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Portugal is exploding with interest right now for hiking, particularly during the winter and spring seasons. Considered one of Europes best kept secrets. It offers a friendly reception with great food and wines.

With regular flights from the US and UK direct into Lisbon, one of Europe's oldest capital cities, with its own fusion of energy and cosmopolitan chic. Lisbon is consistently listed as one of the top city tourist destinations in Europe.

Between Lisbon and the Algarve is the wild coastline of the Alentejo region, with its mild climate it makes for the perfect hiking conditions during the cooler winter/spring months. The forests and coastal trails evokes all the senses with the sounds of wild birds, natural herbal aromas, and ever changing scenery.

The region boasts over 400 miles of hiking trails (750 km), both coastal and inland, forming the Rota Vicentina, including the Trilho dos Pescadores (Fisherman's trail), and the Caminho Histórico (Historical way). In 2020 it was certified by the European Ramblers Association as, “Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe”.

The southern Algarve region, is renowned for its year-round warm climat, its beaches, hidden coves of azure-blue sea, and Moorish architecture. The Algarve can be accessed directly into Faro from many European locations.

If you are looking for a responsible tourist alternative to the Amalfi coast or the Cinque Terre, then Portugal hiking is an ideal choice. Join us on one of our exciting 6 or 9-day hiking tours through Portugal.

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

The Pyrenees is a mountain chain in southwestern Europe that stretches west to east from the Bay of Biscay on the Atlantic ocean to the Mediterranean. It completely separates the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) from the rest of Europe. The Pyrenees range specifically divides the two European countries France and Spain, and it contains the sovereign landlocked microstate of Andorra. The main airports serving the Pyrenees are Barcelona, Spain for the Mediterranean Eastern Pyrenees; Toulouse, France for the Central Pyrenees; or Biarritz, France for the Atlantic Western Pyrenees.

Rounded or flat-topped massifs comprised of limestone, schist and granite, all impact the topology and vegetation. 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. Compared to its Alpine equivalents - the French Alps, the Swiss Alps, or the Dolomites - the Pyrenees interior is relatively uninhabited and generally undeveloped. The cultural variation between French, Spanish, Catalan, and Basque is a welcoming contrast and reflected in the architecture, landscape and cuisine.

What makes it special

Hiking the Pyrenees is wild and challenging, with lapis 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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