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GR10 self-guided Section 8 : From Vernet les Bains to Banyuls sur Mer

7 days

6 nights

Easy Moderate

Self-guided

17PGR8LF

from 665 €

The mountain that is fully representative and symbolic of the Eastern Pyrenees, the very symbol of the Catalans, is the Massif du Canigou. This summit dominates the Roussillon plains and the Mediterranean coastline.

The position of the summit is isolated from the rest of the Pyrenean chain, so it stands out and is easy to spot, omnipresent in the landscape. It is nicknamed the Fujiyama Catalan.

These protected areas that you walk through are a special environment and for nature lovers there is rich flora and fauna to admire.

From Vernet-les-Bains, a small spa town, you can visit the famous Abbey of Saint Martin du Canigou. It is built on a rocky pinnacle and is still occupied by a religious community. An interesting, calm spiritual halt before hiking onwards.

Depending on the weather and your motivation, you have the choice of going around the Canigou summit, or going up and over!  You will drop down to the Roman spa town Arles sur Tech. From here, the GR10 gets close to the French/Spanish border, after having passed the Roc de France and the famous Col du Perthus, you will drop down into a vegetation of Mediteranean garrigue. The last mountain foothills of the Massif des Albères give way to the sea. You can't help but be charmed as you approach the enticing blue coastline.  The sandy beach of Banyuls, one of the prettiest spots along the Vermeille coastline is not far off !

 


 

 


Dates and prices

Departures

Everyday from the 15th of June to the end of September. According to availabilities.
Booking from 2 people (solo traveller, consult us)
Consult us for group discounts.

Prices : From 15/06/2020 to 30/09/2020 : 665€/person

 

Extras/Discounts :

- Comfort version : 5 nights in rooms : 55€/pers

- Extra night in Bed & Breakfast double room at Vernet les Bains : 55€/pers

- Extra night in half board double room at Vernet les Bains: 75€/pers

- Discount “Baroudeurs” : no luggage transfer : 200€/booking


The price includes

- Half-board accommodation

- Transfer day 1

- Luggage transfers except 1 night in refuge day 1

- Dossier containing maps, route notes (1 for 4 persons, given in 1st accommodation)

- GPS tracks if you ask us


The price does not include

-Holiday and travel insurance

-Showers in the mountain huts

-Booking fees (10€)

-Additional transfers

-Entrance fees, additional activities

-Drinks and picnics

Day 1 : From Vernet les Bains to Cortalets refuge

Meet at 9 AM at Villefranche-Vernet les Bains railway station. Transfer to the Mariailles refuge, beautiful site dominating gorges. The GR10 goes around the famous Mont Canigou passing over the col de Ségalès which is situated at an altitude of 2040m. This is a mountain Mediterranean experience! In good weather it is possible to do a variant that is not part of the GR10 that will take you to the summit. Night in the famous refuge des Cortalets. Distance : 16km, duration : 5h30, altitude gain : +1155m, descent : -685m. Distance : 12km, duration : 4h45, altitude gain : +1150m, descent : -680m (Canigou variant).

Day 2 : From Cortalets refuge to Batère

Leaving the century-old Cortalets refuge, you follow the balcony of Canigou for part of the day, crossing to Batère via the Col de Cirère. Step by step, you discover a breathtaking panorama. The view stretches from Roussillon to the Mediterranean to Cerdanya and Capcir; and from the Corbières to the Montagne Noire to Sète and the Cévennes. Relaxation and conviviality on arrival with a "hot spot" (hot bath at 36°C) on the terrace of the refuge and its breathtaking view. Distance : 16km, duration : 4h30, altitude gain : +455m, descent : -1145m.

Day 3 : From Batère to Arles sur Tech

During the descent to the charming tourist resort of Arles sur Tech, you will encounter many types of vegetation in this massif, from high altitude pastures to forests. The alpine environment is slowly transforming into a Mediterranean environment. This illustrates the diversity of this exceptional landscape. The Canigou Massif itself is home to a quarter of the plant species in France and all the mountain wildlife you would expect. Distance : 11,5km, duration : 3h30, altitude gain : +55m, descent : -1235m.

Day 4 : From Arles sur Tech to Las Illas

From Arles sur Tech, the path climbs towards the Paracolls pass then goes down to the Ribère valley. Then by a path on a balcony and through the forest you reach the hamlet of Montalba d'Amélie, with its incomparable isolation and charm. At the exit of the beech and chestnut woods, the Cerda pass offers itself to you, at the base of the Sant Salvador rock. Then it is the crest of the Frausa rock with its wide panorama of the Catalan plain of the Empordà. Difficult and long stage, possibility of transfer at the beginning of the stage to shorten the hike: With supplement, please consult us. Distance : 28,5km, duration : 9h, altitude gain : +1640m, descent : -1380m.

Day 5 : From Las Illas to Col de l'Ouillat

This stage is the transitional point of the Pyrenean crossing as the GR10 approaches the Alberes massif and joins the Franco-Spanish frontier up to the col du Perthus. Its twin the GR11, takes on the same itinerary on the Spanish side. The Alberes is the last Pyrenean massif before diving into the deep blue sea. Crossing it is a real pleasure given the diversity of the landscapes. Distance : 26km, duration ; 7h45, altitude gain : +1030m, descent : -640m.

Day 6 : From Col de l'Ouillat to Banyuls sur Mer

This is a long stage. It also has some difficult parts to it. Like, for example the passage of the Pic Neulos or the Pic des Quatre-Termes, and not forgetting the Pic de Sailfort the last promontory before the descent towards the sea. Here, the landscape vegetation has been formed by the strong cold wind that blows through the Languedoc-Roussillon. Lower down the vegetation of the Pyrenean foothills offers a more attractive allure of the vineyards and their casots ( hut shelters/dry stone cabins). The sea is a nearby attraction. Distance : 23km, duration : 7h15, altitude gain : +680m, descent : -1615m.

Day 7 : End of the walk in Banyuls

After the breakfast in Banyuls.

This programme is an example of the itinerary we aim to adhere to. It may be necessary, if situations arise that are beyond our control, for the itinerary to be modified.


Welcome

Day 1 at 9AM at the railway station in Villefranche de Conflent (66-SNCF name : Villefranche-Vernet-les-Bains).


Dispersion

Day 7 after breakfast in Banyuls sur Mer (66). Way back by train from Banyuls to Villefranche de Conflent.


Level

Nature of the walk

Sportive. Walks on mostly waymarked paths, but some technical difficulties are possible. The walks are on good footpaths and trails, the terrain is varied but often rocky. You need to be used to walking and take regular exercise to enjoy this holiday.

Level 3

You need to be used to walking and take regular exercise to enjoy this holiday.


Accommodation

Accommodation

Half board
2 nights in hotel in room on days 3 and 6
1 night in gite in shared dormitory on day 4.
2 nights in mountain gite in shared dormitory on days 2 and 5.
1 night in a mountain refuge in a shared dormitory on day 1. 

COMFORT VERSION (according to availabilities) :
2 nights in hotel in room on days 3 and 6
1 night in gite in room on day 4.
2 nights in mountain gite in room on days 2 and 5.
1 night in mountain refuge in shared dormitory on day 1.

For night in dormitory, bring a liner (blankets are provided).

 

Food :
Continental breakfast (tea, coffee, milk, butter, jam)
Evening meals in accommodations, often based on local specialities, include a starter, a main course and a dessert.
Picnics and drinks are not included. Picnics can be provided by all accommodation.


Carrying luggage

You will need to carry a day sack only, with your water bottle, camera, picnic and goretex jacket. Our bag-moving service means you can travel light during your walks (except for the nights in mountain shelters, D1, where you have to carry your necessary personal belongings for the night, including a lightweight sleeping bag or liner, change of clothes, toiletries). Your main luggage will be transported by vehicle between the different night stops, which you will take places on days 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, unless you have chosen our DISCOUNT « BAROUDEURS ».


Guide

Self-guided walking, without guide.