The GR10 is a French long-distance hiking trail that covers a distance of 866 km and runs the length of the Pyrenees from Hendaye on the Bay of Biscay to Banyuls-Sur-Mer on the Mediterranean Sea. On this 8-day self guided trek between Cauterets and Néouvielle, you will take in the highest pass on the GR10 trail, the Hourquette d’Ossoue (2734 m), along with the Madamète Pass (2509 m).
Hike through stunning scenery that varies greatly, with flower-filled meadows, sparkling lakes, cirques and high summits. Take in the Pyrenees National Park and the Néouvielle Nature Reserve. Stay in small mountain gites and refuges and appreciate the company of like-minded hikers and the warm hospitality of the locals. Visit some lovely thermal spa villages like Luz Saint Sauveur and Cauterets. Savour some of France’s most spectacular mountain vistas and a glimpse into rural Pyrenean culture.
Click to view map
*This map is only for general reference; detailed route maps will be provided in your pre-departure package.
Day 1: Arrive Lourdes & Transfer to Cauterets
Arrive in Lourdes on your own. Our local representative will meet you there for the welcome meeting and will transfer you to Cauterets. You can leave your main luggage with us until Day 4. At an altitude of 950 m and surrounded by the majestic Pyrenean peaks, Cauterets is a small town with a population of 1000. It has been a spa destination since the early 19th century, and its architecture is typical of the period. Visit the wooden railway station, now a concert venue.
Day 2: Cauterets to Refuge des Oulettes de Gaube | 5.5 h
Start today’s hike on the waterfall path leading up to the Pont d’Espagne. In about an hour you can have a break in front of the dramatic Cascade du Lutour. Climb the Chemin des Cascades; a path literally strewed with waterfalls before arriving at the spectacular Pont d’Espagne. Another short climb will take you at the edge of the Lac de Gaube – perfect spot for a lunch break. In the afternoon you will arrive at Refuge des Oulettes de Gaube in front of the dramatic north face of the Vignemale – with its 3,298 metres, it’s the highest of the French Pyrenean summits.
Day 3: Refuge des Oulettes de Gaube to Gavarnie | 7.5 h
Today is a long day, so make sure to leave early. Setting out you walk up to the highest pass on the GR10, the Hourquette d’Ossoue for a view onto the summits above Gavarnie. Walk down towards Gavarnie through the pastoral Vallée d’Ossoue.
Day 4: Gavarnie to Luz Saint Sauveur | 8.5 h
Another long day awaits. Head north up to the Saugué Plateau and continue to the high plateau of Superpeyre for wonderful views into the Cirque d’Estaubé and the Cirque de Troumouse before heading down through the Bué forest to the charming thermal spa village of Luz Saint Sauveur. You can shorten the last leg by catching the bus from Pragnère. Spend the night in a comfortable hostel in the centre of the village, known for the church of Saint-André Les Templiers. If you have left your main luggage with us, you will be able to access it tonight.
Day 5: Luz Saint Sauveur to Lac de l’Oule 7.5 h
From Luz, we will transfer you up to the Tournaboup car park for the start of your hike in the Néouvielle Nature Reserve through the Vallée d’Aigues Cluses and over the Col de Madamette (2509m). Enjoy the spectacular views of the sparkling lakes and walk down into this exceptional area, known for its high altitude Mediterranean flora. Overnight in a refuge by the lake l’Oule.
- Walking for the day: 7h 30min, ↑1059m ↓700m
- Accommodation: Refuge de l’Oule (dormitory rooms for 4-8 pax; shared bathrooms with hot showers)
Day 6: Lac de l’Oule to Artigues | 6 h
Today’s hike starts with a spectacular walk past the Bastan and Campana lakes through more of the high mountain granite scenery, before a long descent to the hamlet of Artigues, where you spend the night in a comfortable hostel.
- Walking for the day: 6h, ↑686m ↓1205m
- Accommodation: Gite Les Cascades (dormitory rooms with private bathrooms with hot showers)
Day 7: Artigues to Tournaboup | 6 h
After breakfast, enjoy the magnificent views of the Pic du Midi de Bigorre as you walk back to Tournaboup. We will pick you up from Tournaboup and transfer you to Luz Saint Sauveur for your last overnight (your main luggage will be waiting for you at the hostel).
Day 8: Departure
The tour ends after breakfast.
What to Expect
On this walking holiday, you will be staying in welcoming hostels and refuges mostly in dormitory rooms with shared facilities. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
Click to view the default accommodations for this trip
- Day 1: Hostel Beau Soleil, Cauterets (basic private room, en-suite)
- Day 2: Refuge des Oulettes de Gaube (dormitory rooms for 8 pax; cold shower available if enough water)
- Day 3: Refuge La Grange de Holle (dormitory rooms for 6-8 pax; shared bathrooms with hot showers)
- Day 4&7: Hostel Le Regain (dormitory rooms for 3 to 8 pax; shared bathrooms with hot showers)
- Day 5: Refuge de l’Oule (dormitory rooms for 4-8 pax; shared bathrooms with hot showers)
- Day 6: Gite Les Cascades (dormitory rooms with private bathrooms and hot showers)
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
All breakfasts, packed lunches and dinners are included.
Difficulty & terrain
This holiday is appropriate for experienced walkers (no high mountain experience required). Good level of fitness needed. Daily walks are between 6 and 8 and a half hours. Some of the trails have steep ascents and long descents (read more about difficulty grades). The trail is well marked with red and white painted blazes and generally easy to follow, although it is often rocky and mountainous in character. You should have a good head for heights and be able to navigate. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime.
When to go
This trip is available from mid-July to end-September. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date within the season.
- Welcome meeting with a full briefing on weather and snow conditions
- Pre-departure info pack and detailed road notes and maps (some useful information will be sent in advance, hard copies of the tour documentation will be handed to you on arrival)
- 7 nights accommodation in dormitory rooms with shared bathroom facilities (optional upgrade)
- All breakfasts, picnic lunches and dinners
- Arrival transfer Lourdes – Cauterets
- Transfer Luz Saint Sauveur to Tournaboup
- Departure transfer Tournaboup – Luz Saint Sauveur
- Your main luggage will be transported from Cauterets (Day 1), and you will have access to it while in Luz (Days 4 & 7)
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme
Options, extras & supplements
- An optional upgrade is available on Days 1, 3, 4 and 7 in double/twin or single rooms (please note that if you avail of the upgrade, dinner will not be included in Luz, however, there are plenty of options in the village).
- This holiday is not available for solo travellers
Up-to-date FCO travel advice on France is available here.
By train or bus
- Lourdes Airport: From the airport take the bus to Lourdes downtown
- Biarritz Airport: First take the bus to Mairie de Bayonne (25 min) from the airport and then the train to Lourdes (1h 30min).
- San Sebastian Airport: Train via Bayonne (2h 18min).
- Bordeaux Airport: 50 minutes journey to Saint-Jean station with TBM, followed by a train ride to Lourdes (less than 3h)
- By train from the UK: Take the Eurostar train from London St Pancras Eurostar to Paris Nord (2h 23min; twice daily). Take the subway from Gare du Nord to Montparnasse-Bienvenue (17 min), walk to Paris Montparnasse (10 min) and hop on the train to Lourdes (approx. 5h)