The Pyrenees National Park Classic Trail

The Pyrenees National Park Classic Trail

France » Self-guided (independent) hiking tours

  • Scenic trails in the Pyrenees National Park (UNESCO)
  • Abundant wildlife, real treat for nature lovers
  • Wild valleys, cirques, lakes and rugged summits
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

From 695 €

Duration (days): 7

Difficulty grade:  


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The Pyrenees National Park offers the walkers the possibility to cross wonderful sites and discover an exceptional natural heritage. Birthplace of Pyreneism, paradise for the mountaineers and the nature lovers, Cauterets and Gavarnie will tell you the story of famous mountain guides, of high mountains and wild valleys. Part of the UNESCO world heritage, the glaciar Cirques of Gavarnie, Estaubé and Troumouse offer amazing sceneries. All along your walk, chamois, marmots, bearded vultures, eagles will follow you in the silence of these wild spaces.

Day 1: Start of holiday in Cauterets
This week’s walking starts at Cauterets. Situated at 950m altitude, Cauterets has an authentic, Pyrenean mountain charm and is well known for its thermal spas. Time to discover and enjoy the town. Possibility of doing a forest walk in the direction of Turon des Oules 1380m - a high altitude thermal station with old hotels that date from the turn of the last century; it is also possible to continue to the Plateau du Lisey (add on 30mins).
Hiking distance: 7km, duration: 3h15, altitude gain: +450m, descent: -450m.
Day 2: From Cauterets to the Oulettes de Gaube refuge, at the foot of the North face of Vignemale (3298m)
Short transfer from Cauterets to Pont d’Espagne. Heading towards the Oulettes de Gaube refuge, altitude 2151m, you will discover a landscape that is out of this world: the lac de Gaube and its glaciated valley which is inhabited by lizards and marmots. Arrival in Oulettes de Gaube. In front of you is the cumulative point of the French Pyrénées, the Pique Longue, 900m of vertical rock face, and at the foot of the Oulettes glacial face which descends to 2300m. Return to Cauterets by the GR 10, the mythic Pyrenean walk.
Walking distance: 20 km (to Cauterets), duration: 6 hrs (to Cauterets, altitude gain: +700m, descent: -1238m (to Cauterets).
Day 3: Cauterets to Luz Saint Sauveur
From Cauterets, the walk will lead you to Luz-Saint-Sauveur, another well known thermal spa spot. You will pass the col de Riou, that separates the valley of Cauterets and the valley of Luz. From the col the panorama is immense: there are views across the valley of Barèges, Néouvielle massif, the cirque of Troumouse and at your feet you have Luz Ardiden ski station.
Hiking distance: 18km, duration: 7h00, altitude gain: +1035m, descent: -1230m.
Day 4: From Luz Saint Sauveur to Plateau du Maillet and Troumouse Cirque
Short transfer from Luz to Gèdre. After crossing the Coumely woods and the mountain pastures of Gèdre, with several shepherd cabins, you will join the Gloriettes lake. The itinerary finally joins the astonishing Troumouse cirque, with wonderful views. Night and evening meal at the refuge du Maillet, in a high mountain scenery.
Walking distance: 13km, duration: 4h00, altitude gain: +952m, descent: -115m.
Day 5: From Plateau du Maillet to Gavarnie
Two other glaciated cirques are waiting for you. Estaubé and Gavarnie, the most spectacular!! After joining back the Gloriettes Lake, the trail goes up (along the Estaube valley) to the Hourquette d’Alans (2430m, wonderful panoramic view). Then it descends to the valley of Gavarnie. A very exciting mountain day. Night and evening meal in Gavarnie village.
Hiking distance: 19km, duration: 5h45, altitude gain: +900m, descent: -1500m.
Day 6: From Gavarnie to the Plateau de Bellevue
Beautiful circular walk, leading up to the Plateau Bellevue. This itinerary enables to have splendid views on the cirque and its rocky scenery: the highest part of the cirque goes up to 3150m! The idea of this walk is also to discover the protected fauna and flora in this area, in the middle of beautiful waterfalls. Night in Gavarnie village.
Walking distance: 10km, duration: 3h30, altitude gain: +370m, descent: -370m.
Day 7: The Gavarnie cirque and its amazing waterfall
In the early morning, short walk from the village to the bottom of the cirque, to admire the main waterfall (called «La Grande Cascade»). Here you are in the main place of “Pyrénéisme”, full of legends and mountaineers histories. The waterfall, 423m high, is the highest in France, and one of the most spectacular in Europe.
Hiking distance: 5km, duration: 2h30, altitude gain: +330m, descent: -330m.
From Gavarnie to Luz-Saint-Sauveur
After your last balad around Gavarnie, transfer back to Luz or Cauterets, starting from 12.00pm.

Accommodation and luggage transportation:
5 nights in double rooms in hotels or gites with ensuite facilities, and 1 night with facilities out of the room. Single rooms (subject to extra payment) according to availability only, and during the low season (impossible in July and August).

Price: 695 Euros/person in twin/dbl room
/double rooms with extra bed also availableon request/

Single room supplement: 110 Euros

Group size: min 2 persons

The price includes: accommodation and meals as mentioned in the itinerary; luggage transfers between the inns; detailed route notes in English and maps;

The price does not include: extra transfers; other meals, entry fees; drinks; transfer back from Lourdes to Cauterets.

Tips: Trip availability: June-September (Saturday arrivals only! If you wish to start on another day of the week a surcharge of 40 Euros/person applies). How to get there: Toulouse or Lourdes-Tarbes airport, Lourdes railway station, then bus from Lourdes to Cauterets (Optional: transfer back from Luz to Cauterets: 25 €/pers). More info about train schedules at The walks are on good footpaths and trails, the terrain is varied but often rocky. You need to be used to walking in areas above the tree line and take regular exercise to enjoy this holiday.