The Massif du Néouvielle
Going to the Cirque de Gavarnie
The Cirque de Gavarnie
La Glère valley
SPA
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Guided holidays
7 nights - 6 days of walking - 4 spa sessions
Level :
Itinerary : One Centre
Holiday code : FP1PUNE
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The 7-6-4 Guide To Living Life Better

Majestic mountain scenery and truly memorable walking including the UNESCO Heritage site of the Cirque de Gavarnie. 4 spa visits included plus 4 thermal water treatments. Stay in a comfortable hotel in an authentic mountain village. Enjoy guided walking with a bi-lingual guide. You'll return refreshed in mind, body & soul.

A summary of your journey

The French call it a cocktail of health, and we think that there's no better way to feel good about life while getting healthier, fitter, toned up, relaxed and beauty treated than a week in the beautiful, sunny, warm Pyrenees. You'll walk. You'll talk. You'll have spa and beauty treatments. You'll eat well. You'll stay in a comfortable hotel in an authentic mountain village. You'll meet great people, and you can even practice your French if you want to. Now if that's not a cocktail for health we don't know what is!

The plus points

  • A week of healthy, fitness oriented, guided walking in the beautiful Pyrenees
  • A mountain village, comfortable hotel and good food
  • Bi-lingual guide so you can speak English and improve your French
  • 7 nights - 6 days of walking - 4 spa visits with 4 treatments included

Le programme

Day 1

Lourdes
We meet you at Lourdes airport (flights from London 4 days a week), or railway station (fast trains from Toulouse), and transfer you to your three star hotel in Lourdes for the first night giving you time to explore this interesting historic city.
The three star Hotel Beausejour has evolved from an 18th century mansion, and now offers all the contemporary comforts you would expect, plus lovely gardens with mountain views, a solarium and swimming pool, yet it is close to the historic centre and sanctuaries. A well designed brasserie style restaurant to enjoy as well.

Day 2

Lourdes - Barèges - Lake of Oncet
Lac After a buffet breakfast (allowing you to be as healthy as you like), you meet up with your group - maximum 15, minimum 5 with a mixture of English and French speakers, and a bi-lingual guide. There is then a 45 minute private transfer up (and up) to where you begin your first walk to the magnificent Lac d'Oncet. It's a comfortable 3 hour introductory walk, yet you are deep into the Pyrenees walking beside streams on paths through summer pastures, and all the time in the metaphorical shadow of high peaks, not least the 9,400 feet Pic du Midi de Bigorre with a marvellous observatory on top (our Best of the Pyrenees journey - FP2PUPI - includes a night up there).
After the walk, we take you to Bareges - a village in a wide mountain valley at over 4,000 feet that now has cafes, bars, thermal baths and views that make you feel good about life just being there.You will be staying for the week in the 3 star Hotel Alphée, a comfortable, friendly hotel that was renovated in 2019.
Walking time: 3 hours. Elevation: + 450m / - 450m. Transfer time: 45 minutes.

Day 3

Cirque of Troumouse
Today it's a post-breakfast transfer, then the unforgettable Cirque de Troumouse. It's a huge glacier-created natural amphitheatre 2.5 miles wide at an average altitude of over 7,000 feet with streams and waterfalls, wonderful paths and surrounded by cathedral like spires of peaks rising to nearly 10,000 feet. It's got the lot! You take a circular route that takes you around la Munia peak, alongside the series of ponds, and through delightful Alpine pastures with wildflowers that will please you, marmottes that will make you smile, and, if you are lucky (not very lucky, just lucky) isards, the Pyrenean goat-antelope clambering over precipitous slopes. On your return, there will be a presentation about your spa treatments, massages, thermal baths and options for a whole lot more - and, because you've earned it, your first pampering session. Included over 5 days are: 2 hydromassage baths, 2 thermal mud baths, 1 underwater massage, 1 jet shower, and 2 hydrotonic salt baths.
The hotel will have provided you with a picnic for your lunch, and you will enjoy dinner after your spa session (and perhaps after a snooze?)
Walking time: 5 hours. Elevation: + 600m / - 600m. Transfer time: 40 minutes.

Day 4

Massif of Néouvielle - Lake Dets Coubous
The Massif du Néouvielle is bigger (a 23 square km national park), higher (at over 10,000 feet) and crowned with lakes (Dets Coubous and Nere to name but two), so makes for a wonderful day's walking, talking, picnicing, photographing and plain silence to absorb its harmonious beauty and high altitude tranquillity. The French call it a fairy tale area. We think its Nature at its very real best. Talking of which, there's another relaxing treatment waiting for you on your return. BTW: today you start and finish the walk with a short transfer so you avoid a boring section of road.
Hotel L'Alphée
Walking time: 5 - 6 hours. Elevation: + 750m / - 750m.

Day 5

Cirque of Gavarnie
Right, so this is a world class experience - the UNESCO Heritage site of the Cirque de Gavarnie, the premier attraction of the whole Pyrenees, and better than anything in the Alps (but we would say that, wouldn't we?). More than any other, it is a "cirque" as you are surrounded by sheer cliffs rising 3,000 feet above you topped, early season, with snow and with snow patches all year round. There are several (and after rain dozens of) waterfalls, any one of which would be famous in its own right, but what makes it all the more delightful is that your guide will take you on easy walking paths that deliver peaceful panoramic views. Even without a camera you'd always remember them.
A spa session of your choice after your walk, and before your dinner. Both well earned, and, we trust, greatly enjoyed.
Walking time: 4 hours. Elevation: + 500m / - 500m. Transfer time: 35 minutes.

Day 6

Plateau Lumière
Your walk today begins in Bareges, and takes you up through delightful pine woods, across Alpine pastures dotted with traditional stone barns and shelters occupied in summer by shepherds (some still so these days) to the wonderful Plateau Lumière. It feels like its lost in time, and in many ways it is because little or nothing has changed in hundreds of years. Just as you could have in the 18th century, you can look up to the granite peaks of Ardiden, and down to the slate rooves of the stone cottages in the hamlets and villages far below before gently descending at your own pace to Bareges where another spa session awaits you. A bucolic day.
Walking time : 4 hours. Elevation : + 450m / - 450m.

Day 7

Massif of Néouvielle - La Glère
You're fit. You're healthy. You've been pampered too, so you're ready for the Massif du Néouvielle, and the superb La Glère valley. You start with a short minibus ride from the village, and climb a little higher (so also descend a little further) than the other days, but we are sure you will think it well worth it to experience this high altitude peacefulness and totally unspoilt environment where you walk from lake to lake below the sky-touching peaks of Néouvielle and Turon. A last spa session before your final night out.
Tonight, or perhaps another evening, you will dine at our favourite auberge in the region in the middle of a pine forest: Chez Louisette. A great ambiance. Quality food for carnivores and vegetarians. Lots of it too. A wonderful way to celebrate new friends and the end of of great trip.
Walking time: 5 hours. Elevation: + 800m / - 800m.

Day 8

Barèges - Lourdes
After breakfast and sad farewells, we transfer you to Lourdes airport, or the railway station.
Transfer time: 30 minutes.

  • Détails Pratiques
  • Formalités et Santé
  • Informations COVID-19

MEETING POINT

We will meet you at Lourdes airport, or railway station.

END OF YOUR TRIP

After breakfast on the last day, we will transfer you to Lourdes airport or railway station.

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY

This holiday features mainly comfortable, but some challenging walking, so is suitable for people who are reasonably fit, and used to walking (albeit "gently") for much of a day.

Departure Guaranteed from ( No. Pers)

5

Gr

15

LUGGAGE TRANSPORT

All you need to carry when walking is a daysack with whatever you regard as essentials plus water and your picnic (provided on each walking day).

GUIDE

This holiday is led by an experienced, bi-lingual guide with mountain walking qualifications and a wide knowledge of the region. You need only speak English if you so choose.

MEALS

You will eat well. Dinners are based on set menus featuring regional specialities. Dinners may be taken in the hotel, in village restaurants and one evening at Chez Louisette at the decision of the guide and the Purely Pyrenees management. Picnics are provided on each walking day.

To make the right choice

Have a look at our detailed explanations on the types of hiking, the standards of accommodation, and understand baggage transport ... How to choose your trip ?

FORMALITIES

As well as the general instructions relating to the current health crisis, you will also need to pack a swimsuit, a swimming hat, and a pair of flip flops for the thermal baths.

On our guided trips we do not insist that you take a single room if you are travelling alone. If you book a shared
" twin" room with 2 beds you agree to assume responsibility for the possible consequences related to sharing the room (and therefore the bathroom and toilet) with another person from the group. If you do not wish to do this you should take the single room option, subject to availability.

You need to keep your passport with you at all times, and ideally insurance information. You need to make your own arrangements to claim local healthcare. There are requirements in France for all vehicles to carry safety equipment.

DISPOSITIONS COVID-19

Because of the added health precautions relating to COVID, you must be equipped from the start of your trip with:
* a sufficient quantity of masks (at a rate of 2 per day minimum). Wearing a mask will be compulsory during any transport, in certain accommodation, crowded places etc.
* zipped pockets for masks and other items such as used tissues
* hydro-alcoholic gel
* a thermometre to take your temperature in case of symptoms appearing during your stay
* a pen (sometimes necessary to sign an agreement in certain accommodation).

The hosts who will welcome you (hoteliers, refuge guards, restaurateurs, transporters, local teams ...) are the people who will help to guarantee the smooth running of your stay and will ask you to conform with certain health related protocols. Out of respect for them and other people who frequent the same places, we ask you to commit to respecting the instructions given to you. Be reassured and optimistic, because as you know, hiking is an activity that will allow you long and enjoyable periods of time during which the wearing of a mask is not mandatory!

So breathe fresh air and smile!

As well as the general instructions relating to the current health crisis, for this trip you need to pack a swimsuit, a swimming hat, and a pair of flip flops for the thermal baths.

Thank you for your interest in the trips presented on this website.

Purely Pyrenees is based in the French Pyrenees and we are specialists in creating and organising walking and cycling holidays in this region, both in France and in Spain.
Our parent company, La Balaguère*, has provided holidays for French walkers for nearly forty years.
Due to the problems we have experienced following the global pandemic, notably the difficulty experienced by English speaking customers being able to travel to the Pyrenees, we have taken the decision to stop selling our trips directly from this site.

Our holidays will soon be available again through trusted partner agencies and more information on this will soon be available on this page.
If you would like any further information at this time, please do not hesitate to contact us at contact@purelypyrenees.com

*La Balaguère is part of the non profit organisation UCPA.

You can change the itinerary, and receive revised information

Want to change the itinerary? Complete the form below, and we will send you a revised itinerary as soon as possible.

 

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