France & Spain
Walking Tour in France and Spain, from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic
This is one of our favourite walks. It combines the breathtaking views in the Pyrenees, beautiful Mediterranean coastline with ancient villages, and a rich array of flora and fauna. The Pyrenees stretch for 430kms from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean.
Our walk begins in Collioure, a small fishing village, known as the jewel of the Cote Vermeille. Onto Ceret for lunch and a stroll around this pleasant, typical French town. It is most famous for its outstanding Musee d'Art Moderne with works from Matisse, Braque and especially Picasso.
We cross the border into Spain and the next three days are spent walking in the fertile valley of Cerdanya. This is lush dairying country and from our tiny village we have magnificent views across to the Cadi Moixero N.P. The next day we walk in the fertile valley of Cerdanya, discover ancient villages and picnic amidst magnificent alpine countryside.
Today we continue on to one of the most beautiful National Parks in the Pyrenees - the Aigues Tortes and Lake St Maurici National Park. There are over 50 lakes and the most characteristic features of the Pyrenees are represented in this park. Here we base ourselves in the tiny village of Tavascan at the end of a remote valley.
After a day of mountain passes and spectacular scenery, we travel to the Ordesa National Park in the Aragon region of Spain. This marvellous mountain range is the natural border between Spain and France. The Ordesa valley is a tongue of green vegetation running for 15 kms between two imposing walls of bleached, calcareous rock.
Right at the end is our Parador with its unique location just below the imposing Monte Perdido. The walk into the spectacular Circo de Pineta starts directly at our hotel and takes us through some magnificent mountain scenery. Pyrenean chamois are plentiful and the lammergeyer has one of its major European strongholds in these mountains.
From here we traverse into France to the small town of Gavarnie in the Pyrenees National Park. In our small friendly hotel we enjoy the typical cuisine of the region which our host, Bernard, prepares to perfection. Gavarnie is an ideal location for a walk into the surrounding mountains and of course to discover the amazing amphitheatre of the Cirque de Gavarnie.
It can only be described as one of nature's wonders. There are over 1500 species of wildflowers native to the Pyrenees and wildlife is abundant i.e. Lynx, lizard, marmot, ptarmigan, bearded vultures, and golden eagles - there are even approximately 15 Brown bears in the National Park.
Our final day takes us to Biarritz on the Atlantic coast, where the tour ends. With its colourful shops, picturesque restaurants and delightful old fashioned tea rooms, it is a great place to finish this tour.
Our Hotels and Cuisine
We receive a charming welcome in our hotel in Collioure. This delightful Catalan residence is a real gem. The hotel is set in a lush garden but only a few minutes from the centre of this gorgeous town.
In the Cerdanya Valley we stay in a tiny, remote village with an important historical background. Our friendly family-run hotel has a beautiful garden and swimming pool with grand views to the Cadi - Moixero National Park. At night we experience truly homemade Catalonian cooking.
In Tavascan, near the Aigues Tortes National Park, we stay in an extremely cozy and friendly family-run hotel. It is set in a wonderful mountain landscape and the hotel restaurant offers delicious mountain cuisine.
In the Monte Perdido nature reserve we stay in a welcoming Parador, located on the western slopes of the mountains now designated as the Ordesa National Park. The restaurant maintains the high standards of the Parador Group and serves the best of the dishes popular in the Northern part of Aragon.
Particularly tasty are the: "Trucha del Cinca a lo fine" which is local trout, "Pierna de jabali" being roast leg of wild boar; "Teresicas de Aragon" which is a local dessert made with puff pastry.
From our hotel in Gavarnie we have magnificent views towards the most famous section of the Pyrenees, the Cirque de Gavarnie. In the cozy dining room we enjoy our tasty dinners each evening.
Walking Tour Combination
Departure dates have been arranged to allow both the "Discover the Pyrenees" and "Iceland Explorer" walks to be combined.
Tour departure dates
Feedback from previous guests
|Well this was something I thought would never happen. Something I felt I needed to do a few years back while I was peering out of our bus window on a separate tour in France. I asked the tour leader back then can you please tell me name of that mountain range in the distance which was clad in snow. He answered that is the Pyrenees in his Belgium accent and it runs between the Mediterranean at the Atlantic. He said you need to visit this place someday as it is breathtaking. I took his advice with me back to Australia and researched the idea of travelling there one day. In the days of early planning I did the research on both the Pyrenees and what tour companies operate in this region. That is when I came across Walkabout Gourmet Adventures. This was a blessing and I soon became even more interested in travelling to this part of the world after I made contact with Trish Ozard who helped me out with all the details regarding the tour. I then wanted to find a travelling companion which was a challenge but I persisted and finally after two years of delay I had a mate to do this trip with. Anyway everything was in place and we both joined the tour in July 2017. Once on the tour and meeting up with our guide and fellow travellers I soon felt at ease and was looking forward to what was about to develop into one of the most amazing things I have ever done. The tour Leader was incredibly up to speed with the local knowledge and provided us all with some humour and great leadership. Nothing was too hard to fix if there was any need of assistance which was very rare. The six people that travelled with us were great and we all got on extremely well. I enjoyed getting to talk with different people every day on our walks or over a well deserved beverage in the evening. It is interesting to hear other people tell their stories about themselves, family and previous trips away. Everyday bought out new and exciting challenges especially for someone who requires a hip replacement in the future. The scenery and the selected picnic stops on our walks were amazing with incredible views in every direction and great company. Our accommodation after a big day was very welcoming and provided a high level of comfort to recuperate and get ready for our next interesting walk. Various menus at all our stays provided us all with some glorious food options and great wines. I have taken many great photos on our journey and one of the standouts was that I was lucky enough to get a great shot of an Izard which is a Pyrenean Chamois (Goat like Antelope) This shot took some careful navigation to get close enough before the animal saw me and made for higher ground. Marmosets were also prolific. The various wildflowers were also abundant and were scattered all over the countryside. I will send some of my photos through to Walkabout Gourmet Adventures soon. There is much more I could talk about but I do not want to give all the surprises away in case you may wish to visit this part of the world one day. You will not be disappointed. In closing thank you to Graeme & Gabriela for making this trip possible and not to forget our incredible and very likeable tour guide Gilles. I will definitely be back for more."
Darryl from Strathalbyn, SA Australia 
|Dear Gabriella and Graeme, thanks for making this walk possible. I have wanted to do it for a number of years, and finally made the decision that I had to go this year. I am glad that I did, because the "Discover the Pyrenees" tour was awesome. First of all we had a great leader/guide in Sabine, secondly, the participants were all on the same wavelength, that is, to explore, walk, learn about the mountains and its flora and fauna, to enjoy the different cultures we encountered, the different foods, and to have fun as well. We were all Australians, except Sabine of course, from different parts of Australia, all mature people, which made getting along very easy. Sabine took good care of us, in good and bad weather, and she made sure that we all got as much out of our walks as possible, without any injuries. The tour exceeded all my expectations in many ways. The scenery was spectacular, the wildflowers were lovely, I had to buy a book to get all their names. The pine and deciduous forests with Birch and Beech and other trees were great to walk through on our way to greater heights The hotels were excellent, all in superb locations. The hosts friendly and helpful. I enjoyed the tour immensely, and will cherish the memory of it for may years to come. So thanks again for devising this walk and making it affordable and accessible. It was also a thrill and a bonus to meet up with you again, Gabriella after twenty years,and to make the acquaintance of your two beautiful children. With "keep up the good work" wishes, Yours with thanks.
Brigitte from Melbourne, VIC Australia 
|This was a great tour, the scenery spectacular, the company great and Gabriela and Sabine looked after us very well. Some of the walks were tiring because of the record heat that Europe was experiencing at the time, but the views made up for the exertion required."
Peter from Narromine, NSW Australia 
| Watching the Tour de France kindled our desire to visit the Pyrenees and the Walkabout Gourmet Tour offered the chance to fulfill this dream. The first two days walking gave us some idea of what was to come. The weather was quite hot and I found the walking hard work. Of course that was just the beginning. Each traveling day gave us the chance to recover and get ready for the next walks. Most of the walks were quite challenging but we were always excited to reach the destination and delight in the magnificent views before us. Gabriela and Sabine always adjusted the pace of the walking so that all the group could manage. I think the term moderate fitness required, could be altered to very fit required, to do most of the Pyrenees walks. Always encouraging and supportive, we quickly came to realize the meaning of the terms, 'mainly up', 'a little bit down', nearly there', and 'only 2 zig-zags'! Our group of 16 was cohesive, supportive and a lot of fun. The accommodation was of a good standard, quaint sometimes, and always in spectacular locations. The food was always typical of the region, offering a great variety of tastes. Thank you Gabriela and Sabine for making this tour of the Pyrenees possible. Though challenging at times, we are very happy to have successfully completed our first Walkabout adventure."
Helen & Graham from Eildon, VIC 
|A great challenge well organised, tour guides very knowledgable food was great. Thanks for a great walking tour."
Kate, Norfolk Island 
|Absolutely loved and enjoyed every minute of this fantastic part of the world! Scenery, post card perfect... The walks were more than a "stroll between vineyards", but hey if you go to the mountains you expect to climb onwards and upwards! I survived and it has been one of the most memorable holidays for me... ever!! Gabriella and Gilles were excellent in every way, and the company of our fellow travelers a lot of fun. Food experiences and accommodation also excellent... wish I could do it all again, or better still, that I was still walking! Shame it had to come to an end... Thank you Gourmet Adventure Tours and I will be passing on the good word."
Robyn, Norfolk Island 
|I had a wonderful time. The guides were fabulous and very informative the walk was a challenge but great fun the scenery was great!"
Margaret, Norfolk Island 
|What a wonderful holiday we had, a great challenge and achievement. Thanks to both Gabrielle and Gilles we all had a fantastic, safe journey with lots food and good company. The scenery was beautiful, meadows full of wild flowers, grazing cattle and horses with their bells on, waterfalls, well worth the climb to see. We look forward to planning another trip in a couple of years!"
Raewyn, Norfolk Island 
|Most often experienced feeling was exhilaration and I am still feeling totally satisfied with the experience and what I achieved in terms of climbing! The mountain experience was overwhelming and quite unlike anything I had done before. Our guide was wonderful, in both guiding and driving. She was very supportive to me as a neophyte climber. Our little group was terrific. Hotels and food were outstanding and at times I feared I was out-eating my walking. I am now thinking about which walk to do next year. Now an experienced climber!"
Robyn, Greenway, ACT, Australia 
|Well thought out Itinerary, providing a wide variety of experiences. A pleasing variety of locations offering marvellous views. We were fortunate to enjoy really good weather. The food was delicious reflecting the locales, and beautifully served. A wide choice on each menu. Surprises on the way: The constant variety. Experience: totally memorable!"
Sarah, Lake Wendouree, Australia 
|We find it impossible to find the words to describe the beauty of the walks in the Pyrenees. Walkabout has organised yet another wonderful holiday experience for us. Sabine and Chris have ensured that every hour of the day will hold memories for us."
Robyn & David, Brisbane, Australia 
|Well thought out Itinerary, providing a wide variety of experiences. A pleasing variety of locations offering marvellous views. We were fortunate to enjoy really good weather. The food was delicious reflecting the locales, and beautifully served. A wide choice on each menu. Surprises on the way: The constant variety. Experience: totally memorable!”
Sarah, Lake Wendouree, VIC, Australia