Walking the Pyrenees is one of the most breathtaking experiences you can have as a traveller.
As a travel-lover, you’ll probably already be visiting beautiful destinations in Europe, especially Spain and France.
Here’s the good news: both of these countries have a fantastic routes to travel for superb walking experience in the Pyrenees!
Continue reading to discover these spectacular routes along the Pyrenees while you’re there. It will make your trip to Europe all the more memorable.
CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn about spectacular routes and tips for walking the Pyrenees:
- Hiking in the Pyrenees
- Best Grand Tour Routes
- The GR10
- The GR11
- Shorter Day Hikes
- Final Thoughts on Walking the Pyrenees
- Next Steps
Hiking in the Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is an impressive mountain range that stretches more than 257 miles (430 km) and rises higher than 11,000 feet (3,400 m) in elevation.
They straddle the border between Spain and France with Andorra sandwiched in between.
If you’re looking to go hiking while you’re away, The Pyrenees makes a great destination for avid walkers.
We’ve rounded up some of the different hikes you can do in The Pyrenees, including two main walks, and a few shorter day hikes, below.
Best Grand Tour Routes
Translating as ‘Gran Recorrido’ (grand tour) in Spanish, the GR paths make up a network of hiking routes that criss-cross Europe.
Around The Pyrenees are two main GR routes: GR10 and GR11.
Here’s what you can expect from each.
The GR10 crosses France from one side to the other, linking the Atlantic to the Mediterranean.
While the western end of this route is known for its luscious green colors and rocky terrains, as the Mediterranean approaches the trail quickly becomes enveloped by blue skies.
The GR10 takes hikers through some well-known sights of the mountain range.
Namely, you’ll see the Lacd’Ôo, the Lac de Gaube and the Cirque de Gavarnie, as well as up some of its tallest mountains.
The GR10 route typically takes between 45 and 60 days of walking 6-8 hours a day, plus rest days.
The best time to do this walk is between June 12th to September 30th to avoid snowy footfalls and rain.
While The GR10 is a true adventurers spot to experience and hike beautiful mountains of Europe, it is also worth mentioning that weather conditions may change due to its terrains.
Therefore, you’ll want to keep an eye on weather trends.
Be prepared for hot weather in July and some cold waves at the start of October.
One more thing you should know is about the wilderness, especially Pyrenean patous. These are the white dogs which are brought up with sheep.
If you see any of them guarding their flock of sheep, try to stay away and don’t try to disturb their eco system.
Another popular, longer hiking route, is the GR11.
It stretches the entire length of the Spanish side of The Pyrenees, passing through the beautiful mountains of Aragon, Navarra and Catalonia.
The route stretches from Hondarribia (on the Atlantic coast) to Cap de Creus (on the Mediterranean coast.)
With a hefty length of 520 miles (840 km), this route is often divided into 46-day-long sections. It typically takes between 45-60 days to complete including rest days.
The best time to go? That’s between late May and the beginning of October.
However, due to the ever-changing temperatures, it’s possible you may experience unexpected snowfall well into the month of June, and again in late September!
And you are planning to stay overnight in a huts there?
Do not forget to keep the things following things with you as you’re walking the Pyrenees:
- Sleeping bags and/or blankets, which ever is easier to carry
- A torch and lighter or matches
- Cash, especially local currency
- Dried fruit
- Necessary toiletries, like tissue and paper soap
- Rain covers
- Water bottles
- A few plastic bags for convenience
Related: 41 Great Hiking Snacks & Lunch Ideas
For those new to hiking or who don’t want to complete such long routes, you’ll find plenty of shorter options for walking the Pyrenees.
These range anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
And for those that don’t enjoy always planning the route, walking holidays are an excellent option for those that want to go hiking while they’re away – but just don’t fancy all the admin.
Shorter hiking routes in The Pyrenees include:
- Climbing one of the peaks, including Aneto, the highest mountain in the Pyrenees which stands at 3404m
- Hiking the first 15 miles of the infamous Camino de Santiago (this will take you from Saint Jean Pied de Port in France to Roncesvalles in Spain)
- Completing a circular route within one of the Pyrenees’ three national parks. For those that want to see dramatic canyons, we recommend the UNESCO-designated Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido
Final Thoughts on Walking the Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is the ultimate destination if you want to go hiking while you’re away.
With a great range of longer more difficult hikes and shorter more accessible day routes, there is something to offer walkers of all levels in The Pyrenees.
This will be an excellent experience whether you love to hike or just wander in mountains to see beautiful vistas.
In addition to the mountain views, the wilderness and greenery are really eye catching.
Walking the Pyrenees is a must visit place to experience a bit of heaven among the mountains.
About the Author: Jackie Gately
I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years. With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality. Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! Follow my social channels for more inspiration.
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