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The Pyrenees mountains offer hiking a little more on the untamed, and wilder side, whereas the Pyrenean villages provide an interesting historical and cultural experience.

With over a 1000 miles (1700km) of hiking from the combined GR10 and GR11 long-distance trails, not to mention all the local interconnecting trail there is plenty of hiking to discover in the Pyrenees.

From rolling foothills, to steep jagged ridgelines, hidden glaciers, and an abundance of crystal blue lakes, the Pyrenees has it all.

If you are looking for a wilder alternative to hiking the Alps, then  Pyrenees hiking is an ideal choice. Join us on one of our exciting 6 or 9-day hiking tours through the Pyrenees.

Pyrenees facts

Facts

Countries / Regions:
Getting there:
Barcelona (Spain), Toulouse (France), Biarritz (France)
Highest peak:
Pico Aneto (Spain) 11,168 ft (3,404 m)
Other facts:
267 mi (430 km) long & 90 mi (150km) widest

Where can I find it

anThe Pyrenees is a mountain chain in southwestern Europe that stretches west from the Bay of Biscay on the Atlantic ocean, to east, to Cap de Creus on the Mediterranean. It demarcates the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) from the rest of Europe. More specifically it designates the border between the countries France and Spain, and it contains the microstate Principality of Andorra. The main airports serving the Pyrenees are Barcelona (Spain) for the Mediterranean eastern Pyrenees; Toulouse (France) for the central Pyrenees; and Biarritz (France) for the Atlantic western Pyrenees.

A mountain chain older than the Alps, the Pyrenees was actually formed over an ancient Hercynain range (370-290Ma), representing process of geological mountain renewal. At more than 260 miles long (430 kilometres) and up to 80 miles wide (150 kilometres), it has 83 peaks over 10,000 feet (3,050 metres) and many more minor peaks but nonetheless substantial. The highest peak is Pico d'Aneto 11,168ft (3404m) in the Maladeta massif, central Pyrenees. Monte Perdido 10,990ft (3352m), also in the central Pyrenees, is the highest limestone peak in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Compared to its Alpine equivalents - the French Alps, the Swiss Alps, or the Dolomites - hiking the Pyrenees is more wild and relatively uninhabited. The cultural variation between French, Spanish, Catalan, and Basque is a welcoming contrast, reflected in the architecture, landscape and cuisine.

What makes it special

Hiking the Pyrenees is wild and challenging, with crystal blue lakes crowned by craggy peaks. And for the foodies in your group, the rich cuisine and local beers and wines are sure to please.

  • There's an incredible amount of hiking routes in the Pyrenees, some marked, some less so. Several long distance through-hikes traverse the Pyreneesincluding: The GR10 (France) traverses along the French side of the Pyrenees.
  • The HRP (France) (Haute Route Pyrénées) tracks closer to the high Pyrenees French-Spain border, but from the French side.
  • The GR11 (Spain) traverses along the Spanish side of the Pyrenees.

Though these routes are usually done from west to east, they can be done in both directions.

Camping equipment is essential for completing these through-hikes, because whilst there are some gite-d'etapes (B&Bs) and alpine refuges along the way, there are significant sections with nothing, meaning you have to carry your food and gear.

Alternatively, we have selected some of the most interesting sections of these routes and others, without the need for camping. We travel with normal day-hiking rucksacks, combined with good accommodation, good cuisine, and all in a manageable 9-day hiking adventure.

Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn.

Climb that goddamn mountain.

JACK KEROUAC
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