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We will be staying at the lovely Hotel Tierra de Biescas which has excellent facilities with gardens, outdoor and
indoor pool and a sauna. It has an excellent restaurant which serves good buffet style breakfasts and 3 course
evening meals. The village of Biescas is based around two medieval churches and has a population of around
1000 people. The hotel has double, twin and single rooms.
Evening meals will be split between the hotel and village restaurants so that you can try the local dishes (3 in the hotel, 3 in restaurants). The restaurants are all close to the hotel and have excellent atmosphere and you’ll try two or three different restaurants during the week - each with different styles. It’s a great way to mix with the locals and discover more about the Pyrenees.
One of our favourites spots Tiki’s, a lovely restaurant with great meat and fish dishes. Run by the ever friendly Miguel who will look after you splendidly during your stay. The final night will be in the lovely Montañes restaurant which has a wonderful menu.
The evening meal on the rest day isn’t included as the meal at lunchtime in Ainsa is large and people don’t usually want a full evening meal.
Hikes & guides
All hikes will be led by a qualified International Mountain Leader. Some of the days there is the option of two hikes, in the morning the group will decide which is the selected hike. We always keep the hiking itinerary flexible and alter things during the week depending on the group fitness and the weather.
If you are coming as a group of 4 or more transfers from Zaragoza train station to Biescas can be arranged- the journey takes 1 ¾ hrs. Otherwise, rental cars are readily available at the Barcelona and Madrid airports– the drive from Barcelona is 4 hrs and from Madrid around 4.5 hrs, and can be parked at the hotel. Evening briefing about the trip ahead and discussion of routes, etc. followed by evening meal at the hotel.
Sunday: Pacino peak
Punta del Pacino (6500 ft.)
A beautiful ascent through woodland and meadows to the peak of Punta del Pacino. Its position at the centre of the valley gives fabulous panoramic views of the Valle De Tena and surrounding peaks. Not too demanding and a great warm up hike for the first day.
Distance: 6 miles
Ascent: 2300 ft.
Monday: Hike in La Ripera Valley
Rincón del Verde
On this hike you have 2 options. It can be done as a circular walk and therefore come back a slightly different
way with moderately different views or you can return the same way. Both are really pretty. If the group has
the energy we can do a big circuit and head up to the peak of Motaña Verde.
Distance: 7.5 miles / 10 miles
Ascent: 1750 ft. / 2200 ft.
Tuesday: San Juan de la Peña
San Juan de la Peña (St. John of the cliffs) hike and cultural visit
Built in a cave and consecrated in 920 AD the monastery of San Juan de la Peña is beautifully preserved. It’s a
fascinating building with a beautifully carved 12th century cloister. The first three kings of Aragon are buried
here. Above the monastery is a wide ridge with both fantastic views and a huge colony of griffon vultures which
have a 10 foot wingspan. We’ll first hike along the ridge (around 7 miles return trip) and then do a guided visit
of the monastery.
Wednesday: Rest/cultural day
Today we’ll take a visit to the medieval town of Aínsa which is regularly voted as one of the prettiest villages in Spain. In the morning we’ll visit the Eco Museo to learn more about the wildlife of the area, have a talk on the bearded vulture conservation program and visit the raptor rescue centre. This will be followed by a guided tour of the old town and the 11th century church along with free time to rest and relax. We’ll have lunch in it’s beautiful square.
People who would prefer to stay at the hotel to rest or swim are welcome to do so.
Thursday Lacs Ayous - side trip to Pic D’Ayous (7500 ft.)
Today we head to the French side of the Pyrenees to hike in the Pyrenees National Park. The hike will head to the Lacs Ayous with the option of either a shorter hike there and back to the lake, or a longer a circular hike along the GR10 passing several high mountain lakes and a refuge where you can buy yourself a hot chocolate,
wine or beer! This hike has fantastic views all day with the iconic peak of Pic Midi d’Ossau dominating the skyline.
There is the option of a side trip to Pic D’Ayous on the longer route.
Distance: Short route: 8.5 miles; Long Route: 10 miles- plus 1.5 mile Pic d’Ayous side trip.
Ascent: Short route: 2000 ft. Long route: 3300 ft. - plus 1100 ft..
Friday: Hike in the Ordesa Valley
The Ordesa Valley is a kilometre deep canyon and one of the most famous hiking spots for Spanish hikers
(despite hardly being known outside of Spain!). Above the valley lies a string of 3000 metre peaks including
Monte Perdido the third highest summit in the Pyrenees. There are three trails that we can choose from and
we’ll pick one according to the wishes and fitness of the group. All start and end at the same point.
Low level: The valley floor (10 miles, 1500 ft. ascent)
A walk along the floor of the Ordesa Valley. We pass through ancient beech and silver pine woods, past several
waterfalls, with the sheer cliffs of Ordesa rising above us on both sides. The woodland gives way to give fantastic
views of the 1000 ft. Monte Perdido at the head of the valley.
Mid level: Faja Racon (7 miles, 2000 ft. ascent)
Wonderful hike around the base of the cliffs of Ordesa. First we climb into the Circo de Corrieta before
contouring around the bottom of the cliffs. One of the best hikes for getting a sense of the scale of the cliffs of
the valley. The path is a little narrow in places so this hike best avoided by those with vertigo.
High level: Faja de Pelay (12 miles, 2600 ft. ascent)
A steep climb of 2000 feet leads us to a spectacular viewpoint and path high on the cliffs of Ordesa which is
one of the best I have ever hiked. Stunning views of the Breche de Roland, the string of 3000m peaks on the
border, Monte Perdido and of course across the valley.
Saturday: Departure - Transfer back to Zaragoza
Leisurely breakfast before you leave the Pyrenees.