Hiking the Spanish Pyrenees

An Insider’s Journey From Pamplona to Barcelona

Overview

Snow-dusted peaks, plunging valleys, and centuries-old alpine villages make the Spanish Pyrenees irresistible for a WT hiking adventure. We explore from the limestone peaks of Ordesa National Park, nestled along the French border, to Catalonia’s Aigüestortes National Park, with its crystal-clear lakes and rivers. We’ll hike to craggy ridges where mountain goats scramble, explore valleys where the ancient Aragonese dialect is spoken, and ramble the back lanes of stone-built Pyrenean towns, with our expert Trip Leaders introducing us to Basque, Aragonese, and Catalan culinary specialties along the way. Our final hikes cross the high lakes of Andorra and the Catalan Pyrenees, with a wonderful finish in the renowned cultural hub of Barcelona.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
Pamplona / Ordesa National Park

From the famous Basque city of Pamplona, we head out to the idyllic Ansó Valley for a hike from the medieval village of Ansó to the tiny town of Siresa, with its imposing 11th century monastery and classic stone houses. Ordesa National Park, crown jewel of the Aragonese Pyrenees, is a spectacular world of sheer 10,000-foot mountains festooned with hundreds of waterfalls. Our trail has 360-degree panoramas of jagged peaks as we reach the Cola de Caballo, a cascade just below the sheer face of Monte Perdido (11,010').

Villa de Torla
Torla, Spain
Days 2 to 3 (2 nights)
Days 4-6
Aigüestortes National Park / Aínsa

Starting right from our hotel, we hike along the Ara River, then enjoy an afternoon in medieval Aínsa. Aigüestortes National Park, Catalonia’s only national park, is a glacial landscape of granite peaks named for its meandering streams (aigües tortes means “twisting waters”). We cross the park from west to east on our hike over the Portarró d’Espot (7,326'), the highest point on our trip, with a descent to the glacial lake of Sant Maurici. On our picnics, we’ll feast on the array of the sheep cheeses and cured meats that make Catalonia famous.

Hotel Manantial
Caldes de Boi, Spain
Days 4 to 5 (2 nights)
Parador de La Seu d’Urgell
La Seu d’Urgell, Spain
Days 6 to 7 (2 nights)
Days 7-9
Andorra / Cava / Barcelona

In Andorra, the tiny principality nestled in the mountains between France and Spain, we hike past crystalline alpine lakes in the high Cirque des Pessons, with a picnic of fine Catalonian cheeses and local home-cured pork salumi. After a pastoral hike amid the sounds of sheep bells to the bucolic Catalan village of Cava, we head to Barcelona for our Farewell Dinner. Depart on Day 9 or extend your stay in Barcelona.

Parador de La Seu d’Urgell
La Seu d’Urgell, Spain
Days 6 to 7 (2 nights)

Highlights

Highlights

Hike in breathtaking Ordesa National Park, with its sheer limestone canyons and waterfalls
Explore the wild alpine beauty of Aigüestortes National Park
Discover ancient stone-built towns where mountain traditions thrive
Stay in charming and historic mountain inns
Savor northern Spain’s culinary treats, from jamón serrano to grilled Pyrenees lamb

Details

Length: 9 days
Cost From: $5495  
Arrive: Pamplona, Spain
Depart: Barcelona, Spain
Lodging: 8 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

7 hiking days on moderate to strenuous trails, 3-7 hours a day, altitudes between 4,500-8,000 feet, van support