Escape and Evasion Historical & Cultural I 3 days I MAY – OCTfrom
“Powerful stories, beautifully told”
A 2 day cultural & historical adventure. Discussions, stories, music and small re-enactments await you as you traverse the same terrain as escapers during the dark days of 1943-44. After a 10 km 4-hour walk, we take an evening meal, hear further anecdotes and listen to music of the time. See a memorial to resistance fighters after your first “contact” in a Tarascon cafe. On day two follow an old Napoleonic & smuggler route towards the Andorran border, again re-living the fascinating history of the route & area. Take your chance to experience how people really escaped, made contacts and evaded capture.
Group discounts available for 5+ participants.
We welcome families, groups of friends, work colleagues and charity fundraisers.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderately Challenging, not technical - Trip grade 1
Group Size Medium Group
Escape & Evasion – Historical & Cultural
Days Total: 3
Trekking Days: 2
Availability: May – End October
Activity Level: 4
Accommodation: Gîte & Refuge
Group discounts! Bring a group of 6-10 or 10-20 people and receive a discount. £250/person for groups and £350 for individuals
- An immersive experience tracing World War II escape
- History comes to life as you hear the stories and
experiences of those fleeing over the Pyrenees during
- Learn how to survive in the mountains
- Navigating mountain terrain
- Physical demands
An engaging, informative adventure with a compelling, serious back story. Starting in Tarascon, the final railway point on a long and torturous journey across occupied Europe for those escaping Nazis tyranny, we will follow the real escape routes and attempt to gain some sense of the drama, emotion and challenges faced by those young men and women seeking freedom and to continue the fight.
Coming from abroad?
We offer an airport transfer for groups for a supplement fee dependant on group size.
Coming from Toulouse?
Catch the train, like an original escapee, arriving into Tarascon-sur-Ariège where we will collect you.
Anyone who would like to follow a real life escape trail through to Andorra used in WW2. Those who are fascinated by the history and culture of places and get into the mindset of a passeur or escapee and listen to recorded testimony of passeurs, see some of the equipment used, the hiding places and monuments en route. Maybe you would like to know what to do if there was an enemy plane above or patrol approaching? Assess the best route and take part in some role play with ID’s we have from the time.
You might also be interested in…
1 Day- Mountain immersion adventure – In the footsteps of a passeur
3 Day – Active Escape & Evasion including Andorra. Learn how to navigate through mountain terrain and many more skills
4 Day- Escape & Evasion survival skills including a wild camp
- Optional transfers from Tarascon-sur-Ariège train station on arrival and final days
- Accommodation – One night in self catering apartments, one night in a refuge and one in a hotel in Andorra
- Meals as stated in the itinerary – Dinner on the first, second and third night. Three breakfasts and two days packed lunch
- Souvenir Resistance ID card
- Qualified International Mountain Leader
- Special rates for groups
- Group Discounts
- Discounts for those arriving at Tarascon sur Ariege and not needing accommodation on the night before the trek
- Airport pickup and drop off for groups
- Transfer from Toulouse by train
- Personal Travel Insurance
- Personal mountain snacks
- Some alcoholic drinks
- Celebratory meal
Arrive at Chez Arran
We offer a single time airport pick up from Toulouse Blagnac or alternatively if travelling within France meet us at Chezarran Apartments with wifi and pool. Here you will receive your first briefing.
Dinner at La Maison Lacube éleveurs in Les Cabannes, owned and run by farmers who are happy to share with us their farming techniques in a sumptuous restaurant atmosphere – this is the real deal!
Start point: Tarascon railway Station at 0930 where we head for a local cafe for the first briefing and ”contact”. Then after role play we visit the WW2 memorial at Tarascon where you can absorb the significance of the region, take a moment to remember and relish the atmosphere of a magnificent viewpoint from the memorial. You may also be shown the location of a ”safehouse” where people were gathered for a day or two until enough escapees gathered to make a crossing to Spain or Andorra.
We then transfer to the start of the walk and head to a cabin used by passeurs for lunch, experiencing some testimony from passeurs, music and a scenario one might have encountered en route as an escapee. Then we head into the Pyrenees mountains and see a memorial en route before reaching the Aston valley.
Transfer to the Gite d’etap d’Endron.
Day walk to Refuge Brouquenat (1500m) up the valley ascending 750m+ before descending by the same route for a celebratory meal. For those feeling particularly energised and tough we can climb for a further +800m to continue to reach the border of Andorra and return. (Only available July-September).
Including stories of escapees, a chance to learn concealment, how people travelled in the mountains and survived. Departures.
2-8 person apartments in a renovated farmhouse with wifi and pool (May-September)
A gite d’etape with 10 person dormitory and smaller rooms.
The food is fresh and plentiful to give you energy for your adventure. Breakfast is typically continental style; bread, croissants, porridge etc. You will be given packed lunches including cheese, meats, salad, crisps…
Dinner will be varied depending on our accommodation, usually rice or pasta dishes.
We recommend you bring a few snacks to keep you going each day such as cereal bars or flapjacks.
We can cater for most specific dietary requirements but please do let us know well in advance.
You will also need to make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day!
We will transport your main luggage throughout the trip, you will just need a smaller day sack to keep with you.
Your trip will be led by an experienced Freedom Trail Treks International Mountain Leader, who is knowledgeable about the area and experienced in expedition first aid.
We will provide you with a kit list to ensure you are prepared for all conditions in the mountains.
Make sure you have a good pair of worn in walking boots.
You will be invited to think yourself into the shoes of an escaper or passeur with scenarios available but these are voluntary. We bring the days alive with stories and music in the evening.
Yes! We welcome you to bring along children/teenagers.