High Pyrenees
Guided holidays
Short Break: 3 nights & 2.5 days of ski touring
Level :
Type de circuit : Ski randoItinerary : One Centre
Holiday code : FP7PUHS
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information sheet

Ski Touring Try-It-Out Weekend

If you love downhill skiing and skiing off piste, but hate the rush and crush, then you're ready to try ski touring. It needs an expert guide, and well planned routes to make it both safe and enjoyable. We'll sure you'll be converted!

A summary of your journey

We meet you from the London-Lourdes flight on Saturday morning, and take you up to your mountain village hotel to check in, then you have your lesson, and first ski touring on easy tracks nearby. You then have two days of wonderful ski touring often on virgin snow discovering the real tranquillity and beauty of the snow covered Pyrenees as well as the UNESCO Heritage site of the Cirque de Gavarnie - the most stunning location in the whole of the Pyrenees. A weekend to remember!

The Plus Points

  • Equipment included in the price, authentic hotel, small group of English speakers
  • Magnificent sites including the Cirque de Gavarnie

Le programme

The programme

Day 1

We meet you from the Saturday morning London-Lourdes flight to take you up into the Pyrenees, and your hotel. After checking in, and recuperation, your English speaking guide (he or she may be bilingual, but will certainly speak good conversational English) will first help you select the right equipment for you (included in the holiday price), and then give you your introductory lesson - not too difficult or demanding - and you will shortly be ski touring on nearby easy trails discovering for yourselves just how easy and enjoyable it can be with the right guide and routes.
You stay in the comfortable and friendly 2 star hotel Alphée which has recently been totally renovated and is situated in the ski-oriented mountain village of Bareges.
Ski touring time: 1 to 2 hours. Elevation: + 200m / - 200m. Transfer time: 1 hour

Day 2

Today, we explore the wonderful mountain landscape all around the village of Bareges. Part of it has been sensitively developed for downhill skiing, and we use the cable cars to get higher up without any hard work. Then we explore using tracks especially suited to ski touring. We travel through the Lienz pine forest, and across what in summer are wildflower meadows, beside frozen streams and small waterfalls - natural ice sculptures|? - all the time surrounded by the magnificent peaks including Tourmalet (its col made famous by the Tour de France), La Mongie and Quatre Termes before gently descending by way of the beautiful Aygues-Cluses valley. A one word description? Wow!
Ski touring time: 3-4 hours including cable cars etc. Elevation: + 100m / -100m

Day 3

Today is a day in what in French is called plein nature - full nature, or might be called (less poetically) total immersion in the natural surroundings. After a short transfer, you ski gently up to a col where you have the pleasure of a magnificent panorama across the UNESCO Heritage site of the Cirque de Gavarnie. Victor Hugo called it the colosseum of nature, an understatement when you stare wonderstruck at the 4,900 feet cliffs and 1,300 feet waterfall (the second largest in Europe) as well as numerous other frozen waterfalls. It makes you feel rather insignificant, but also privileged as it can only be visited in winter with a guide. You continue on a route chosen by the guide depending on snow, weather conditions and the mood of the group. However, you can be sure you will be immersed in, and celebrating, unspoilt nature as you can enjoy every step of it with the time and energy to take photographs, and, well, drink it all in.
Ski touring time: 3-4 hours. Elevation: + 500 à 900m / - 500 à 900m. Transfer time: 40 minutes

Day 4

After breakfast on Tuesday morning, sadly we have to take you to Tarbes-Lourdes airport in time to catch the mid-morning flight back to London.
Transfer time: 1 hour
  • Détails Pratiques
  • Equipement
  • Formalités et Santé


This holiday starts on Saturdays to coincide with the weekly flight from London Stansted to Lourdes - by far the lowest cost, fastest and most direct journey from the UK. We will meet the London flight, and take you to your hotel. We will then get you back to the airport in time for the Tuesday flight back to London.


On the Tuesday at the end of the holiday, we will get you to Lourdes train station by 09.00, and Tarbes-Lourdes airport by 09.30 in time for the London flight.


Each day the time spent on your ski touring journey will probably vary between 1 and 4 hours including rests etc, but your guide will respond to group preferences. The total daily ascent/descent is intended to be comfortable for anyone who can comfortably spend a morning or afternoon downhill skiing. You will often be able to choose between easier and more challenging routes to the next landmark.






You only need carry a small rucksack for any personal items, extra clothing, camera etc. The hotel provides a picnic each full skiing day, which you will be expected to carry.


The minimum group size is 5, and the maximum is 8. All participants will be English speakers. The qualified mountain guide will speak at least good conversational English, and may well be bi-lingual.


The accommodation consists of three nights in a comfortable and friendly 2 star hotel with double or twin en suite room. This hotel is noted for its friendly staff, and has recently been totally renovated.


The holiday includes three dinners and breakfasts. Picnic lunches are provided on day 2 and day 3, not on day 1 and day 4.


Transfers are by minibus or taxi.

To make the right choice

Have a look at our detailed explanations on the types of hiking, the standards of accommodation, and understand baggage transport ... How to choose your trip ?


BAGGAGE for your trip, plan:
  • 1 travel bag per person (or wheeled suitcase). Do not take too much luggage to avoid logistical issues for the transporter. On itinerant or semi-itinerant trips, also limit the weight of your travel bag to 10-12 kgs, as where there is difficult access to certain accommodation too much weight could jeopardize the delivery of your luggage. Do not leave fragile or valuable objects in your luggage.
  • 1 rucksack of about 35-40 litres, with ventral waistband, wide shoulder straps and a well-ventilated back for your comfort. You must also be able to fix the skis to your rucksack.


      • 1 hat, or cap, scarf, or fleece choker
      • 1 warm, light fleece
      • 1 ski mask, useful in case of bad weather
      • 1 pair of warm and waterproof gloves "Gore-tex" type
      • 1 pair of thin gloves 1 pair of spare warm mittens (or gloves) to put in the bottom of your bag
      • T-shirts made of breathable material (micro fleece type) with long sleeves (1 every 2-3 days) and 1 or 2 with short sleeves
      • 1 thin fleece (optional)
      • 1 warm fleece jacket (even water-repellent type "softshell") or type "primaloft" (warm and compressible)
      • 1 waterproof and breathable jacket "Gore-tex" type with hood
      • 1 solid and waterproof mountain trousers + over trousers ("Gore-tex" type)
      • 1 pair of gaiters (only if your trousers are not equipped)
      • 1 pair of thermal under trousers
      • Underwear
      • Warm socks (at least 1 pair every 2 days) synthetic and / or wool ("Coolmax" type)
      • Comfortable clothes and shoes for the evening


          • 1 large plastic bag to slip into your backpack to protect your belongings from the weather and / or rucksack cover.
          • 1 waterproof pouch with: your identity papers, details of your insurance and any other document mentioned in the formalities section
          • 1 pair of good quality wrap around sunglasses (level 3 protection) + sunscreen with good protection and lip balm (all to be carried in your rucksack)
          • 1 insulated gourd or 1.5 litre aluminium bottle (avoid backpack water carriers, risk of freezing)
          • 1 small thermos 50 cl (optional, useful if you want to bring tea, coffee...)
          • 1 plastic or aluminium cup with insulated handle
          • 1 folding pocketknife
          • For your picnic: cutlery and 1 plastic box of 0,5 litres minimum type Tupperware
          • Toiletries
          • Ear plugs (in case your neighbours snore)
          • Tissues
          • Toilet paper (burn, do not leave on the ground)
          • 1 lighter
          • 1 head torch or flashlight + survival blanket: to always put in your rucksack, an unforeseen delay following an incident can take place even during an easy hike
          • Spare glasses (if you wear glasses)
          • Camera, binoculars, drawing equipment ... (optional)


              The guide is equipped with a first aid kit but is not intended to provide for all of your needs for small issues Security equipment (Avalanche victim detector, shovels, probes), mandatory each day


              The ski touring equipment will be provided by Purely Pyrenees. In order for us to be able to supply you with the correct equipment please contact us at least a month before your departure date, specifying your height, your weight and your shoe size.


              You need to keep your passport with you at all times, and ideally insurance information. You need to make your own arrangements to claim local healthcare. There are requirements in France and Spain for all vehicles to carry safety equipment.
              We are currently updating the dates and prices of this trip.
              This information will be available soon.

              We can, if you wish, inform you by e-mail as soon as we have put this information online.

              You can change the itinerary, and receive revised information

              Want to change the itinerary? Complete the form below, and we will send you a revised itinerary as soon as possible.


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