Most of the major summits in the Pyrenees are attainable to a fit walker providing superb mountain scenery, a good range of accommodation from out of the way mountain refuges to hotels, good weather and a variety of walks to choose from.
Regions that offer Walking
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Destinations within Pyrenees Atlantiques
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Throughout the Pyrenees there are numerous marked trails, of which the main long distance routes are the GR10 (Grande Randonnée 10) in France, the GR11 (Gran Recorrido 11) in Spain and the HRP (Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne). Each one traverses the entire range from the Atlantic across to the Mediterranean.
The GR10 route is entirely within France and is marked along its route in red and white. The route offers a variety of stunning scenery and can be planned to ensure that a decent night’s sleep in a bed is possible at the end of each day either in village accommodation or a mountain refuge. However there are some sections which require a tent or bivouac so careful planning in advance is wise to get the most from your trip.
For serious trekking the HRP is the shorter route but it tackles the toughest terrain. The walker is rewarded with some stunning scenery, wilder and more mountainous than the lower GR10 and staying away from civilisation offers the opportunity to really get away from it all. The route tends to hug the ridge of the mountain range staying mainly inside France, dropping into Spain when the terrain dictates. Even in early summer it is possible that snow will cover the high passes and an ice axe may be necessary. This walk should only be attempted by experienced trekkers.
The GR11 provides the Spanish equivalent of the French GR10. Equally marked in red and white it follows well marked footpaths the length of the Pyrenees. You will enjoy some spectacular scenery along the way and are able to stay overnight mainly in mountain refuges or huts. There are some places again where an overnight bivouac or tent will be required.
The famous Santiago de Compostella pilgrimage route also snakes up through the Pyrenees towards its final destination. The entire length has now been classed as a UNESCO world heritage site and there are numerous monuments as well as great scenery to interest you along the way.
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