The great traverse of the Pyrenees
- Grand Sites
7 day driving circuit (1 night in Spain)
Here is an itinerary which, from east to west, follows the highest roads in the range - taking in the classic Tour de France 'cols', with a crossing into Spain through the very heart of these mountains.On the map
From 500 € /person Based on 2 persons
- 7 days/7 nights in chambres d’hotes and 4 and 3 star hotels, with breakfasts included, in Loudenvielle, Ainsa, Saint-Lary, Luz Saint Sauveur, Gavarnie, Cauterets, Lourdes
- 1 Grands Sites pass to Pic du Midi (access to summit by cable car) + Cauterets-Pont d’Espagne (parking, cable-car ride from Puntas and chairlift to Lac de Gaube)
- 1 entry (2h) to 3 spa centres of the Hautes-Pyrenees: Balnéa, Luzéa, Les Bains du Rocher with indoor baths, outdoor lagoon, sauna, hammam, jacuzzi....
to book this holiday package or receive informations
- A detailed itinerary to follow independently
- All reserved in advance
- A Franco - Spanish itinerary, a very different ambience either side of the border
- A varied programme with moments of relaxation
After passing through Luchon, you will arrive over the Col de Peyresourde mountain pass. Take the time to stop at the top to admire the view. Once going back down through the Louron valley, head towards the Génos-Loudenvielle lake. The Pyrénées here welcome you with a bath in the naturally warm and comforting spa waters, it is in the open air with a view towards a magnificent barrier of mountain tops, some more than 3000 metres high.
Night in Loudenvielle.
Before you reach the valley bottom you will see the morning sun shining on the higher peaks. It is time to get going! From Génos, follow the hairpin bends to the Col de Val Louron - Azet. It might be difficult to keep your eyes on the road with this magnificent view of all the mountain peaks along the border with Spain. Our objective: get to the other side side of the mountains, into Spanish Aragon.
Night in Ainsa.
Loudenvielle > Ainsa: 121 km / 2h42 (via Canyon d'Añisclo)
After your short escapade in Aragon, we invite you to leave the Spanish Pyrénées, which are deprived of the ever present rushing waters of the French side. You will now enter one of the most beautiful areas of the French Pyrenees: the Neouvielle Nature Reserve and National Park, with its 70 lakes. Before crossing the border, the Pineta valley is worth a detour. The day's itinerary ends at Saint-Lary, whose architecture is very reminiscent of the villages in Aragon.
Night in Saint Lary.
Ainsa > The Néouvielle Natural Reserve > Saint-Lary: 86 km / 1h55
Our adventure continues and today holds many surprises. From Saint Lary follow the RD929 towards Arreau to reach the Pic du Midi by crossing the Col d'Aspin. After a thrilling cable-car ride you enjoy the greatest panorama in the Pyrenees from the top at nearly 3000 metres. You then cross the famous Col du Tourmalet, scene of so many dramas of the Tour de France before spending the night in Luz-Saint-Sauveur, a town favoured by the Empress Eugénie. Wellbeing pause in the Luzéa baths, another location immersed in the memories of Eugénie.
Night in Luz-Saint-Sauveur.
Saint-Lary > Pic du Midi > Luz-Saint-Sauveur: 74 km / 1h37
Today is the day for the big show! With a ticket to meet a world famous celebrity - the Cirque de Gavarnie. It will be a day full of emotion. The cirque is one of the great natural wonders, its immensity is staggering, everybody can only stare in admiration and feel humbled by its enormity and great beauty.
Night in Gavarnie.
Luz-Saint-Sauveur > Gavarnie: 38 km / 59 mn
Probably still dizzy from yesterday's grandiose spectacle? Well, it is already time to leave, towards even more new encounters but this time gentler and harmonious. We are heading to Cauterets and Pont d'Espagne, the Garden of Eden of the Pyrénées! At the end of your day treat yourself to some soothing relaxation in Les Bains du Rocher spa baths, a lovely refined setting.
Night in Cauterets.
Gavarnie > Cauterets-Pont d'Espagne: 50 km / 1h18
To conclude our voyage, we invite you to take part today in an exclusive and personnal experience. Head to Lourdes and its magical torchlight procession. But for the moment this is for later in the day this. Firstly, we are going to make a gastronomic stop with the Saint-Martin family in Saint Savin. We also recommend a visit to the Parc Animalier Des Pyrénées, the local wildlife zoo on the outskirts of Argelès-Gazost.
Night in Lourdes.
Cauterets > Saint-Savin > Lourdes: 30 km / 43 mn
4 and 3 star hotels and chambres d’hotes
Day 1: chambre d’hotes in Loudenvielle
Located at nearly 1000 metres of altitude in the heart of a village in the Louron valley this chambre d’hotes is classified ‘art de vivre’, the view is over the Pyrenean summits. This typical Bigourdan house is the perfect place to relax and unwind. The walled and wooded garden has sun-loungers and a large table in the shade of the trees for outdoor eating. The rooms are in the same style, authentic yet comfortable, antique furniture, soft duvets, tones of blue on the walls with frescoes and works by local artists.
Your chambre d’hotes has 4 rooms each accommodating 2 to 3 persons, a dining room with open fire, lounge with games, library, television, terrace, garden, parking.
Day 2: a 3 star hotel in Ainsa
Located close to Ainsa, the capital of Sobrarbe and a mediaeval Aragon village, this modern hotel with its own spa is a real jewel. Situated close to the French border it is the ideal place from which to explore the Anisclo canyon, the Pineta valley at the foot of Monte Perdido, Ainsa itself and the Ordesa canyon. Behind the hotel in its garden is a swimming pool and paddling pool. As a backdrop the Pena Montenesa, the symbol of the region stands proudly, the sunset from the hotel is remarkable. The rooms have lovely views and are comfortable and cosy. The hotel is quiet, the brand new spa is th perfect place to relax. There are superb duplex family rooms and games for the children in the garden. Sporting facilties include tennis courts, a running track, and football and basketball pitches. children have table tennis and an outdoor pool with paddling pool. the spa has swan-neck massage jets, sensory trails, massages and a terace with sun loungers.
Day 3: a 4 star hotel in Saint-Lary
Situated at the heart of the Pyrenees National Park this hotel has an exceptional location, a green and peaceful setting. At just 50 metres from the cable-cars for the Saint Lary ski resort, the hotel has kept its Pyrenean roots and its mountain soul, it offers an ambience of charm and authenticity. The staff are always on hand to offer a high quality of service. The hotel has 65 very comfortable rooms including 5 family rooms, their decoration is both classical and contemporary with fine materials and warm colours. Each room has a clear view over the surrounding mountains or the spa gardens. The bar and the La Mangeoire restaurant are situated around the lounge with its mountain chalet look. The restaurant offers a refined cuisine with a large choice of regional and international dishes based on local seasonal produce. The 'La Cintra' bar is at the heart of the hotel and is a popular meeting place. The hotel is joined directly to the Sensoria by Nuxe spa baths, you can enjoy warm baths, body and facial treatments, Nuxe massages and many other beauty treatments. A lovely moment of relaxation for both body and mind in a warm cosy setting, and at the very heart of the Pyrenees.
Your hotel has 65 bedrooms (including 3 for persons with reduced mobility), a restaurant, bar with open fire, 4 meeting rooms, a terrace.
Day 4: a 3 star hotel in Luz-Saint-Sauveur
Located in the centre of the traditional village of Luz Saint Sauveur, on the way to the Grand Sites of the Cirque de Gavarnie and the Col du Tourmalet, this attractive 19th century hotel invites you to travel back to another era of elegance and style. Its sunny terrace overlooks the Gave river and offers over a superb view over the slate roofs of the village to the Bareges valley with the Pic du Midi on the horizon. The restaurant has large bay windows from where one can equally admire the surrounding mountains. Pigeon lofts, carved balustrades, the ambience and decor of the restaurant... everything is Belle Epoque. The restaurant serves traditional fare - garbure, confit de canard, grilled local lamb. A delight to come back to after a day's skiing or from exploring the mountains in summer.
Your hotel has 28 rooms, either doubles, twins or family rooms, many have balconies. There is a shaded garden, a lounge, garage for cycles and motorbikes, a terrace, free wi-fi, lift, private parking. Animals are admitted.
Day 5: a 3 star hotel in Gèdre-Gavarnie
Your 3 star Logis hotel is located in Gedre, the village from which the three prestigious 'Cirques' of Gavarnie, Troumouse and Estaube are reached. From the terrace there is a splendid view over the Breche de Roland. You are at the entry point to the National Park and the World Heritage site of 'Pyrenees, Mont Perdu, land of Cirques and Canyons'. Your hosts, Odile and Philippe offer a very warm welcome in their family run hotel, the building dates from the 17th century. Their restaurant proposes a range of typically Pyrenean dishes such as Garbure, Porc Noir de Bigorre, AOC Bareges Gavarnie lamb, the surprising Gateau a la Broche. A festival of flavours to be enjoyed with a glass or two of Madiran or Pacherenc...
Your hotel has 25 bedrooms (with 3 offering disabled access), a restaurant, bar, lounge, a panoramic terrace.
Day 6: a 3 star hotel in Cauterets
Your 3 star Logis ‘Charm and Character’ hotel is located in the centre of Cauterets, a small Pyrenean spa resort. Your hosts, Bernadette and Marie Rose, will remind you a pair of English country ladies, they have created this family hotel in their own image, it is situated at the very heart of the spa town. Lace and embroidery, pink bedcovers, curios and trinkets, sachets of lavender on the wardrobe handles, all is done to create a romantic ambience. And not to forget the charming patio with its many flower filled balconies.
Your hotel has 12 bedrooms, 6 suites, a restaurant, small bar and salon, a terrace, garden and conservatory.
Day 7: superb guest house in Lourdes
Constructed towards the end of the 19th century this villa is in the centre of Lourdes with a magnificent setting, and a clear view over the sanctuaries and the castle, and with the Pyrenees as a back-drop. It is close to all the shops and cafes, you can reach the town quickly on foot. The guest house is particularly comfortable with home cinema TV, DVD, video games, a library and a piano.
Your guest house: 4 spacious bedrooms overlooking the town of Lourdes with a view over the sanctuaries and the castle.
The Aspin bedroom (16m2):
On the first floor of the villa (no lift). This spacious room (16m2) has a south-facing balcony with a view over the sanctuaries and the Pyrenees. It has a 180 cms double bed. The bathroom has an Italian style shower and a bath, the stained glass window comes from an ancient chapel. Air conditioning, wi-fi, hair-dryer, separate toilet, tea and coffee making facilities.
The largest spa centre in the French Pyrenees
Set on the edge of the Loudenvielle lake, in one of the most beautiful valleys of the Hautes Pyrenees, Balnea proposes spa experiences from all over the world in its healing warm waters.
THE ANISCLO CANYON
The wild side of Spain
Wilder than the Ordesa canyon, the Anisclo offers a magnificent adventure into a gigantic natural fault with a superb view over Mont Perdu. Do take a dip in the sublime natural pools of the rios.
THE ORDESA CANYON
A World Heritage site
The Ordesa is often called the Grand Canyon of the Pyrenees, it is immense. Just across the border is the Cirque de Gavarnie, together the two sides of the mountain form the Gavarnie - Mont Perdu World Heritage site.
THE NEOUVIELLE NATURE RESERVE
The lakes route
The scenery is exceptional. A magnificent contrast of sharp granite summits which tower over a landscape of gentle green lawns, the area is home to the extraordinary mountain pine and has over 70 lakes, of all shades from tourquoise to the deepest of blue.
THE PIC DU MIDI
Climb over a thousand metres in just 15 minutes, the cable-car takes the strain. Once at the top the panoramic terraces over the best view in France, a fabulous 360 degree panorama covering over 300 kms. One can also spend the night or an evening at the top.
A World Heritage site
Five and a half kilometres in diameter, walls 1500 m high, dozens of waterfalls, impressive statistics for this wonder of nature. A natural colossus that must be seen, it adjoins the Spanish canyons.
CAUTERETS PONT D'ESPAGNE
Walking through paradise
Situated in the heart of the Pyrenees National Park, the Cauterets Pont d'Espagne area is a veritable Garden of Eden with fantastic walks for all levels. A cable-car takes you up to the sublime Lac de Gaube with its deep blue waters.
The torchlight procession
Each evening thousands of pilgrims and visitors gather to walk in procession from the Grotte des Apparitions to the Rosaire esplanade, all are bearing torches and all are singing. It is a moving sight, joyous and magical.
- From 500 € /person -
- Based on 2 persons
The price includes
7 nights in chambres d’hotes and 4 and 3 star hotels, en B&B - 1 entry (2h) to Balnéa spa - 1 ‘Grands Sites’ pass for the Pic du Midi and Cauterets-Pont d’Espagne - 1 entry (2h) to Luzéa spa - 1 entry (2h) to Les Bains du Rocher spa - 1 entry to the Pyrenees Animal Park - Booking fee.
The price does not include
Cancellation insurance - Lunches - Local taxes.
Good places for lunch and dinner
From gastronomic restaurants to typical local cuisine, there is something for every taste. With a fine blend of the flavours of the south and many mountain specialities the Hautes Pyrenees offers a varied range of restaurants. Full of flavour and colour - confit de canard, foie gras, garbure... ask the chef , he will certainly have his own local speciality for you to try.