Joining point at the hotel in Lourdes with a chance to have a look around the town in the evening. Overnight in Lourdes.
From Lourdes to Argelès-Gazost. We take the funicular railway from the outskirts of Lourdes to the summit of the Pic du Jer (890 m), where there are excellent views looking back over the town. From the summit we follow a network of paths and tracks above the East side of the main river, the Gave de Pau, before dropping down to the attractive spa town of Argelès-Gazost. Approx. 20 km and 370 m ascent, 5 1/2 hours walking. Overnight in Argelès-Gazos.
From Argelès-Gazost (420 m) we climb up old shepherds' paths to the picturesque village St Savin where there is a 12th Century abbey church. We continue along the valley side before dropping down to Pierrefitte Nestalas. From here, to avoid walking along the road, which follows the narrow gorge, we take the scheduled bus to Luz St Sauveur with time to visit the town and fortified "Templar" church in the afternoon. Approx. 14 km, 650 m and 4 1/2 hours walking. By getting off the bus about 4 kms before Luz St Sauveur it is possible to include an additional 1 1/2 hours of walking along green lanes and quiet roads with great views of the mountains ahead. Overnght in Luz St Sauveur.
A whole day at Luz St Sauveur with the choice of a rest day or a walk to explore the magnificent Bastan valley to the East of the town. Overnight in Luz St Sauveur.
Luz to Gèdre (1000 m) mainly following the GR 10. Gèdre is a small village in a magnificent location with soaring mountains on three sides. Approx. 15 km, 650 m and 5 hours of walking. Overnight in Gèdre.
Gèdre to Gavarnie (1400 m). Heading south from the village we can approach Gavarnie via footpaths over grazing land. In case of bad weather or snow on the ground we can use an alternative route, which although it is half on tarmac it is not a through road so has very little traffic and has spectacular views. Approx. 20 km, 930 m and 6 hours walking. Overnight in Gavarnie.
Today we have a choice of hikes. The easier is a circular route exploring both sides of the valley via the “Plateau de Bellevue” and the “Chemin d’Espuguettes” with a chance to hike to the foot of the “Grande Cascade”. 18kms, 5 ½ hrs, ascent 930 m, descent 930 m.
By good weather and a taxi ride up to the Col des Tentes (2208m) it is possible reach, via a small glacier, the famous “Breche de Roland” - a huge natural doorway in the cliffs which form the border between France and Spain. The return path to Gavarnie takes us over the “Plateau de Bellevue” with great views into the Cirque de Gavarnie. 16km, 6 ½ hrs, ascent 620 m, descent 1400 m, highest altitude 2807 m. Second night at Gavarnie.
Return by bus or taxi to Lourdes.