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GR10 self-guided from Cauterets to Luchon : Variant Vignemale and Gavarnie

7 days

6 nights

7 days of activities

Easy to Moderate

Self-guided

17GAV4LF

from 535 €

In the heart of the Central Pyrenees, this variant of the 4th section invites you to discover amazing sites, beginning with the Gaube Valley, on foot of the Vignemale, the highest French Pyrenees summit. The night at the Oulettes de Gaube refuge, ideally situated at the foot of the impressive and spectacular North Face of the Vignemale, and then the discovery of the Cirque de Gavarnie are the other highlights of the first part of the hike. Then, from Barèges to Bagnères de Luchon, nature opens its doors wide to you. You will cross the Néouvielle Nature Reserve and its remarkable glacial lakes, before reaching, via the villages of Azet or Germ, the famous guarded refuge of the Espingo lake, and finally Bagnères de Luchon, the Queen of the Pyrenees.


Dates and prices

Departures

Every days from the middle of June to the end of September.

Booking from 2 people (solitary traveller: consult us).

 

From 15/06/2023 to 30/09/2023 :

 

Prices with luggage transfer :

 

Price per person for a group of 2 persons

735€

Price per person for a group of 3 persons

655€

Price per person for a group of 4 persons

615€

Price per person for a group of 5 persons

595€

Price per person for a group of 6 persons

580€

 

Prices without luggage transfer :

 

Price per person for a group of 2 persons

595€

Price per person for a group of 3 persons

570€

Price per person for a group of 4 persons

555€

Price per person for a group of 5 persons

545€

Price per person for a group of 6 persons

535€

 

Extras :

- Comfort version (4 nights in room) : 125€/pers.
- Extra for a single room : 110€/pers
- Transfer from Luchon to Cauterets on a week day: 245€/transfer 
- Transfer from Luchon to Cauterets on Sundays and public holidays: 300€/transfer
- Extra night in Cauterets half board double room : 55€/pers
- Extra night in Cauterets half board single room : 65€/pers
- Extra night in Cauterets half board shared dormitory : 50€/pers
- Extra night in Luchon half board double room : 70€/pers
- Extra night in Luchon half board single room : 90€/pers


The price includes

- Half-board accommodation

- Transfers days 2, 4 and 6

- Luggage transport depending on the option chosen except for 3 nights in refuges on days 2, 4 and 6 (normal version)

- Luggage transport depending on the option chosen except for 2 nights in refuges on days 2 and 6 (comfort version)

- Dossier containing maps, route notes (1 for 4 persons) sent at your first accommodation

- GPS tracks if you ask us + access to the detailed itinerary on the Mhikes GPS mobile application


The price does not include

-Holiday and travel insurance
-15€ for booking fees
-Showers in the mountain huts
-Additional transfers
-Entrance fees, additional activities
-Drinks and picnics

Day 1 : Start of your holiday in Cauterets

This week’s walking starts at Cauterets. Situated at 950m altitude, Cauterets has an authentic, Pyrenean mountain charm and is well known for its thermal spas. Time to discover and enjoy the town or go hiking.
The Turon des Oules and the plateau du Lisey
Possibility of doing a forest walk in the direction of Turon des Oules 1380m, it’s possible to continue to the Plateau du Lisey (add on 30mins). Distance : 12km, duration : around 3h45, altitude gain : +785m, descent : -785m (Turon des Oules and Plateau du Lisey).

Day 2: From the Pont d'Espagne to the Oulettes de Gaube refuge

The first part of the hike is enlivened by the bubbling of the waterfalls of the Gave du Jéret, on a pleasant path that will take you from Cauterets to the Pont d'Espagne. The climb continues to the famous Gaube lake, then to the Oulettes de Gaube refuge at the foot of the imposing Vignemale (3298m) and its impressive north face, a mythical summit in the history of Pyreneanism. Distance : 15km, duration : around 6h, altitude gain : +1350m, descent : -150m.

Day 3 : From the Oulettes de Gaube refuge to Gavarnie

Today's stage leads to Gavarnie and its famous Cirque. From the Oulettes refuge you will reach the Hourquette d'Ossoue and the Baysselance refuge, the starting point for the ascent of the mythical Vignemale. A long and beautiful descent then awaits you. After passing the Bellevues caves, dug by Count Henry Russell between 1881 and 1893, you will enter the Ossoue valley. Once past the Ossoue dam, a beautiful balcony path leads to the village of Gavarnie from where you can enjoy superb views of the world-famous cirque. Distance : 21km, duration : around 7h30, altitude gain : +850m, descent : -1550m. 

Day 4 : from Tournaboup to lac de l'Oule

Short transfer to the parking de Tournaboup (can be avoided, consult us). From Tournaboup, you will start an ascent to the Col de Madamète via the beautiful Aygues Cluses valley and its lakes. After crossing the pass, you will enter the splendid Néouvielle Nature Reserve, where you can admire the enchanting landscapes. The walk ends with the lakes of Aumar, Aubert, the Estoudou pass and finally the lake of Oule. For the comfort version, the walk ends at Lake Orédon. Distance : 18km, duration : around 7h30, altitude gain : +1210m, descent : -840m (normal version with arrival at Lac de l'Oule). OU Distance : 15,5km, duration : around 6h, altitude gain : +1065m, descent : -680m. (comfort version with arrival at Lac d’Oredon).

Day 5 : from Lac de l'Oule to Vielle Aure

From the Oule refuge, you follow the lake and climb up to the Col de Portet, culminating at 2215m. From the col, the trail passes via the ski resort of Saint Lary. It makes its way across high altitude pastures before descending to the village of Vieille-Aure and the site of its manganese mine near Saint-Lary-Soulan. Longer itinerary for the comfort version from Lake Orédon (possibility to organize a transfer without supplement to shorten the walk, contact us)Distance : 17,5km, duration : around 6h45, altitude gain : +515m, descent : -1520m (normal version with departure from Lac de l'Oule). OU Distance : 20km, duration : around 8h00, altitude gain : +875m, descent : -1905m (normal version with departure from Lac d’Oredon).

Day 6 : from Germ to the Espingo refuge

In the morning, transfer to Germ (It is possible to include the walk from St Lary to Germ in the tour, adding a night in Germ : Contact us). From Germ you can enjoy some superb views over the French/Spanish summits. The mountain lifestyle and agricultural traditions reign in this area. From the village, the GR crosses the Pas de Couret at an altitude of 2131m, this passage takes you into the “Luchonnais” (area of Bagnères de Luchon). The ascension towards Espingo lake, through the Granges d’Astau and the Lac d’Oo, is a pure wonder. Possibility to divide this long stage in 2 by adding an extra night, please contact us. Distance : 17km, duration : around 8h00, altitude gain : +1680m, descent : -1065m.

Day 7 : from the Espingo Refuge to Luchon

The walk to Luchon will plunge you into a high mountain decor. You will traverse the Hourquette des Hounts at a high altitude of 2275m, before crossing the mountain pass, the Col de la Coume de Bourg at 2272m. From here you can choose to do the variant that is off the GR10, the ascension of the Pic de Céciré. This magnificent summit offers stunning views in the direction of Maladetta massif and the Spigeoles that will capture your regard. The descent towards Luchon passes by the ski resort of Superbagnères. In July and August, it is possible to take the cable car of the ski resort to avoid a long descent (not included in the price). Distance : 19,5km, duration : around 7h40, altitude gain : +645m, descent : -1970m.


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 your accommodation in Cauterets (65), according to your time of arrival.


Dispersion

Day 8 in Luchon (31), after your walk.


Level

Level 4/5
Trained hiker, in good physical condition with a experience of mountain hiking. Hiking of 7h-8h per day on average, altitude difference of 1000m-1300m on average, on accessible trails but also in rough terrain, with some small technical difficulties. The walking times mentioned are given as an indication, they are average times that only take into account the duration of the actual walking without counting the break times. Depending on the weather conditions, the walking pace can also vary, ranging from +300m to +500m of climb per hour.


Accommodation

Half board
3 nights in a shared dormitory in mountain refuges on days 2, 4 and 6. Bring a sleeping bag liner (blankets provided)
2 nights in a shared dormitory in gite on days 1 and 3. Bring a sleeping bag liner (blankets provided)
1 night in a guest house on day 5

 

COMFORT VERSION (with extra) :
1 night in room in gite on day 1
1 night in room in hotel** on day 3 
1 night in room in a guest house on day 5
1 night in room in a chalet/mountain hotel on day 4
2 nights in shared dormitory in mountain refuge on days 2 and 6. Bring a sleeping bag liner (blankets 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 accommodations.


Carrying luggage

You will need to carry a day backpack only. Our bag-moving service means you can travel light during your walks (except for the night in mountain refuge, D2, D4 and D6 or just D2 and D6 for comfort version), 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 (that should please be easily transportable) will be transported by vehicle between the different night stops, unless you have chosen the version without luggage transport. 


Guide

Self-guided walking, without guide.