Gavarnie Balconies Trek

Immersion in Nature's Great Cathedral

Gavarnie HRP4

Immerse yourself in the wonder of the Gavarnie Cirque, nature's great cathedral as Victor Hugo said.  Our independent trek allows you to walk all the way around it, in a flexible format from three to seven days. Your first night is up high on the Saugué Plateau in the heart of the Pyrenean pastoral landscape. Take in the option of a high pass from Saugué for a wonderful view onto the Brèche de Roland, before descending into the cirque itself. A final leg up the eastern side of the cirque to the Espugettes Refuge takes you high enough for the wonderful views of the frontier summits.  Extend the trek by tackling the Piméné Summit, and then head across to the Estaubé and Troumouse cirques if you have the extra time (6 or 7 night options). This trek can be adapted for full days or half days walking, from three days to a week, with or without bag transfers. It is an excellent independent trek option for families or those new to trekking in the mountains, and for early in the season. While you are off the beaten track you are never far from road access and our help should it be required.

Price: Pricing includes all accommodation in gite d'étapes (hostel type accommodation in dorm rooms, with showers) and refuges (same sleeping arrangements, often no showers), all dinners, breakfasts and picnic lunches, provision of marked maps and walk notes, full briefing on your first night or morning in Luz. The six and seven night itineraries include collection from Héas and return to Luz. It is possible to catch the bus from Lourdes to Luz on the first day, and from Gavarnie to Luz or Lourdes on the last day (for the 1-5 night itineraries). Prices are per person, min two people. If you would like to walk solo just ask us and we'll let you know the criteria and the supplement.

1 night: 105€pp (+40€pp optional bag transport)
2 nights: 195€pp (+65€pp optional bag transport)
3 nights: 300€pp (+65€pp optional bag transport)
4 nights: 385€pp (+65€pp optional bag transport)
5 nights: 475€pp (+65€pp optional bag transport)
6 nights: 590€pp (+105€pp optional bag transport)
7 nights: 695€pp (+105€pp optional bag transport)
Options: +70€ for collection in Lourdes and transport to Luz on arrival (up to 4P), +90€ return transport from Gavarnie to Lourdes (up to 4P).

Dates: June to Sept, start any day.
Contact: SianAvailable to BOOK NOW...

Gite Le RegainSaussaPlateau d'AlansGavarnie ChantalGavarnie Espugettes pathEspugettes view

Seven Day Itinerary

Luz market Rue d'OssunDay 1: Arrive in Luz (700m) where you stay for the night in the charming gîte (hostel style dormitory accommodation) next to the fortified church. Luz is a lively mountain village with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants. You can buy any last minute gear that is needed and relax into the atmosphere of the Pyrenees.

Day 2: Catch the bus to Pragnère (900m) or to Gèdre (1000m) for full or half day walks respectively, and walk up to the Saugué Gite (1600m). Both paths are lovely introductions to the Pyrenean forests and your accommodation on the Saugué Plateau has a Heidi like feel as you are amongst the cows aS_Saussand the flower filled high pastures! The longer walk has spectacular views into the Troumouse Cirque and over the valley. The shorter option passes through the pastoral hamlet of Saussa. Either 1000m ascent, 300m descent (~10 kms), or 600m ascent (~5kms). Bag transfers possible.

Day 3: Day walk up to the Portaillou Pass (2277m) above the Saugué Plateau for wonderful views over the frontier summits and the Brèche de Roland. Return to the same gite for a second night. Ascent/descent 670m (~9kms).

Gavarnie-Saugue-beesDay 4: Walk from Saugué down towards Gavarnie with a full view of the Gavarnie Cirque as you descend. You head under the vulture cliffs where you can try and spot the lammergeier (bearded) vultures as they circle above. There is the option of heading deep into the Ossoue Valley (plenty of flowers and wildlife) for a full day's walk, or just to head straight up to the Grange de Holle for a half day walk. Either -150m/+550m/-500m (~13kms) or -150m/+80m (~5-6 kms). Bag transfers possible.

Day 5: Today you are heading right into the heart of the Gavarnie Cirque. From the Hotellerie du Cirque take the option up and back to the foot of the S_Landscape_Ossoue valley and glacier"Grand Cascade" to experience power of water dropping from 423m above you! Or just sit on the terrace of the café and admire the view while others do it. From here head up the balcony path to the Espugettes Refuge at 2027m for the night. No bag transfer option possible here. Ascent +550m (~9kms), waterfall option adds 200m ascent/descent (~3kms). If you arrive early at the refuge, there is the option of doing the Piméné summit (2801m, so an extra 800m S_Landscape_Espugettes viewascent/descent).

Day 6: If you didn't do the Piméné yesterday and would like to then set out early so you have time to complete this before continuing on your route. 200m above the refuge is the fork where you can head up and back to the summit before continuing up to the Hourquette d'Alans (2360m) and over into the Estaubé Cirque. From here you head all the way down the valley to the Gloriettes lake/dam (1681m) and then up and over the Poueyboucoup before heading straight down into the pastoral hamlet of Héas at 1500m. S_People_Rando_Troumouse Aguila+350m, -640m, +300m, -500m (~13-14kms).

Day 7: Day walk into the Troumouse Cirque, again using a lesser known balcony path via the Aguila Valley. This gives you a spectacular entrance into the Cirque through a natural gateway. We collect you in the afternoon. Return to Luz for the night. Ascent/descent 700m (~9kms).

Day 8: Leave Luz via bus or car...

Reserve your place

Seven day itinerary with bag transfers available to book on-line... If you'd like another configuration send an email to Sian.

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To book any other number of days email us directly (sian@pyrenees-mountains.com), ring directly on +33 5 62 92 81 52 or Skype at sian.grigg. Deposit payment is possible via direct wire transfer. Ask us for our IBAN details. Or via PayPal or credit card.

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