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Pyrenees Family Adventure

Self guided adventure | View photos »

Walk amidst the highest peaks of the Pyrenees and raft its whitest waters. Active adventures in the central Pyrenees combine with the city of Barcelona and the beaches and villages of Vizcaya on this tailor made family holiday.

14 day trip described, guide price £1,575pp i

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Sample itinerary

Travel to Barcelona

Fly to Barcelona this morning. Head into the city to check in at your hotel. This afternoon you meet up with our resident guide who takes you on an off the beaten path route through the old part of the city. This is a chance for you to really get a sense of Barcelona whether you have been here before or not.

Take time to enjoy Barcelona

Having got your bearings on your tour, today is your opportunity to see the parts of the city you want to see. From the amazing modernist architecture of Guadí to the great artworks of the Picasso museum, the vibrant Boqueria market to the colourful Ramblas, Barcelona is a city with something for everyone.

Pick up your car and head for the mountains

Your car will be ready for you this morning. The drive to your first base in the Pyrenees will take around three hours. Your destination is the valley of the Aigües Tortes National Park – the highest stretch of the Pyrenees. Stay in a very comfortable hotel in the valley floor in a great location for getting to and from both activities and the national park.

White water rafting all morning

The Pallaresa River by your hotel offers amongst the best white water rafting in Spain. It is fed by the dam at the head of the valley making water levels predictable. Spend this morning running grade III waters through beautiful scenery. This afternoon is yours to explore, using the maps and notes we provide to make the most of your time.

Walk in the Aigues Tortes National Park

Aigües Tortes is Spain’s oldest and probably most famous National Park. The name means ‘winding waters’ and the park is full of lakes, streams and waterfalls as well as high peaks and wide valleys. To get into the park, you have to drive to a nearby village from where you are taken in by Land Rover taxi. From the park entrance, walk up to the pass at 2,562m for some of the most stunning views in the Pyrenees.

Drive west along the mountains

Your next stop is in the medieval town of Ainsa, about three hours further west. As well as being very well known for water sports and mountain biking, Ainsa is gateway to the very beautiful Ordesa National Park. Depending on how early you set off, you might like to head straight into the park for an afternoon of walking.

Guided walking in Ordesa

Your private guide comes to meet you today to take you on a walk into perhaps a less well known or accessible part of Ordesa. Being a private day of guiding, we can adapt the route to your energy levels, your interests and the weather.

A day of adventures in the water

Spend today back in the water with time enjoying hydrospeed and then onto canoe-raft which is really a hybrid of rafting and kayaking. The running order for activities will be adjusted to best suit local conditions and, of course, we can tailor this part of the trip to your family's interests, ages, etc.

Drive to the edge of Pamplona

The journey today is a couple of hours so you might like to have another morning of adventure activity before setting off to Pamplona. You are now coming out of the high Pyrenees and down into the foothills. There are lots of different places to explore from here but perhaps today you might head into the town to explore the streets so famous for the annual running of the bulls.

A day to choose your walk

There are many great choices for walks in this part of the world. You might like to head up into the hills in order to walk a section of the Camino de Santiago through the green hills. Another beautiful stretch of the Camino is around Puente de la Reina where you walk through vineyards and villages. The nearby Irati forest is one of the largest beech forests in Europe and great for shaded walking.

Drive to the Atlantic coast

Your trip from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic ends today as you reach your last base, on the headland just east of Bilbao. It's only an hour or so from Pamplona to get here so you might want to stop in to visit San Sebastian on the way.

Spend the day exploring the coast

The villages of the coast around this part of Spain are famously beautiful - traditional fishing harbours with sandy bays which are fantastic for food lovers. Also along the coast is the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, a coastal wetland, inlet really, which is home to many different species of bird. This is a lovely place to rent canoes and paddle along the estuary.

Spend the day exploring inland

The forests and mountains of inland Vizcaya are beautiful and very peaceful, they are mostly well off the tourist trail. Closer to the coast is the town of Guernika, famously bombed during the Spanish Civil War. On Mondays they still have their market (target of that bombing) and it is one of the best in the region. You might be lucky enough to catch a game of 'jai alai,' the world's fastest ball sport.

Travel home from Bilbao

It's a short hop to Bilbao from here so you might like to head into the city to visit both the old town and the spectacular Guggenheim museum - a crazy titanium clad Frank Gehry designed building. Drop your car off at the airport and fly home.

Map of the area

"Couture holiday making"

"Couture holiday making"

We've experienced four completely different Pura guided holidays as a family and have loved every one. Pura Aventura is unique - it is couture holiday making with a conscience. Alexa F & family

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About this trip


Walk amidst the highest peaks of the Pyrenees and raft its whitest waters. Active adventures in the central Pyrenees combine with the city of Barcelona and the beaches and villages of Vizcaya on this tailor made family holiday.

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Best time to go i

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Level of activity

As a tailor made trip, the level of exertion on this trip can be set by you to best suit your family. The sample itinerary described above assumes that you will be walking and mountain biking around the area of the Ordesa National Park and walking, rafting and canyoning in the area around the Aigues Tortes National Park. Depending on times of year, more intense water based activities may have lower age limits of 12 or 14. In general, we feel that we can tailor a great active family trip for children aged 10 or up - younger than that and it can get limiting.

To balance the exertions of such active days, we have chosen a lovely small hotels in the mountains. The first is in a hamlet very close to the water sports centre, the hotel itself has a small outdoor pool as well as a small indoor spa facility which could be welcome after your adventures. The food here is particularly good. The second is right in the heart of the pretty medieval village of Ainsa. For a family this means that you can wander out of an evening to explore independently without worrying about losing each other. In Barcelona stay in a beautiful small hotel in a residential area away from the intensity of the centre. In Pamplona your 4* hotel is high on a hill looking out over the city. Your last hotel on the coast is again very comfortable, a small family run hotel overlooking the sea with pool and tennis court to keep you busy.

Temperatures on this trip should be moderate, in the around the low 20°s during the day on average, cooler at night up in the mountains of course. May and June are beautifully green, the weather very good in the main and the water levels in the rivers at their best. July and August are busier and warmer but not unbearably hot at all - water levels in the rivers near Ainsa are getting low by this point in the year so water sports will likely all be around Sort from this point forwards. September can be a month of storms in the high Pyrenees but they tend to involve a heavy downpour on one or two days of the month rather than being constant. October can be a beautiful and peaceful time in the mountains with good stable weather being the norm.

Level of culture

This is primarily an adventure holiday in the big mountains of Spain so culture isn't a major feature. Saying this, the hotels of the trip are small and locally owned, in particular your hosts in Ainsa are great characters and will help you get insights into the area.

There is a very good visitor centre in Ainsa dedicated to the conservation of the bearded vulture, a fascinating and key part of the food chain in Spain's mountains. The guide you have for a day is connected to this project so helps you to understand the conservation and environmental challenges of the area as well as showing you the wonderful landscapes.

In addition to this, we provide you with all the maps, walking notes and local information you will need to make the most out of your trip, for instance with recommended places to eat or walks to follow.


There is a detailed itinerary for this trip, in the form set out above. Please get in touch and we can email that to you.

However, as a tailor made trip, in order to send the most appropriate proposal to you, we really need to discuss things with you first to find out how many of you there are, your ages, interests, when you want to travel, etc.

In the form set out above, the holiday price includes accommodation in two rooms, mid-sized rental car, breakfasts and guided excursions, activities and entrances as per the detailed itinerary. Naturally, on each and every one of our holidays, we include Pura’s expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout, along with the reassurance of our financial protection and safety auditing.

Flights are quoted separately for this holiday. Best flight routings are into Barcelona (airport code: BCN) and out of Bilbao (airport code: BIO).


Departs any day of the year to suit you, from May through October.

Next steps...

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01273 676712

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The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.


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Book Sign up for our newsletter » That sense of achievement at the top of the Pyrenees Views across the Pedrera to Tibidabo hill, Barcelona The facade of Gaudí's Pedrera building in Barcelona Medieval bridge in the lower Pallars Valley, Pyrenees Rafting the Pallars Sobira river in the Pyrenees Family walking in Aigues Tortes in the Pyrenees Misty morning looking out from the village of Ainsa River valley of Ordesa National Park Canyoning is great fun  for all the family! Rooms at the hotel Castillo Gorraiz near Pamplona The beautiful beech forests of Northern Spain The beach and village of Lekeitio, Vizcaya The Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve and river The forests of Monte Gorbeia in Vizcaya province of Spain Detail of Frank Gehry's startling Guggenheim museum in Bilbao