• At a glance
  • Locality & Walks
  • Accommodation & Meals
  • Travel options
  • Photos
At a Glance

Your Holiday at a Glance


   
Independent Walking Holiday
  • Pyrenees GR10: Part 6, Aulus les Bains - Merens

Dates for 2021
  • 15 June - 30 September (every day subject to availability)
Price
  • From £695 / €780
  • Single supplement (minimum 2 in party): £95 / €110
  • Without bag transfer: less £95 / €110 per booking
  • All prices per person, except where stated
Grade
  • challenging walking in french pyrenees
Profile
  • 7 nights, 6 day's self-guided walking moving between accommodation
Highlights
  • The high plateau of summer pastures
  • Ariege, its lakes and green valleys
  • The site of the Etang de Bassiès and its refuge
  • Varied itinerary : crest, forests and summer pastures
  • The wild beauty of the Ariege and its Regional Natural Park
  • A tried and tested logistics to compensate for the lack of accommodation on this section of the GR10
Accommodation and Meals
  • Half board

    1 night in room in hotel** on day 5
    3 nights in room in guest house on days 1 and 4 & 7
    1 night in room in gite on day 3

    2 nights in a shared dormitory in mountain refuges on days 2 and 6. Bring a sack sheet (blankets provided)
What's included
  • Half board accommodation
  • Transfers days 5 & 6
  • Luggage transport depending on the option chosen except for 2 nights in refuge on days 2 and 6
  • Dossier containing maps, route notes (1 for 4 persons, given in 1st accommodation)
  • GPS tracks if you ask us + access to the detailed itinerary on the Mhikes GPS mobile application
What's not included
  • Travel to Aulus les Bains and return from Merens
  • Lunches and drinks
  • Holiday and travel insurance
  • Showers in the mountain huts
  • Additional transfers
  • Entrance fees, additional activities
  • Drinks and picnics
 
Walks

Locality & Walks

This self-guided walking holiday is the sixth part of a wonderful & dramatic 415km crossing of the Pyrenees Mountain chain between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean along the GR10 long distance trail. You'll amble through stunning scenery that varies enormously, with flower-filled meadows, sparkling lakes, cirques and high summits. You’ll get a taste of many different cultures, from the Basque country by the Atlantic to Catalonia by the Mediterranean. Each valley you pass through has its own distinct flavour.

This section of the GR10 long distance trail goes from Aulus les Bains to Merens, in Haute Ariege connecting the western and the central sections of the Pyrenees with the Ariege part of the mountain range. This region is known for its high plateau landscapes, deep valleys hemmed in by soaring summits, sometimes covered with a sprinkling of snow, and mountain lakes whose waters change in colour. In the evening, the Ariege gastronomy will get you back in shape for the next day. From Aulus, the guarded refuge of Bassies surrounded by lakes will satisfy your desires for wide open spaces. In the Vicdessos region, you'll discover ancient circular dry stone constructions called orris, which will allow you the pratice of pastoralism in the Auzat valley. After a mountain stage staying inthe Rulhe refuge, part 6 of the GR10 reaches Merens, close to Capcir and Andorra.


Walking Profile

6 days independent walking moving everyday between accommodation. It is graded strenuous because there are two days with well over 1000m of altitude gain, the longest day having +1500m of ascent. Average days include 6 hours hours walking and 850m of ascent & descent. Details are provided with the descriptions below. Paths are generally good and well defined, although they are often rocky and mountainous in character. You should have a good head for heights and be able to navigate.

 

location map cauterets luchon pyrenees

Walking Holiday Day-by-day

Day 1: Arrival in Aulus les Bains

Arrive at your accommodation in Aulus les Bains. Options to visit Aulus les Bains or go hiking:

Guzet lake and Ars Waterfall
A great loop walk from Aulus-les-Bains to a mountain lake and the superb waterfall, the Cascade d’Ars.
The waterfall of Ars
This is another option for a shorter loop walk: it will take you to the great “Cascade d’Ars” which gives Aulus-les-Bains spa resort, its reputation.

  • Distance : 13km, duration : around 5h00, altitude gain : +880m, descent : -880m.
  • Distance : 10,5km, duration : around 3h45, altitude gain : +740m, dénivelé moins : -740m.

Day 2: Aulus - Bassies Refuge

From Aulus les Bains a walk up towards the Port de Saleix (1794m altitude). The beauty of the mountain scenery is awesome, rural barns, fresh, bubbling mountain torrents, a rich Pyrenean flora and an old mine. From the Port of Saleix, you can admire the view towards the Auzat and Vicdessos valleys, then the Bassiès lakes, before reaching the refuge. Distance : 11km, duration : around 5h15, altitude gain : +1270m, descent : -370m.

Day 3: Bassies Refuge - Refuge Goulier

The GR 10 goes along the magnificent Bassies lakes, and joins the lower part of the high Vicdessos valley in the direction of Auzat, at the foot of Montcalm, the last summit of more than 3000m altitude heading towards the Mediterranean. Then a superb path leads you to Goulier, passing through Olbier, a pretty little mountain village in the Ariege Pyrenees.
Distance : 13km, duration : around 4h30, altitude gain : +450m, descent : -995m.

Day 4: Goulier - Siguer

Starting from Goulier, the day's itinerary crosses many cols and passes through beautiful forests and mountain hamlets such as Lercoul and Siguer. The built heritage in these places is of historic importance: Romanesque churches, orris, barns or bordes. Near the villages, take the time to discover the remains of old cultivated terraces, with their low stone walls. Distance : 11,5km, duration : around 4h45, altitude gain : +650m, descent : -950m.

Day 5: Siguer - Pont de Coudenes

From Siguer and after a forest climb, you will reach the panoramic ridge of the Bede which leads to the summit of the Pla de Montcamp, a vast high plateau with a wonderful 360 degree view of the Ariege mountains. You'll then cross the wide open spaces of the Pla du Four, ideal for grazing animals as the Courtal Marti and Balledreyte huts testify. After crossing the Sirmont pass you'll descend to the Coudenes bridge. Transfer from the Coudenes bridge to your accommodation in Tarascon sur Ariege. Distance : 15,5km, duration : around 7h30, altitude gain : +1500m, descent : -1200m.

Day 6: Plateau de Beille - Rulhe Refuge

In the morning, transfer to the plateau de Beille, famous for its nordic ski station and for being on the itinerary for the Tour de France race. Ascent to the Rulhe refuge via the col des Finestres, Didorte, Belh and Terre Negre. A high mountain ambiance is guaranteed ! Distance : 14km, duration : around 5h15, altitude gain : +785m, descent : -380m.

Day 7 : Rulhe Refuge - Merens

Starting from the Rulhe refuge, the GR 10 first crosses the Calmette pass, then skirts around the Etang Bleu, following the Lhasse ridge with beautiful views over the Rulhe massif. Then a descent leads over the Comte Lake. The path then descends along the Mourguillou stream before arriving in Merens. Distance : 12,5km, duration : around 5h15, altitude gain : +330m, descent : -1460m.

Day 8: Departure

Holiday ends after breakfast.

 

gr10 trek pyrenees ariege

self guided walking pyrenees traverse gr10 merens

valley mountains hiking trip pyrenees

gr10 french pyrenees self-guided

hamlet crossing pyrenees ariege france

high mountains in snow pyrenees

 

 

 

 

 

Bed

Accommodation & Meals


Half board accommodation: 1 night in room in hotel** on day 5, 3 nights in room in guest house on days 1 and 4 & 7, 1 night in room in gite on day 3, 2 nights in a shared dormitory in mountain refuges on days 2 and 6, (bring a sack sheet (blankets provided)) and 1 night in shared dormitory in mountain refuge on day 3 (bring a sack sheet (blankets provided)). Breakfasts are continental breakfasts (tea, coffee, milk, butter, jam) and evening meals in gites are often based on local specialities. Picnics and drinks are not included.

Name Type Details Rating  
         
Travel Options

Travel Options


How to get to Aulus les Bains:

  • By air : Toulouse-Blagnac airport
  • By train or bus : TER trains from the main cities towards Boussens (https://www.oui.sncf) then bus from Boussens to St Girons. Then bus from Saint-Girons to Aulus.
  • By car : From Toulouse, 128km, autoroute via Saint Gaudens ; to Saint Martory, take Saint-Girons / From Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, rejoin Carcassonne, then direction Foix/Mirepoix ; from Foix, rejoin directly Saint-Girons, then Aulus les Bains.

    Parking :

    Free parking in Aulus-les-Bains : Camper van parking space, near the tourist office or in the village ; inform a member of staff at the office.

Depart from Merens:

TER train direction Toulouse (SNCF line La Tour de Carol – Toulouse), stops in Foix.

Travel to Aulus les Bains from Merens

TER trains from Merens to Foix (SNCF line La Tour de Carol - Toulouse). Bus from Foix to Saint Girons and from Saint Girons to Aulus les Bains.

We recommend arriving by train to avoid returns to Luchon to recover your car, because the return journey is long by public transport and very expensive if you take a taxi. If you have to come by car, we recommend that you leave your car in Aulus les Bains on the first day and return by public transport because you will not be tired by a week's walking.

Public transports
Informations SNCF: https://uk.voyages-sncf.com/en

Note: Please check concerning the availability of a holiday before booking any flights. If you need further information or would like to discuss any aspect of your travel arrangements, please contact us, we’re here to help you.

 

Photos

Photos


Pyrenees GR10 walking holiday Francelake bassies
view lakes mountains horses pyrenees hike gr10
glaciated valley trekking pyrenees walking crossing
GR10 trek across pyrenees coast to coast refuge
traditional farming ariege mountain trekking holiday french pyrenees europe
pyrenees independent walking high mountains