Across the Pyrenees

Bilbao, Spain

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Travel from Bilbao to Barcelona on this comprehensive trek across the iconic Pyrenees - a hiker's paradise. Learn about the culture, architecture, and natural surroundings of this fascinating region as you hike through the ancient mountain kingdoms of Aragón and Catalonia. Marvel at towering peaks, high meadows, and enormous waterfalls while traversing challenging and magnificent terrain. Wrap up each day's adventure at a picturesque country inn or a luxurious parador. With guided tours of Pamplona and Barcelona that bookend the trip, experience the best of this mesmerizing region.


Duration: 9 Days
Starts in: Bilbao, Spain
Ends in: Barcelona, Spain
Group Size: 4-16

Operated by:

MT Sobek

MT Sobek, the originators, innovators and leaders in adventure travel for more than five decades, crafts journeys to the world's most memorable places.


Arrive in Bilbao, Spain

Arrive in Bilbao early morning to rendezvous with the group at 11am. After a briefing, enjoy a 2-hour drive to the capital of Navarre province, Pamplona — best known for the famous "running of the bulls." Enjoy a walking tour, followed by lunch in the old town. Then transfer to Ordesa National Park, founded in 1918 as Spain's first national park, with sheer cliffs, lush forests, and deep valleys, all dominated by Monte Perdido, the third highest peak in the Pyrenees. Spend the night in the mountain village of Torla.

Hike through Forests & Meadows to Gavarnie

This morning, transfer to the trailhead for a hike along the banks of the Ara River through beech and pine forests. At San Nicolas de Bujaruelo, cross the river on a beautiful stone bridge, the remains of an old Roman road. Continue through meadows and high pastures to Bujaruelo Pass (7,920') and the French border. In the late afternoon, descend into the French town of Gavarnie, enjoying spectacular bird's-eye views of the majestic amphitheater, where foaming waterfalls pour over 1,500-foot walls.

Take a Dramatic Hike to Monte Perdido

Enjoy dramatic views of the scree field and valley below as you take a challenging 9-hour hike down a very steep scree slope in the area of Monte Perdido. From Gavarnie (4,554'), cross again to the Spanish side via Espuguettes-Puerto Nuevo de Pineta (9,441') and the Circo de Pineta, ending at the Parador Nacional de Bielsa (also known as Parador Monte Perdido) in Aragón's Valle de Pineta — a truly impressive mountain setting!

Admire Sweeping Views from the Balcon de Pineta

On today's hike, follow switchbacks to the Balcon de Pineta and Lago Helado de Marboré. This strenuous route goes along the highest part of the base of Pico Marboré and Monte Perdido, two of the area's high peaks. From the Balcon (9,900'), enjoy dazzling views of the valley below.

Discover Benasque in Maladeta Aneto Natural Park

Transfer to the village of Benasque in Maladeta Aneto Natural Park. After visiting the village, drive a little further to Llanos del Hospital, under the peaks of Aneto, the highest of the Pyrenees, and Maladeta. Check into the hotel and enjoy a delicious lunch before the 2-hour hike to Aigualluts, the lower meadow below Aneto Peak. Enjoy dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Hike below Aneto, the Highest Peak in the Pyrenees

Hike towards Puerto de la Picada through a tranquil landscape with grazing horses and swaying grasses. After the initial ascent on a good trail with magnificent views of the Aneto (11,168') and Maladeta (10,866') peaks, reach the highest point of the Puerto (8,182'). Then enter Catalonia and the Vall d'Aran (7,755') as you descend to the waterfall of Uelhs deth Joeu (Eyes of the Jew). After a short transfer, reach the parador and enjoy time to stroll through the mountain village of Arties or swim in the parador's outdoor pool.

Enjoy a Gentle Climb in Catalonia

You are now in the Catalonia (Cataluña) region of the Pyrenees, which has a separate identity from the rest of Spain. After a 30-minute transfer, embark on a gentle climb from a meadow below the Puerto de la Bonaigua (6,270') through boulders up to Lagos de Gerver (7,300'), a sparking lake surrounded by green lichen and bushes bursting with red berries. Then descend to the road, where you board a bus for a 3-hour drive to the Montserrat area, near Barcelona. Enjoy an overnight in a beautiful medieval castle.

Explore Montserrat and See Gaudi Masterpieces in Barcelona

Transfer one hour to the cable train of Montserrat, the sacred mountain of the Catalans, and hike via the Pla de Ocells and below the sandstone pinnacles of Cavall Bernat (4,950'). The setting of Wagner's opera Parsifal, this mountain range is a mystical landscape of towering pillars and smooth pinnacles. Descend to the 9th-century Benedictine monastery and shrine of the Black Madonna. In the afternoon, transfer one hour to Barcelona, check into the hotel and enjoy a sightseeing tour, taking in Gaudi-designed buildings. Enjoy a farewell dinner with the group.

Fly home

Transfer on your own to Barcelona International Airport for homeward-bound or onward flights.


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