A short transfer (40mins) to your hotel in Lesponne, just south of spa town Bagneres de Bigorre.
Today you have a choice of two walks. The easier walk ascends through a beech forest to a bridge over the Magenta Waterfalls before dropping down into the main valley. You then decend to the interesting village of Campan which is decorated with life sized puppets during the summer months. Return via the picturesque Lesponne, maybe finding time to visit the delightful museum/cafe. The longer walk instead climbs the main valley to pretty Chirolet. From here a steady climb leads up to the Lac d'Ourrec (1667m), nestled on a plateau surrounded by high mountains and grazing animals.
Today's long option starts with a scenic drive via Bagneres de Bigorre and a short ride up the funicular before you walk to the summit of the Pic du Jer (948m) with a superb panorama over the famous town of Lourdes. The route continues high above the Gave du Pau river, with excellent views onto the high mountains. The shorter walk starts in the charming village of St Creac from where a path climbs to picturesque Ouste. Here you join the longer walk, passing through a number of typically Pyrenean villages before descending to the attractive spa town of Argeles-Gazost.
If you don't want to relax today you have a choice between two different walks. The gentler route today takes in an old shepherd's path, leading to the delightful village of St Savin where there is a magnificent 12C abbey church. After walking out to the viewpoint at the Chapelle Pietat it's downhill all the way back down into the main valley, returning via the 'Voie Verte', a cycleway that leads back to Argeles-Gazost.
Alternatively, the challenging route climbs via a network of ancient paths and tracks to the summit of Mont de Gez (1097m) from where you can often see Griffon vultures gliding overhead. It's then a gentle yet scenic descent back to Argeles-Gazost.
The route today follows what was for centuries the main access route between the 'Pays Toy' (the area around Luz St Sauveur) and the rest of France. The road was not built until 1730 and before then all north/south travel would have been along the well-defined path you take today. After a short taxi ride you set off climbing the lower flank of the Pic du Soulom along the old mule trail - spectacular views over the snow-capped mountains and down to the cavernous gorge below. Alternatively, pick up the route in the forest above the small town of Soulom, wending your way through the tranquil villages of Viscos (852 m) and Sazos (836m) before dropping down into the main valley and your hotel in Luz St Sauveur.
On your free day you have the option to take a few different routes through ancient villages of the area known as the Pays Toy: Vizos, Sassis and Sazos where houses cluster around tiny Romanesque churches, and lavish floral window-boxes are proudly on display. You'll return via the impressive Pont Napoleon, financed by Napoleon III after his visit in 1859 with wife Empress Eugenie. The more challenging option follows the higher footpaths with wide open views down the valley.
A short bus ride (30mins) to the pretty mountain resort of Gavarnie marks the start of your last walk. You head up to the Plateau de Bellevue to get awesome views across to the Cirque de Gavarnie, a magnificent 1,000m amphitheatre of black cliffs, stretching into the clouds. You may choose to explore the charming side valley of Pouey Aspe, before continuing right into the Cirque to the base of the Grande Cascade which tumbles down hundreds of metres. An easy walk back to the village before the bus ride back to Luz for a delicious 3-course dinner!
Transfer back to Lourdes for onwards travel.