For those in search of spellbinding days in the high mountains, under the leadership of a local mountain guide, this is the ideal way to experience the grandeur of the Pyrenees. Each day you’ll sample the wealth of impressive peaks and passes in and around the Valle de Tena, taking in the striking crimson rocks of the Vértice and Pico de Anayet, the great mountain lakes of Brazatos, Azules, Bachimaña and Respomuso and the high granite peaks and rocky cols in and around Balaïtous and the Picos del Infierno.
All our routes are tried and tested gems, situated both in the Pyrenees National Park over the border in France, and in the Ordesa & Monte Perdido National Park on the Spanish side. Our routes also include sections of the GR10 and GR11.
After each walk, we’ll return to our base in delightful Panticosa, nestled high in the Valle de Tena in the Alto Aragón region of Spain. In this charming village, traditional stone houses line the narrow streets around a 13th-century Romanesque church. Surrounded by Spain’s westernmost concentration of 3000m peaks, Panticosa is an ideal springboard for a week of adventure – offering the perfect blend of location, old world charm, and modern amenities.
At a glance
7 – 14 July 2024
22-29 September 2024
Groups are limited to a maximum of 8 people
Single Supplement – £125
Expect to walk for 5 -7 hours each day with between 600-1400m of ascent/descent each day.
7 nights half board at 3* Hotel Sabocos, Panticosa including bed & breakfast (7 nights) and 3-course dinner with wine (6 nights, not Thursday your rest day)
Packed lunches on walk day (5 days)
5 guided walks led by a qualified mountain leader
Transport to/from trailheads each walking day
Transfers to/from Zaragoza airport or ‘Delicias’ rail station
Lunch, dinner, transport and activities on your rest day (Thursday) are not included.
This holiday is based in Panticosa. We recommend that you fly into Zaragoza Airport and join our transfer (2hrs, included), which meets the inbound Ryanair flight from Stansted Airport which lands at 1705.
If however you plan to be in Zaragoza already, or to arrive by fast train from either Madrid (1 hr 20 mins, approx €80 return) or Barcelona, you can also join a transfer at the ‘Delicias’ rail station at 1200.
Private transfers are also available to/from Zaragoza or Lourdes Airport (2 hrs, approx. £240 each way for up to 8 people).
Outbound Transfers – these drop off at Zaragoza Delicias rail station at 11:45, and at Zaragoza airport at 15:45 in good time for the Ryanair flight which departs at 17:40. Please bear this in mind when booking onward travel.
Sun - Arrive & Settle in
From Zaragoza, we’ll transfer you to the delightful Hotel Sabocos, our base in Panticosa. Nestled 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 before the evening welcome briefing and dinner in the restaurant.
Mon - Refuge Pombie & Pic de Peyreget Circuit (2487m)
Route statistics: 12.5km, 900m ascent/descent
The week’s walking begins with a fabulous first day on the French side of the dramatic frontier ridge. 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, this is a favourite spot for climbers. The scenery changes frequently on today’s route, culminating with panoramic views of the Pyrenees National Park from the summit of Pic de Peyreget.
Tue - Faja de Pelay (1900m) and Ordesa Canyon
Route statistics: 20km, 800m ascent/descent
This walk does not officially include a peak, but it’s nevertheless a true Pyrenean high-level classic. Starting with an intense ascent to a breathtaking mirador (lookout) high above the canyon floor, the route continues along a natural balcony (faja) which has been formed by millions of years of erosion.
Wed - Ibones de Anayet & Vertice d’Anayet (2559m)
Route statistics: 17.5km, 900m ascent/descent
Today’s route is an excellent circular walk to the picturesque Ibones de Anayet, nestled below the deep crimson slopes of the Vértice de Anayet. Walkers at these idyllic lakes are treated to awe-inspiring views across the abyss-like ‘Canal Roya’ and the frontier ridge towards Pic du Midi d’Ossau in France. From here the straightforward but steep ascent of the Vertice de Anayet (2559m) provides rewarding panoramic views across the range – including sublime views of Balaitous (3144m), Vignemale (3298m) and the Picos del Infierno (3083m).
Thu - Rest day
On your rest day, indulge in a well-deserved lie-in (breakfast is served until 10am!) before spending the day relaxing in Panticosa. There are no guided walks. Dinner is not provided and guests have an opportunity to eat out locally. Your guide will be happy to propose a local restaurant and make a booking on your behalf, if invited to do so.
Fri - Ayous Lakes Circuit & Pic d’Ayous (2288m)
Route statistics: 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, this route rewards with superb far-reaching views. The Ayous Lakes circuit is a classic ‘must do’ Pyrenean walk, that takes in numerous lakes and offers up first-rate views across to the iconic Pic Du Midi d’Óssau and Pic Casterau.
Sat - Garmo Negro (3066m) or Cuello Alto del Brazato (2578m)
On your final day of walking, choose from two enticing options:
Garmo Negro: 16km, 1400m ascent/descent – This is probably the most accessible of all the 3000m peaks close to Panticosa. From the summit, the full expanse of the Pyrenees range opens up to you – with incredible views of the Pic du Midi d’Ossau over in France, and the Infiernos and Vignemale further east.
Cuello Alto del Brazato: 11km, 900m ascent/descent – This alternative allows for a less strenuous day than Garmo Negro, without compromising on the views. Walkers on this route will gain height relatively quickly on a well graded path, then have a short but steep ascent which is loose underfoot, and a tricky traverse across a small boulder field. From here a fantastic panorama of views includes the impressive Vignemale – the highest peak in the French Pyrenees.
Sun - Depart
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and time to pack. Our transfers are designed to get you to the airport in good time for the return Ryanair flight to London Stansted which departs at 1740. We also offer an earlier transfer which drops off at the rail station at 1145.
Need to Knows
Itinerary – Please note that while this is the intended itinerary, the exact programme may differ slightly if trail or weather conditions necessitate.
Terrain – Walks on this trip use 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.
Maximum altitude – the maximum altitude on this holiday is 2300m above sea level.
Booking Conditions – be sure to read our full terms and conditions here before booking.
At Your Own Risk – please read the important notes here.
Travel Advice – check your government’s travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice here.
Passport & Visa – any questions should be directed to the relevant embassy of your destination country; find out more here. It is your responsibility to be in possession of a full passport, valid for your chosen destination.
Travel Insurance – having adequate and valid travel insurance is a condition of booking with us. Details of our insurance partner, Campbell Irvine, are here.
Health Information – You should carry either an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) Neither is an alternative to adequate travel insurance. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice and https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/
ABTA – Independent travel advice and help is always available from ABTA by calling 020 3117 0599 or visiting www.abta.com.