Example tour: High Aragón – A Week in the Pyrenees
A week´s Hiking in the finest high areas of the Pyrenees.
Fabulous Hiking, Lovely Villages, Ordesa National Park, Stunning Alpine Flowers, Birds and Wildlife, Wonderful Food. June to October. Guided or Self Guided
Day 1 Transfer from Barcelona/Bilbao to 3 star Village Hotel
Transfer from Barcelona to the Chistau Valley in the Aragonese Pyrenees (3.5hours). This is an idyllic area, historically isolated from the lowlands with some of the highest peaks of the range in the upper valley and magnificent limestone cliffs and alpine meadows lower down. The villagers speak their own Aragonese dialect and still farm and shepherd cattle and sheep as they have done for centuries. We stay in an excellent Hotel family run, village hotel with a great restaurant
Day 2 Village Hotel Chistau Valley
A beautiful walk following the old paths between 4 villages in the valley. We start by hiking up to a plateau above the valley floor, pass two of the prettiest hamlets in Aragón and then continue on a path running along the valley edge through hayfields and alpine pasture. After reaching the village of Chistén we follow the old track back down to our village. This walk is like going back in time to a rural idyll and takes you through diverse habitats with mediterranean and alpine flowers and many bird species including the ubiquitous Griffon Vulture.
Day 3 Village Hotel Chistau Valley
To the nearby Pineta Canyon (one of the three canyons in the Ordesa National Park) to do a magical hike high above the canyon and looking down on two valleys. We can scale an easy peak (2361 metres) before circuiting back to our starting point. Wonderful views, flowers and birds of prey. On the way back we can stop in Bielsa with it´s fascinating museum of the history of the valley especially of the Civil War period when Bielsa was in the frontline of the clash between Franco´s forces and the republicans.
Day 4 Hotel in Torla, Ordesa National Park
A short drive brings us to the Añisclo Canyon – one of the three spectacular canyons which radiate from Monte Perdido. Añisclo is different being steeper sided than the others – the result of water erosion along a geological fault rather than glaciation. We´ll walk up to a tiny mountain hamlet with a lovely church before walking an ancient track down into the canyon. Once in the canyon itself , the river Bellos thunders between sheer rock walls and we´ll walk down the riverside trail enjoying the specatcular scenery and passing an ancient hermitage where the Pyrenean Saint San Urbez lived in the 9th Century. After the hike drive through wonderful country to the village of Torla set beneath the Ordesa Canyon. We stay the night at another great hotel in the village.
Day 5 Village Hotel, Hecho
A classic circuit of the Ordesa Canyon. A steep climb brings us to a ´balcony´ 600 metres above the canyon floor which we follow to the canyon cirque below Monte Perdido – Europe´s highest limestone peak. The views, flowers and wildlife (chamois, marmots, many birds of prey) are superb. From the cirque the path descends along the base of the canyon, at first through alpine pastures and then virgin Beech and Silver Fir forest. An amazing walk! After the hike we´ll drive 1 hour to the Hecho valley and our simple but comfortable Hotel in the lovely village of Hecho.
Day 6. Village Hotel, Hecho
The Hecho Valley is one of the Pyrenees´finest with some of the best walking, flowers, birdlife and wildlife in the range. This area is part of the Western Pyrenees Natural Park. Hecho is a wonderful village, picturesque, still very traditional and with a great atmosphere. Today we´ll walk up to Aguas Tuertas, a hanging valley with a meandering river, Neolithic dolmens and, at this time of year, a huge range of flowers. Magnificent!
Day 7 Village Hotel, Hecho
Todays hike is up to a beautiful side valley passing Yew trees that are at least 1000 years old and then up to a horseshoe circuit of peaks culminating in a summit (2016 metres). Fabulous flowers, Pyrenean Chamois, Birds of Prey.
Or we could do:
A fabulous walk up to an Ibón (glacial lake) which nestles in its cirque just below the french border ridge. From the lake we´ll climb to the border and look down on France before descending on a long circuit around a magnificent valley. Expect magnificent views, alpine flowers - many endemic to the Pyrenees, birds of prey including the pair of Lammergeier (the very rare bearded vulture) which nest in this valley.
Day 8 Transfer to Barcelona/Bilbao