GR 10 French Pyrenees – Ariege Stage I 8 days I self-guided I JULY I AUG I SEPT
The GR10, runs across the whole of the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean in its entirety covering around 850 km. The Ariege stage (roughly 110km) is renowned for being one of the most remote and runs across the Central and Western section of the Pyrenees. Whilst walking this section of the GR10 trail you will discover cultural heritage sites, delve into local agricultural life across the ages and encounter dramatic scenery spanning high plateau’s and soaring snow dusted peaks. The path was origionally created in the 18th century to facilitate the transport of tree trunks destined to be made into masts for French warships. Over time it has undergone a few chaanges with variations being created. It is spectacular and best done June – beginning of October. We have accommodation locally and are perfectly poised to help so you can select guided or self-guided options at any time but are busy in the summer so please book early. Please enquire.
If you live locally or are in the region we can offer a discounted rate for meeting you at Ax les Thermes where you will leave your car until the end of the trip and transfer you to the first day of walking from Aulus les Bains so your car is ready for you at the end of the GR10 Stage.
Join: Toulouse Blagnac, Ax les Thermes or at chezarran
End: Mérens-les-Vals finishing in a splend and characterful hotel in Ax les Thermes
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Challenging - Trip grade 2
GR10 Ariege Stage Trek
Duration: 8 days, 7 nights accommodation in mountain refuges and gite d’etap or gite with pool
Accommodation: For 2 nights in manned high nountain Refuges (Rhule and Bassies) and 1-2-nights in Chez Arran Gite accommodation, relais d’Endron, 2 nights in a small mountain cabane or wild camping, hotel for your final night in the delightful spa town of Ax les Thermes.
Guided or Self-guided?
- Maps for you to find the way, gpx tracks and detailed descriptions for each day for self guided option
- A local flora and fauna guide for the route.
- A flexible approach so if you are finding a section too tough we can make alternative plans for following days. We also provide a walkie talkie for a couple of days where there is no phone reception for pick up.
- Train reservation assistance.
- Luggage transfer so you just carry a day pack except for nights at high mountain reguges x 2 (Rhule and Bassies)
- Transport available from the airport
- Local transport as in itinerary
- Meals as in the itinerary
- Evening meals when not staying at refuges.
- Insurance, flights, food not specified, drinks, airport transfers, but we can arrange them for extra cost. Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. You must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs.
- Next day packed lunches on refuge nights can be bought at the refuge for around 10€/person.
Arrive at Chez Arran
Arrive at Chez Arran, Ornolac Ussat les Bains and stay overnight in preparation for the beginning of your trek. We can arrange airport pick up from Toulouse Blagnac.
Aulus les Bains to Refuge Bassies
Transfer Chez Arran – Aulus les Bains (1hr). From Aulus les Bains walk up Port de Saleix at 1794m. From Port de Saleix take in views are towards Auzat, Vicdessos and Bassiès. The day finishes at Refuge de Bassiès (1650m). (B,L,D)
Accommodation: mountain refuge, dinner included
- Luggage access: no
- Walking: approx 5-6 hrs
- Distance: 11km
- Altitude gain / loss: +1200m / -300m
Walk Refuge Bassiès (1650m) to Goulier: 18km approx. 7h00; climb 385m; descend 930m.
From the beautifully situated Bassiès Refuge (1650m), the GR10 passes a series of lakes at Bassiès and leading towards Auzat valley to Goulier via Olbier.
Today we’ll contour across past Étang Majeur and Étang d’Escales with Pic du Far (1926m) keeping check on our progress from above. We’ll then lose some height and stay closer to the valley floor as we head via Olbier to Goulier for our evening meal and stopover in the village.
- Accommodation: gîte, dinner included
- Luggage access: yes
- Walking: approx 5 hrs
- Distance: approx 13km
- Altitude gain / loss: +350m / -900m
Gîte d’étape Le relais d’Endron à Goulier
Walk Goulier to Miglos : 21 km - 6h30: + 1000m - 1280m
From Goulier, the GR10 heads East crossing several high mountain passes and passing mountain hamlets with fascinating architecture and a lazy ambience. You will see local cultural heritage including Roman churches, traditional orris, barns and high mountain farms. The remains of old stone walling and terraces are signs of a once busy agricultural area. You will pass through beuatiful mountain hamlets such as Lercoul, Siguer and Gestiès. From Goulier head to the Col de Esquerus, Col de Grail Lercoul and Siguer village. Gouliers to Siguer takes around 4 hours. Stay in the salle de fetes in Siguer or transfer back to Chez Arran. (B,L,D)
Miglos to Cabane de Clarans
From Miglos or Siguer we walk to the Cabane de Clarens in the Aston Valley via the Place de Montcamp. Here we will support you with dinner here and if the Cabane is full provide a tent. (B,L,D)
Cabane de Clarans- via Plateau de Beille Refuge de Rhule
We climb up to the Plateau de Beille from the Cabane de Clarens and the GR10 trail continues East towards the Col des Finestres. As you make your way up to the Col de la Didorte (2093m) the ridge follows the Crete des Isards to the col de Terre Nègre and onto the nearby Refuge du Rulhe (2185m). The views from the refuge are stunning views and the location spectacular. You need to carry your personal gear for one night ( light sleeping bag). (B,D)
Refuge de Rhule (1650m)- Merens les Vals - Ax les Thermes
Follow the GR10 past two mountain lakes to arrive mid afternoon at Merens les Vals to finish the stage. You can also climb easily pic de Cassous just above the Refuge de Rhule on the way.
- Accommodation: hotel, dinner included
- Luggage access: yes
- Walking: approx 4.5 hrs
- Distance: 12km
- Altitude gain / loss: +500m / -1600m
Now there is a short transfer to Ax Les Thermes to your hotel in this lovely thermal spa town with cobbled streets and a vibrant atmosphere.
Departures from Ax
After a relaxing morning in Ax les Thermes we offer a transfer to Toulouse Blagnac airport.
Night 1 Chez Arran
Night 2 Refuge de Bassies (1650m)
Manned refuge with fabulous views next to charming lakes.
Night 3 Gouliers
You will stay at the Relais d’Endron
Night 4 You will stay at Siguer salle de fetes in a space provided for walkers with a big table, shower, microwave and toilet for walkers or at chezarran accordning to availability.
Night 5 Cabane de Clarens(1060m), inside or in a tent waiting for you outside the newly rennovated Cabane.
8 places max, carped, gas stove, stream 50m to the east.
Night 6 Refuge de Rhule (m) Friendly refuge with restaurant and
Night 7 Hotel in Ax les Thermes
We are happy to meet you at Toulous Blagnac Airport or in Ax les Thermes if you have your own vehicle on the forst day of trekking at 9.30am. If you would like to stay with us at Chezarran the night before and take advantage of the airport pick up please let us know.
On must days you will just be carrying a day bag and we transfer your sleeping kit and remaining luggage to the next destination. On the nights where you go up to refuge de Bassiers and Rhule it will be neccessary to carry your sleeping bag and night kit to and from the refuge though we can “intercept” you en route so it isn’t neccessary to carry it all day depending on location.