The Very Best of the Pyrenees
- Grand Sites
A Grand Tour of the Pyrenees - 7 days/7 nights (3 nights in Spain)
Crossing the border into Spain, on this itinerary you will discover the biggest and best scenery in the Pyrenees: the highest peak, spectacular canyons and grandiose cirques which are World Heritage sites, the miracle that is Lourdes, the highest Observatory in Europe in the clearest of skies...On the map
From 697 € /person Based on 2 persons
- 7 days/7 nights in chambres d’hotes and 3 and 4 star hotels, with breakfasts included, in Jaca, Ainsa, Benasque, Saint-Lary, 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, Cieléo, Les Bains du Rocher, with indoor baths, outdoor lagoon, sauna, hammam, jacuzzi....
- 7 days car hire
to book this holiday package or receive informations
- A Franco - Spanish itinerary, a very different ambience either side of the border
- A detailed itinerary to follow independently
- All reserved in advance
- Preferential rates for the car hire
Departure point: Lourdes-Pyrénées Airport. Cols de Soulor and Aubisque > Spain: Monasterio San Juan de la Peña - Night in Jaca - 3h53 / 180 km
For this first day you will leap straight into some dramatic scenery... on the border crossing, and the spectacular Soulor, Aubisque and the Pourtalet mountain pass, it is a great introduction to the Pyrenees. You will discover your first Pyrenean marvel, the Monastery of San Juan de la Peña.
Ordesa Canyon - Night in Ainsa - 1h59 / 101 km
After having admired it from afar, from the balcony of the Pyrenees, today you will enter into the very heart of the canyon, whose immense sheer walls remind one of the Grand Canyon in Colorado. Together with the Gavarnie-Mont Perdido range it is a World Heritage site, once you have feasted your eyes on its magnificent and colossal beauty one can see why. Gavarnie and Ordesa, on opposite sides of the same mountain are the two most spectacular sites of the whole range.
Benasque > Trou du Toro - Night in Benasque - 1h17 / 61 km
Get going early as today you are going to meet the master of the Pyrenees, the Pic d’Aneto, at 3,404m it is the highest in the Pyrenees. It is a summit as legendary as Mont Blanc and equally is a mecca for mountaineers. Even though it is not a difficult ascent, we are not proposing that you climb it! But feast your eyes on this mystical mountain, the Trou de Toro literally swallows all the waters coming off its glacier.
France: Cols de Portillon and Peyresourde > Balnéa spa centre - Night in Saint-Lary - 3h37 / 162 km
This is the longest day of your road trip, but the itinerary takes you through magnificent scenery. There are 5 cols or mountain passes on the programme so many superb panoramas to enjoy. Half way along the route we suggest a stop at Bossost, a pretty village much appreciated by the French from over the border who enjoy shopping here. It could be the ideal lunch stop. And as you reach journey's end a reward awaits... a relaxing and soothing spa bath at the Balnea spa, in the open air, surrounded by mountain peaks.
Col d'Aspin > Pic du Midi > Col du Tourmalet > Cieléo spa centre - Night in Gavarnie - 2h07 / 93 km
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 Aspin mountain pass. After a thrilling cable-car ride you enjoy the greatest panorama in the Pyrenees from the top at nearly 3,000 metres. You then cross the famous Tourmalet mountain pass, scene of so many dramas of the Tour de France before spending the night in the sensational setting of Gavarnie. But do not be impatient, you will have plenty of time tomorrow to discover this World Heritage site.
Cirques de Gavarnie - Troumouse - Estaubé - Night in Cauterets - 1h18 / 50 km
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. At the end of the day you will be in Cauterets ready for the best seats for the Garden of Eden of the Pyrenees : Cauterets Pont d'Espagne.
Cauterets-Pont d’Espagne > Bains du Rocher spa centre > Lourdes (torchlight procession) - Night in Lourdes - 1h15 /45 km
Today will be gentle, peaceful and revitalising. After an exploration of the Garden of Eden of the Pyrenees that is Pont d'Espagne we head for Lourdes for an unusual experience. And if you can get up early you can start the day with a relaxing session in the soothing waters of the Bains de Rocher spa centre in Cauterets.
Before you leave the Pyrenees we suggest you rest a while in Lourdes to see its astonishing funicular railway, the castle and its lovely lake.
Hotels 4*, 3* and guest house
Day 1: a 4 star hotel in Jaca
This modern and comfortable hotel is ideally situated. Located close to the centre of Jaca and its ancient streets you can enjoy all the old town has to offer from a quiet setting. Take a stroll through the mediaeval streets flanked by 16th century buildings, have a drink on one of the many cafe terraces, you can cool down with a dip at the hotel's pool of an evening, with high Pyrenean summits all around. The bedrooms are spacious as are the public areas. The hotel has 124 rooms (28 have equipped kitchens), 2 rooms for persons with reduced mobility, each with bathroom, wi-fi, central heatinh, air conditioning, mini-bar, telephone, 26" flat screen TV, many have a terrace.
The hotel has a cafe, restaurant, lounges, swimming pool, and a jacuzzi (1/6 to 15/9), and a garage (if space).
Animals are not accepted.
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 3 star hotel in Benasque
Located on the edge of the magnificent Posets Maladeta natural park, in the heart of the Spanish Pyrenees, this cahrming hotel is on the main street of Benasque. For over 30 years, the two brothers, Jose Maria and Dioni, have run the establishment, they have plenty of good advice to offer for your explorations. The hotel is constructed in a traditional style of wood and glass. Ancient skis and sledges adorn the walls, the lounge has an open fire, the terrace is shady and full of flowers.
The hotel has 42 bright and beautifully decorated rooms, the restaurant specialises in the cuisine of the region. There is a lounge bar, a cafe, and garage. Free wi-fi in all the rooms.
Animals not accepted.
Day 4: 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 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: a 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.
SAN JUAN DE LA PENA
On the Santiago de Compostella route
Almost hidden in the forest and perched on an enormous rocky outcrop, the Monastery of San Juan de la Pena is an important stop on the route to Santiago de Compostella.
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 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 TROU DE TORO
The Posets Maladeta natural park
The Trou de Toro (or the Forau de Aygualuts) is one of the most extraordinary sites in the Pyrenees. It is a deep chasm of 40 metres into which the melt waters from the Aneto glaciers tumble. Aneto is the highest mountain in the Pyrenees.
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 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 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 697 € /person -
- Based on 2 persons
The price includes
7 days car hire is included (contractual guarantee in case of damage or theft, insurance for driver and passebgers, 24h/24h and 7d/7d medical assistance, civil responsibility cover) - 7 nights in chambres d’hotes and 4 and 3 star hotels, en B&B - 1 entry (2h) to Balnéa spa centre - 1 ‘Grands Sites’ pass for the Pic du Midi and Cauterets-Pont d’Espagne - 1 entry (2h) to Cieléo spa centre - 1 entry (2h) to Les Bains du Rocher spa centre - Booking fee.
The price does not include
Cancellation insurance - Lunches - Local taxes.
If your departure point or your plane’s arrival time do not allow you to complete the whole of this itinerary on day 1, we can offer a hotel around Jaca or in the Tena valley (we will adapt according to your timings). You can then visit the Monastery of San Juan de la Peña the following day before heading to the Ordesa canyons.
Make the most of your stay in Lourdes by taking the century old Pic du Jer funicular railway, visit the ancient castle with its superb view over the town, or even a swim at Lac de Lourdes!
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.