Specialist activity operator, Purely Pyrenees, offers a wide range of self-guided holidays that can be equally enjoyed either by first timers or by experienced walkers. There is everything from one to three boot tours indicating the degree of ‘difficulty’ although one doesn’t need to be a trekker extraordinaire or even a regular hiker to enjoy them.
Some examples– Walking from Mount Canigou to the Mediterraneanis a truly excellent eight day, one boot itinerary, from Canigou along an unspoilt coastline to the homeland of Dali – an enjoyable melange of culture and nature, comfort and cuisine! The 1,000 year old abbey (monastery really) of Saint-Martin-du-Canigou (founded 1009) perches precipitously on a rocky promontory above the huge cliffs of Mount Canigou and is a most memorable place to begin any journey to the Mediterranean. From €1795 (£1557).
The Dali Museum and craggy coastline of the Costa Brava feature on several tours as well as this one such as Classic Mediterranean Pyrenean Coastal Walk: Collioure to Cadaquès. This eight day, two boot tour starts at €845 (£733)
The famed Pont d’Espagne, renowned for its remarkably beautiful lakes and majestic massifs, is included in a range of tours such as the eight day, three boot A World Class Journey to the Heart of the Pyrenees, as is the Estaing Lake in the bucolic Val d’Azun and at Cauterets, Gavarnie (UNESCO World Heritage site) in the Pyrenees National Park, is astonishing – over 1,500m high granite walls with the waterfall here being one of the highest in Europe. From €1095 (£950)
Some tours feature both the French and Spanish sides of the border such as the eight day, two boot Across the Basque Country to the Atlantic tour. On this one Ainhoa is a highlight, as is Sare which has 253 houses dating back to the 15th century and rests almost in the shadow La Rhune with its 360 degree views east towards the endless Pyrenees, south into Spain, and west to the Atlantic coast. You can walk or take the magnificent rack railway looking out for pottoks – wild mountain ponies – and red headed sheep. From €880 (£763)
Other tours are set only in Spain or only in France. No operator offers as much of the Spanish Pyrenees as Purely Pyrenees. Take the eight day, two boot The Natural Beauty of Aragon tour – there are SO many highlights it is hard to list them. They include stunning, pink cliffs rising a sheer 1,000 feet above you, panoramic views of the Ebro plain, Zaragoza with its charming historic quarter, its Roman ruins, Muslim masterpieces. The magical Basilica de Pilar, the Hermitage of the Virgin of The Rock, built into the cliff-face, Loarre – famous for its impressive castle with eight magnificent towers all contribute to an essential adventure. From €895 (£776)
Other tours feature only the Mediterranean or only the Atlantic coast although for those with a little more time to spare there are opportunities to travel from one side of the Pyrenean range to the other on the 16-day, two boot Coast to Coast – the Pyrenees in Two Weeks–for example. On this tour you will visit the amazing Pierre St Martin Massif in this fantastic alpine karst area that spreads over 140 km².It contains kilometres of underground caves including the Verna Cave – the 10th largest in the world, so big you could fit Notre Dame de Paris inside twice! There is also the largest volcanic hill or ‘puy’ in Europe, here, on this almost lunar landscape. From €3995 (3465)
Many of the tours that Purely Pyrenees offer include a combination of visits that are unique to them such as the five-day, one boot Cultural Camino Break.This interesting tour incorporates geographical hits such as the Urdabai Biosphere – an amazing reserve declared by UNESCO in 1984. Culturally it features a visit to the world famous Balenciaga Museum in Getaria.
The Museum plays homage to the great couturier and is a monument to his significance in the history of fashion. Until his retirement in 1968 he was one of, if not themost influential and prominent designer of the twentieth century. Also features is the Picasso inspired Guernica Peace Museum. Inaugurated in 1998, the Museum tells the story of the bombardment in the Spanish Civil War of Gernika-Lumo. The Guggenheim in Bilbao opened in 1997 and was hailed as the most important building of its time. It remains unsurpassed as an icon of Frank Gehry design. From €830 (£720)
Book Purely Pyrenees in 2018 – they ARE the Pyrenees.
For reservations, call 020 7859 4906 / www.purelypyrenees.com
If you are planning to write a feature on walking or cycling holidays in the Pyrenees – French or Spanish – please do consider Purely Pyrenees, contacting either Gillian Green (Gillian@magellan-pr.com) or Alexandra Pinhorn (Alexandra@magellan-pr.com). Alternatively, our office number is +44 (0)20 7470 8760 . We look forward to hearing from you.
Images courtesy of Purely Pyrenees, David Serano, Vincent Fonvieille, Fotolia.
Notes to editors: Purely Pyrenees aims to be the leading English speaking tour operator dedicated to self-guided walking and cycling holidays in the Pyrenees. Created in 2017 by the number one independent French operator La Balaguère, Purely Pyrenees offers the widest range of quality products for the Anglophone market, with great highlights packed into every tour. They offer an unforgettable experience for that ‘once in a lifetime’ holiday in the mountains with superior accommodation, authentic cuisine and all at reasonable prices. They have knowledgeable, English speaking, professional personnel available 24/7.
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