responsible for your interest in mountainous areas and your involvement in mountain pursuits, which can occasionally have tragic consequences.

In these days of litigation it is important you know that you (and each member of your party) join us on this holiday at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member of that group has a duty of care to the other. This is no different from the responsibilities you have on a casually arranged weekend walk with friends or family in the UK.

Our walk organisers all have experience of the mountains, some more than others. Some may have qualifications relevant to mountain activities, but they are not qualified mountain guides. We recruit and train our walk organisers in line with a Health & Safety Policy, which is based on Risk Assessments and recognised mountain safety procedures. Not being professionally responsible for you on our organised itineraries does not mean we ignore safety, nor does it make us exempt from owing a duty of care to each person who joins us on an organised itinerary.

Your safety is paramount and we therefore take our own measures to maximise safety. We do this in line with legal requirements pertaining to duty of care. We apply codes of practice to the procedures carried out by our outdoor staff. We assess, manage and communicate risk. We try to make people aware of the importance of mountain safety and to highlight their responsibilities when part of a group.

Our codes of practice should not really be taken into consideration or relied upon by you when deciding to join this ‘Ordesa National Park Explorer’, for at the heart of our procedures are basic mountain safety measures, which should be undertaken by every individual when preparing for a day in the mountains.

Finally, during your holiday with Collett’s Mountain Holidays you act at your own risk on any ideas, information and opinions you might acquire from our walk organisers or from material prepared by us to help you get the most from the area.

Medium & high level ‘handpicked’ walks for moderate walkers

  • Enjoy a selection of the best day walks in the area – handpicked by Collett’s
  • Includes the two “must dos” – Ordesa Canyon & the Ayous Lakes circuit beneath the Pic du Midi
  • This week is ideal for fellwalkers in search of rewarding days out in the mountains
  • This holiday includes transfers from Zaragoza airport & rail station and all transport throughout the week
  • Grade: Moderate – Moderate/Long
  • 16th – 23rd June 2019
  • 30th June – 7th July 2019
  • 21st – 28th July 2019
  • 4th – 11th August 2019
  • 25th August – 1st September 2019
  • 22nd – 29th September 2019
  • £825 per person
  • Self-Drivers – deduct £50 per person
  • Single Supplement – £100

Introduction – Collett’s Classics

A holiday of sensational walks for intermediate walkers

hike peaks and passes in the Pyrenees with Collett's Mountain Holidays

This holiday has been especially designed for intermediate walkers in search of handpicked medium and high level walks in the good company of others. The Pyrenees offers some of the most remote and wild walking of any of our destinations. Each day (except Thursday, your rest day) you will enjoy some of the best walks in and around the Valle de Tena, returning to your accommodation base at the Hotel Sabocos in Panticosa.

This walking holiday will include classic walks in both the Pyrenees National Park over the nearby border in France, as well as in the Ordesa & Monte Perdido National Park on the Spanish side. Our itineraries will regularly take in sections of both the GR10 and GR11. The holiday price includes delightful hotel accommodation, breakfast, three course dinner with wine (6 nights), packed lunches (5 days), return transfers to and from Zaragoza – and all transport to and from the walks.

Click on the ‘Itinerary & Factsheet’ tab above and find out more.

Itinerary & Factsheet
Peaks and Passes in the Pyrenees with Collett's Mountain HolidaysPeaks and Passes in the Pyrenees with Collett's Mountain HolidaysPeaks and Passes in the Pyrenees with Collett's Mountain Holidays

A Pyrenees Walking Holiday – Hike the Classics

To download and print this factsheet on our Collett’s Classics Weeks, click here.

At a glance

Grade : Moderate – Moderate/Long
Ascents : 500 – 700m each day
Walking Time : 4 – 6 hours each day
Terrain : Way-marked paths which can be steep, rocky and loose underfoot. Some short sections are steep and may be considered by some to be exposed. Previous hiking experience, surefootedness, and a good level of fitness are essential. If you are in any doubt whether this holiday is suitable for you, please call the office on 01799 513331 or email enquiries@colletts.co.uk and we will be happy to discuss the likely itinerary in more detail with you.

Day 1 (Sunday)
Arrive & Settle in

We will collect you from Zaragoza and transfer you to the delightful Hotel Sabocos, our base in Panticosa, high in the Valle de Tena. This will be your ‘home from home’ during your stay. After a quick check-in, you can settle into your room. Dinner will be served in the restaurant at 8pm, over which a short briefing will take place.

Day 2 (Monday)
Punta del Pacino

10.5km, 500m ascent/descent – A fabulous ‘first day’ walk just a short drive from Panticosa in the heart of the Valle de Tena, to help you find your walking legs, orientate yourself and settle in to your week in the Pyrenees. This circular walk boasts extensive views from Punta del Pacino, summit of the Valle de Tena, the imposing Sierra de la Partacua and the numerous 3000m peaks, which make up the Franco‐Spanish border ridge north of the vibrant village of Sallent de Gallego.

Day 3 (Tuesday)
The Ibones de Anayet

14.5km, 600m ascent/descent – An excellent circular walk to the picturesque and idyllic lakes of Ibones de Anayet, which are nestled below the deep crimson slopes of the Vértice de Anayet. You will enjoy amazing views across the abyss-like ‘Canal Roya’ and the frontier ridge towards the iconic Pic du Midi d’Ossau in France

Day 4 (Wednesday)
The Camino de las Cascadas or the Faja de Petazals both in the UNESCO Ordesa & Monte Perdido National Park

Camino de las Cascadas – upto 19km, 500m ascent/descent – A classic walk through delightful forests of beech, pine and fir along the floor of the Ordesa canyon visiting its many magnificent waterfalls. Idyllic riverside picnic spots await you in the open pastures near to the impressive ‘Circo de Soasa’ from where stunning views of the canyon’s 1,000m cliffs can be enjoyed. This is a ‘there and back’ walk, so its length and ascent/descent can be adjusted to suit.

Faja de Petazals – 12.5km, 600m ascent/descent – this spectacular balcony shelf walk along the northern edge of the Valle de Ordesa provides walkers with great views of the abyss valley below, the near vertical southern slopes of the canyon, and the impressive and ‘off the beaten track’ Circo de Cotatuero.

Day 5 (Thursday)
Rest day

You are free to have a well-deserved lie-in (breakfast is served until 10am) and to spend the day relaxing in Panticosa. Perhaps take a dip in Panticosa’s outdoor pool (open in July & August), or visit the 4* spa at Baños de Panticosa. We can also give you details of a couple of short walks from the door. On Wednesday night we can help you arrange taxi shares should you want to visit the spa or explore the Valle de Tena on a longer self-guided walk.

Day 6 (Friday)
The Ayous Lakes Circuit in the Pyrenees National Park

15km, 700m ascent/descent – This is a classic ‘must-do’ Pyrenean walk, taking in numerous lakes and enjoying superb views across to the iconic Pic Du Midi d’Ossau and Pic Casterau. This walk provides wonderful changes of scenery from a wooded forest of beech to open flatlands with a meandering river. For those in search of a shorter walk, there is also the option to complete a ‘there and back’ walk to Refuge Ayous, nestled above one of the lovely lakes on this circuit.

Day 7 (Saturday)
Bachimana & the Ibones Azules

12km, 700m ascent/descent – A high altitude walk to the Embalse Bachimana to finish on, which offers stunning views across Banos de Panticosa and towards the Sierra de Partacua whilst also providing walkers with an insight into the remote mountain wilderness that symbolises the Spanish Pyrenees. Refreshment awaits you at Refugio Bachimana perched high in the Spanish Pyrenees with stunning views.

Day 8 (Sunday)
Departure

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and time to pack. The transfer to Zaragoza will depart at around 1pm after a tapas style farewell lunch.

Please note – The above is a sample itinerary only and the exact programme may vary as a result of adverse weather or trail conditions.

Included in the price

  • Accommodation – 7 nights in the 3* Hotel Sabocos, Panticosa
  • Buffet breakfast each day
  • Packed lunch each walking day (5 days)
  • 3 course evening meal, wine included (6 nights, not Thursday – your rest day and our day off)
  • Detailed route notes
  • Transport to/from the trailheads each walking day
  • Transfers to/from Zaragoza Airport or Zaragoza ‘Delicias’ Rail Station.
    For those interested in visiting Barcelona at the start or end of their walking week – consider catching the high speed AVE train from Barcelona to Zaragoza Delicias in approx. 90 minutes and joining our transfer there. See www.renfe.com for train times.

Not included in the price

  • Flights & Insurance
  • Lunch, dinner, transport and activities on your rest day – Thursday

Places are limited, so book early – Call us on 01799 513331 or make an enquiry here.

At your own risk

You join our organised itineraries and make use of our ideas & information at your own risk. It is important that you understand that whilst our own walkers have substantial local knowledge and are familiar with the routes which our organised walks follow, they are not qualified mountain guides.

Accommodation
Walking Holiday Accommodation in the Pyrenees - Hotel SabocosPanticosa in the Pyrenees

Hotel Sabocos - Your Accommodation
A delightful three star hotel in the Valle de Tena

Hotel Sabocos is a delightful three star hotel about 300 yards from the village centre of Panticosa, a picturesque mountain resort in the Valle de Tena, about 15 minutes from Spain's border with France. The hotel is run by our good friends, Abelardo and Pia, who go to great lengths to ensure you are happy and comfortable.

Indeed, it is rare to see them without a friendly, accommodating smile and this epitomises the warm and welcoming character of the hotel. You are certain to enjoy its relaxed and stress‐free atmosphere.

The hotel provides modern, comfortable and immaculately clean accommodation in en suite bedrooms, many with balconies enjoying absorbing mountain views.

We hold Office Hour in the spacious and comfy hotel lounge, which characterises the warm and unassuming hospitality you can expect here ‐ lots of armchairs and sofas arranged in cosy alcoves; bookshelves, chess and card tables; a large balcony with majestic views. It is the perfect place for relaxing with a book or chatting over a drink with friends.

The hotel's café‐bar opens onto a sun‐drenched terrace with views to the stunning cliffs of the Sierra de la Partacua. In the hotel’s pleasant dining room guests of Collett’s enjoy together a delicious (typically Spanish) three course dinner (with wine included) six nights a week ‐ not Thursdays.

Travel

Airport Transfers

Getting to the Pyrenees is easy and transfers are included in the price of your holiday.
We organise one transfer every Sunday to/from Zaragoza Airport and Delicias Rail Station. We aim to pick up any guests arriving by train at around 1615, before then picking up those guests who have arrived on the 1640 Ryanair London Stansted Flight.
At the end of your holiday, we aim to leave Panticosa at around 1300 in order to drop guests back at the airport at 1500 in good time for their 1705 return flight to London Stansted. We will then continue on to the rail station which is only 15 minutes away.
Places are limited, so please check availability before you book your flights. Exact timings will be confirmed approx three weeks before your holiday

Call us on 01799 513331 or make an enquiry here.

Self Drivers

For guests who would prefer to fly drive or self drive, we offer a £50 per person discount off the price of your holiday. For a competitive car hire quote please visit our Car Hire page. As a self-driver you would be expected to use your own vehicle to drive to all the trailheads throughout the week, unless of course there are spaces in one of our minbuses – in which case you would be welcome to join us.

This option will also be of interest to guests who would prefer to fly to an airport other than Zaragoza – such as Lourdes, Pau, Biarritz, Toulouse, Madrid or Barcelona. See our Travel Page here for more options.

Notes

Notes

To download and print this factsheet on our Collett’s Classics Weeks, click here.

Your ‘Pyrenees – ‘The Collett’s Classics’ holiday will be spent at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member of the party is responsible for their own safety and has a duty of care to their fellow walkers.

The following is an explanation of the status of our organised ‘Pyrenees – The Collett’s Classics’ – which we refer to as organised, not guided.

Our ‘Pyrenees – The Collett’s Classics’ is a series of self guided walks which are made available to you on a basis of goodwill so that you might enjoy a route you might not otherwise have undertaken if you had visited the area independently. It represents nothing more than the opportunity to go out on a beautiful walk in the company of like-minded individuals.

It is a fact that mountains, mountainous areas and activities undertaken in them are associated with personal injury and death. By coming to such areas, you are exposing yourself and your party to the possibility of personal injury or even death. In such an event, Collett’s Mountain Holidays will not be held responsible for your interest in mountainous areas and your involvement in mountain pursuits, which can occasionally have tragic consequences.

In these days of litigation it is important you know that you (and each member of your party) join us on this holiday at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member of that group has a duty of care to the other. This is no different from the responsibilities you have on a casually arranged weekend walk with friends or family in the UK.

Our walk organisers all have experience of the mountains, some more than others. Some may have qualifications relevant to mountain activities, but they are not qualified mountain guides. We recruit and train our walk organisers in line with a Health & Safety Policy, which is based on Risk Assessments and recognised mountain safety procedures. Not being professionally responsible for you on our organised itineraries does not mean we ignore safety, nor does it make us exempt from owing a duty of care to each person who joins us on an organised itinerary.

Your safety is paramount and we therefore take our own measures to maximise safety. We do this in line with legal requirements pertaining to duty of care. We apply codes of practice to the procedures carried out by our outdoor staff. We assess, manage and communicate risk. We try to make people aware of the importance of mountain safety and to highlight their responsibilities when part of a group.

Our codes of practice should not really be taken into consideration or relied upon by you when deciding to join this ‘Pyrenees – The Collett’s Classics’ holiday, for at the heart of our procedures are basic mountain safety measures, which should be undertaken by every individual when preparing for a day in the mountains.

Finally, during your holiday with Collett’s Mountain Holidays you act at your own risk on any ideas, information and opinions you might acquire from our walk organizers or from material prepared by us to help you get the most from the area.

Spring came late here in the Pyrenees this year which means that the tops of mountains are still sprinkled with snow. The Sierra Partacua and Sierra Tendenera ranges that tower over our base in Panticosa look even more majestic as we hike below. Some of our higher routes still hold snow so the Pyrenees team have been getting creative with routes so that guests can enjoy the most stunning days out in the mountains. A little exploration has led us to the discovery of some absolute mountain gems.

It was with this in mind that I sat on our balcony one morning, cup of tea in hand, contemplating Cucuraza, a very inviting peak of 1767m and a hop skip and a jump from our village. I consulted the map. There was indeed a faint path leading to the top, 650m of ascent and the possibility of some stunning views of the Valle de Tena. I finished my tea and packed a bag. It was time to explore!

Walking Holiday Accommodation in Tuscany with Collett's - Il Rigo Agritourismo Walking Holiday Accommodation in Tuscany with Collett's - Il Rigo Agritourismo
Walking Holidays in the Pyrenees Walking Holidays in the Pyrenees
Walking Holidays in the Pyrenees Walking Holidays in the Pyrenees
Walking Holidays in the Pyrenees Walking Holidays in the Pyrenees
Walking Holidays in the Pyrenees Walking Holidays in the Pyrenees

The path ascended steadily at first through lanes, then fields and then through the beautiful beech forest that carpets the mountain’s slopes. The trees provided welcome shade from the sun and soon I had climbed almost 200m. The sounds of bustling Panticosa gave way to sounds of the forest; insects, birds and my steady breathing. Cucuraza was making me work for those views! One of the joys of the Pyrenees is that you rarely meet people on trails at this time of year if you know where to go – access to a little local knowledge is a big advantage. After 45 mins of walking I had the beauty and solitude of this forest path all to myself.

A further 200m saw the wooded track opening out onto a clearing where, to my surprise, the last of the elderflower orchids were still in bloom. Pale blue forget-me-nots, tiny primroses and spring gentians all swayed between a carpet of buttercups. It was such an unexpected sight that I had to stop and enjoy the moment.

I needed the break as in the last 250m the path became steeper. The beech forest became pine and the trees gave off the most beautiful aroma. I imagine this is the smell that pine flavour air fresheners are aiming for – how can they get it so wrong! I can tell you that nothing beats the smell of a mountain pine forest on a Monday morning.

Finally, I reached a col where the path flattened out. The top of Cucuraza is a long, flat, tree-covered tongue that juts out over the valley bellow. I was free to marvel at the 360 degree view. The mighty Punta Garbada and Punta dera Garmo were visible above, the turquoise of Bubal lake below, terraced meadows, trees of all hues, snow covered peaks and rugged mountain ranges in the distance. All enjoyed by only me and the birds.

The Pyrenees remind me every day why we puff and sweat up mountains. Moments at the top are precious beyond words. These are the memories we will remember long after the ache in our legs has disappeared.

Outstanding High Level Walks For Stronger Walkers

  • Awe-inspiring hikes to majestic Pyrenean peaks via high mountain passes
  • Another sublime holiday of high level trekking in the Pyrenees
  • This holiday includes transfers from Zaragoza airport & rail station and all transport throughout the week
  • Grade: Hard-Long
  • 14 – 21 July 2019
  • 28 July – 4 August 2019
  • 18 – 25 August 2019
  • 1 – 8 September 2019
  • £825 per person
  • Self-Drivers – deduct £50 per person
  • Single Supplement – £100

Introduction – Pyrenean Peaks

A week of majestic peaks and high passes for the stronger walker

hike peaks and passes in the Pyrenees with Collett's Mountain Holidays

This holiday has been especially designed for stronger walkers in search of awe-inspiring days in the high mountains in the good company of other walkers. The Pyrenees is an outstanding destination for stronger walkers in search of harder high-level walking. We are on the doorstep of a wealth of impressive peaks and passes. Each day (except Thursday, your rest day) we will venture out on amazing high level walks in and around the Valle de Tena, each one taking us to the summit of a high-profile local peak. After each walk we return to our base at the delightful Hotel Sabocos in Panticosa.

Our walks are tried and tested gems and they take place in both the Pyrenees National Park over the nearby border in France, as well as in the Ordesa & Monte Perdido National Park on the Spanish side. Our itineraries also include sections of both the GR10 and GR11. The holiday price includes delightful hotel accommodation, breakfast, three course dinner with wine (6 nights), packed lunches (5 days), return transfers to and from Zaragoza – and all transport to and from the walks.

Click on the ‘Itinerary & Factsheet’ tab above and find out more.

Itinerary & Factsheet
Peaks and Passes in the Pyrenees with Collett's Mountain HolidaysPeaks and Passes in the Pyrenees with Collett's Mountain HolidaysPeaks and Passes in the Pyrenees with Collett's Mountain Holidays

A Collett’s Walking Holiday – Pyrenean Peaks Walking Breaks

To download and print this factsheet on our Pyrenean Peaks Weeks, click here.

At a glance

Grade : Hard – Long
Ascents : 800m to 1000m each day
Walking Time : 7 to 10 hours each day
Descents : 800m to 1000m each day
Terrain : Way-marked paths which can be steep, rocky and loose underfoot. Some short sections are very steep and may be considered by some to be exposed. Previous hiking experience, surefootedness, a good head for heights and a good level of fitness are essential. If you are in any doubt whether this holiday is suitable for you, please call the office on 01799 513331 or email enquiries@colletts.co.uk and we will be happy to discuss the likely itinerary in more detail with you.

Day 1 (Sunday)
Arrive & Settle in

We will collect you from Zaragoza and transfer you to the delightful Hotel Sabocos, our base in Panticosa, high in the Valle de Tena. This will be your ‘home from home’ during your stay. After a quick check-in, you can settle into your room. Dinner will be served in the restaurant at 8pm, over which a short briefing will take place.

Day 2 (Monday)
Refuge Pombie & Pic de Peyreget Circuit (2487m)

12.5km, 900m ascent/descent – A fabulous first day walk on the French side of the dramatic frontier ridge. Today you will find your walking legs, orientate yourself and settle in to your week in the Pyrenees. From the idyllic Pombie lake and refugio, this walk offers stunning views of the south-east face of the Pic du Midi d’Ossau, known as the Pombie Wall, itself a gem for climbers. Throughout the day you will be followed by ever changing scenery and panoramic views of the Pyrenees National Park from the summit of Pic de Peyreget. Stunning scenery throughout.

Day 3 (Tuesday)
Faja de Pelay (1900m) and Ordesa canyon

20km, 800m ascent/descent – Whilst this walk does not include a peak as such – it is a true Pyrenean high level classic – stunning throughout. It begins with an intense ascent to a breathtaking mirador (lookout) high above the canyon floor. It then continues along a natural – at times narrow – balcony (faja) which has been formed by millions of years of erosion.

Day 4 (Wednesday)
the Ibones de Anayet & Vertice d’Anayet (2559m)

17.5km, 900m ascent/descent – An excellent circular walk to the picturesque Ibones de Anayet nestled below the deep crimson slopes of the Vértice de Anayet. Great views across the abyss-like ‘Canal Roya’ and the frontier ridge towards Pic du Midi d’Ossau in France await walkers at these idyllic lakes. From here the straightforward but steep ascent of the Vertice de Anayet (2559m), provides rewarding panoramic views across the range – including stunning views of Balaitous (3144m), Vignemale (3298m) and the Picos del Infierno (3083m).

Day 5 (Thursday)
Rest day

You are free to have a well-deserved lie-in (breakfast is served until 10am!) and to spend the day relaxing in Panticosa. Perhaps you will take a dip in Panticosa’s outdoor pool (open in July & August), or visit the 4* spa at Baños de Panticosa. There are also a couple of short walks from the door. On Wednesday night we will be on hand to help you to arrange taxi shares should you want to visit the Spa or explore the Valle de Tena on a longer self-guided walk.

Day 6 (Friday)
The Pic d’Ayous (2288m) & The Ayous Lakes Circuit

15km, 800m ascent/descent – This walk is described by the French as "The Way of the Bear", since it is said to have been the main passage of bears between the Aspe and Ossau regions. A demanding walk rewarded with far reaching and superb views. The Ayous Lakes circuit is a classic Pyrenean walk that should be a ‘must do’ for everybody – taking in numerous lakes and enjoying superb views across to the iconic Pic Du Midi d’Óssau and Pic Casterau.

Day 7 (Saturday)
Garmo Negro (3066m) or Cuello Alto del Brazato (2578m)

Two possible last day options to whet your appetite:

Garmo Negro: 16km, 1400m ascent/descent – This is probably the most accessible of all the 3000m peaks close to Panticosa. From the summit the extent of the Pyrenees range opens up to you – with stunning views of the Pic du Midi d’Ossau over in France and towards the Infiernos and to Vignemale further east in the range.

Cuello Alto del Brazato: 11km, 900m ascent/descent – This alternative, reaching a high pass, allows for a less strenuous day than Garmo Negro but doesn’t compromise on the views. Walkers are able to gain height relatively quickly on a well graded path followed by a short but steep ascent which is loose under-foot, and a tricky traverse across a small boulder field. From here a fantastic panorama of views including the impressive Vignemale (the highest peak in the French Pyrenees) may be enjoyed.

Day 8 (Sunday)
Departure

Enjoy a well earnt leisurely breakfast, and time to pack. The transfer to Zaragoza will depart at around 1pm after a tapas style farewell lunch.

The above is a sample itinerary only and the exact programme may vary as a result of adverse weather or trail conditions.

Included in the price

  • Accommodation – 7 nights in the 3* Hotel Sabocos, Panticosa
  • Buffet breakfast each day
  • Packed lunch each walking day (5 days)
  • 3 course evening meal, wine included (6 nights, not Thursday – your rest day)
  • Detailed route notes
  • Transport to/from the GR11 trailheads each walking day
  • Transfers to/from Zaragoza Airport or Zaragoza ‘Delicias’ Rail Station.
    If you are interested in visiting Barcelona or Madrid at the start or end of your holiday with us, consider the high speed AVE train to and from Zaragoza Delicias. Journey times – approx 90 mins. See www.renfe.com for train times.

Not included in the price

  • Flights & Insurance
  • Lunch, dinner, transport and activities on your rest day – Thursday

Places are limited, so book early – Call us on 01799 513331 or make an enquiry here.

At your own risk

You join our organised itineraries and make use of our ideas & information at your own risk. It is important that you understand that whilst our own walkers have substantial local knowledge and are familiar with the routes which our organised walks follow, they are not qualified mountain guides.

Accommodation
Walking Holiday Accommodation in the Pyrenees - Hotel SabocosPanticosa in the Pyrenees

Hotel Sabocos - Your Accommodation
A delightful three star hotel in the Valle de Tena

Hotel Sabocos is a delightful three star hotel about 300 yards from the village centre of Panticosa, a picturesque mountain resort in the Valle de Tena, about 15 minutes from Spain's border with France. The hotel is run by our good friends, Abelardo and Pia, who go to great lengths to ensure you are happy and comfortable.

Indeed, it is rare to see them without a friendly, accommodating smile and this epitomises the warm and welcoming character of the hotel. You are certain to enjoy its relaxed and stress‐free atmosphere.

The hotel provides modern, comfortable and immaculately clean accommodation in en suite bedrooms, many with balconies enjoying absorbing mountain views.

We hold Office Hour in the spacious and comfy hotel lounge, which characterises the warm and unassuming hospitality you can expect here ‐ lots of armchairs and sofas arranged in cosy alcoves; bookshelves, chess and card tables; a large balcony with majestic views. It is the perfect place for relaxing with a book or chatting over a drink with friends.

The hotel's café‐bar opens onto a sun‐drenched terrace with views to the stunning cliffs of the Sierra de la Partacua. In the hotel’s pleasant dining room guests of Collett’s enjoy together a delicious (typically Spanish) three course dinner (with wine included) six nights a week ‐ not Thursdays.

Travel

Airport Transfers

Getting to the Pyrenees is easy and transfers are included in the price of your holiday.
We organise one transfer every Sunday to/from Zaragoza Airport and Delicias Rail Station. We aim to pick up any guests arriving by train at around 1615, before then picking up those guests who have arrived on the 1640 Ryanair London Stansted Flight.
At the end of your holiday, we aim to leave Panticosa at around 1300 in order to drop guests back at the airport at 1500 in good time for their 1705 return flight to London Stansted. We will then continue on to the rail station which is only 15 minutes away.
Places are limited, so please check availability before you book your flights. Exact timings will be confirmed approx three weeks before your holiday

Call us on 01799 513331 or make an enquiry here.

Self Drivers

For guests who would prefer to fly drive or self drive, we offer a £50 per person discount off the price of your holiday. For a competitive car hire quote please visit our Car Hire page. As a self-driver you would be expected to use your own vehicle to drive to all the trailheads throughout the week, unless of course there are spaces in one of our minbuses – in which case you would be welcome to join us.

This option will also be of interest to guests who would prefer to fly to an airport other than Zaragoza – such as Lourdes, Pau, Biarritz, Toulouse, Madrid or Barcelona. See our Travel Page here for more options.

Notes

Notes

To download and print this factsheet on our Pyrenean Peaks Weeks, click here.

Your ‘Pyrenean Peaks’ holiday will be spent at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member of the party is responsible for their own safety and has a duty of care to their fellow walkers.

The following is an explanation of the status of our organised ‘Pyrenean Peaks’ – which we refer to as organised, not guided.

Our ‘Pyrenean Peaks’ is a series of self-guided walks which are made available to you on a basis of goodwill so that you might enjoy a route you might not otherwise have undertaken if you had visited the area independently. It represents nothing more than the opportunity to go out on a beautiful walk in the company of like-minded individuals.

It is a fact that mountains, mountainous areas and activities undertaken in them are associated with personal injury and death. By coming to such areas, you are exposing yourself and your party to the possibility of personal injury or even death. In such an event, Collett’s Mountain Holidays will not be held responsible for your interest in mountainous areas and your involvement in mountain pursuits, which can occasionally have tragic consequences.

In these days of litigation it is important you know that you (and each member of your party) join us on this holiday at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member of that group has a duty of care to the other. This is no different from the responsibilities you have on a casually arranged weekend walk with friends or family in the UK.

Our walk organisers all have experience of the mountains, some more than others. Some may have qualifications relevant to mountain activities, but they are not qualified mountain guides. We recruit and train our walk organisers in line with a Health & Safety Policy, which is based on Risk Assessments and recognised mountain safety procedures. Not being professionally responsible for you on our organised itineraries does not mean we ignore safety, nor does it make us exempt from owing a duty of care to each person who joins us on an organised itinerary.

Your safety is paramount and we therefore take our own measures to maximise safety. We do this in line with legal requirements pertaining to duty of care. We apply codes of practice to the procedures carried out by our outdoor staff. We assess, manage and communicate risk. We try to make people aware of the importance of mountain safety and to highlight their responsibilities when part of a group.

Our codes of practice should not really be taken into consideration or relied upon by you when deciding to join this ‘Pyrenean Peaks’ holiday, for at the heart of our procedures are basic mountain safety measures, which should be undertaken by every individual when preparing for a day in the mountains.

Finally, during your holiday with Collett’s Mountain Holidays you act at your own risk on any ideas, information and opinions you might acquire from our walk organizers or from material prepared by us to help you get the most from the area.

The GR10 & Grand Cirques – Self-guided Hut to Hut in the French Pyrenees

If you require any information, please contact us on 01799 513331 or email admin@colletts.co.uk

General or Quick Enquiry

Specific Availability Enquiry

Mountain Flowers – Pyrenees & Picos
Alpine Flower book for the Dolomites

Mountain Flowers – Pyrenees & Picos
by Cliff Booker & David Charlton

User-friendly, minimal technical language
beautiful photography and stunning close-ups

We are delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of a new pocket field guide to the beautiful flowers of the Pyrenees and Picos de Europa, written by two of our experienced and well-known Flower Walk Organisers, who will be organising wildflower walks for us in the Pyrenees in June this year.

A sequel to their successful book Mountain Flowers – The Dolomites, also published in association with Collett’s Mountain Holidays, Mountain Flowers – Pyrenees & Picos will contain more than 170 species, beautifully illustrated and arranged by flower colour and habitat, avoiding technical language where possible. It will appeal to those with little botanical knowledge but will be sufficiently detailed to be enjoyed and used by the more experienced.

You can buy a copy at £9.95 (plus £2.50 UK P&P) using our order form in the adjacent tab or call us on 01799 513331.

Mountain Flowers – The Dolomites
Alpine Flower book for the Dolomites

A superb Alpine Flower book
by Cliff Booker & David Charlton

User-friendly, minimal technical language and stunning close-ups

At last! A superb, beautifully illustrated, inexpensive and user-friendly reference book for flower enthusiasts visiting the Dolomites. Collett’s Moutain Holidays has teamed up with our longest-standing and popular flower walk organisers, Cliff Booker and David Charlton, to produce a handy-sized, ring-bound pocket book, which can only enhance the experience of anyone visiting the Dolomites to enjoy the magnificent and diverse flora – using a minimum of technical language and featuring stunning photographic close-ups. ‘Mountain Flowers – The Dolomites’ is available exclusively through Collett’s Mountain Holidays.

You can buy a copy at £9.95 (plus £2.50 UK P&P) using our order form in the adjacent tab or call us on 01799 513331.

Order here

Order your copy

Mountain Flowers – The Dolomites or Pyrenees & Picos

  • *With international dialing code if outside of the UK, this is required for payment. Thank you.
  • UK Shipping is £2.50 (£4.00 for 2 books), US Shipping is £8.75 (£11.95 for 2 books). For other countries, please contact us. If you require more than one copy, we will discuss postage over the phone.
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  • If you found us on the internet - what was the search term?
    If you check this box we will include our Holiday Brochure for the Dolomites, Pyrenees and Picos de Europa.
  • If you would like to order more than one copy of each book, give us a call on 01799 513331 - Thank you.

    On successful completion of this form you will be redirected to a page entitled 'Wildflower Book Order Success' and you will receive an email confirmation (please check your junk email and white list us). If you are not directed to this page, scroll down to see if there are any issues highlighted. Thank you. Click 'Order Now' to continue.

Reviews

Reviews

Mountain Flowers – The Dolomites

29th February – I just received yesterday a copy of the new guidebook, from Colletts! David and Cliff did a great job! I was a little worried it would have too few specimens, like the Alpine Flowers book I bought in Corvara with just 70 flowers. Mountain Flowers – The Dolomites has nearly 140, with great photos, common names in three languages, and very useful environmental information. – Peter Stevens

1st March – I received ‘Mountain Flowers – The Dolomites’ yesterday and I love it! Very beautiful photography of native habitat of my favorite plants along with great information on their growing environment. Great to see them in their native haunts. I also like the way it’s bound. Thank you so much! – Eric Lucas

1st March – Brilliant, the colour production is very good and the size and spiral binding are just the job for field work by your target audience. Well done to David & Cliff! – Martin Rogerson

1st March – ‘Mountain Flowers – The Dolomites’ is just lovely! Perfect size to carry around, really easy spiral binding but more importantly, the content: The photos are clear, as are the descriptions and there is the right amount of information without being over wordy, thank goodness. I’ve spent a fair amount of time searching for a good and up-to-date guide, so I’m very happy. I wish you every success with the sales in the future. – Trina Stanton

1st March – Highly recommended – great photos – makes you want to go. Well done Cliff & David. – John Dower

Congratulations on your new book, “Mountain Flowers: The Dolomites”, that I received yesterday from Colletts. It is lovely guide, so well designed and layed out, with spectacular photos and just right write-ups. I really like the size, spiral binding and coating – just right for the pocket or pack and practical for hiking. I look forward, someday in the not too distant future, to using it on a visit to the Dolomites, preferably on one of your walks with Collett’s. I hope you will consider a similar volume for the Picos de Europa? Thank you for creating this lovely book. – Valerie Melanson

Thank you for my book which arrived a couple of weeks ago. I must say it has lots of really excellent points.
The size is good as it will fit in your pocket. The ring binder style is excellent, easy to turn to the flower picture and no spine to weaken causing you to lose pages. The way the flowers are grouped in colours is great as it will be easy to match species and of course the photography is beautiful . All in all a really well thought out book which I can’t wait to use in June when I take one of your holidays! – Beverley Wood

Awe-inspiring hiking in the Pyrenees on the GR11

If you require any information, please contact us on 01799 513331 or email admin@colletts.co.uk

General or Quick Enquiry

Specific Availability Enquiry

Each September, Collett’s offers the opportunity of a week of high level walking on the GR11 in the Pyrenees. We follow five consecutive stages of this world renowned long distance footpath – showcasing some of the best hiking in the Pyrenees amidst stunning landscapes dotted with mountain lakes and spectacular views – To book click here

Day 3 – Refugio Repromuso to Baños de Panticosa

12.2km/7.5 miles – 700m ascent – 1150m descent.

Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 3 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 3
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Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 3 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 3
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 3 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 3

Our fourteen man dorm room had been an experience. By the time we had returned to the room and clambered up into our bunks it was already pretty toasty and the whole thing was authenticated by a couple of snoring Frenchmen. It was just that though, authentic, and the group were all in good humour the next morning as we emerged sleepily for breakfast. Then gathering outside on the refugio decking to put our walking boots on. The air was crisp and clean and the bowl was still in shadow, perfect walking conditions.

Cam and I had already been up for hours as we had returned to our hill spot to watch the sunrise, forgetting we were in a bowl and that it wouldn’t make an appearance for ages. It was lovely nevertheless. We watched the mountaineers’ head torches wander off up the various paths from Repromuso in the dark and wondered what plans they had for the day.

The sun finally appeared after we’d been walking for twenty minutes or so but we were using that to our advantage as we had all of our ascent for the day to do in one, starting straight away. The sooner we could get it done before it got too hot the better.

We were lucky in that mackerel clouds began to gather as we climbed, creating further shade for the long trudge up, although they were worth keeping an eye on in terms of incoming weather. The weather never arrived though, or at least it didn’t catch up with us. Our climb took some time, zig-zagging our way up through grassy slopes, passing small lakes and snow patches. The snow was too much of a temptation for some and a snowball fight broke out during a snack break at the base of the final climb. We then pushed on up a long scree slope. The path was narrow and lose and the dark, dusty rock reflected the light back up at us making it pretty tough. The only redemption was that the view back down towards Repromuso was stunning. One of the mountain ranges in view reminded me of a glacier-less Marmolada (a familiar sight for visitors to the Italian Dolomites). Finally we were making the final scramble to our highpoint. Again the ground was lose but we all made it to the top safely.

We were greeted by a sapphire lake surrounded by the charcoal down slopes of the Infiernos. It was amazing that on that first day they had seemed so far away and yet here they were right in front of us. The snow like marble slab up close was even more impressive and the climber in me began to wonder how one would even begin to get up there. We took in the view and then began our descent to find a suitable lunch spot. What started as a moonscape of rock and scree soon became green again and we found the perfect place for lunch at the Azules lakes. I could have stayed there for a very long time. The sun was out, the water was clear and a cool breeze moderated the temperature. I took off my boots and dipped my toes in the icy water whilst I ate my sandwich. The group spread out across the flat, grassy banks at the water’s edge. It was definitely one of my favourite lunch spots I’ve had in the mountains.

We packed up and continued our long descent towards Baños de Panticosa, passing the Bachimaña lakes with their enormous limestone islands and glacial scarring. The sun had been steadily burning off the cloud and the afternoon was turning hot and hazy. By the time we reached refugio Bachimaña everyone was happy to have a number of cold drinks in the shade. We still had around 600m of descent to go so we made sure to rest our knees there for a while.

The final descent followed a section of one of our most popular day walks in the Pyrenees. The track passed numerous waterfalls and plunge pools, winding in and out of the trees. It was pretty unrelenting for the knees and I think everyone was ready to put their feet up as soon as possible but the views out in the direction of Panticosa were remedying. Finally Baños came into view. A bizarre mixture of almost every form of architecture mankind has ever experimented with all in one place, all in varying forms of dereliction. We finally arrived there weary from the day to be greeted by the Pyrenees team who had come to pick us up and take us back to Panticosa for the night.

Staying out in the mountains for two days had really felt like a mini adventure and the group had bonded over our experiences. It was now time to get back, shower and change, have a pre-dinner drink, chat and then enjoy the meal! The next day we were all being treated to a rest so we discussed what our various plans were and in the most part that involved not a lot. Very sensible indeed.

Day 4 – Baños de Panticosa to San Nicholas de Bujaruelo

18.6km/11.5 miles – 1000m ascent – 1200m descent.

Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 3 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 3
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 4

We returned to the front porch of Hotel Sabocos early Thursday morning. In the most part we were rested and ready to go for the final two days of the GR11. Many people in the group had taken the opportunity to visit the local outdoor pool, mooch around the shops or go for short strolls in and around Panticosa. There were two exceptions: one being one of the chaps who had sustained an injury on Tuesday and was still in need of rest and the other being Cam who had decided to summit Monte Perdido (3355m) on his day off. This wasn’t enough to stop Cam from setting a good pace and taking on our rather immediate 1000m climb from the Baños carpark without a problem. Unfortunately our guest’s injury meant him dropping out for the day with the hope of re-joining n Friday.

I ended up being dropped to Baños early so that everyone else could fit in one mini bus. This gave me time to re-contemplate the bizarre architecture. Baños has long been recognised for its spring water and has a rich history reaching back to Roman times. It became a fashionable for a while when favoured by the Spanish Monarchy but has since fallen into disrepair. The hotel and spar are still well kept and could be easily compared to the quiet austerity of Greenwich, London. The buildings surrounding them however span hundreds of years between them, with a series of small builds that look like a Victorian train station and unfinished concrete high rises that could easily be from the 70s. To top it all off, at that time of day, the place was mostly deserted. It reminded me of Portmeirion in North Wales (the chilling setting to TV series ‘The Prisoner.’).

Finally the group arrived and we started walking. Baños is steeply walled in on almost every side so the only way to go was up! We could see our path from Tuesday afternoon snaking its way up through the trees. Our aim was to climb higher than the lakes of Bachimaña too so I think many people in the group were less than looking forward to gaining so much height in one go. Cam reassured us that the path was extremely well graded and when this turned out to be true everyone seemed reinvigorated. We climbed steadily away from Baños for a long time but at no point was the climbing incredibly strenuous. Eventually we reached a series of lakes where we took a break. Once again it was near deserted, the air was still and the water was like glass. Over our shoulder, back in the direction of Panticosa, a cloud inversion had been steadily forming throughout the morning and from this height is was more or less at eye level. The familiar sight of Telera was making an appearance over the cloud bank.

We pushed on to our high point for the day and finished the last part of our 1000m climb on a gently ascending traverse through a lakeside boulder field. It was pretty scrambley and everyone was careful to watch their feet but finally we reached the col. The col saddled two beautiful views: the cloud inversion one way and Vignemale (3298m) the other way. Vignemale is a stunning peak and one of many that marks the border between Spain and France. Imposing and enormous it seems to have every aspect of a mountain all in one! Glaciers, sharp ridges, pinnacles, smooth marble slabs, rolling grassy shoulders, long scree slopes and boulder fields. Basically it looks impenetrable. Lucky it wasn’t on our agenda for the day however. Instead we were to descend and skirt beneath it, joining a wide valley leading down to Bujaruelo.

We enjoyed a long lunch at the col sharing the sunny spot with a group of French ladies. One of our group produced an umbrella and shaded himself from the sun which made me smile. Moments like that must cement our reputation as English and I was in no doubt that the ladies knew from where we hailed!

The walk down from the col crossed more boulder fields as it followed the river down. This proved quite tricky and the group moved more or less in single file, concentrating on their feet. Each time we paused to sneak a look away from our shoes Vignemale was becoming more and more dramatic, rolling in and out of cloud. We were keeping an eye on the weather with still quite a way to go. We had only just started our 1200m of descent to reach our pick up point and nobody was keen for the rain to put in an appearance. As we crossed the increasing river and joined the valley however the sun broke through, lighting the place in an autumnal glow. The dry grass was soft and golden and the grassy lower slopes of the surrounding peaks were a dampened mossy colour. The gradient almost levelled too, continuing to descend only slightly. This was a relief for everyone’s knees! Especially one of the guys who had started to experience an uncomfortable twinge in one of his. Unfortunately the twinge worsened as time went on and getting to the end of the day was tough for him. The group was supportive however and we took a sociable pace onwards.

The best part about the valley was the company we found! For surrounding us on every side were marmots. They scampered around, diving into their burrows, standing proudly on lookout rocks nearby and whistling incessantly. What started as an excitable first sighting eventually became common place as we saw them in their tens maybe even hundreds over the next few hours.

The path changed lower down, skirting through trees and into impressive gorges. At one point we were walled in for hundreds of meters above and below as the path became cut into a gorge wall. By this time in the day the light was aging and the clouds slowly pulling over. Everyone was tired and about ready to reach the end. Every now and again we’d be greeted by a new and beautiful sight which would rekindle the enthusiasm, for example the long shadows of autumn trees over a grassy shoulder above us. With the charcoal sky and the fiery trees it looked quite surreal.

We dropped into a flat basin just above Bujaruelo. The wide path allowed everyone to group together and chat as we walked, although such a wind picked up that the gusts made it tricky at times. The river water ran silver beside us below a mackerel sky. Enormous limestone cliffs watched us as we passed. We crossed a few final bridges and arrived in the sleepy collection of buildings where we were to be picked up from and sure enough Ric was there with the van. Everyone piled in, happy for a seat and were driven down to our hotel for the night in Torla.

Cam and I waited for the second pick up at the local refugio and too enjoyed a well-earned sit down and drink. We people watched for a while. Children were playing in the river, climbers were hanging up their gear on a nearby fence. Tents were being constructed in a busy campsite too –the place really was a hive of activity. As we sat there the sun, which had already left the valley, cast a pinky-orange glow on the very top of the cliffs above us. It was reminiscent to the Enrosadeiras of the Dolomites.
Not long after Ric arrived to take us back to the hotel. It was a scenic drive even though evening had truly set in and we arrived in the castle town of Torla just in time for a shower and change before dinner. The guests assured us there was no rush – they’d happily discovered the bar. The chap who had dropped out that morning had joined us at the hotel too, feeling much better after another rest day. It was nice to have the full team back together.

The Hotel Bujaruelo is sizable and yet cosy like a mountain lodge. The communal spaces, which include a dining/breakfast room, reception area, sitting room and bar, are well kept and carefully designed to be both modern but warm so that visitors feel immediately at home. The room we were shown to was enormous with an amazing bathroom. The beamed, sloping ceiling added to the chalet feel and a little sitting room area had a dark wooden floor and comfy leather seats – a proper snug.

There wasn’t much time to explore as it was dinner time so we made the turn around and emerge back downstairs feeling a little more human. Dinner was three courses and once we had navigated the menu with Cam’s translation help we all tucked in to a lovely and sizable meal. When dessert was cleared and coffees distributed it was evident that the long day had taken its toll and it didn’t take long until people started heading to bed. Everyone had earnt a good night’s sleep.

Day 5 – Faja de Pelay and Ordesa Canyon

20.3km/12.5 miles – 800m ascent – 800m descent

Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5
Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5 Hiking the GR11 with Collett's - Day 5

The final day! It had come around surprisingly fast as these things have a habit of doing. We had reached our final section of the GR11 which was to be a walk along the iconic Ordesa Canyon. Ordesa is a must when visiting the Pyrenees. Around 15km in length the gorge delves 1000m deep in places and its enormous limestone walls provide incredible views throughout.

We had planned to walk the Faja de Pelay, an impressive balcony that runs high above the canyon floor before descending and returning alongside the river itself. Unfortunately we woke up to grey skies and foreboding weather forecasts. The majority of weather sites Cam and I checked predicted some form of thunderstorm at some point in the day but none of them could quite agree as to when it was going to happen. Now the last place one wants to be in a thunder storm is 800m above the valley floor on an exposed ledge without an escape route, so I was keen not to make the wrong decision. We all agreed that we would get the bus up to Ordesa all the same and reassess when we arrived.

The weather in the Canyon was perfectly undecided. Moody grey clouds were collecting overhead but equally warm shafts of sun and blue sky were escaping through them regularly. We checked the forecast again and it remained determined that there was likely to be some form of storm mid-afternoon. After a fair amount of discussion and division in the group it was eventually decided that we would walk the canyon floor route up to the valley head. This way we would stay nice and low and we could turn tail if the weather changed its mind at any point.

The valley floor route was very beautiful. Silver birch trees lined a well-kept path and their canopy was a kaleidoscope of reds, yellows and oranges. The sun kept popping out, teasing us and there were plenty of looks skyward throughout. I wondered if we’d made the wrong choice backing off of the Pelay at times too but the valley walk was lovely. We stopped at plenty of viewpoints and waterfall plunge pools. Apparently in early season the water is quite ferocious due to melt water and heavy rain. We climbed steadily but it was easy going in comparison to our previous days.

The lunch spot was excellent. By a waterfall terrace a series of rocks similar in style to the Giant’s Causeway turned on their side jutted from the bank. These made amazing seats and the group spread out finding their own rock benches to have lunch on. The water was clear and cold but that didn’t stop us from dipping our hands in.

It was only a little further to reach the head of the valley. The narrow river track opens out suddenly into an enormous glacial bowl at the foot of Monte Perdido -The lost mountain (Known as that because of the way it is obscured from view to the French side). It really did become the lost mountain when it suddenly became obscured by a heavy, black cloud. We kept an eye on the cloud but celebrated the official finish of our GR11 trail, enjoying the moment.

When we turned back down the path big, fat drops of rain began to bounce off of the dusty path. They carried on just long enough for us to stop and put our coats on, then stopped, giving way to warm sunshine a little further on. Many of the group stopped again to remove their waterproofs again but sure enough it began to rain again five minutes later. This went on for around half an hour before the decision was made by a loud rumble of thunder off in the distance. Coats went on and stayed on as the shower built into a downpour. We put our heads down, sheltered slightly by the tree canopy but soon it was torrential and the thunder seeped into the valley sending shattering bouts of sheet lightning clattering off of the Ordesa’s high walls. By the time we got back to the refugio and bus stop everyone was soaked through.

It was a dramatic end to the GR11 walk but we all agreed that we had done well to escape bad weather throughout the week, only getting caught on our last afternoon. I for one was also pleased that we weren’t up on the ledge when that storm came over…
We caught the bus back to Torla and got picked up by the Pyrenees team, heading back to Panticosa for a very much deserved warm shower, drink and dinner.

Earlier in the day one of our couples had announced their 49th wedding anniversary so over dinner the bubbly flowed with an atmosphere of twofold celebration. The group was all back together a week later after walking a considerable section of one of the world’s best walking trails. The five days had seen us travel approximately 76.2km/47 miles, climb 4200m of ascent and descend 3850m. Not bad at all.

The next day we all met for some pre-departure tapas. How else would you finish a holiday in Spain? It was lovely to see how the group had bonded over the week and lunch was a lovely affair of easy conversation and a great relaxed atmosphere. Cam and I were both very sad to wave off our group of walkers as they climbed into the van heading to the airport. It had been a fab week and one that we’d do again in a heartbeat.

Join us next summer hiking the GR11

2-9 September or 9-16 September 2017 – £775 per person (excluding flights)

To book click – Hiking the GR11