Pyrenees Winter Walk & Snowshoe
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Start and end in Toulouse! With the discovery tour Pyrenees Winter Walk & Snowshoe, you have a 8 day tour package taking you through Toulouse, France and Bagnères-de-Luchon. Pyrenees Winter Walk & Snowshoe is a small group tour that includes accommodation as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
- Age range
- 16 to 80 year olds
- Max Group Size
12 ReviewsWrite a review
- AnonymousWritten on January 7, 20135.0 - ExcellentA beautiful part of the Pyrenees - I've walked this area in Spring and Summer, and now I know Winter is just as good. Showshoing up the Pyrenees is no harder than walking up in Summer - and indeed going downhill is easier, the snow takes the shock rather than your knees. Wonderful chalet accommodation - the food was excellent and plenty of it.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Crossing the frontier to Spain at about 2200 metres, and looking down at the Aran Valley in blazing sunshine. Standing on a mountain ridge in February wearing a t-shirt and sun-screen.What did you think of your group leader?Chris is a very good leader - some of the routes had potential for real hazard, but he got us across safely.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Even in Winter, take some hot-weather clothing. I wore pile saloperttes, which were excellent for the conditions expected in February - but we had 4 brilliant sunny days, and I was sweltering going uphill!Is there anything else you would like to add?The chalet "La Feniere" is a wonderful spot. Bagneres de Luchon around the valley is one of my favourite towns of the Pyrenees, and up from the chalet is Superbagneres - on our rest day I took the cable-car up to the top and walked down to the chalet, spotting lizards already running around the sunnyÂ walls - and this was February. Braver souls arranged tandem para-gliding from the top, while others hired skis for the day. Definitely there's a lot to do.
- AnonymousWritten on January 2, 20135.0 - ExcellentGreat walking and snowshoeing all week. Lots of variety in the walks - snowfields, hills, woods etc. , all with excellent views. Accommodation fine with the bonus of excellent food and plenty of it! What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Got to be the wild boar!What did you think of your group leader?A character and a half with excellent local knowledge!
- AnonymousWritten on December 31, 20125.0 - ExcellentAn excellent holiday - just as described in the brochure it was moderate/challenging walking with amazing views. Very well organised, great walk leader topped off by fantastic food!What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Seeing a wild boar running across a snowfield - wow!What did you think of your group leader?Very well informed and quite a character!!
- AnonymousWritten on April 3, 20124.0 - GoodA real get away from it all experience. I usually do all my plotting and scheming when I'm walking but snow shoeing took all my concentrationWhat was the most inspirational moment of your trip?High in the snow on the mountains, clear blue skies and sense of achievement , big dose of fresh air , meeting no-one but our partyÂ and just animal prints in the snowWhat did you think of your group leader?Perfect mix of professionalism and friendlinessDo you have any advice for potential travellers?The trip notes were comprehensive the only query we all had was whether you really needed a 40litre day packWe all thought smaller would doIs there anything else you would like to add?Overall great holiday , good combinationGlad I selected this trip, was looking at warmer climes
- AnonymousWritten on January 22, 20125.0 - ExcellentThis was an absolutly fantastic holiday. The food, scenery and company were all brilliant and it was of course in a magnificent area. It was a diverse group of people but everyone got on very well, had plenty of laughs, and will keep in touch I hope.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?On New Yeras day when we reached a peak on the border between France and Spain. It was a beautifull, sunny, still day andÂ the views across to the Mediteranian on the Spanish side were something I will remember for a very long time. I can't think of a better place to seen in the New Year from!What did you think of your group leader?Very good. The leader made sure that all of the walks were fun, safe and yet challenging. It was good for people to feel like they had actually achieved something at the end of each day. He also contributed to the jokes and the fun atmosphere which helped to make sure people were almost never in a bad mood.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?You will need to be reasonably fit to do this holiday. It is also very important that you bring all of the correct kit as specified in the trip notes. A good pair of sunglasses are particularly important, because on sunny days the glare of the sun on the snow is quite dazzling.Is there anything else you would like to add?There is nothing bad I can think off to say about this holiday. I would highly recommend it to anyone. I did not really want to come home at the end of the week!
- AnonymousWritten on March 4, 20104.0 - GoodVery well organised expeditions each day tailored to the group's abilities and the prevailing conditions: excellent, nourishing food suiting all tastes.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Glorious ridge walk in fresh snow, surrounded by jagged peaks in bright sunshineWhat did you think of your group leader?Merv is a very experienced, knowledgeable, kind and encouraging group leader.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If you haven't done this before, go for it!Is there anything else you would like to add?Don't expect 5 star luxury, but the food compensates and the views are magnificent.
- AnonymousWritten on March 3, 20104.0 - GoodAmazing scenery, delicious food, almost-perfect weather, great company.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The ridge walk on the final day was spectacular. The conditions were ideal, with bright sunshine, blue skys and most importantly, lots of snow!What did you think of your group leader?Merv was a friendly and enthusiastic leader. He planned a varied programme of walks, ensuring every day was different. He had the difficulty of having to deal with a wide range of walking abilities. He coped reasonably well with this, but at times a second leader would have been useful,Â as this would have enabledÂ the group to split.Â Merv was not always quick enough to provide reassurance when members of the group needed it.I would also like to mention Simon, who cooked all of the meals at the chalet. His cooking was excellent and I was particularly impressed by the way he cooked separate meals for those with special requirements (I'm a vegetarian). Nothing was too much trouble for him. The packed lunches that he prepared for us were substantial and delicious; just what was needed when out in the mountains.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Read the trip notes carefully. The walks in this trip are fairly challenging and you need to be able to cope with some significant ascents. This is a mountainous area after all!Is there anything else you would like to add?The accommodation, although very pleasantly situated, has some deficiencies. Most of these are mentioned in the trip notes, for example the shared facilities. There was also a problem with the heating when we were there. The rooms were warm, but the radiators didn't come on, making it very difficult to dry clothes. As already mentioned in another review, the porch area is inadequate. Walking boots left there overnight did not dry out properly and there wasn't sufficient space to hang outdoor gear. The bedrooms themselves varied, but mine was very small with insufficient storage space (just a small chest of drawers). This was particularly difficult given that there were two of us sharing.
- AnonymousWritten on January 19, 20104.0 - GoodA very well organised, most enjoyable trip with a great bunch of people.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?When the clouds parted on Christmas Day and revealed some of the main Pyrenean Ridge for the first time.Drinking the most superb mulled wine I've ever tasted during our morning break from snowshoeing!What did you think of your group leader?Excellent - bags of patience and good company as well as having the knack of choosing places with the best snow when there was not that much snow around! Had every confidence in his decisions and in his driving.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Don't worry about not having any previous experience but be prepared to walk part of the day without snowshoes. We often started and finished the day carrying our snowshoes. You can also get away with a sack less than 45 litres.Is there anything else you would like to add?The food was wonderful and most imaginative. I can't praise Simon too highly for his meals and his cakes whichÂ welcomed us home every afternoon! The lodge is very cosy with excellent showers.
- AnonymousWritten on January 19, 20104.0 - GoodA great week's walking with amazing views, a relaxed vibe (though hard walking) and great food.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The walks were just fantastic - even though we had a lack of low-level snow. The final day ridge-walk was particularly good.What did you think of your group leader?The group leader Merv was a very good guide, he adjusted each day to the weather and snow conditions and the group. His very subtle adjustments kept the whole group challenged but not too tired all week.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be aware that you will be walking all day for five days, and doing a lot of ascending and descending. Walking in snowshoes is more tiring than hiking without snow so be sure you are prepared. Also, we took up the offer of a days x-country skiing on our 'day off' over in Spain. It was fantastic fun, most of us had never tried the sport before but we picked up enough to enjoy the day. I'd highly recommend this trip if you're legs are feeling ok with the walking.Is there anything else you would like to add?Although the Chalet is lovely (and food was fantastic) be aware that there are no ensuite showers as you'd expect in a similar Chalet with a ski company. The shower facilities that do exist are absolutely fine but know that they are downstairs away from the bedrooms and there are only two between the group (max. 10 people).
- AnonymousWritten on January 19, 20104.0 - GoodThe walks were just the right end of challenging, and I really liked the relatively small group size. The scenery was great, even though there wasn't the amount of snow we had hoped for (but you can't do much about the weather). Friendly, relaxing and FANTASTIC food.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?I just love being in the mountains.Â Add snow to the mix, and plenty of sunshine, and the wow moments come thick and fast.Â I'm told there's a Maori proverb about Mount Cook which goes something like "If you bow your head, be it to a lofty mountain".Â That's how mountains are for me.What did you think of your group leader?We had a wonderful group leader.Â He was knowledgeable both about the area and about outdoor activities and winter sports, with years of experience.Â He inspired a feeling of confidence and safety, making it clear who was in charge without being overbearing.Â He kept reminding us it was a holiday, not SAS training!Â He set the pace of the walks exactly right to allow those who wanted to push on a bit to do so, without making anyone feel they were getting left behind, or were holding people up.Â He was friendly, with plenty of time for - and an apparently genuine interest in - each member of the group.Â He made sure we had a lot of fun, that the trip was relaxing, and no-one felt forced to do things they didn't want to.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If you like walking and do a bit from time-to-time you'll have no problem.Â Snow-shoeing is straightforward to get the hang of.Â If your hill-walking is a bit rusty, you'd do well to get in some practise either in real life or in the gym if there's no other way - these are mountains, so you do have to walk up things.Â It's worth it! The brochure makes it clear that the chalet is shared facilities so be prepared for that.Â Having said that, there didn't seemed to be any problems, and there was loads of hot water.Â The chalet is comfortable and warm.Â Don't expect to be able to walk into town in the evening though, and if music is important to you make sure you've got your mp3 player loaded or bring your own CDs - the collection in the chalet is limited!There IS free wi-fi though - worth knowing if you've an iPhone/touch or Blackberry etc.Is there anything else you would like to add?Simon and Merv looked after us very well, and we had a lovely, relaxing, outdoorsy time - just as we'd hoped for.
ItineraryDownload PDF Brochure
- Day 1: Start La Fenière, near Luchon, 2 hours drive from Toulouse.
- Day 2: The first of our five guided snowshoe walks in the area.
- Day 3: Set off from La Feniere for the second of our guided snowshoe walks.
- Day 4: Third snowshoe walk in the surrounding area, often exploring the snowy ridges.
- Day 5: Free day for relaxation, optional downhill skiing or paragliding.
- Day 6: Depending on conditions we may take a longer low level walk in the Vallée d'Oueil through several of the pretty mountain villages that characterise the area.
- Day 7: A great way to finish the week is to take part of the GR10 from Artigues, high above the Luchon Valley onto the Plan de Montmajou for breathtaking views back across the mountains.
- Day 8: End Luchon.
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- Start and end in Toulouse.
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Covering a total distance of approx 228 km.
- Toulouse (France)
- 114 km
- Bagnères-de-Luchon (France)
- 114 km
- Toulouse (France)
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