Hiking the Spanish Pyrenees Guided Tour
7 nights/8 days
Enjoy the privilege of having within reach three of the wealthiest places of the Pyrenees in terms of wildlife and geo-heritage: Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park, Natural Park of Guara’s Mountains and Canyons, and Posets-Maladeta Natural Park. Join us for a week-break among untamed nature where each day walk focus will be made on spotting different endemic flora and fauna species and their ecosystems.
Day 1. Arrival at Casa Gerbe, Gerbe.
Reception at Zaragoza airport and train station followed by a 2h 15′ private transfer to Casa Gerbe. Rest and group meeting before in-house dinner.
Day 2. 1st hike: Ordesa National Park: The Last Pynrenean Glaciers
Transfer: 1h | Activity: 4-5h | Distance: 5.6m (9km) | Ascent: 1500ft (450m) | Difficulty: Low
- Landscape: Alpine waterfalls, glaciers, beech forests, meadows.
- Wildlife: Groundhog, Chamois, Woodchat shrike, Citril Finch, Crossbill, Alpine Flowers, Apollo Butterfly.
This journey will take us through lengthy stretches of beech forest that will accompany us until we come across the extensive mountain pastures known as Llanos de La Larri, where numerous herds of cows and horses graze freely. This circular route will allow us to appreciate the spectacular views of majestic waterfalls and the geological singularity of the north face of Monte Perdido, the stronghold of some of the last southernmost glaciers of Europe that still remains alive.
Finished our first hike, we will still have time to spend the afternoon at the heart of Sobrarbe’s Geopark, the medieval town of Ainsa and its Natural Eco-museum. There, we will have the chance to understand this biosphere’s actual scope and importance and explore the streets of one of the most beautiful villages in Spain, right before heading back to our base in Gerbe, where a delicious and well-deserved dinner will be waiting for us.
Day 3. 2nd hike: Natural Park of Guara’s Mountains and Canyons: The Prehistoric Path
Transfer: 1h 10´ | Activity: 4-5h | Distance: 7.5m (12km) | Ascent: 2100ft (650m) | Difficulty: Low
- Landscape: Unesco World Heritage Site, Mediterranean Scenery, Neolithic And Palaeolithic Rock Paintings.
- Wildlife: Wallcreeper, Eurasian Griffon, European Bee-Eater, Peregrine Falcon, Crag Martin, Orchids, The Millennial Holm Oak European Tree Of 2020.
Design as a one-way track and assisted by our own transport, today we will be heading south in order to hike one of the most unknown and awe-inspiring corners of Guara’s Mountains and Canyons Natural Park, admire the recently awarded as European tree of 2020, the millennial Holm Oak at Lecina de Aragon, and finish our walk in the beautiful medieval village of Alquezar.
While making a special focus on spotting some of the magnificent birds that inhabit its cliffs, like Wallcreeper and big raptors, we will have the chance to explore the still present vestiges of how our Palaeolithic and Neolithic ancestors represented the foregone wildlife that surrounded them and how they interacted with it.
Day 4. 3rd Hike: Ordesa National Park: The Waterfall Cathedral of the Pyrenees.
Transfer: 50´ |Activity: 7h | Distance: 7.5m (12km) | Ascent: 1600ft (500m) | Difficulty: Low
- Landscape: Beech-Fir Forests, Picturesque Steep Valleys, Glacial Cirques, Cola De Caballo (Horse’s Tail) Cascade and Waterfall Abundance.
- Wildlife: Grey Partridge, Lammergeyer or Bearded Vulture, Golden Eagle, Red-Billed And Alpine Chough, Blue Rock Thrush, Northern Wheatear, Black Woodpecker, Chamois, Lady’s-Slipper, Edelweiss, Apollo Butterfly
This partially circular and comfortable hike will allow us not to miss any of the many lookouts that the spectacular Ordesa valley offers to its visitants. Starting from the Ordesa Parking*, we head into a tremendously rich route in terms of landscape variety, where deep valleys dominated by beech and fir forests contrast with uphill evergreen meadows widely populated by groundhogs.
During our journey, we will have the chance to be amazed by the stunning views of waterfalls like Grados De Soaso, Cascadas del Estrecho, Cascada de la Cueva, o Cascada de Arripas. Still, today’s protagonist will be undoubtedly one of the most majestic and widely pictured images of the horsetail shaped alpine spring waters falling off the cliff, the magnificent “Cola de Caballo” cascade.
Day 5. Rest up and birding journey around Gerbe.
- Landscape: Peña Montañesa, Mediano reservoir, Gerbe’s Botanical, Geological and Ornithological Route
- Wildlife: Migrating Passerine Birds: Craves, European Robin, Meadow pipit, Pied Wagtail, Song thrush, Blackcap, Common chiffchaff
Today is yours to charge your batteries up, and that’s why this time, we will enjoy having nature coming to us. We will have the chance to spend the morning exploring Gerbe and its whereabouts.
After a delightful lunch cooked at home by our host Miguel Angel and the possibility of taking a traditional siesta, there will still be a chance to get to know Gerbes ecosystem. Following the botanical, geological, and ornithological guided route that includes the use of a photographic hide, we will finish the day being delighted by the breathtaking views of Mediano reservoir sunset scenery.
Day 6. 4th hike: Ordesa National Park, The Lammergeyer sanctuary.
Transfer: 35´ | Activity: 3-4h | Distance: 1.24m (2km) | Ascent: Nil | Difficulty: Low
- Landscape: Massive Rocky Edge Sharp Cliffs, Traditional Pyrenean Architecture, Remote Alpine Villages, Revilla Balconies and Escuain Gorges, Tella’s Megalithic Dolmen.
- Wildlife: Lammergeyer, Golden Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Red Kite, Common Black Hawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Peregrin Falcon, Wallcreeper, Ocellated Lizard, Large Blue Butterfly
Slow-paced and wildlife-focused, in the course of today’s walk, we discover the most untamed sector of the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park, the Escuaín Gorges, without a glimpse of doubt the best place in the world to observe the majestic Bearded Vulture in its natural habitat. Making abundant stops at spectacular lookouts to observe wildlife, our tour leader will be all about the fauna and flora that inhabits these mountains.
A local restaurant will serve today’s lunch at Revilla Balconies, one of the best places in the world for rapacious observation. Finally, before heading back to Gerbe, we will still have the chance to make one last stopover to enjoy the unique views from the village of Tella, where a 7000-year-old megalithic dolmen is nestled surrounded by absolute quietness and the awe-inspiring views of the valley.
Day 7. 5th hike: Posets-Maladeta Natural Park: The Pyrenean Glacial Lakes
Transfer: 1h 10´ | Activity: 3-4h | Distance: 4.35m (7km) | Ascent: 2300ft (700m) | Difficulty: Intermediate.
- Landscape: Glacial Lakes, Tarns, Sharp Edge Cliffs, Black Pine-Oak Forests, Pasture Land, French Influenced Architecture.
- Wildlife: Lammergeyer, Golden Eagle, Rock Ptarmigan, Chamois, Marten, Dandelion, Purple Lily, Gentian, Chamomile, Butterflies and Fireflies.
With this one last spectacular hike, we aim to visit one of the most beautiful alpine glacial lakes that populates these mountains, the “Ibon de Sen”, placed at the height of 7600ft (2300m). Right after a short approximation with 4×4 vehicles from the village of San Juan de Plan, this challenging but rewarding hike requires a good physical condition to face the almost constant steep from the start at 5500ft (1680m) above sea level.
In the afternoon, we will walk the picturesque villages of the Chistau valley, discovering a mosaic landscape in an excellent state of conservation, where extensive livestock land confront walls of vegetation. To end the day, we will visit a traditional cheese factory, where we will taste a varied selection of goat cheeses and understand how traditional grazing favours the maintenance of Pyrenean biodiversity.
Day 8. Return Shuttle
After a relaxed breakfast, we make the short journey back to the Zaragoza airport and train station. Please let us know if you need help arranging the commute to any other city, either you are on your way back home or heading to your next adventure.
Born in Zaragoza in 1974, he has 20 years of professional Experience accumulated in his backpack. Having worked in practically all the valleys of the Aragonese Pyrenees, he can lead every kind of group through the mountains, ascending the peaks of the Pyrenees, coordinating environmental education programs, nature classrooms, and leisure and adventure programs.
Alberto is a professional mountain guide authorised by the Government of Aragon in the specialities of mountaineering and climbing. He has training in geology thanks to the geological heritage guide course at the Sobrarbe Geopark. He is one of the few mountain guides in the area who has the official guide certificate of the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park issued by the autonomous body of National Parks of Spain.
Naturalist and environmental educator, specialised in the interpretation of natural heritage, he holds the title of Vice-president and founder of ATONPA, the first association of ornithological and nature tourism professionals in Aragon.
Our base for the six days duration of this Experience is Casa Gerbe, in the town of Gerbe, a charming small rural accommodation run by a marriage of bird lovers Miguel Angel and Nuria. This hidden jewel is formed by six large ensuite bedrooms, 3 of which with double beds. The small village offers outstanding views of Monte Perdido and Mediano Reservoir and represents the perfect spot for bird observation.
The tour price includes the transfer from/to Zaragoza airport and Zaragoza Delicias Train Station with minibus and the dedicated driver. Ryanair operates flights between Zaragoza and London, among many other European cities on a regular basis.
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