Maison Bergoun is a bearnaise house built in VIII-XVIII century in the village ofÂ Borce at the start of your week's walking holiday. A small and welcoming guest house.
PYRENEES GR10: PART 3, ESTAUT - CAUTERETS
6 days walking/7 nights
Part 3 of a superb trek traversing the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Coasts
Third stage of the mythical crossing of the Pyrenees via the GR10 long-distance trail
Wonderful high mountain stage of the Pyrenees traverse
Well preserved flora and fauna
Wonderful mountain scenery in the Pyrenees National Park including Pic du Midi d'Ossau
Great walking over passes and summits, via mountain lakes and streams
Only carrying a light rucksack on most days
Let 's discover the full itinerary!
Day 1: Arrival
Once you have settled into your accommodation in Borce (just next to Etsaut) you can visit the villages of Etsaut and Borce and the Park's mansion.
The Moulette Bridge
Easy hike in shady loop up to the Moulette bridge, in the forest to discover high barns. 4km (2hrs15), +330m, -330m.
Walk to the col de la Coundre
A circular walk that lets you discover the valley of Etsaut. You will discover lovely scenery as well as relics of the past, such as old mills and barns. You arrive at Col de la Coundre at an altitude of 1121m. 6km (3hrs30), +525m, -525m.
Day 2: Estaut - Ayous Refuge
Today’s walk is challenging with 1700m altitude gain. It offers scenery of an amazing magnitude: the Chemin de la mature, the plateau of Baigt-Sencours, shepherd’s cabins and the pyramid-shaped mountain the Pic du Midi d’Ossau whose reflection shimmers in the waters of the lake, Lac Gentau.
Overnight: Estaut, Walk: 15km (6hrs45), +1650m, -300m.
Day 3: Ayous Refuge - Gabas
Setting out from the refuge at Ayous, the GR10 drops down to the village of Gabas. Today's walk is shorter and it's a chance to recuperate after yesterday's efforts (or longer variants). The distance from the lake to the village isn’t far and will take about 3 hours. The village is typically Pyrenean and situated in the famous valley of Ossau, with an emblematic summit, an exceptional flora and fauna, as well as great cheese! Possibility of two different longer variants: via Lac Bersau or via the Col de Suzon.
Distance : 10km, duration : 3h00, altitude gain : +50m, descent : -950m.
Distance : 12.5km, duration : 4h30, altitude gain : +200m, descent : -1110m (Variant Lac Bersau).
Distance : 20km, duration : 8h, altitude gain : +900m, descent : -1800m (Variant Col de Suzon).
Overnight: Gabas, Walk: see above
Day 4: Gabas - Gourette
Today’s walk is strenuous, the climb up to the Hourquette d'Arre which culminates at 2465m, this is the highest part of the GR10 in the Pyrenees Atlantiques. You descend towards the lake Anglas and continue down to the ski station, Gourette. There is a good chance that you will be able to observe some remarkable fauna such as the majestic rare vautour fauve, vultures, royal eagles, mountain isards and marmots. Late snow covering is regular on this stage?: a variant enabling to avoid the high point of Hourquette d’Arre can be organized. Possibility to shorten the hike with a morning transfer or divide the hike in 2 by adding an extra night, please contact us.
Distance : 21,5km, duration : around 9h, altitude gain : +1700m, descent : -1400m
Distance : 30km, duration : around 11h30, altitude gain : +2050m, descent : -1750m (Snow variant). .
Overnight: Gourette, Walk: see above
Day 5: Gourette - Arrens Marsous
Today’s stage of the GR10 is a transition, the trail crosses the border between the Béarn and Bigorre regions. You will be walking across high summer pastures and past shepherd's cabins to the Col de Tortes at an altitude of 1799m and on to the Col de Saucède at 1525m. You will arrive at the village of Arrens in the Val D’Azun valley, the first market town of the Bigorre region. Then you will reach the village of Estaing via the Bordères pass
Overnight: Estaing, Walk: Distance : 13,5km, duration : 6h, altitude gain : +900m, descent : -1400m.
Day 6: Arrens Marsous - Ilheou refuge Refuge
From Arrens, you will reach the village of Estaing and its lake, framed by wooded slopes. Then the GR10 joins the high mountain pastures of the Ilhéou pass (2242m), after having passed the Arriousec and Barbat huts. From the pass, the path descends to the Lac d'Ilhéou or Lac Bleu, and its guarded refuge. In case of late snow, a variant is proposed, outside the GR10, by a balcony itinerary, passing above the Lac Noir.
Overnight: Ilheou, Walk: Distance : 18km, duration : 7h30, altitude gain : +1650m, descent : -550m.
Day 7: Ilheou Refuge - Cauterets
Just a short walk for the last section of this part of the GR10. To Cauterets, passing by the Escala d’Ilheou, you'll no doubt have the chance to see marmots and isards. In this high, airy mountain ambiance there are many traces of glacial erosion, lakes and moraines. Possibility of a longer variant via the Haugade Pass and the Marcadau Valley.
- Distance : 8km, duration : 3h, altitude gain : +50m, descent : -1100m.
- Distance : 16,5km, duration : 6h, altitude gain : +500m, descent : -1550m (variant).
Overnight: Cauterets, Walk: see above
Day 8: Departure
Your walking holiday ends after breakfast.
At a glance
15 June - 30 September
7 nights / 6 or 7 days walking
Distance: 8 - 19km per day
Ascent: 10-1560m per day
Gites & refuges (rooms for 2 on 5 nights)
Other walking holidays along the GR10 in French Alps
Other long distance treks in the mountains
GR 10 Trek
This self-guided walking holiday is the third 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 distinct flavour.
This section of the GR10 long distance trail goes from Etsaut to Cauterets, taking you through the Pyrenean National Park. Created in 1967 to preserve an exceptional natural heritage, the park stretches from the Aspe valley to the Aure valley, along the Spanish border. Setting off from Etsaut, via the famous chemin de la Mature, you will reach the grandiose surroundings of the Ossau valley,which opens out before you and affords a spectacular view of the pyramid-shaped Pic de Midi d’Ossau that culminates at 2884m.
From Gabas to Arrens valley, passing through the ski resort of Gourette, you encounter a succession of lakes and villages in stone and slate and a never-ending wilderness that serves as summer pastures. After having discovered the Arrens and Estaing valleys, you finish your week's self guided walking holiday in the Pyrenees spa town of Cauterets, capital of the Bigorre.
7 night/8 days: 6 or 7 days independent walking moving between accommodation
Everyday (subject to availability) from 15 June to 30 September
Walking Profile & Grade
6 days independent walking moving everyday between hotels and two mountain huts. It is graded strenuous, although the average days include 6 - 7 hours of walking and 900m of ascent & descent. The hardest two days, however, both include over 1500m of ascent. 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.
This walking holiday is graded strenuous. See more information about walking grades.
Accommodation & Meals
- 5 nights in hotels, in double rooms
- 2 nights in a shared dormitory in mountain refuges on days 2 and 6. Bring a sleeping bag liner (blankets provided)
- Half board
Where is this trek?
When to Travel
Our self-guided walking trail along part 3 of the GR10 long distance path is available from 15 June to 30 September. This third stage of the trek goes over mounatin passes approaching 2500m and so before 15 June there is a high risk of snow on the trail and some of the accommodation is not open. During the rest of June and early July there is a greater risk of encountering snow fields on the trail than later. The summer months are the driest period in the central Pyrenees, but afternoon showers or storms are fairly common. From mid September night time temperatures tend to be fresher and there is a small risk of fresh snow at altitude. The busiest period in terms of fellow walkers is from Mid July to mid August.
Navigation, Walking Notes & Maps
The vast majority of this walking holiday follows the GR10 (Grande Randonnee) long distance trail which is very well way-marked with red and white markings. There are also a number of signposts along the trail. The walking follows clear paths for its entire duration. Some small sections follow local or unmarked trails, for example to access accommodation, but these are easy to follow. On this particular walking holiday we use the Cicerone guide books. As well as the walking notes we supply walking maps. You'll be provided with detailed 1:25,000 walking maps.
On this walking holiday you can choose to have your main luggage transferred between accommodation so you only have to carry a day rucksack with picnic lunch (supplied by the guest houses and included in the holiday price), water and spare clothes, waterproofs, camera etc. On this holiday several local taxi companies are responsible for transporting your main luggage. Please limit the weight of your bags where possible to 15kg.
How to arrive in Etsaut
By air: Tarbes Ossun airport, www.tarbes-lourdes.aeroport.fr. Toulouse-Blagnac international airport (180km). Flights from the UK to Toulouse with Easy Jet, Ryan Air, Flybe, BMI regional & British Airways. Pau-Uzein airport. www.pau.aeroport.fr Air France
By train : Transfer by TER and bus SNCF from Pau to Etsaut, via Oloron Sainte Marie.
- To get to Pau : line Nice - Toulouse - Irun, or line Paris - Bordeaux - Tarbes, stop at Pau.
- To get to Oloron Sainte Marie : many TER trains from Pau to Oloron, then SNCF bus from Oloron to Etsaut.
Contact SNCF www.ter-sncf.com or www.ter-sncf.com/aquitaine to confirm timetable.
- By car: To get to Pau (autoroute from Bordeaux or Toulouse); then Pau, N134 to Etsaut, via Oloron Sainte Marie.
NB: There is no hotel in Etsaut, and Borce is the village just next to it.
- Parkings in Etsaut : No problems parking. Place de l'Eglise, infront of the Mairie or ask the manager of the gite in Etsaut.
- Parkings in Cauterets : Free : Bus station, Place de la gare Thermes Cesar, (town centre) Guarded parking : Parking Municipal souterrain, Rue de Belfort.
How to return from Cauterets
By train : Bus SNCF from bus station - arrival in Lourdes, 1h later. From Lourdes, conections with Toulouse, Bordeaux.
From Cauterets to return to Etsaut :
Bus SNCF from Cauterets to Lourdes . From Lourdes, line Lourdes to Irun, stop in Pau. Then from Pau to Etsaut, connections possible with departures from Cauterets. www.ter-sncf.com to confirm timetable.
We recommend arriving by train to avoid returns to Etsaut to recover your car, because the return journey is long by public transport and very expensive if you to take a taxi. If you have to come by car
7 nights / 6 or 7 days walking
- From €995
- Without bag transfers: less €160 per booking
- All prices per person, based on 2 sharing a room, except where stated
- Please consult us about single supplement prices
What's included in the price
- 7 nights' accommodation.
- All breakfasts and 7 evening meals.
- Full walking notes and maps.
- Transport of luggage between accommodation on days 3, 4, 5 and 7, transfer on day 4, GPS files (if requested)
What's not included in the price
- Travel to Etsaut and from Cauterets
- Lunches, drinks with meals, showers in huts
- Any excursions or entrance fees
- Travel insurance
- A deposit payment of 30% or at least £250 or 250€ per person must be made to confirm your booking. The balance of payments is due 8 weeks before the holiday date. If the holiday date is less that 8 weeks away at the time of booking, then the full price should be paid.
5 nights in hotels, in double/twin rooms. 2 nights in a shared dormitory in mountain huts (refuges) on days 2 and 6. Bring a sleeping bag liner (blankets provided). Half board
- Continental breakfast (tea, coffee, milk, bread, butter, jam)
- Evening meals in hotels and huts are often local specialities, include a starter, a main course and a dessert.
- Picnics and drinks not included. Picnics can be ordered from your accommodation the night before.
Extra nights are possible at Estaut at the start of the trip and in Cauterets at the end of your walk.
This is part 3 of a long distance trek across the French Pyrenees. It is possible to do the walking stages either side of this part of the trek. Here are the links to parts 1, 2 and 4 of the trek:
We also have a high level traverse close by in the Pyrenees National Park: Traversing the Pyrenees National Park
Please consult us for a price on any of the above options.
Tailor Made Trips
If you want to learn more about the region's culture through tailor-made activities and visits, check out those trips that include a few days in Occitanie. Contact us to add them to your hike.
Authentic trip to discover the Tarn: stunning walks, exquisite gastronomy and centuries of captivating history in Toulouse, Albi, Carcassonne and more.