October 13-22, 2019
|Cost||$2361.00 (per person, double occupancy)
$300.00 (single supplement: see exceptions)
|Travel Dates||October 13-22, 2019|
|Description||Discover the mountains and valleys of the Spanish Pyrenees travelling from Barcelona towards Bilbao. We will be hiking in four stunning areas of pristine and wild mountains: The first area takes us to the Gistain Valley – an untouched and undeveloped mountain paradise of traditional farming villages and magnificent mountains. We then move to some of the classic hikes in the valleys and canyons of the Ordesa National Park including the iconic Ordesa Canyon. Heading west, we hike in the Valles Occidentales Natural Park up to glacial lakes and the border ridge with France. The final part of the tour is in the magical Baztan Valley in Navarre where the hikes follow ancestral trails with long ridge walks through highland pastures and virgin forest.
Our luggage will be transferred for us so we will be hiking with just our daypacks. This trip combines wonderful hikes, beautiful villages, great food, local lodging and the discovery of an ancient mountain culture. This trip will be a true Spanish Pyrenees Adventure!
|Included||Private transportation per itinerary; daily luggage transfer; English speaking guide; 9 nights lodging; 8 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 3 dinners; generous guide gratuity.|
|Payment Policy||A Deposit of $ _800.00_ is due with the application forms to register for the trip.
Must have at least 12 registered and paid in full by March 1, 2019 for the trip to go.
The Balance of $ 1561.00 is due no later than March 1, 2019
|Accommodations and Meals||Our accommodations while hiking will be in smaller local lodging with single and double occupancy en suite rooms. Websites are listed on the itinerary and are subject to change if necessary.
A typical breakfast in this area will be about 8:00am and offer toast, yogurt, cereal, fruit, cheese and cold meats. Picnic lunches are provided and include salads, cheeses, hard meats and fruit. Dinner, where meals are provided will consist of a starter, main course with vegetables and dessert and are in local restaurants known for their good food. Wine is included. NOTE: Vegetarian and special diets will be catered to as possible. Please inform Trip Leader of any specific requirements and consider bringing specific supplements if needed.
|Trip Insurance||It is very strongly recommended that all participants have trip or travel insurance that will cover trip cancellation by the participant, travel delays, medical expenses and medical evacuation. ADK does not provide this insurance and does not cover medical expenses or evacuation in the event you are injured or become ill during the trip. Note that if you have to cancel after the date indicated above, and cannot be replaced from the leader’s waiting list, if any; you could be out the entire amount you paid for the trip. NOTE: Medicare does not cover expenses outside the USA and its territories, and evacuation from a remote location can be astronomically expensive, especially if by helicopter.|
|Daily Itinerary||Day 1, Sunday, October 13:
Barcelona to Plan
Plan to arrive at the Barcelona airport (airport code: BCN) by 12:00pm/noon and we will gather at a place to be determined. NOTE: The meeting time may change depending on flight arrival schedules in October 2019. We will have two private Vans transferring us 3 ½ hours to Plan in the Aragonese Pyrenees. In the late afternoon/early evening, we will get together for an informational meeting followed by a group dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight: Plan: Hotel Mediodai: www.hotelmediodia.com Meals: D
Day 2, Monday, October 14:
17 km/10.5 miles; 5 hours; 400m ascent/descent
A beautiful walk following the old paths between four villages in the valley. We start by hiking up to a plateau above the valley floor, pass two of the prettiest hamlets in Aragón and then continue on a path running along the valley edge through hayfields and alpine pasture. After reaching the village of Chistén we follow the old track back down to Plan. This walk is like going back in time to a rural idyll and takes you through diverse habitats with Mediterranean influence and many bird species including the ubiquitous Griffon Vulture. Also, wild mushrooms might be out!
Overnight: Plan: Hotel Mediodai: www.hotelmediodia.com Meals: B, L
Day 3, Tuesday, October 15:
15 km/9.3 miles; 6 hours; 900m ascent/descent
We’ll hike to the nearby Pineta Canyon (one of the three canyons in the Ordesa National Park) to do a magical hike along a ridge between the Pineta Canyon and the Chisagues Valley. The views up to Monte Perdido and over the canyon are out of this world. We can do a peak along the way – Comodoto (2355m) and finish the hike with a long descent back into the Pineta Valley. Wonderful views and birds of prey.
Overnight: Plan: Hotel Mediodai: www.hotelmediodia.com Meals: B, L
Day 4, Wednesday, October 16:
12 km/7.5 miles; 5 hours; 450m ascent/descent
A 45 minute drive brings us to the Añisclo Canyon – one of the three spectacular canyons which radiate from Monte Perdido. We´ll walk up to a tiny mountain hamlet before walking an ancient track down into the canyon. Once in the canyon itself, we’ll enjoy spectacular scenery including the river Bellos which thunders between sheer rock walls. After the hike, we’ll drive through wonderful country to the village of Torla set beneath the Ordesa Canyon.
Overnight: Torla: Hotel Villa de Torla: www.hotelvilladetorla.com Meals: B, L
Day 5, Thursday, October 17:
18km/11 miles; 6 hours; 600m ascent/descent
A classic circuit of the Ordesa Canyon. A steep climb brings us to a ´balcony´ 600 meters above the canyon floor which we follow to the canyon cirque below Monte Perdido – Europe´s highest limestone peak. The views and wildlife are superb. From the cirque, the path descends along the base of the canyon, at first through alpine pastures and then virgin Beech and Silver Fir forest. An amazing walk! After the hike we drive 1 ½ hours west to our next base in Hecho…a wonderful picturesque village with a great atmosphere and yet still very traditional.
Overnight: Hecho: Hotel de la Val (no direct website) Meals: B, L, D
Day 6, Friday, October 18:
17 km/10.5miles; 6 hours; 300m ascent/descent
The Hecho Valley is one of the finest of the Pyrenees with great walking, birdlife and wildlife in the range and is part of the Western Pyrenees Natural Park. We hike from the top of the Hecho Valley along a delightful valley beneath the French border. This is fabulous country and a great introduction to the area and we end up at a mountain lake with views out over the Val d´Aspe. The source of the Subordan River is here and then meanders down the flat AguasTuertas (twisty waters) valley before cascading into the valley proper. Wonderful!
Overnight: Hecho: Hotel de la Val (no direct website) Meals: B, L
Day 7, Saturday, October 19:
12 km/7.5 miles; 6 hours; 800m ascent/descent
A fabulous walk up to the Ibón (glacial lake) de Acherito which nestles in its cirque just below the French border ridge. From the lake we´ll climb to the border and look down on France before descending on a long circuit around the magnificent Acherito Valley. Expect magnificent views and birds of prey including the pair of Lammergeier (the very rare bearded vulture) which nests in this valley.
Overnight:Hecho: Hotel de la Val (no direct website) Meals: B, L
Day 8, Sunday, October 20:
Sightseeing/Possible afternoon hike
Today we leave Aragón for the province of Navarre. Driving west we´ll make a few stops to explore some pretty villages and a superb 11th Century monastery along the way. A walk around the city of Pamplona, famous for its bull running, is another possible visit. Then we drive north to Erratzuwhich is a quintessential Basque village in the stunning Baztan Valley. Magnificent old farmhouses, a rural, timeless atmosphere and a village surrounded by mountains. We will stay in the wonderful Casa Etxebeltzea…one of the finest and most historic houses in the village with comfortable rooms and a fascinating history. An afternoon hike from the village is possible.
Overnight: Erratzu: Casa Rural Etxebeltzea:www.etxebeltzea-baztan.com Meals: B, L
Day 9, Monday, October 21:
16 km/ 10 miles; 6 hours; 300m ascent/600m descent
A magnificent ridge walk above the Baztan Valley taking in Pico Alkurruntz on the French border. We descend through high pastures and down to the village of Azpiliqueta. There are fantastic views west to the Atlantic and east to the High Pyrenees. As this is our last night together, we’ll celebrate our trip during a farewell group dinner.
Overnight: Erratzu: Casa Rural Etxebeltzea:www.etxebeltzea-baztan.com Meals: B, L, D
Day 10, Tuesday, October 22:
17 km/10.5 miles; 6 hours; 700m ascent/900m descent
We’ll hike along the border through primeval Beech forest and up through high pastures to Pico Auza. We will descend back to our start point on a different path and along the way we´ll find 5000 year old burial circles, a wonderful ridge with intriguing piles of rocks and see many Griffon Vultures. After our hike, a 2 hour transfer to Bilbao where our trip officially ends.
Overnight: On your own. Meals: B, L
|Notes||TRAVEL ITINERARIES/FLIGHT RESERVATIONS: Do not make your travel plans or flight arrangements until Trip Leader advises the trip has the minimum participants for the trip to go. (Arrive: Barcelona, Spain, airport code: BCN. Depart: Bilbao, Spain, airport code: BIO).
TIME DIFFERENCE: Spain is 6 hours ahead of ET.
PASSPORT: A valid passport that has at least 6 months validity remaining from the date of your return.
VISA’S: Not required.
IMMUNIZATIONS: Not required.
EMERGENCIES: Leave your itinerary with your emergency contact so they can reach you at our accommodations each evening. And consider buying an international cell service plan.
WEATHER: The weather can vary from the cities to the mountains from daily temperatures of 50 to 75 degrees F and evening/night temperatures from 50 to 60 degrees F. The climate is changeable this time of year so we will be prepared for all conditions. Mountain areas are always unpredictable concerning weather and some rain and mist is not uncommon.
WI-FI AND CELL SERVICE: Wi-Fi should be available at all accommodations and cell service should be available in most areas. The quality of the signal varies from place to place.
ATM’s: You will find bank machines in most cities we’ll be visiting except for Erratzu. In larger cities you should be able to use credit cards as well. Always good to have some cash.
ELECTRICITY: The electric current in Spain 230V and the flat European standard fit into the Spanish sockets.
TRANSPORTATION: We will have two 9 passenger minibuses with air conditioning.
TRIP PRICES/ARRANGEMENTS: Subject to change due to circumstances beyond ADK’s and Trip Leader’s control.
TOUR OPERATOR: Trip Leader has partnered with Richard Cash of Alto Aragon. He is originally from the UK and has spent half his life in the Pyrenees. Richard has led hiking, nature, skiing and cultural trips in Spain for more than 20 years and continues to be amazed at the wonders of his chosen home. He’s knowledgeable, easy going and works hard to make sure each client has the best possible vacation. Leading birding, botany, butterfly and general nature tours has fed his interest in the web of nature, the interactions between species and how they adapt to their environment. Richard is also fascinated by the history and culture of Spain, particularly the traditional life which still exists in Spain’s villages, valleys and mountains. Richard lives with his family in a tiny hilltop village in the Pyrenees and loves photography, reading, history, growing organic vegetables and playing banjo, mandolin and guitar.
|What to Bring||Luggage to be transferred is limited to one soft sided piece weighing not more than 20 kg/44 pounds. For daily hikes, choose clothing that is light and comfortable and easy to dress in layers depending on the weather. A day pack that is large enough to hold extra clothes, hats (both sun and light knit), light gloves, glasses, sunscreen, lunch, snacks (bring your own energy bars if you want them), water (at least 2 liters), fleece, rain jacket, rain pants and a waterproof pack cover. Wear comfortable preferably waterproof light hiking boots or sturdy hiking shoes that are adjusted to your feet to avoid blisters and sore joints. Sandals or light running shoes are not suitable for this hiking, since they do not give any ankle support or protection from rocks, vegetation or water. Hiking poles can also be useful, as they reduce the impact of the walk on the knees and joints and help with climbs and descents.|
|Trip Leader||Mary Chayka-Crawford
P.O. Box 501 Lake Orion, MI 48361