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Plunging gorges, open plains and cascading waterfalls define the Ordesa National Park. Immerse yourself in the natural and historic beauty of the high Pyrenees on this stunning inn to inn walking holiday, exclusive to Pura Aventura. Encounter hilltop villages, ancient churches and striking rock formations, watch birds of prey swoop into focus and meet local artisans keeping traditional industry alive and well.
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Fly to northern Spain today and collect your car to head up into the heart of the Pyrenees mountains, where you stay in a charming hotel. Although this is an inn to inn walk, the remoteness of the area means that a rental car is the best way to get you to and from the mountains. Stay in the old town square of Ainsa, a wonderfully atmospheric and lively place.
Drop off your car, your bags take a taxi to your next hotel, you have mountains to explore. Walk along ancient cobbled paths from La Solana, following a narrow valley where the shade allows for the first beech trees to appear. Walking alongside spectacular rock formations you reach a mountain pass from where you have fantastic views of the high peaks of Ordesa. Continue along ancient paths through mixed Mediterranean forest and gorges, as far as the tiny village of Buerba.
Set off walking up to the mountain pass for views into the dramatic Añisclo gorge. The near vertical walls of this deep gorge have been carved through some of the highest summits of the massif. Thick forest covers the narrow valley floor where a pristine blue water river makes pools and waterfalls. From the pass, follow an ancient path down to the valley floor. Spend tonight in the village of Nerín, home to several artisan wood workers.
Walk in the heart of the Ordesa National Park today, taking in panoramic views of the valley, high peaks, open prairies and waterfalls. Your hotel gives you a lift to the top the road, from where it is only a short walk to a view point over the stunning Ordesa Valley. From here walk along a high ridge with panoramic views of the glacial valley below and the 3,000 metre peaks ahead, crowned by the summit of Monte Perdido.
Today you can choose to either just relax or to take a circular walk to some of the abandoned villages of La Solana, with its beautiful architecture with slate roofs. Being the southern slopes of the Pyrenees, you will be walking through thick Mediterranean forests along some sections of the historical path system, as well as on wider tracks. You can also appreciate the stunning geology of the area in the clearly visible folded layers of limestone.
Set off early this morning to make the most of your day in the rural and remote Posets-Maladeta Natural Park. Today's walk takes you on a beautiful circular route from village to village that offers great panoramas of the surrounding peaks, as well as the beautiful local architecture of villages and farmhouses. After the walk, drive to the stunning Pineta Valley, a deep glacial valley in the shadow of Monte Perdido’s north face. Here you find shelter in the very comfortable Parador.
For your last day we recommend another circular walk to take some final views of this remote and beautiful corner of Spain. Walking through dense forest, across prairies and through black pine forests you get to a viewpoint of the glaciated north face of Monte Perdido directly ahead of you. If you have not yet seen the majestic bearded vulture in flight, this should be your chance.
Drive back to Barcelona airport at a time of your choosing to drop off your vehicle and check-in for your flight home. Now that you've had a digital whizz-through of the high Pyrenees, we'd love you to dig out your walking boots and take the journey for real. There are more details about the trip below, as well as all the ways you can reach out to book this trip or discuss something more tailored.
You can expect to be walking for an average of between five and six hours a day. The walks are reasonably strenuous, with four days of walking between 12-20km and two days of walking just under 10km. Height gains average around 500m, with two days of around 700m. On day four you have a significant descent of 1,200m, which can be tough on the knees. For the walks themselves, we provide detailed walking notes as well as good maps, and a GPS with the walks preloaded. You should be comfortable with the idea of using a map to navigate just in case. Your luggage is always taken on ahead for you, so you walk with your day pack, which helps you to concentrate on enjoying your surroundings.
If you’d like to cover more of the Pyrenees and touch on the Catalan and Basque coasts in the same trip as well, our two-week Pyrenees Explorer self-drive trip is another option to consider. For families, there is our dedicated Pyrenees Family Explorer.
We would love to discuss this holiday with you. It can be tailored to suit you in certain ways, though as an inn to inn walk, we can't really deviate from the fundamental route without spoiling the trip. Why not call us on 01273 676 712 or send us a message below to see what we can do?
The best months for this trip are May through June and September through November. Temperatures on this trip should be moderate, around the low 20°s during the day on average. May and June are beautifully green, the weather very good in the main and the water levels in the rivers at their best. Mid-July through August are probably best avoided, as temperatures rise and accommodation is very busy. September can be a month of storms in the high Pyrenees but they tend to involve a short, heavy downpour in the afternoon rather than being constant. October into November can be a beautiful and peaceful time in the mountains with good stable weather being the norm.
The price is per person based on two sharing and includes:
First-class accommodation with breakfast, most lunches and most dinners
Mid-size vehicle hire
Detailed walking notes, OS maps and GPS device
Welcome briefing with Pura Aventura guide and phone support throughout
Pyrenees Holiday Guide with personal recommendations
Pura’s expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout
International flights are quoted separately for this holiday. Best routing is into and out of Barcelona (BCN).
The accommodation on this trip is quite variable in terms of standard, from simple and comfy running up to fairly premium. Your hotel in Ainsa is a high point of the accommodation, located in the heart of the old village. The character of the next inns are simpler, with one night in a comfortable mountain style hotel, and one night in a simple guesthouse owned by an artist.Your hotel in Sobrarbe is a delightfully converted old farmhouse with great service and food. After this, you end your trip in the very comfortable Parador.
For more details, please get in touch to request a full itinerary.
The focus of this trip is on the scenery and the walking, so while culture isn't the major focus, it can in fact play a very significant role in your holiday. Because your time is concentrated in one area of the mountains, as you walk you will start to discover how people live here. We want you to come away having enjoyed superb walking in beautiful surroundings but also with an appreciation of the culture of the high Pyrenees.
The hotels of your holiday are small and locally owned (with the exception of the Parador). In particular your hosts in Vio will help you get great insights into the area, as one of them was formerly a ranger in the national park.
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