Walks near Etsaut

If you enjoy walking in spectacular, wild natural environments, this is the place for you!

The village of Etsaut, where we are based, is situated on a crossing points of two famous long-distance walking routes (The GR10 and the Camino de Santiago de Compostela) and it also constitutes an ideal base from which to access numerous walks in the mountains and valleys of the Pyrenees National Park and surrounding areas.

Just to give an idea of the range of walks available, we’ve outlined below some of our favourites. These are all along well signposted paths that are easy to follow. They are not technically difficult, but you will need suitable footwear and clothing; and don’t forget to bring sunscreen and headgear to protect you from the sun which can be very strong in the clear mountain air. 

 

Le Lac d’Estaens

This popular walk begins in the mountains 15 mins drive south of Etsaut, a couple of kilometres from the Spanish border. The path rises steeply through woodland, up to a high grass-covered plateau where it then crosses over into Spain and joins the GR11 long-distance footpath. From the Spanish border onwards, its then an easy stroll to the lake’s shore.

It is possible to swim in the lake, although sometimes the water can be rather cold! Whatever the case, it’s a super spot for a picnic.

 

 

La Maison d’en Bas

Vegetarian Chambres d’Hôtes / Bed and Breakfast

In the village of Etsaut,

In the heart of the French Pyrenees

walk along, as long as you don’t go too close to the edge.

The walk follows the Chemin de la Mature for about 1 km. After that, there is an option to take a path that heads northwards, up to the Col d’Arras, above the Chemin. Shortly after the Col,  high in the mountains, there is a small café. It’s supplies are delivered by donkeys! If it’s open, you can stop there for refreshments, before returning to Etsaut.

Le Chemin de la Mâture

This portion of the GR10 long-distance footpath is within walking distance of Etsaut. It constitutes one of the most spectacular walks that the Pyrenees has to offer. The path was originally carved out of the sheer rock-face in order to enable logs to be brought down from the ancient forest of Pacq, and then subsequently floated down the river Aspe to the French naval ship-builders on the Atlantic coast. Despite appearances, it’s quite safe to

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela

This branch of the ancient pilgrimage route to Compostela follows the river Aspe right up to the Spanish border and then down to the city of Jaca, the ancient capital of Aragon. It’s very easy to walk as there are no steep ascents or descents. We usually join the Camino near the village of Urdos (5km South of Etsaut) walking along what was once a Roman road, through ancient woodland and heaths up to the border, where there is a café. From the café, there are two options: either catch the bus back to Etsaut; or continue on down into Spain, finishing at the small town of Canfranc Estacion: home to what was once the second longest train station in the world!

The Col de Moines

This walk begins at the Ski Resort of Astún just over on the Spanish side of the border. About 20 minutes drive from Etsaut. After an hour’s walk you arrive at the Ibón de Truchas (trout lake) - which really is full of trout. You can then continue up into the high mountains, to the Col de Moines from which there are spectacular views of all the highest mountains in the area, including Pic du Midi d’Ossau. In all, the walk involves an ascent of about 600 metres, and takes about 3 hours there and back.