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Snowshoeing Foodie Adventure in the Pyrenees

£782 pp

France, French Pyrenees

7 Nights/8 Days

Join a Small Group

Snowshoeing Foodie Adventure in the Pyrenees

What You'll Do

Enjoy the mountains to their fullest on an 8-day adventure in the French Pyrenees, as you explore the stunning landscape on snowshoes and get a taste of true Pyrenees culture thanks to incredible food and warm hospitality in a charming locally-run B&B.

Are you an outdoors lover who loves a snowy winter but you don’t ski? Do you also love discovering great food on holiday and getting to know the locals? If so, then this snowshoeing and foodie experience is just what you’ve been looking for.

Based in the gorgeous Aure Valley area in the central French Pyrenees, you will explore a winter wonderland that is so very different from the hum and bustle of the ski resorts.

Experienced local guides will accompany you on a variety of mainly half-day, easy snowshoeing outings which will enable you to soak up the atmosphere of an unspoiled and picturesque mountain environment.

Your outings will include searching for and identifying the tracks of animals in the snow – can you tell your red deer from your roe deer tracks? Has the brown bear ventured out of his den? You’ll also get the chance to have an evening torchlit outing and a full day to conquer your first Pyrenees summit on snowshoes.

Along the way you’ll have the opportunity to sample some of the delicious local gastronomy, including the Pyrenean ‘garbure’ (a hearty dish consisting of tarbais beans, cabbage, ham and other vegetables), hot chocolate or mulled wine with crepes, and the legendary ‘tartiflette’ accompanied by local charcuterie and cheese, as well as local cider. Then round it all off with homemade apple tart.

Also included are delicious home-cooked evening meals at your warm and welcoming B&B where the focus is on fresh, seasonal and local produce. The ‘cerise sur le gateau’ is sure to be the homemade patisserie and chocolates which Alain will offer you during your stay.

To complement the active element of your holiday you will also have the opportunity to experience a couple of the fabulous thermal spa facilities in the area including Balnea in Loudenvielle and the Sensoria Spa facility in Saint Lary Soulan.

By the time you leave, you’ll have experienced the very best of the French Pyrenees, both in terms of the outdoors and the local food and culture.

Experience
Highlights

Discover the beauty of an unspoiled mountain environment on easy guided snowshoeing excursions

Experience a warm Pyrenees welcome at your cosy B&B

Enjoy the outstanding gastronomy of the French Pyrenees

Your Local Host:

Penny

Penny first stumbled across the rugged and unspoiled mountains of the Pyrenees many years ago was instantly captivated.

Over the years she has curated exceptional local providers who provide truly meaningful experiences that introduce you to the beating heart of the Pyrenees.

Her aim is for you to return home from your holiday with a head full of amazing memories that will last a lifetime.

Experience Itinerary

Arrive in the Pyrenees

Arrive at your cosy B&B late afternoon and get settled in before sitting down to enjoy a home-cooked evening meal.

As for the following evenings, you will start off with a local aperitif which is sure to surprise you, and this will be followed by three courses accompanied by wine from South West France, finished off with some of Alain’s unbelievably delicious patisserie and coffee or tea.

 

 

Accommodation

Your cosy B&B

b&b exterior in the french pyrenees

Snowshoeing and Crepes

After a morning exploring Saint Lary Soulan up the valley, you’ll meet your guide in the village and get fitted out with your equipment for a couple of hours in the snow getting used to the snowshoes on easy forest tracks up the Aure Valley.

You’ll be rewarded for your efforts with ‘afternoon tea’ of crepes in a traditional auberge, washed down with either mulled wine or hot chocolate.

On your return to Saint Lary, discover the soothing pools of the fabulous Sensoria Rio thermal spa facility in the village.

You have another delicious meal at your B&B to look forward to this evening, no doubt with more of Alain’s homemade chocolates or patisserie to enjoy too!

Accommodation

Your cosy B&B

bed and breakfast in the snow

Search for Wildlife in the Wilderness

Enjoy a free morning to explore the area and get recommendations from your host based on your interests. Maybe visit the farm that raises goats, whose wool is transformed into Mohair garments and accessories.

In the afternoon, meet your local guide, Eric, in Arreau for an afternoon on the snowshoes looking for animal tracks.

Maybe you’ll see the paw prints of a brown bear who may have ventured out of its den to search for food! Keep looking to the skies and you may also catch a glimpse of the rarest vulture in Europe, the Lammergeier, which is established in the area.

Look forward to another delicious meal at your B&B this evening.

Accommodation

Your cosy B&B

log fire in living space in a bed and breakfast

Chocolate and Spa Day

Head down the Aure valley today to visit an artisanal chocolate maker in the village of La-Barthe-de-Neste. You will truly experience some of the most divine chocolate products that you will have ever tasted in your life!

Spend the afternoon in the picturesque Louron Valley and enjoy a 2h session in the fabulous pools of the Balnea thermal spa facility. The views of the snowy high mountain peaks from the outdoor pools are simply breathtaking.

At the end of the day, Evelyne and Alain will welcome you back at your B&B for another excellent evening meal.

Accommodation

Your cosy B&B

breakfast table in france

Snowshoeing and Garbure

This morning, you’ll meet your guide in Saint Lary before heading up to the Col d’Azet, high above Saint Lary, for an easy 2h snowshoe in a breathtaking mountain environment.

After your efforts, you can look forward to a hearty lunch in a traditional auberge in the mountainside village of Azet. Garbure is typical Pyrenees mountain fayre, a warming, satisfying dish of white tarbais beans, ham, cabbage and various other vegetables.

Head to the Sensoria Rio spa in Saint Lary for another couple of hours in the thermal pools.

Accommodation

Your cosy B&B

double bed in b&b in france

Local Markets and Torch-lit Treks

Visit the excellent market in Arreau this morning and meet all sorts of local craftspeople, and producers of delicious local gastronomy such as cheeses, hams, biscuits and cakes.

You may also pick up hand made soaps, woollen garments or accessories crafted from locally spun angora goat’s wool and unusual objects made by a local woodturner from locally sourced wood.

Pop into a shop that sells local specialities and see them making traditional gâteau à la broche over an open fire. It’s a batter based cake that has been made in farmhouses in the Pyrenees since forever.

In the evening, meet your guide in Saint Lary before heading out for an easy atmospheric snowshoe outing, lit only by the moonlight and your headtorch.

After returning your snowshoes at the end of your outing (around 21h00) you’ll head down the valley to an artisanal cider producer. There, at big tables set alongside the huge wooden vats of cider, you can look forward to a hearty typical mountain dish, tartiflette (think potatoes, bacon, cheese….), accompanied by local charcuterie, cheese, and of course cider from the vats.

Luckily your B&B is within walking distance as you shouldn’t expect to finish your meal before 22h30!

Accommodation

Your cosy B&B

Summitting in the Pyrenees

The final and most spectacular day of your trip is a full day out (09h00-17h00) to conquer your first 2000m Pyrenees peak!

You’ll meet your experienced local guide in Arreau before heading out for a day of adventure.

Make sure those camera batteries are fully charged so you can capture those dramatic, snowy mountain views!

For your final evening, you have another yummy meal at the B&B to look forward to, rounded off by some of those delicious home made chocolates.

Accommodation

Your cosy B&B

Departure Day

A sad day today as your snowshoeing holiday in the Pyrenees has come to an end. We hope you’ve had fun! Come back again soon.

Location Information

The base for your stay is a cosy, welcoming traditional guest house, perfectly located in the Aure valley area of the central French Pyrenees. It is midway between the pretty medieval village of Arreau (the Thursday market is the best in the area!) and the small ski resort of Saint-Lary-Soulan and is surrounded by some spectacular mountain scenery. You are just a stone’s throw from the Bielsa tunnel, which is the gateway to Spain. From your B&B base you’ll explore traditional local villages in which time appears to have stood still and take in incredible snowy mountain vistas and explore beautiful forests.
  • 7 nights accommodation in a double or twin en suite room in a charming B&B in the Aure Valley
  • A copious breakfast each morning including fresh patisserie and home made yogurts
  • Evening meals at the B&B on 6 evenings including drinks
  • Evening meal out on day 6
  • Snowshoe outings as outlined in the itinerary
  • All snowshoeing equipment
  • Services of an expert local guide
  • 1 pass for the pools of the Balnea spa facility in Loudenvielle
  • 2 passes for Sensoria Rio spa in Saint-Lary-Soulan
  • A personal holiday manager to oversee your stay

FAQs

This is a winter trip, available on demand from 2nd January to 31st March and is subject to snow conditions at the time.

The snowshoe outings will go ahead if the guide has a minimum of 4 individuals, not necessarily from the same party. Outings will be in groups of up to 12 people. Private snowshoe outings can be arranged for a supplement.

We will provide recommendations for suitable clothing and footwear when you book. You must let us know if you have unusually small or large feet so we can ensure there are snowshoes available to fit you.

The base for your stay is a cosy, welcoming guest house which is perfectly located in the Aure valley area of the central French Pyrenees.

Your hosts are passionate about welcoming guests into their home and delight in providing the most delicious home cooked food both at breakfast and at dinner. Alain's home made patisseries and chocolates are far too moreish!

The B&B has five totally sound-proofed and insulated en suite guest rooms which share a huge dedicated guests' living/dining room, ensuring that everybody has plenty of space in which to relax in comfort.

The closest airport is Toulouse, you can fly here from Heathrow or Bristol. The transfer time to your accommodation is around 1 hour 45 mins drive.

Car hire is essential.