PYRENEES GR10: PART 5, LUCHON - AULUS-LES-BAINS
6 days walking/7 nights
Part 5 of a superb trek traversing the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Coasts
Fifth stage of the mythical crossing of the Pyrenees via the GR10 long-distance trail
Crossing some of the wildest parts of the Pyrenees in the Couserons & Haute Ariege
Well preserved flora and fauna
Region famed for its large, open wild spaces with far reaching panoramas
Several small historic mountain hamlets & villages
Opportunity to climb Peak Crabere in the early morning light for great views from 2629m
Only carrying a light rucksack on most days
Let 's discover the full itinerary!
Day 1: Arrival
Arrive at your accommodation in Luchon. Options to visit Luchon or go hiking:
The village of Cazarilh and Luchon valley
Walk in the surrounding countryside to the village of Cazaril-Laspenes, a village with a remarkable church and architecture. Opportunity to walk to the hamlet of Trebons, then Saccourvielle before returning to Luchon. 9km, 3hrs, +465m, -465m.
Ascent of the pic de Céciré
From Superbagneres, reach the summit of the famous peak of Céciré (2403m), look out on the 3000m of Luchonnais, and the summits of the border: Views of the Maladeta and the massif of Aneto during this very pleasant walk. 13.5km, 5hrs, +775m, -775m.
Day 2: Artigue - Fos
Short transfer to Artigue (possible to include walk from Luchon to Artigue in the holiday by adding a night in Artigue or with a long stage from Luchon to Fos: Contact us). From Artigue village, you cross a high col called the col de la Peyrahitta at an altitude of 1947m. Just after the pass, if you are feeling up to it, you have the chance to climb the Pic de Bacanere, 2193m, this is a good variant and links up with the lake of Dessus. After having crossed Cigaleres ridge (2093m) you pass one cabin after another before arriving at the village of Fos at an altitude of 544m.
Overnight: Fos, Walk: 20km, 7hrs 45m, +1050m, -1720m.
Day 3: Fos - Araing Lake
From the village of Fos and the Comminges, after a long climb and crossing the Col d'Auéran, at 2176m altitude, you leave the Haute Garonne for the Ariège and the Couserans. From the pass, you can see the beautiful site of the Araing refuge, the finish line of the stage, located near the pond of the same name beneath the cliffs of the Crabère summit. The landscapes we've crossed are a harbinger of the wilderness of this Pyrenean region.
Overnight: Araing Lake, Walk: 16km, 7hr, +1700m, -300m.
Day 4: Araing Lake - Eylie
This section links Etang d'Araing to Eylie d'en Haut. It crosses the first part of Ariege by passing through a series of small mountain villages, the architecture and ambience are not to be missed. As this stage is very short, it is possible to climb the Pic de l'Har (2424m), a remarkable viewpoint on the high peaks of the Couserans and the Pyrenean foothills.
Overnight: Eylie, 8km, 4hrs 15m, +400m, -1350m or 10km, 5hrs 30m, +600m, -1550m (Pic de l’Har variant).
Day 5: Eylie - Maison du Valier
Starting from Eylie, this first sporting stage in the heart of the Couserans crosses the wild spaces typical of this part of the Pyrenees: beech forests, summer pastures, shepherds' huts, etc. As you reach the Arech and Clot du Lac passes, you will enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, rising above deep valleys. You will then reach the Pla de la Lau and the Maison du Valier. Long and difficult stage, possibility of organizing a transfer in the morning to shorten it (with extra cost, consult us)
Overnight: Maison du Valier, Walk: 18km, 8hrs 30m, +1600m, -1650m.
Day 6: Maison du Valier - Cole de la Core
This is a stage on paths that are often on balconies, between the high mountains and the Couserans foothills. You'll leave behind the Mont Valier massif, the emblematic summit of the Couserans, while enjoying superb views of the latter and other high peaks in the area. The charming little pond at Ayes will also brighten up the route, before you reach the Col de la Core. At the end of the hike, transfer from Col de la Core to St Lizier d'Ustou to avoid a section of the GR10 without accommodation. However, it is possible to hike to St Lizier d'Ustou via a variant of the GR10 (Tour du val du Garbet), please consult us.
Overnight: St Lizier d'Ustou, Walk: 13.5km, 6hrs 30m, +1250m, -800m.
Day 7: St Lizier d’Ustou - Aulus les Bains
From the pretty hamlet of St Lizier d'Ustou, nestled in the heart of a very green valley, you reach the Escots pass. From the latter, there is a beautiful view of the last high peaks of the Couserans. Then you will head towards the spa village of Aulus les Bains via the Casérien cirque and the pretty Fouillet waterfall.
Overnight: Aulus les Bains, Walk: 15 km, 6hrs30, +1100m, -1100m.
Day 8: Departure
Transfer to St Girons bus station after breakfast.
At a glance
15 June - 30 September
7 nights / 6 or 7 days walking
Time: 4 - 7.5 hours per day
Ascent: 350-1200m per day
Hotels, gites & huts (4 nights in private rooms, 3 nights in dormitories)
Half-board (except night 7 B&B)
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 fifth 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 Luchon to Aulus les Bains, following ancient passages that were used as a means of communication between the deep valleys. Here, the itinerary follows rural and forestry trails around the Piedmont villages of Artigue and Melles-en-Comminges and the hamlets of Eylie, Bouche, Aunac and Bidous before rejoining another thermal station, Aulus-les-bains. The walk between Comminges and Couserans will take you through some remarkable flora: Gispet (widespread grass that gets slippery when wet and thrives on high altitude terrain), rhododendron flowers, blueberries and majestic beach trees that share the forest with fir trees. In Couserans you discover more traces of the past when the trail takes you to various ‘jasses’, (an area where the shepherds would gather their sheep near to the river), old shepherd’s cabins and cairns.
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 or 7 days independent walking moving everyday between accommodation. It is graded challenging, although there is the odd more strenuous day. Average days include 6 hours hours walking and 950m of ascent & descent. The hardest day, however, includes 1285m 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 challenging. See more information about walking grades.
Accommodation & Meals
- Half board (except day 7 B&B basis)
- 1 night in room in hotel** on day 1
- 3 nights in room in gite on day 2, 5, and 6
- 1 night in shared dormitory in mountain refuge on day 3. Bring a sack sheet (blankets provided)
Where is this trek?
When to Travel
Our self-guided walking trail along part 5 of the GR10 long distance path is available from 15 June to 30 September. This 5th stage of the trek goes over mountain passes above 2000m as well as having the opportunity to reach summits above 2500m 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 several 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 or to access panoramic summits, 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 get to Luchon :
By air :
Airports : Lourdes-Tarbes (110km); Toulouse-Blagnac (140km); train connections to Toulouse-Matabiau by shuttle every 20 mins.
By train :
TER trains from Toulouse Matabiau station to Montrejeau; the Toulouse-Montrejeau line, or Toulouse-Irun line, stops in Montrejeau; then Montrejeau-Luchon by bus, departures in front of Montrejeau station. (40 mins journey time between Toulouse and Montrejeau and around 1hr between Montrejeau and Luchon, 4 to 5 departures on Sunday)
Contact SNCF (www.ter-sncf.com) to confirm the timetable.
By car :
From Paris 825km, via Limoges, Toulouse, Saint-Gaudens.
From Lyon 663km, via Narbonne, Toulouse, Saint-Gaudens.
From Marseille 520km.
From Bordeaux 314km, via Agen, Auch.
From Toulouse 140km, via Montrejeau.
Parking in Luchon: Free: Behind the post office, from the phone box, in front of the train station, Luchon exit.
Depart from Aulus les Bains:
30 mins transfer by local taxi, from Aulus-les-Bains to Saint-Girons bus station included in holiday.
Departures from Saint-Girons bus station by bus, at 5.40pm to Boussens.
From Boussens, trains to Toulouse, Pau, Bordeaux, Paris (connections).
Depart from St Girons to Luchon (if arrived by car):
Departures from Saint-Girons bus station by bus, to Boussens.
From Boussens take a train to Montrejeau and a bus to Luchon.
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
7 nights / 6 or 7 days walking
- From €1125
- Without bag transfers: less €150 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
- Half board accommodation (except day 7 B&B basis)
- Transfers days 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8
- Luggage transport except for the 1 night in refuge on day 3
- 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 in the price
- Travel to Luchon and from les Bains
- Holiday and travel insurance
- Showers in the mountain huts
- Additional transfers
- Entrance fees, additional activities
- Drinks and picnics
- 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.
Half board accommodation (except day 7 bed and breakfast only): 1 night in room in hotel** on day 1; 3 nights in room in gite on days 2, 5 and 6; 1 night in room in family hotel day 7; 1 night in shared dormitory in gites on days 4 (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, including 3 courses (restaurants available in Aulus les Bains for day 7.) Picnics and drinks are not included.
Extra nights are possible at Luchon at the start of the trip and in Aulus les Bains at the end of your walk.
This is part 4 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 other stages 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.