The Freedom Trail
Lac Long, Chemin de la Liberté
resistance image
Enjoy the challenge
Freedom Trail
On the way, Chemin de la Liberté
Via Aula
Freedom Trail, Pyrenees Trekking
Freedom Trail, Pyrenees Trekking
Crash site
Youth group
Escape and evasion
View from Estagnous refuge
Sun set
Louis Barreau

Chemin de la Liberté Freedom Trail- WWII route over the Pyrenees I 6 days I JULY I AUG I SEPT


Dates 2024

10-15 July 24

1-6 August 24

21-26 August 24

28 August – 2 September 24

15-20 September 24

28 September – 3 October 24
Please request a booking form or book online

The Chemin de la Liberté Freedom Trail is a demanding but spectacular freedom trail of great historical interest. Over the course of four days, you will follow the escape route used by thousands fleeing occupied France during World War II.

You will begin in St Girons, before trekking high into the Pyrenees. Here you you will stay in a mountain refuge at over 2,200m before descending into Spain. We offer the highest standard of wild camp support including pre camp buffet lunch, tent and cooking equipment transfer for wild camp, support staff and a sleeping bag and mat out service so you can travel lighter.

Click ‘reserve’ below to select your preferred trip dates. If you would like to travel on dates not available below, please contact us to enquire about alternative dates.


Day 1 Transfer Toulouse to Seix or Chez Arran

Collection at Toulouse Blagnac airport and transfer to Seix which takes approximately 1.5hrs. You are free to explore this lovely small town. You will spend the night in one of 2 traditional family run auberges in Seix. For Sepember treks and smaller groups you will stay on N1 at apartments with pool, thai cushion area and large gardens with a morning transfer of 1 hr across the Pyrenees to reach Seix and St Girons. Visit to the Tarascon sur Ariege Evades memorial may be possible depending on your flight arrival time.

Toulouse was a major gathering point for the crossing of the Pyrenees and many fugitives gathered in the Hotel de Paris, managed by Monsieur and Madame Montgelard, who were both eventually captured and deported to concentration camps in Germany; only Madame Montgelard returned. From here escapees headed both to Tarascon Sur Ariege and St Girons to begin their escapes into Andorra or Spain.

Day 2 La Soumere – Aunac or Esbintz Trek approx 3-4 hours

We often visit the Chemin de la Liberté museum in the morning in St Girons and then walk from La Soumere – Aunac (3.5hrs) taking lunch at the Louis Barreau memorial. After this we contour down and round before making the final ascent to Aunac on a forested path around a curious cone shaped mountain. It is easy to see how people could remain well hidden in this terrain! Overnight accommodation is provided at Aunac Auberge which used to be a meeting place for escapees or Esbintz depending on the size of our group. (B,L,D)

Day 3 Aunac or Esbintz – Subera refuge (1499m) Trek approx 6-7 hours

After a hearty breakfast with wonderful views, we head off through the forest for a long day of trekking. Our path takes us steeply up to the Col de le Core (1395m) – this is a fairly demanding ascent but the views around us are spectacular as we gain height. Here we enjoy a buffet lunch and collect our kit for tonight. The hard part of today’s trek is behind us as we contour around the mountain-side, getting a glimpse for the first time of the terrain that awaits us. At the col de la Core you will take in your night it for the next 2.5 days but our team will take out your sleeping mats after the wild camp. In less than two hours you an undulating path leads to  Subera wild camp in approximately 2hrs. Subera is set in pasture meadows at the foot of towering cliffs and you may be lucky enough to meet Gilles, the local berger, who looks after the wild horses and cows around and above the refuge.  Night camp at the Subera Hut (1449m). From now on we move further away from the road and you will at times be 3.5hrs from the nearest road which gives a splendid opportunity to detach and feel at one with nature and the enormity of the challenge escapees experienced with little kit and food. (B,L,D)

Day 4 Subera Hut – Estagnous Refuge (2240m) Trek approx 8 – 9 hours

A challenging day lies ahead of us today, as our trek heads into serious mountain terrain towards the Col de Craberous (2382m), passing the crash site of a British Halifax bomber. 80km off its intended route, it sadly crashed on a training flight in July 1945, killing all seven on board. Wreckage is left untouched out of respect, and a plaque commemorates the crew. We continue to climb to the top of the col de craberous and descend to Espugues refuge and towards a beautiful mountain lake for lunch. We’re likely to see wild horses in this area. As we near the snow-line, the scenery becomes more impressive; craggy peaks and towering cliffs, with patches of snow between the jagged rocks. It’s hard to imagine how those escaping France would have felt, making this journey in the dark and in fear of betrayal and capture. Rising up from the lake there are some bouldery steps where hands are needed and it\’s neccessary to put one or more walking poles away. After our last steep climb  trends across over glacier scraped granite slabs up to the cap de pecouch. We descend over boulder-strewn slopes to the Estagnous refuge. (2245m). +1500m  (B,L,D)

Day 5 Estagnous – Spanish border – Vielha Trek approx. 6-7 hours; drive approx. 1 hour to Vielha

We set off from our hospitable refuge, and trek downhill to the lovely Lac Rond (1929m), stretching out any aching muscles in anticipation of the next challenge. Lac Long lies only about half an hour away, but is 200m above us, and the path to it is extremely steep. In places there is via ferrata cableway to assist. Once at Lac Long (2125m) the border at the Col de la Clauère is almost within sight. Our path crosses a deep gully, usually filled with snow, which provides an arduous slog to the top (2522m), where we gaze into Spain – another stunning view! We traverse across before descending on vague sheep track paths to reach a lake. This is swimmable in on warmer days. Afterwards we continue the descent past some small waterfalls and an abundance of sunny side of the mountain flowers. We get into our waiting transport and drive to the Spanish ski resort of Vielha. 3 or 4* hotel. (B,L)

Day 6 Depart Toulouse

Morning transfer to Toulouse Blagnac Airport from Viehla. Enjoy the magnificent sporty town of Viehla, it’s cobbled streets, tapas bars and also a museum should you wish. We are free until it’s time to transfer to Toulouse Airport for our flight home (Lunch not included). (B)



  • Reviews 8 Reviews
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
      Border-Crossing Challenge, Charity Challenge, Historic Challenge, Trekking
    • Activity Level Tough - Trip grade 4
    • 2 - 28
    All about the Chemin de la Liberté Freedom Trail- WWII route over the Pyrenees I 6 days I JULY I AUG I SEPT.

    The Chemin de la Liberté Freedom Trail is a demanding but spectacular freedom trail of great historical interest. Over the course of four days, you will follow the escape route used by thousands fleeing occupied France during World War II.

    The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
    What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
    • Accommodation and food as specified in the programme
    • Transport to and from Toulouse Blagnac on a single timed transfer per group. Other transport options on request.
    • Local transport as per the itinerary
    • Guiding by a qualified International Mountain leader
    • One guide to 10 guests maximum ratio
    • Wild camp support – Three course evening meal and breakfast
    • Tents carried in by our team
    • Sleeping bag and mat carry out on request by our team so you travel lighter
    • Transfer of bags from location to location on the first 2 nights
    • Buffet lunch at the Col de Core


    What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
    • Flights
    • Insurance
    • Mountain snacks
    • Any additional transport or accommodation needed if you have to leave the group for a medical or fitness reason

    You will walk with only a day sack which you will bring with you on the first 2 days of the trek and our team will meet you with your additional luggage at the end of the day. Walking into the wild camp you will bring in addition your night kit, sleeping bag and mat. From Subera wild camp you should carry no more than 8kg and your remaining baggage will be taken over to Spain by our team to meet you on the final night. Our camp team brings in your food for the evening and next days breakfast. They then take out your sleeping mat and for small groups of up to 8 people you will just continue to Sain with your night kit, next days lunch and your sheet sleeping bag. For larget groups of more than 8 people we will usually ask you to take your light weight sleeping bag and compression sack with you.

    Day 1 On the first night you will have the chance to sample local cuisine at a local restaurant in Seix or Tarascon Sur Ariege if staying at Chez Arran.

    Day 2 The second night offers a farm experience with all home grown and made produce at Aunac or Esbintz. All our clients report having had a fabulous meal brought to them by Adeline (Esbintz) or Anthony (Aunac).

    Day 3 On arrival at the col de la core you will receive a buffet lunch before the evening wild camp. For dinner we give you a 3 course meal including tasty starters that are carried in by our team.

    Day 4 In the evening you will have a fixed menu dinner provided by the Estagnous refuge and drinks are available from their bar service. Dietary requirements can usually be catered for as long as we know in advance.

    Day 5 Celebratory meal in Vielha A rewarding tapas meal with an excellent local wine selection and a great variety of gins and juices too!

    Lunches: On most days you will receive a large and varied packed lunch but please do supplement with your own snacks.

    Overall Rating
    graham house
    Reviewed On 06/10/2022

    This is an amazing experience. The scenery is spectacular, the sense of history will move you, the 'following the footsteps' will strengthen your resilience and emotional well-being, and, importantly, Anne and her support team will inspire you, educate you, laugh with you, cry with you, as well as care for you If you get the chance, take the chance graham

    Martin Lavelle
    Reviewed On 17/08/2022

    An incredible experience that will stay with me for years to come! Challenging, inspirational and an opportunity to build a strong team spirit with, in our case, a diverse group of people who had never met before. The views are uplifting, the food at the refuge's remarkable and Anne's patient and nurturing guiding was top drawer. If you love the outdoors, enjoy pushing yourself, crave fresh air and just need some head space, then this tour ticks all the boxes.

    Sarah Fuhri
    Reviewed On 15/08/2022

    I know that this trek will stay with me for a long time for its beauty, challenge and its historical context. I loved every minute even those where the paths were particularly tricky but thanks to Anne’s brilliant guidance, I felt safe every step of the way. The views from dawn to dusk were magnificent, the terrain was ever-changing and interesting with an abundance of wildlife, the swimming in the mountain lakes rested our aching muscles and was one of my highlights. If you're in two minds - just do it!

    Clare Jones
    Reviewed On 19/07/2022

    A beautiful ,peaceful part of the world opened up to me thanks to Anne’s expert and competent guiding .A wonderful experience altogether and a special mention for the opportunity to swim in clear blue remote mountain lakes surrounded by majestic peaks .

    steve cliff
    Reviewed On 19/07/2019

    Fantastic I have no hesitation in recommending the freedom trail with Anne. It was Brilliant. The support team were excellent and everything was very well organised. Thank you. Steve


    Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
    01/08/2024 - 06/08/2024
    10 spaces
    10/07/2024 - 15/07/2024
    21/08/2024 - 26/08/2024
    28/08/2024 - 02/09/2024
    28/09/2024 - 02/10/2024
    10 spaces