Chemin Liberte - Port Salou
Freedom Trail over the Pyrenees – Long weekend – 4 days
This four day trip makes a great introduction to multi-day trekking in Europe. Beginning in France, you will set off on a freedom trail over the Pyrenees. After spending a night at the Refuge del Fournet, you will follow the historic escape route to reach the Port de Salau summit col before descending into Spain.
Click ‘reserve’ below to see available dates. If your preferred dates are not available, please contact us to enquire about alternative dates.
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- Vacation Style Holiday Type
- Activity Level Challenging
- Group Size Medium Group
4 days – Ideal for families and youth groups
- Re-live history
- Immerse in local culture
- Hear some fabulous stories
- Trek along stunning trails
This freedom trail used by escapees pre November 1942 is an ideal adventure for a school groups or as a more amenable mountain route for big adventurers and families. It has a series of sign boards which delve into history of the crossing on the way up, taking you through history to reach the summit col on the French and Spanish border. We cross into Spain from the Port de Salau and spend the night at the Refuge del Fournet.
An Escaper is one who has managed to escape from ‘secure enemy custody’, whether it be a prison, POW camp, prison train, or from guards on the ground. Once free, he then has to turn to the tactics of evasion. WW2 escapers tended to be mainly Army personnel.
An Evader has not been captured and has, with luck, managed to retain some of his kit and equipment – his task is to remain undetected, outwit the enemy and stay free from capture in order to return to his unit. WW2 evaders tended to be mainly Aircrew or Special Forces.
A sound understanding of survival skills is a prerequisite for successful evasion; knowledge of both is needed to complement each other. The escaper has a different set of rules from the evader, starting from the time when he is captured.
Availability: Click Reserve Now above to see bookable dates for 2018. Other weekend dates available in June, August and October 2019. Contact us to enquire.
- Accommodation and food as specified in the programme
- Transport to and from Toulouse Blagnac on a single timed transfer per group
- Local transport as per the itinerary
- Guiding by a qualified International
- Mountain leader 1:10 maximum ratio
- Transfer of bags from location to location on the first 2 nights
- Mountain snacks
- Phone calls
- Any additional transport or accommodation needed if you have to leave the group for a medical or fitness reason
- Day1 Arrival Day
Arrive at Toulouse Blagnac airport and transfer to Seix. Auberge accommodation. Visit the Chemin de la Liberte museum or the Chateau de Seix to be inspired by crossings that were made. Delve into history and get into the mind set of the resistance as well as finding out more about the route.
- Day 2 Salau - Port de Salau - Refuge del Fournet
Transfer to Salau to begin our walk up to the port de Salau (2087m). This was the main trading route and the shortest between the Couserans in France and Pallars in Catalunya. It was also used as an escape route during the war before the exclusion zone came into force pre November 1942. A truly fascinating route with a disused tungsten mine on the col. Escaping Jews made their way from the Port de Salau pass to the village of Alòs d’Isil. Some of those stopped and captured along the way were transferred to the prison at Sort. On the Catalan side, it is possible to look out over the extensive Bonabé valley, which is bathed by the River Noguera Pallaresa. We spend the night in Spain before returning back to France.
- Day 3 Refuge Del Fournet - Port de Aula - Col de la Pause
We make our way up steeply to the broad porte de Aula before descending back into France. On the way down you will see the remains of an old glacier, the smallest in the Pyrenees. This route was used in the Spanish civil war for people escaping in the opposite direction into France. At the end of the day we have a celebratory meal in St Girons.
- Day 4 Departure Day
Transfer to Toulouse Blagnac in the morning and departures.
- Option B Possible extensions
Spend an extra day in Spain and stay in the beautiful town of Vielha. Enjoy more tapas, visit an animal parc of museum. Please enquire.