An Insider’s Journey From Pamplona to Barcelona

Overview

The high peaks of the Spanish Pyrenees soar above an enchanting realm of ancient oak and fir forests, stone bridges, and remote villages linked by shepherds’ paths. We’ve selected the best hikes for our journey that traces an arc across this storied land. Our trails bring us through verdant valleys where the ancient Aragonese dialect is still spoken, up to craggy alpine heights where mountain goats scramble, and to stone villages where age-old traditions still flourish. Along the way, we enjoy fantastic local cuisine (both on and off the trail!) and meet the welcoming Basque, Aragonese, and Catalan people who make this area of northern Spain so intriguing.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
Pamplona / Ordesa National Park

From Pamplona, we head right to the mountains for a hike from the remote medieval village of Anso, once so isolated that its inhabitants spoke their own dialect, to Siresa, a village of cobbled streets and splendid old stone houses. In Ordesa National Park, a spectacular glacier-carved valley crowned by steep 10,000-foot peaks, we savor 360-degree mountain panoramas on our hike to the Cola de Caballo, a waterfall just below the sheer face of Monte Perdido (11,000').

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Days 4-6
Aiguestortes National Park

We find a serene landscape of jagged granite peaks, meandering streams, and crystalline tarns in Catalonia’s Aiguestortes National Park. One of our hikes leads right from our hotel along the banks of the Ara River, with its tumbling rapids. Another hike brings us up a riverside trail amid granite rock formations to stunning Sant Maurici, where craggy peaks are mirrored in blue-green waters. On one day, we lunch in a bodega offering traditional ternasco asado, or grilled Pyrenees leg of lamb.

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Days 7-9
Andorra / Barcelona

In Andorra, the tiny principality nestled in the peaks between France and Spain, our panoramic ridge trail brings us to medieval Bescaran, graced by a Romanesque bell tower. After a pastoral hike in Catalonia’s green hills amid the sound of sheep and cattle bells, we head to beautiful Barcelona to explore its Old Quarter and Gaudi’s fanciful architecture. Depart on Day 9.

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Highlights

Highlights

Hike in breathtaking Ordesa National Park, with its sheer limestone canyons and network of dramatic fajas (trails)
Discover hidden stone villages and high trails of the Spanish Pyrenees
Stay in charming and historic mountain inns
Savor northern Spain’s wonderful gastronomy, from jamón serrano to grilled Pyrenees lamb
Enjoy Barcelona’s exceptional artistic and architectural heritage

Details

Length: 9 days
Cost From: $4995  
Arrive: Pamplona, Spain
Depart: Barcelona, Spain
Lodging: 8 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included except 3 dinners
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

7 hiking days on moderate to strenuous trails, 3-7 hours a day, altitudes between 4,500-8,000 feet, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day’s hike). This is a strenuous hiking trip, read “What the Trip is Like” for more details.