Escape & Evasion Active Escapers inc. Wild Camp & Andorra I 5 days I JULY I AUG I SEPT
“Powerful stories, beautifully told”
A 5 day active adventure following in the footsteps of the young men and woman seeking freedom, and to continue the fight through escaping Nazi occupied Europe, by crossing the dramatic natural barrier of the Pyrenees mountains. Learn to move, eat and think like a World War Two escapee. Through your own effort, skills and teamwork you too can experience the relief and satisfaction of crossing the border and enjoy Andorran hospitality.
Group discounts available for 5+ participants.
We welcome families, groups of friends, work colleagues and charity fundraisers!
You are so close to your goal, the border with Andorra lies over the distant mountains. But the hardest past of your escape is in front of you.
The distant yet clear bark of an Alsatian search dog of a German patrol pierces the still air. Nothing moves on the grasslands ahead nor in the forest edge, where you lay hidden, waiting. You had never been abroad, rarely venturing outside your hometown. Now, after parachuting from a burning Halifax, through the miraculous help of strangers you have travelled in disguise the length of France to now find yourself in the company of yet more strangers. Following signs of a guide who speaks rarely and only in an incomprehensible language your fate again lies in the hands of others.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderately Challenging, not technical - Trip grade 1
Group Size Medium Group
Escape & Evasion Active Escapers inc. Wild camp & Andorra border crossing
Days Total: 5
Trekking Days: 4
Availability: July – September
Activity Level: 4
Accommodation: Gîte, Camping, Refuge & Hotel
- An immersive experience tracing World War II escape routes
- History comes to life as you hear the stories and experiences of those fleeing over the Pyrenees during the war
- Learn how to survive in the mountains, concealment, aircraft evasion and the mind-set of a survivor
- 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
2 Day- Historical and cultural walk following resistance path through the mountains
3 Day – Active Escape & Evasion including Andorra. Learn how to navigate through mountain terrain and many more skills
- Optional transfers from Tarascon-sur-Ariège train station on arrival and final days
- Accommodation – One night in self catering apartments, one night supported wild camp, one night in a refuge and one in a hotel in Andorra.
- All necessary local transport
- Camping equipment
- Meals as stated in the itinerary – Dinner on the first, second, third & fourth night. Four breakfasts and three days packed lunch
- Souvenir Resistance ID card
- Experienced International Mountain Leader
- Group Discounts
- Airport pickup and drop off for groups
- Transfer from Toulouse by train
- Personal Travel Insurance
- Personal mountain snacks
- Some alcoholic drinks
- Celebratory meal
- Sleeping bag & roll mat
Arrive 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!
- We begin our journey at Tarascon-sur-Ariège
- After a briefing we then visit the memorial in Tarascon.
- Escapees would have been taken to safehouses in Tarascon until a reasonable number had been gathered before setting off. Usually between 8 and 10. We will have the opportunity to see the location of one of these safe houses.
- This afternoon we take a short transfer to the start of our mountain journey and trek to a typical shepherd’s hut that would have been a sheltering point for the escapees.
- In the afternoon we will see a memorial or ‘Stelle’ at Miglos to the French Resistance.
- After lunch we head out to Miglos where we put our survival skills to the test.
Fire Building Making a Shelter/Bivi Foraging
- We will draw a sketch map and do a timed navigation exercise. Learning how to navigate using just the sun and stars, no smartphones allowed here.
- Find a dead letter box and spot possible danger and patrol points.
- Covering basic first aid in the mountains we consider the decisions escapees had to make when someone in their team was injured.
- The group will be split into two teams and have to handle an injury using only what they have on them. Creating a stretcher out of rucksacks and walking poles we race to casivac a casualty over a short distance.
- Tonight we will wild camp
Refuge de Rulhe
- After a night sleeping under the stars we continue our trek along the GR10 and contour to Aston Valley, descending to our waiting transfer to take us to Plat de Peyres, where we will walk up to our Refuge de Rulhe (2185m).
- Here we enjoy dinner, and an evening of music, discussions and games.
- Tonight we are in dormitory’s
- An early start takes us away from Refuge Rhule trekking over the border into Andorra via fontargente to Soldeu.
- Passeurs led escapees to Andorra through the Port de Siguer. As a German customs post was installed at Siguer, this only added to the perilous, inhospitable conditions of the passage over the Port de Siguer at an altitude of 2396m.
- Transfer to La Massana for our celebratory meal and another night of activities, anecdotes, music and discussion. There will be optional fancy dress and writing an escapee postcard home!
Morning transfer (1.5 hours) from La Massana or Soldeu back to Tarascon-sur-Ariège, and say our farewells.
Our first night will be spent in Chez Arran Apartments. There are different size apartments available, all with access to wifi and pool (May-Oct)
If Chez Arran is unavailable we will stay in a hotel.
Refuge de Rulhe is dormitory accommodation with rooms for 4 x participants in bunkbeds. There is also one large dorm which sleeps 10.
Camping is also available.
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.
Our night wild camping we will enjoy expedition-style food cooked on a primus stove.
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.
You will have access to toilets and showers in the apartments and refuges, but not while camping. We recommend bringing wet wipes.
There will rarely be access to toilet facilities in the day once we begin trekking, so please come prepared.
Chez Arran has free wifi, however once we begin trekking and head out into the mountains it is unlikely you will get reception…
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.
- Fire Building
- Making a shelter/bivi
- Collecting wood/kindling
- We will draw a sketch map and do a timed navigation exercise.
- Basic mountain first aid
- Team competitions
Yes! We welcome you to bring along children/teenagers.