For many adventurers, the allure of travel is in the land itself.
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Wildlife & Polar highlights
- Types of Holiday
Popular Cultural Holiday
This is a small group guided holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.
Despite lack of snow (all the locals said they had not seen a season like it in 30years!) I got 4 days excellent skiing. It was limited to an area next to the downhill slopes where lying snow could be supplemented by artificial, but there was a good variety of terrain with plenty of opportunity to practice existing and new skills and both our leaders were excellent instructors. The Auberge was a bit basic but comfortable, the food was excellent and plentiful, and the Catalan wine and beer excellent value. Marcel and Ghislane were excellent hosts and very accommodating about my wife's allergy to mushrooms.
On the 5th day I decided not to ski and went on a walk in the Ceranca Gorge lead by Claude. It was magnificent with spectacular scenery, rope bridges over rushing torrents, and vertical ladders leading to narrow ledges along the cliff face where we walked with a dizzy drop on one side, and a vertical wall with a rope to hang on to on the other. Even if the snow had been perfect for skiing I would not have wanted to miss what was one of the most memorable walks of my life. Not one for anyone who does not have a head for heights though!
We had 2 leaders, Anne Ford and local leader and driver Claude Huert; both were excellent. They had a difficult task because lack of snow meant the area available for cross-country skiing was very limited. They responded magnificently making the very best of the pistes available . I had 4 excellent days skiing over varied and stimulating terrain and snow conditions and improved my skills considerably under Anne's and Claude's excellent tuition. They also had several excellent options for us to do on our 'rest' day and as an alternative to skiing if we wanted it.
Check the snow conditions before you go and take good walking boots. Also take layered clothing since it can get very warm in the sun, but be freezing cold in the shade and especially on the ski lift!
On your day off the trip in Le Train Jaune to Villafranche is well worth doing, but don't expect much to be open when you get there. If you have a chance to walk the Ceranca Gorge take it, but not if you don't like heights!
A great week which I really enjoyed.
Working on improving my skiing in a lovely landscape.
Anne was great - very organised and efficient, whilst friendly and chilled out! Having two guides (one with very detailed local knowledge) was a real bonus, and I felt the instructions and coaching were really helpful.
The hotel is fairly straightforward but very nice and the food was good; Bolquere is quiet but also nice.
As it was unseasonably warm everywhere, the snow conditions meant we couldn't ski by the fourth day. We did a couple of good walks to round the week off, and Anne & Claud did everything to make sure we got as much out of the week as possible, with and without snow. It was a great bunch of people too.
An excellent holiday with superb snow conditions and lots of variety of skiing terrain. I'd highly recommend this holiday to anyone who has mastered the basics of cross country skiing and wants to experience both beautifully maintained loipe and more demanding untracked paths through extensive woodland.
Skiing across trackless grassland as spindrift blasted past us filling our tracks and the sun shone down from a cloudless blue sky.
Final days skiing under wonderful blue sky - after a steady climb to Pic de Calm we enjoyed a sweeping descent down a series of steep bends followed by a more challenging and technical liaison path back to Pyrenees 2000 - a wonderful climax to the week.
Lunch in the Refuge du Col del Tom - home made soup, sausage, baked potatoes, wine and cheese plus wonderful tomato and garlic relish all for 12 euro!
Excellent leadership. It was particularly useful to have an additional local leader (with minibus!) who knew the area like the back of his hand so that we could be flexible as to which area we chose for skiing each day.
The Pyrenees may not be a place you automatically think of for cross country skiing but here you will find well over 100km of well cut loipe as well as other tracks at high elevation - we went up to 2200m. Come and enjoy it!
Accommodation was a welcoming auberge - relatively basic ensuite accommodation - bring your kettle and hairdryer! Food was good and varied but no choice other than a vegetarian option.
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