Pyrenean Group Holidays
Guided Centre Based - Central French Pyrénées
Pyrenean Group Holidays are based in the French département of the Hautes Pyrénées an area where the high mountains of the Pyrénées meet the foothills. Consequently there is a delightful mix of walking to be done. Between the valley and the high peaks there are forests of beech and silver fir, enchanting side valleys, crystal clear lakes and streams, secluded villages and plenty of accessible mountain tops with breathtaking views. A complex network of footpaths, ancient mule tracks and more recent forest tracks provide easy access to this magnificent area.
Spring Summer Autumn
On most days we arrange for a local minibus or coach to be available to take the group to the start of the walk and often to collect the group at the end of the day if we have not walked back to the hotel. Whilst the journey time is usually only between 15 and 30 minutes the transport allows us to explore the best of the region without a massive slog up out of the valley every morning. The cost of this transport is included in the holiday price. The guided walks, available every day, are led at a gentle pace to ensure that the pleasure of the day is not just the arriving but also the getting there. Time to stop to take photographs, time to admire the alpine flowers, time to watch the vultures soaring overhead. Time for a break in the morning and the afternoon, as well as a lunch stop at a carefully chosen viewpoint. The walks can be tailored to the ability of your group but we find most groups are happy to adopt one of our two grades of walks.
The standard walks involve about 5 hours of walking with approximately 500 metres of ascent during the course of the day.
The higher grade walks enable us to take in some higher ground and have about 6 hours walking and up to 1000 metres of ascent
Easier walking combined with sightseeing can be organized. For some groups we have also arranged days off from walking to visit local markets and local sites of interest.
By keeping our overheads to a minimum we can offer excellent value holidays without compromising on the high standards that our groups have enjoyed over the years. This is primarily achieved by asking you to arrange and pay direct for the flights down to the south of France. We will arrange everything else for you in France i.e. the hotel booking, transport between the airport and hotel, all daily transport in conjunction with the walking programme and a qualified resident English mountain leader.
Our base in at the village of Argelès-Gazost which is nestled in the foothills of the Pyrénées a few kilometres south of Lourdes. The pretty spa town has plenty of shops, cafés & bars as well as elegant public gardens and several easy local walks. Their website can be viewed at www.argeles-gazost.com.
There is a good mix of walking to be done in the area from valley strolls to high mountain adventures. Because of the proximity of the major sites of Lourdes, Gavarnie and Pont d’Espagne it is busier here than around Asté. However, Lourdes does make for an interesting day off and a visit to Gavarnie unforgettable.
It is a good base for groups with members who do not want to walk every day as there are some easy local walks, good access into town and a public bus service down to Lourdes (where there is a main line train station useful for days out to Pau or maybe Biarritz) and up the valley to Luz St Sauveur (for Gavarnie), Barèges and Cauterets.
The hotel Soleil Levant is a family run 2 star hotel with 35 rooms in the pretty town of Argelès-Gazost. The hotel’s website is www.hotel-soleil-levant-argeles.com/enter.php. We have been working together since 2008 as we extend our range of holidays. There is a small bar and a lounge with a pleasant garden area in front of the hotel and a small Jacuzzi round the back. All bedrooms have a WC and a shower or bath. It is only a few minutes walk into the town centre.
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