Imagine a week with no chance for notifications and emails to reach you. Imagine a week where the only connexion is between you and the impressiveness of nature. Get ready to experience a wholesome adventure where the main goal is to get you immersed in some of the most idyllic landscapes of the central Pyrenees
Partly outing for four days and three nights in the heights of the mistic and wild Cotiella massif, we will be led by the Trekking Mule team, Sheila, Matthieu, Esteve and their two beautiful, trained mules. They will ensure our camp will be provided with the best equipment and provisions to stay in absolute comfort.
We will encounter a great diversity of sceneries as we march, from black pine forests where the elusive grouse lives to huge mountain meadows—marching through kingdoms of stone, karsts and caves, barren territories where wild goats and large birds of prey have made their dominions.
Day 1. Arrival at Benasque Valley.
Reception at Barcelona airport followed by a 3h private transfer to our accomodation. Group meeting and dinner.
Day 2. 1st Hike and Base Camp among Pyrenean Lakes
Transfer: 45’ | Activity: 3h 30’ | Distance: 5.5km | Ascent: 770m | Difficulty: Intermediate
• Highlights: Glacial Cirque and Lake of Armeña, Cotiella Massif Views, Thick Black Pine Forests, Alpine Meadows.
After a nourishing breakfast and a short transfer to Barbaruens, we start our ascent to the Armeñas tern, an idyllic setting where the rest of the Trekking Mule team and the camp will be waiting for you at your arrival.
The route runs along a straightforward and broad path, offering fantastic views, including those of the forest’s insides through which most of the trail passes through.
Despite its conciseness, the unevenness of about 600 meters in about 3 km makes taking an unrushed march a convenient approach that will help us enjoy our way up fully. Chamois and squirrels will likely be our only companions until we reach our basecamp by the crystalline glacial waters of ”El Ibon de Armeña”.
Day 3. Ascent to Armeña Refuge and Beyond
Activity: 5h | Distance: 9.5km | Ascent: 720m | Difficulty: Intermediate
- Highlights: 360° Pyrenean Landscape Views, Glacial Moraines, 10 O’clock Peak.
Today the most adventurous will be able to attempt summiting at one of the three mountaintops that confines the glacier valley at 2.568m ”Peña de las 10” (10 o’clock peak). Part of a beautiful range of ridges that served as a natural clock for the inhabitants of the Chistau valley, it holds a first-class viewpoint of the great crests around us.
After indulging ourselves with the succulent picnics prepared beforehand, the group will gather again at the basecamp. There will be time to share experiences, and have a good rest before having dinner, and after that, the privilege of sleeping under one of the most beautiful starry nights ever.
Day 4. Ascent to Armeña Refuge and Beyond
- Highlights: Panoramic views, Giant Stone Walls, Karsts, Prehistoric Fossils.
A rich and complete breakfast by the lake’s calm and crystal clear waters will be perfect for seizing the day.
Today a new route through the slopes of Cotiella massif will be waiting for us. Our guides will take us on a tour of a karstic area and
other places on this beautiful mountain. The site will allow us to enjoy the glorious views from its lookouts and even look at prehistoric times through the numerous fossils found among these rocks that once were submerged by the ocean.
After a whole day out, nothing beats the feeling of a warm shower back at our camp, where there will be still time to read, play board games or have a good rest while we wait for the delicious homemade dinner.
Day 5. Descend and arrival to Casas de Zapatierno.
Transfer: 30´ Activity: 3h30´ | Distance: 7km | Ascent: 450m | Descent: 550m | Difficulty: Low
- Highlights: Chia’s Mountain Range Views, Pyrenean Traditional Architecture, Chistau Valley.
Once we make sure we have packed all our belongings and don’t leave anything behind, we must continue our journey and head north, following the ancient mule trails to discover a totally new landscape, the Chistau Valley.
The trekking mule team will support us during the descent, and it won’t be until reaching the mountain pass of ”La Cruz” that we will part our ways. The day ends up today in the haven of tranquillity of Pineta Valley. After a short transfer from Plan, we will be transported to the last Pyrenean valley we will be visiting this week, where we will have the chance to enjoy the hospitality of Zapatierno houses for the next two nights.
Day 6. Rest up at the heart of Pineta Valley.
- Highlights: Yoga and Meditation, Pineta Valley Views, Vegetarian Local Food.
Our last day of experience is meant for us to reach a total state of relaxation and take as much positive energy as possible before saying goodbye. Casas de Zapatierno is the perfect setting to do so, and so we will take the chance by starting the day with a guided session of Kundalini Yoga that will open our appetite before a delicious breakfast. The rest of the morning will be free to decide whether to explore the surroundings with a mindful walk or chill and enjoy the beautiful views around. But don’t be late for lunchtime as we will be catered with nothing less than the delicious vegetarian cuisine that Zapatierno houses is widely known for.
In the afternoon, a close-up reflection session around tea and coffee will be the perfect end for the trip, sharing our impressions of this fantastic adventure that will hopefully have helped us forget about the outside world for a few days. Finally, in the evening, there will still be time for one last guided relaxing yoga Nidra session to enhance a lasting quality sleep before tomorrow’s trip back home.
Day 7. Return Shuttle
After a relaxed breakfast, we make the short journey back to your next destination. 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.
Trekking Mule Team
With our mountaineering background around the world, and our work experience in photographic camps in Africa, we make our dream of mountain guides, biologists and lovers of Nature and the Pyrenees come true. We take care of our mules all year round and pamper them on each route. We do not leave an environmental footprint, we use ecological products and we encourage recycling.
During the six days duration of this Experience, the accommodation will be a combination of three different locations.
CASTEJON DE SOS
Our first lodging will be at this conveniently placed mountain village. The beautiful Hotel standard rooms that will be waiting for us are the magnificent result of a series of reforms that have turned the old mountain households into charming accommodations.
TREKKING MULE BASE CAMP
The base camp that trekking mule team and their mules will be carrying for us includes all the comforts to have an entirely pleasant stay in the mountains, such as a well-prepared kitchen, hot pressured shower, and spacious sleeping and dining tents.
CASAS DE ZAPATIERNO
Our final destination, make one last perfect accommodation to lodge in after finishing our three-day excursion. These two magnificent detached houses were built and renovated following local traditional architecture and contain four fully equipped apartments with plenty of room and amenities.
The price of the trip includes transfer from / to Barcelona airport with a dedicated driver.
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