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Vall d'Aran and Aigües Tortes Mountain Trek
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5-days Val d'Aran and Aigües Tortes Mountain Trek
style :
Level :
Duration :
5 days
Comfort :
period:
Jul Aug Sep Oct
Code:
ESSW195
Family Walking Trekking
price in double room from: € 473
5-days Val d'Aran and Aigües Tortes Mountain Trek

5-days Val d'Aran and Aigües Tortes Mountain Trek

Self-guided Pyrenees Walking Tour

  • Mini Mountain Trek through the National Park Aigües Tortes with over 200 glacier lakes
  • Technically easy walks of 5 hours with optional ascent to Tuc de Ratera (2862 m)
  • Magical landcapes especially in autumn
  • Easy to reach from both France and Spain 
  • Also perfect initiation for families with older children 
  • Includes two overnight stays in mountain huts
  • No luggage transfer possible
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ESSW195 Map
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ROUTE
Day 1: Arrival in Arties
Day 2: From Vall de Ruda to Refugi d'Amitges (9,5 km / 6 mi)
Day 3: From Refugi d'Amitges to Refugi Colomèrs (9 km / 5,6 mi)
Day 4: From Refugi Colomèrs to the Pont de Ressec (10 km / 6,2 mi)
Day 5: Departure from Arties

Day 1:    Arrival in Arties

Arties is a village in the Catalonian part of the Pyrenees and close to the French border. It benefits from both summer and winter tourism, but there are no ski lifts in view and the village has still this authentic atmosphere of a pyrenees mountain village. There are a few cozy cafes and restaurants plus a single supermarket where you can stock up on lunch items for tomorrow.

Day 2:    From Vall de Ruda to Refugi d'Amitges (9,5 km / 6 mi)

After breakfast you will get in the taxi with your luggage for the next 2 nights packed in your rugsack. The adventure starts at the end of the Ruda valley with a steady but gradual ascent through pine forests. Soon you get above tree level and follow the meandering river Saboredo through alpine meadows up to the mountain hut on the banks of a glacier lake with the same name. Stop for a coffee before covering the last altimeters to the Pas Port de Ratera (at 2592m). The descent to the Refugi d'Amitges is easy and very enjoyable, walking from lake to lake. Soon enough you will sit down for dinner with tonight's sleeping buddies.

Challenge 9.5 km / 6 mi, 850 m ascent and 350 m descent, duration 5h

Day 3:    From Refugi d'Amitges to Refugi Colomèrs (9 km / 5,6 mi)

When you reach today the Ratera pass via a different route, we highly recommend making a detour to the summit of the peak Tuc de Ratera (2862m) and admire the 50 glacier lakes that lie within the mountain basin "Circ de Colomèrs", before continuing along the well-marked GR-11 long-distance trail to the door of the Refugi Colomèrs. With clear skies do not forget to peep out after dinner to see the stars reflected in the Lac Major de Colomèrs.

Challenge: 9 km / 5,6 mi, 500m ascent, 725m descent, duration 4,5 hours

The optional ascent to the Tuc de Ratera adds up 1.5 km; and 270m of ascent and descent to the standard route

Day 4:    From Refugi Colomèrs to the Pont de Ressec (10 km / 6,2 mi)

The last hiking day of this mini-trek through the National Park of Aigües Tortes, you will follow again the GR 11, but a less frequented trail via the Coll de Ribereta, giving you a higher chance to see deer, chamois or marmot. The descent is long, but -with the exception of a short part after the Montcasau reservoir- gradual. Plenty of time to contemplate the many flowers, too, as you descend from the alpine zone via the fenced meadows on the Plan de Nera to the taxi rank at the Pont de  Ressec. The prospect of a hot shower and a soft bed at the hotel in Arties will keep you going.

Challenge: 10 km / 6,2 mi, 350 m ascent and 1080 m descent, duration 5 hours 

Day 5:    Departure from Arties

After breakfast, the mini trek ends. If you do not travel by car, you can take the bus or a taxi to Vielha and travel from there by bus to Barcelona. If you need to go to France, you take a taxi directly to the Montréjeau-Gourdan-Polignan train station (1 hour drive) or a taxi to Bagnères-de-Luchon and from there continue by bus. 

STANDARD HOTELS
Hotel Edelweis (Arties)
Hotel Edelweis (Arties)

Welcoming family hotel at the entrance of the mountyain village Arties, with a small pool and jacuzzi in the basement. It has 25 rooms with private bathrooms and a restaurant to taste Aranese cuisine. 

www.edelweissarties.com

Refg d'Amitges (Espot)
Refugi d'Amitges (Espot)

Cozy mountain hut located at an altitude of 2365 m next to Lake Amitges. It has 74 (bunk)beds in total, spread over several dormitories. Restaurant and seating area (with wifi!) and good sanitary equipment with hot showers. 

www.amitges.com

Refugi Colomèrs (Val d'Aran)
Refugi Colomèrs (Val d'Aran)

Beautifully located but rather basic mountain hut on the shore of the Lac Major de Colomèrs. It has 60 (bunk)beds in one dormitory; a shared bathroom with toilets and showers; and a dining area.

www.lacentralderefugis.com/ca/refugis/colomers/

PRACTICAL INFO

This tour can be booked from mid June till mid October. During summer the mountain refuges fill up quickly so plan this tour way in advance

The closest airport are Barcelona in Spain and Toulouse in France.

From Barcelona you can travel by train and/or bus via Lleida and Vielha to Arties in aproximately 5 hours.

From Toulouse it takes between 2 and 3 hours to reach Arties by train and bus.

From Toulouse train station you travel in 1 hour to Montréjeau-Gourdan-Polignan, close to the Pyrenees. From here you can travel to Arties in about 2 hours, by bus and taxi via Bagnères de Luchon, or by taxi directly to Arties in just over 1 hour.

From Barcelona Nord bus station there are at least 4 direct buses a day to Vielha between 6.26am and 4.30pm (on Saturdays and Sundays the latter leaves at 4pm; on weekdays there is a later bus departure at 4.30pm). Check times and buy tickets in advance on www.alsa.es , especially during the high season.

Once in Vielha, you can continue by bus to Arties between mid-June and the end of September, if you have taken the 6.25am or 9am bus from Barcelona, as the other buses arrive late; long after the last bus leaves Vielha at 6.45 pm in the direction of Arties. But a taxi can't cost you a lot of money, as it's only a 7km drive between Vielha and Arties.

Coming from the North, the Val d'Aran is easy to reach by car, as the valley is only a 1-hour drive from the highway between Toulouse and Bayonne and you don't have to cross the Pyrenees.

Coming from the South, you can enter the Pyrenees in Pont de Sort and cross the Vielha tunnel to reach Arties. From Barcelona t's a 4 hours drive

The standard hotel in Arties is located opposite the bus stop. It has a few private parking spaces on the main road. If they are full, park diagonally opposite in the large (unguarded) parking lot

INCLUDED
  • 2 nights in basic hotel in Arties in double or triple rooms with en sutie bathrooms
  • 2 nights in bunkbeds in dormitories with shared and simple sanitary services
  • 4 breakfasts
  • 2 dinners in the mountain huts
  • 2 packlunches prepared in the mountain huts
  • Transfers to start of walk on day 2
  • Transfer at end of walk on day 4
  • Access to digital route notes in App GUIBO
  • 24-hrs telephone assistance

Not included

  • Transfers to and from Arties on day 1 and 5
  • Dinners on day 1 and 4
  • Pack lunches on day 2 and 5
  • Private expenses such as drinks, telephone calls etc.

Optional services

  • Taxi transfers from Veilha to Arties and vice versa
  • upgrade to Parador de Artiés on day 1 and 4 or other more comfortable hotel
REVIEWS

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