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Heart of the Pyrenees Walk

Heart of the Pyrenees Walk

Heart of the Pyrenees Walk

  • Different walking levels every day; superb peak and high ridge walking giving breathtaking views
  • Majestic, glacial amphitheatre of the Cirque de Gavarnie, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Friendly hotels with excellent regional cuisine, 2 out of 3 with swimming pools
  • Dramatic gorges, beautiful lakes, lush green valleys and mountain villages
  • Unique flora and fauna: blue gentians, purple monkshood, bearded vultures
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration7 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From $1515
  • Holiday details
  • Departs Saturdays from 3 Jun '17 to 16 Sep '17
  • All continental breakfasts and evening meals
  • Managed by Headwater appointed agent
  • Sustainability rating: 88%
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Choice of Level 2 and Level 3 walking routes
  • Walking transfers

We're here to help

If you've any questions about this holiday call to our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 , or email sales@headwater.com

This walking holiday is based in the Hautes-Pyrenees, an area of outstanding natural beauty and boasting some of the highest, most spectacular peaks in the Pyrenees. It's a majestic network of verdant green valleys, pretty flower-strewn meadows, pristine, pine-scented woodlands and traditional rural villages perched steep on the hillsides.

Our walks follow mountain paths through a floral paradise with habitats ranging from vividly colourful upland pastures to rocky outcrops where countless alpine gems thrive in the most perfect of settings. We picnic by diamond-sparkling mountain streams (perfect for dipping tired toes!) and spot marmots and deer foraging in the hillside whilst vultures and eagles soar overhead. Each day offers a choice of Level 2 or Level 3 walks, and it's no problem to alternate from day to day. The routes have all been meticulously designed by our knowledgeable local representatives Malcolm and Anne Gregory, who'll be there to meet you and ensure your holiday runs as smoothly as possible.

Our family-run hotels offer a warm, individual welcome and traditional cuisine with distinctive flavours inspired by regional produce. Your first two nights are spent in the Lesponne Valley, at the foot of the Pic du Midi de Bigorre, before heading on to the delightful spa town of Argeles-Gazost. Finally, to Luz-St-Sauveur where spectacular sunsets at Jean-Paul and Marie-Paule's rural retreat provide the perfect backdrop to a relaxing aperitif on the terrace.

Day-by-day itinerary

Walking information

This holiday has both Level 2 and Level 3 boot options each day. Walking boots are essential and walking poles are strongly recommended. There are some sections where there is some exposure and a head for heights is required. Some of the high level walks may have snow in early/late season.

Day 1 - Arrive at Lesponne

Arrive at your hotel in the Lesponne Valley, just south of the delightful spa town of Bagneres-de- Bigorre.

Day 2 - At Lesponne 17km/11mi/5hr or 21km/13.5mi/6.5hr

The easier walk today ascends gently through a beech forest to a bridge over the Magenta Waterfalls before dropping down into the main valley. You then descend to the quirky village of Campan which is decorated with life-sized puppets during the summer months. Return via picturesque Lesponne, maybe finding time to visit the delightful museum/cafe. The longer walk climbs the main valley to pretty Chirolet. From here a steady climb leads up to the Lac d'Ourrec (1667m), nestled on a plateau surrounded by high mountains and grazing animals.

Day 3 - Lesponne to Argeles-Gazost 15km/9.5mi/4.5hr or 24km/15mi/7hr

After a scenic drive via Bagneres-de-Bigorre, it's a short ride up the funicular (payable locally) before the longer walk takes you to the summit of the Pic du Jer (948m) with a superb panorama over the famous town of Lourdes. The route continues high above the main river, the Gave de Pau, with views of the high mountains. The shorter walk starts in the charming village of St-Creac where a path climbs to picturesque Ouste. Here you join the longer walk, passing through a number of typically Pyrenean villages before descending to the attractive spa town of Argeles-Gazost.

Day 4 - At Argeles-Gazost 13km/8mi/4hr or 16km/10mi/5.5hr

Today, the Level 2 option takes in an old shepherd's path, leading to the delightful village of St-Savin where there is a magnificent C12 abbey church. After walking out to the viewpoint at the Chapelle Pietat it's downhill all the way back into the valley, returning via the Voie Verte, a cycleway that leads back to Argeles-Gazost. For a more challenging day, climb via a network of ancient paths and tracks to the summit of Mont de Gez (1097m) from where you can often see griffon vultures gliding overhead. It's then a gentle yet scenic descent back to Argeles-Gazost.

Day 5 - Argeles-Gazost to Luz-St-Sauveur 14km/9mi/4.5hr or 17km/11mi/5.5hr

After a short taxi ride you set off, climbing the lower flank of the Pic du Soulom along the old mule trail - enjoy spectacular views over the snow-capped mountains and down to the cavernous gorge below. Alternatively, pick up the route in the forest above the small town of Soulom, wending your way through the tranquil villages of Viscos (852m) and Sazos (836m) before dropping down into the main valley and your hotel in Luz-St-Sauveur.

Day 6 - At Luz-St-Sauveur 15km/9.5mi/4.5hr or 17km/11mi/6.5hr

The easier Level 2 walk will take you through ancient villages of the area known as the Pays Toy: Vizos, Sassis and Sazos, where houses cluster around tiny Romanesque churches, and lavish floral window-boxes are proudly on display. You'll return via the impressive Pont Napoleon, financed by Napoleon III after his visit in 1859 with wife Empress Eugenie. The more challenging option allows you to explore the delightful Yse Valley. The area was historically important for hay-making which still continues today, at 1600 metres!

Day 7 - Cirque de Gavarnie 12km/7.5mi/4hr or 21km/13.5mi/7hr

Start with a short bus ride (30 mins, payable locally) to the pretty mountain resort of Gavarnie, the start of today's walk. You head up to the Plateau de Bellevue to get spectacular views across to the Cirque de Gavarnie, a magnificent 1,000m amphitheatre of black cliffs, stretching into the clouds. You may choose to explore the charming side valley of Pouey Aspe, before continuing right into the Cirque to the base of the Grande Cascade which tumbles down hundreds of metres. It's an easy walk back to the village before the bus ride back to Luz for your final dinner!

Day 8 - Leave Luz St. Sauveur

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

Domaine de Ramonjuan, Lesponne (3 Star)

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This beautifully renovated farmhouse, is situated at the foot of the Pic du Midi de Bigorre, by the Adour river. The Domaine Ramonjuan is set in its own extensive grounds, offering the features of a traditional charming mountain hamlet in the depths of the countryside.

The comfortable bedrooms are all very spacious, with private facilities, TV, direct dial telephone and hairdryers.

The evening meals are taken in the traditionally furnished dining room and guests can enjoy an after dinner drink in the cosy bar area.

The hotel also has parking, an open air swimming pool (heated in July and August), a games room and a tennis court.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Dates Single Room Double Room
01/06/2017 - 08/07/2017 £120 £82
01/08/2017 - 29/08/2017 £132 £94
30/08/2017 - 30/09/2017 £120 £82

All prices shown above are valid from 01/12/2016. Prices are per person per night including evening meal.

Hotel Bon Repos, Argelès-Gazost (3 Star)

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The Bon Repos is a townhouse on a pretty street in this charming village. It has wooden floors, stone walls and ten guest rooms, several featuring mountain views and others with balconies, making it an atmospheric retreat after a good day out. The pool (open in summer only) and hot tub in the back garden are ideal for relaxing after a walk in the hills, and you can even pop in and visit the hot springs in the spa 200m up the road if you wish. The hotel also has a bar.

Breakfast can be taken, weather permitting, on the terrace overlooking the flower-filled garden. Your evening meal will be taken in a local restaurant, only a few minutes walk from the hotel.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Dates Room with balcony
01/06/2017 - 30/09/2017 £10

All prices shown above are valid from 01/12/2016. Supplement is per person per night, based on 2 sharing.

Dates Single Room Double Room
01/06/2017 - 30/09/2017 £98 £82

All prices shown above are valid from 01/12/2016. Prices are per person per night, including evening meal.

Hotel Le Montaigu, Luz Saint Sauveur (3 Star)

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This Rural 3*** hotel is located in a quiet corner just off the main streets of Esquieze Sere which is an area of Luz St.Sauveur.

It is run by husband & wife who are very friendly and welcoming, with friendly staff. It's next to a ruined chateau which you can see from the front of the hotel.

Luz St.Sauveur and Esquieze Sere face each other from across the Gave du Pau (“gave” is the name for “stream” in these parts), on the edge of the National Park. Luz is quite an animated little place with narrow lanes leading up to a fortified church.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Dates Room with balcony
01/06/2017 - 30/09/2017 £10

All prices shown above are valid from 01/12/2016. Supplement is per person per night based on 2 sharing.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Extending your stay

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Hôtel Père Léon, Toulouse (***)

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The Hôtel Père Léon is ideally situated just a short walk from the historic centre of Toulouse, with the main sights just a short walk away. Just 50 metres from the metro, there is easy access to the rest of the city. The hotel is in Place Esquirol, a bustling, lively square and in close proximity to many bars and restaurants.

The hotel itself has a modern contemporary feel, which has been recently renovated. The ensuite rooms have soundproof windows and all mod cons. Breakfast is a buffet affair with a good choice of French staples, and a hot section.

The hotel has its own bistro restaurant with seats outside where you can enjoy a drink or dinner.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Dates Deluxe
01/05/2017 - 31/10/2017 £12

All prices shown above are valid from 27/03/2017. Supplement is per person per night based on 2 adults sharing. The deluxe room is larger than the standard room.

Dates Double/Twin room Single room
01/05/2017 - 14/07/2017 £62 £96
15/07/2017 - 31/08/2017 £58 £84
01/09/2017 - 31/10/2017 £62 £96

All prices shown above are valid from 27/03/2017. Prices are per person per night on B&B basis.
Prices 01/05/2017-14/07/2017 and 01/09/2017-31/10/2017 are for stays Monday-Thursdays. For stays Friday-Sunday in this period prices are £48pppn in a double and £74pppn in a single.


Transfers included from Tarbes train station at 16:43 Mon-Sat & 17:54 Sun, and back to Lourdes train station at 09:45.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email info@breakaway-adventures.com to arrange connecting flights.


Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Mr Armstrong

See the box above.

Ms Tonge

Very good week's holiday in a beautiful area of France.

The walking was varied and the distances quite long -we found the 2 boot walks tough enough in the heat.

Hotels were all in good locations and the food was good-the restaurant where dinner was taken at Argeles Gazost deserves particular mention for its excellent food.

Mrs Harris

An enjoyable holiday with superb weather has left us refreshed and ready for work once more.

Ms Roy

An enjoyable, varied and flexible holiday. It was possible to have long days or short days as you wished in a quiet and relaxed mountain area. Much less busy than the Alps but with beautiful scenery. We were given a very warm welcome wherever we went.

Mrs Rayden

We thoroughly enjoyed the walks, which were interestingly varied, with marvellous views and clearly defined paths. The route notes were accurate and helpful, and the hotels welcoming, clean and comfortable. The Headwater team helped sort out problems with travel resulting from the French rail strikes, which was very reassuring.

Mr Bedford

Excellent. Location stunning. Views wonderful. Food, apart from one meal, great. Hotels good 3 stars. Local representative very helpful. Overall a most enjoyable, although tiring, holiday.

Mr Maitland

Varied walking, generally on quiet routes. Good views on all the walks. Gavarnie and Lac D'Ourrec were especially good - take the offer of the lift on the Lac D'Ourrec day if you can as it gives you more chance to explore the high meadows etc.

Excellent welcome in each hotel, food generally very tasty, local and varied. Especially enjoyed the local trout at Ramonjuan and everything at Les Pois Sont Rouges in Argeles! Transport options worked well.

For Gavarnie - we managed to get ... read moreup and back to the waterfall with a very quick detour up to the Cabine des Soldats in a total of 6.5 hours but that was really pushing it (for us). So we managed to use the bus that arrived at 10am (on a Sunday) and left at around 5.30. If you missed out the Cabine (which was ok for views but great for Marmots) then it would have been a comfortable walk. Definitely recommend going there on the best day of weather as it is spectacular!

Thanks Headwater - another great holiday!

Mrs Boorman

Read the brochure carefully and check the photos of the holiday are not misleading

However the first 2 hotels were great

Mr Duesund

Have told rep about weather and path conditions on Day 3. He was right about poor waymarking. The hotell had few good options and the vegetarian member of our group had problems at the last hotel AS they didn't follow up. When meals are included Headwater should have a higher level than a 20€ meal. Best place was Argeles Gazost. But not so exciting food offered at alternative restaurant 14th July. In general a OK holiday but a bit too many Wales in the Woody on poor paths. Definitely best ... read moreWales on first day with extension. Hopeless quality with dinner at the Ramonjuan. Where did they manage to Get such comments? Make sure Headwater clients get the upstairs bedrooms as there are two rooms without windows on the first floor. Try to Get more Walks like the first Day and the Gavarnie.

Mr Fraser

Our second Headwater holiday. Once again faultless arrangements for accomodation and transfers taking the pressure off sorting it out yourself. Friendly and enjoyable hotels with really good meals.

Dr Paget

Headwater are a reliable and efficient firm to book your walking holiday with. The travel arrangements went like clockwork and we had an excellent time walking through the Heart of the Pyrenees.

Mrs Paterson

This is a lovely holiday It was very well organised and all the hotels were most welcoming. The challenging walks were only challenging in terms of length not in terms of terrain and they took in some delightful countryside.

Mrs Campbell

We totally enjoyed this holiday. Excellent food and comfortable hotels set in magnificent scenery. The walks are graded correctly and provided the opportunity to see parts of France we would not have explored alone.

Mr Drinkwater

Wonderful walking, but no choice of food at two out of three hotels.

Dr Mooney

The Pyrenees region is really spectacular with rich opportunities for hiking. The group (10 of us) has a fabulous time. The weather was a bit on the (very) hot side for some of us, but no rain. The hotels varied. The hiking was quite challenging with quite steep (and sometimes) rocky trails. Overall a very memorable week.

Dates and prices

The prices quoted below for each individual departure supercede those published in our current brochures. Air prices are subject to change and are shown for guide purposes only. Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information.

Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss your requirements in more detail.

You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday. Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.

  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
Jun 2017 Tour only Availability
3rd Jun US$1515 Check
10th Jun US$1580 Check
17th Jun US$1580 Check
24th Jun US$1595 Check
Jul 2017 Tour only Availability
1st Jul US$1595 Check
8th Jul US$1655 Check
15th Jul US$1655 Check
22nd Jul US$1655 Check
29th Jul US$1655 Check
Aug 2017 Tour only Availability
5th Aug US$1655 Check
12th Aug US$1655 Check
19th Aug US$1655 Check
26th Aug US$1595 Check
Sep 2017 Tour only Availability
2nd Sep US$1580 Check
9th Sep US$1580 Check
16th Sep US$1515 Check

Holiday details

Minimum group sizes
No minimum group size, however transfers are subject to at least 2 people (in total) booked on each departure.

This holiday is unsuitable for children.

Holiday type
Self-guided walking Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.

Saturdays from 3rd Jun 2017 to 16th Sep 2017, for 7 nights.

All continental breakfasts and evening meals

Other details
Station transfers are subject to a minimum of 2 people (in total, not per booking) booked on each departure. Shuttle Bus from Toulouse Blagnac Airport to Toulouse Matabiau Station payable locally cost approximately 5 Euro per person per one way journey.

Tailor-made travel

Tour only
Transfers included from Tarbes train station at 16:43 Mon-Sat & 17:54 Sun, and back to Lourdes train station at 09:45.


Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for Heart of the Pyrenees Walk. Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.

Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss your requirements in more detail.

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We can often obtain preferential rates with our travel partners.

We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. During busy periods we cannot always guarantee a specific call time but we promise to try our very best.

Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or other questions. If you’d like to travel by an alternative method, i.e. Ferry / Eurotunnel etc. please give details here so we can advise you on appropriate options.

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