Snowshoeing Holidays Pyrenees
Guided snowshoeing holidays
Our snowshoeing holidays are for active people, who are used to hiking and walking in the mountains, and wish to experience them in winter. We will be snow-shoeing for 5 to 6 hours a day, which adds up to a full day in the mountains once we have had time for photo stops and a packed lunch at a picturesque spot. Any one can snow shoe with no previous experience, with the expert tuition of your fully qualified guide you will soon be out an enjoying the peace and beauty of the mountains in mid winter. The walking level/ difficulty is equivalent to our summer Discovery (intermediate), level guided walking holidays.
This snowshoeing holiday will allow you to get away from the pistes and ski lifts and see the Pyrenees in their winter glory – a snowy wonderland, shared only with the odd squirrel, birds and a passing ski-tourer.
This week you’ll have accommodation at our chalet “Les Cailloux” in the traditional French Pyrenees mountain village of Barèges. A 3-star 300yr old chalet renovated to a high standard, providing amenities to help you relax after your day’s walking.
What the price includes
The price shown for an Explorer guided mountain walking week includes:
- Ensuite accommodation in the chalet, Les Cailloux
- Half board meals – continental breakfast buffet, afternoon tea & cake and 3-course evening meals on 6 nights
- Packed lunch for each walking day
- Transport to and from the beginning and end of walks
- Snow shoes and walking poles
- A qualified, experienced International Mountain Leader for all of your walks
Like all mountain ranges, the Pyrenean weather can be varied. Normally we have clear skies and sunny days but it can equally rain, snow, or have fog settle in. We advise our guests to come prepared for any weather by bringing lots of layers. A guided walk that begins in the snow can end in glorious sunshine and vice-versa. Because of the terrain you’ll be walking on and the way the weather can affect it, we always recommend you wear broken in, sturdy walking boots for your Pyrenees walking holiday.
Your guide will plan your day’s route to make the most of the weather, which is why our itinerary isn’t totally fixed.
Please read our Kit List for more information on what we’d advise you bring with you.
Please contact us to book your Pyrenees snow shoeing holiday.
Saturday – Arrive in Barèges
Arrive in Barèges late afternoon and we’ll head out to arrange your equipment and lift passes. This evening you’ll meet your guide and the rest of your group.
Sunday – Fôret de L’Ayré
Today we’ll introduce you to snow-shoeing in the beautiful Fôret de L’Ayré. As we walk, your guide will teach you some snow-shoeing techniques, as well as pointing out birds, animals and animal tracks.
Only a short drive from Barèges, we will snowshoe through the Fôret de L’Ayré. This deciduous woodland is full of animals and birds, even in the heart of winter. We’ll follow animal tracks, and keep our eyes peeled for ermine, deer and white hare. These are great surroundings to discover snow safety and snow shoeing techniques in.
Monday – Cirque de Gavarnie
We’ll enjoy a scenic drive to the UNESCO world heritage site of the Cirque de Gavarnie, and set out on a snow-shoeing walk in the shadow of the cirque.
What better way to see the spectacular 1000m high cliffs of this cirque carved out of limestone than in its winter clothing. We’ll walk near the natural ice sculpture of the Grande Cascade, Europe’s tallest waterfall, frozen as it falls 1000m to the ground.
Tuesday – Cabanes d’Aoubé
This circular walk across summer pastures is now blanketed with snow.
Today we’ll visit ancient barns and stone circles scattered amongst traditional pastures, whilst gazing across to the towering peaks of the Néouvielle Nature Reserve, known as the Lake District of the Pyrenees.
Wednesday – Free day
This is your free day to use as you please.
There are a range of options for your free day. You could visit Barèges’ thermal spa, the highest in France or perhaps try some skiing for the day.
It’s also possible to take the bus to Luz St-Sauveur or the pretty spa town of Argelès-Gazost. Here you can stock up on the delicious local sheep’ cheeses and ‘saucissons sec’ (knobbly French salamis).
The pilgrimage town of Lourdes is also accessible by public transport (about 1hr by bus).
Thursday – Pont d’Espagne and the Marcadau valley
We head to near Cauterets today to snowshoe in a spectacular, open glacial U-valley scattered with sculpted Scots pines.
Today’s walk is a breathtaking walk beside a rushing mountain stream, with stunning scenery on every side.
Friday- Aygues Cluses
For our final day we go back to the Néouvielle Nature Reserve and enjoy the Aygues Cluses valley.
We follow a beautiful tumbling stream of perfectly-clear water up to frozen lakes and a remote berger’s cabin surrounded by high peaks.
Saturday – Depart
This is a sample itinerary as, obviously, where you go and what you do depends on the weather conditions, snow conditions and your group’s ability and tastes.
Snow-shoeing Dates & Prices
Below are our current scheduled guided snow-shoeing holidays. We can be flexible on dates, so please contact us if you are interested in a particular week and would like to see a trip timetabled.
What does the price include?
Your MountainBug snow-shoeing holiday includes:
- ensuite accommodation, based on two people sharing, in chalet
- generous continental breakfasts, packed lunches on walking days, afternoon tea & cakes and delicious three course evening meals
- five full days of guided snow-shoeing with a local, qualified and experienced guide
- snow-shoe hire
- transport to and from your walks.
Please read our kit-list, for suggestions of what to bring with you on your snow-shoeing holiday.