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 WALKING IN THE PYRENEES (GENERAL)

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Walking Holidays and Accommodation in the Pyrenees

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IGN MAPS
Michelin Local Maps

Topo Guides with Day Walks

(Some of these publications are may not be stock items and could involve a waiting period for delivery.)


BOOKS

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Top 25 and Serie Bleue

The French equivalent of Ordnance Survey Maps

 IGN Top 25 maps cover areas of particular tourist interest, mainly around the coast, and have a map number ending in T. The maps have an overprint highlighting local footpaths, long-distance GR routes and, where appropriate, ski routes. Other tourist information includes campsites, equestrian or canoeing centres, huts, mountain refuges, etc. Map legend is in French and English. Each TOP 25 map covers an area of approximately 28 x 21 km (17 x 13 miles).

The rest of France is covered by Serie Bleue maps, which have no overprint and map numbers ending in O or E. The legend is in French only but is fairly self-explanatory. Each Serie Bleue map covers an area of approximately 20 x 14 km (12 x 9 miles), with some maps slightly larger.

Both series have similar cartography, with contour interval of 5 metres, except for mountainous areas, where the maps have hill shading and contours at 10-metre intervals. Scale 1:25000

Generally, Top 25 Maps are £9.50 and Serie Bleue £8.50 but prices do vary and offers apply from time to time.

Click here for the full list of the individual maps available for PYRENEES and numbered grids.

Hautes Pyrenees/Pyrenees Atlantique (Michelin Local Maps) - Detailing the Hautes Pyrenees / Pyrenees Atlantique region of France, this laminated fold-out map includes a complete index of place names and covers all regional specialities, heritage and traditions. It offers clear and concise mapping for stress-free travelling. Published March 08

ISBN: 9782061011775 - Hautes Pyrenees/Pyrenees Atlantique

Aude/Pyrenees-Orientales, Michelin Local Maps Published March 08

Topo Guides with Day Walks - The extensive list of topo-guides to the long-distance footpaths in France published by the Federation Francaise de la Randonnee Pedestre has now been expanded to include guides to local walks, the PRs (Promenades et Randonnees). Each guide offers a selection of walks of various length and difficulty, overprinted on extracts from the 1:25,000 or 1:50,000 topographic survey. The text is in French or English. Some titles will have limited availability - in case of difficulty please email.

Several of the guides listed in the "Topo-guides to Long-distance Footpaths" series also include day walks in addition to the long-distance routes, as indicated in the description of each title.

The High Garonne on Foot - 40 walks, from one to six hours long, in the Department of the High-Garonne. Maps in colour. Numerous photos and drawings of fauna and flora. .

The Ariege on Foot - 40 walks, from one to six hours long, in the departement of the Ariege. Maps in colour.

The Hautes-Pyrenees on Foot - 45 walks, from one to eight hours long, in the Departement of the Hautes-Pyrenees . Maps in colour.

The Midi-Pyrenees on Foot - 80 walks, from one to five hours long, in the region of the Midi-Pyrenees . Maps in colour.

Luz-Sant-Sauveur & surroundings on Foot - 22 day walks, between one and seven hours long, in the valley of Luz-Sant-Sauveur and near Gedre & Gavarnie, close to the Pyrenees National Park. Maps in colour.

The Pays d'Axat on Foot - 19 walks, from one to six hours long around Axat. Maps in colour.

The Bearn on Foot - 20 walks, from one to five hours long, in the Bearn region of the Pyrenees-Atlantiques. Maps in colour.

The Pays Basque on Foot - 18 day walks of varying difficulty, from one to six hours long, in the French Basque Country. Maps in colour.

GR7/71/74 - Across the Haut Languedoc - Two routes from l'Esperou in the Cevennes: 307km along the GR7 to the Canal du Midi and 250km to Mazamet along the GR71.
Also includes the GR74 which is attached to the GR7 south of Le Vigan, and the Boucle Pierre-Paul Riquet which extends from the GR7 at Les Cammazes to the Canal du Midi. Maps in colour.

GR10/GRP - Pyrenees Ariegeoises: Val du Garbet - A mid section of the GR10 along the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean: this covers 335km between Melles a Merens-les-Vals, with some detours. Maps in colour.

GR107 - In the Footsteps of the Cathars - Covers the 220km cross-Pyrenees route from Foix in France to Berga in Catalunya, across the Col du Puymorens. Maps in colour, including extracts from 1:50,000 topographic survey from the Servicio Geografico del Ejercito, the Spanish military survey organisation.

For more Topo titles in the Pyrenees see Midi-Pyrenees and Languedoc-Rousillon

The Pyrenees: The High Pyrenees from the Cirque De Lescun to the Carlit Massif, Kev Reynolds - An extensive introduction gives all the practical advice and information needed for planning a trip. It offers a background to the mountains and their exploration, and provides a snapshot of the range with sections that help the reader focus on specific areas of activity, and suggests where best to exercise that activity. It also lists all the Pyrenean 3000m summits and their location. Published June 04 K

 ISBN: 9781852844202 - The Pyrenees

Pyrenean Haute Route: A High-level Trail, Ton Joosten - The Pyrenean High Level Route takes the highest possible route through the centre of the Pyrenees, crossing the French/Spanish border many times. It is probably the most beautiful, spectacular and challenging walk in the Pyrenees, and this new guide from Ton Joosten breaks the unwaymarked 800km route into 42 stages in five groups. Published May 09. K

Through the French Pyrenees, The GR10 Trail, Paul Lucia - The 900km of footpath, lane and trackway which link the Atlantic coast with the Mediterranean have created one of the finest long-distance routes in France. GR10, the so-called Sentier des Pyrenees, is a walk of epic proportions, routed as it is along the north flank of a majical range of mountains. Unlike it's counterpart the GR11 on the Spanish side, the GR10 actively seeks out a number of villages lying snugly at the foot of the mountains. Published March 10. K

 

Trekking in the Pyrenees, Douglas Streatfield-James -  Contains all the main trails along the France-Spain border from the famous GR10 coast to coast hike and most scenic sections of the GR11, to many shorter routes. 80 route maps include walking times and places to stay. Published Feb 05. Limited availability.

The Way of St. James: France, Alison Raju - The Way of St James from Le Puy-en-Velay in the Haute Loire to the City of the Apostle in Galicia is a long-distance footpath with a difference. People have been walking it - as a pilgrimage route - for over a thousand years and it has changed little in all that time. It still passes through the same villages, climbs the same hills, crosses the same rivers and visits the same chapels, churches, cathedrals and monuments. Many of those who walk the route are not experienced walkers. This updated guide to the French section of the route - the 730km Pilgrim Road from Le Puy-en-Velay to the Pyrenees - provides all the information they will need to tackle it. As well as detailed route descriptions, practical information is provided about places to visit, shops, bars, restaurants and accommodation. This new edition offers extra route description from St Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona and also St Palais to Irun to join the Camino del Norte. It also includes a unique and comprehensive listing of St James and other pilgrim references along the way. Published March 10

ISBN: 9781852846084 - The Way of St James France

Pyrenees 2: French Central Pyrenees - the finest valley and mountain walks. Rother Guide - 50 walks in the French Central Pyrenees, from Arren to Seix. 50 maps at 1:25,000, 1:50,000 and 1:75,000 scale. Published Feb 04

Pyrenees 2: French Central Pyrenees - the finest valley and mountain walks

Rough Guide to the Pyrenees - The Rough Guide to the Pyrenees is the only guidebook available to the entire region, covering both the French and Spanish sides of this spectacular region, from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. A full-colour section introduces the author's pick of the attractions, from relaxing in the picturesque spa towns to watching the Tour de France wind up the mountains. There are detailed listings of the best places to eat, drink and stay, from boutique hotels in Biarritz to the most remote mountain refuges. For the outdoor enthusiast there are exhaustive accounts of the walking and climbing routes available and information on the host of other activities available, including skiing, paragliding, rafting, cycling and horse riding. There is also expansive coverage of all the cultural highlights including the prehistoric cave art at Ariege and an accessible history of the region from prehistory to the current day. Published Aug 07. Limited availability.

Pyrenees and Andorra Rough Guide Map - The Pyrennes is one of Europe's most spectacular mountain regions with attractions and activities ranging from the magnificent Cathar castles in the eastern Pyrenees to the high-altitude lakes and hiking opportunities on offer throughout. The Rough Guide map will make exploring the region by car that much simpler with information on all the routes from the main roads to unsurfaced tracks. The map pinpoints the location of many attractions and places of interest, including spas, Romanesque churches, castles and outstanding natural features. As with all the maps in the Rough Guides series, this map is made of rip-proof, waterproof Polyart paper, durable enough to survive a trip spent in the car glove box or rucksack. Published May 05. Limited availability.

The Freedom Trail: Following one of the hardest wartime escape routes across the central Pyrenees into Northern Spain, Scott Goodall. Published April 05. Limited availability

French Rock, Bill Birkett - Describes 40 crags mainly in the south east of France, but also a selection in other regions. This visual guide has concise descriptions of the climbs, accompanied by photographs with the routes overlaid. Arranged by region, each with an introduction giving some practical advice, on maps, access and accommodation. Published Feb 93.

Pyrenees, Landscape Series, Paul Jenner & Christine Smith - This pocket-size full colour guide covers car tours, walks and picnic in the entire range - France, Spain and Andorra. There are well over 400 kilometres (250 miles) of walks in this guide, the equivalent of a coast-to-coast traverse - one of the 'classics' for all serious walkers. But you don't have to be an expert walker for any of hikes we describe. None of them requires special skills (under summer conditions), and there are short walk suggestions with most of the itineraries). Experienced and fit walkers will nevertheless find much to enjoy, for we have included some of the wildest scenery in the Pyrenees, walked pilgrim routes and World War 2 escape routes, climbed to summits (like Canigou), enjoyed the habitat of marmots, vultures and lizards (the Pyrenean chamois), and not neglected the great and the famous (like the Breche de Roland). Touring maps covering the entire range; 1:50,000 topo maps for the walks. Public transport information; online update service for the latest information. Published March 11

ISBN: 9781856913973 - Pyrenees

Walks and Climbs in the Pyrenees, Kev Reynolds - to celebrate the 30th birthday of this now classic guide, the book has been given a complete make-over. While the content of this 5th edition has been thoroughly updated and expanded, it is the new presentation that catches the eye, with colour maps and photos that can now do full justice to this spectacular mountain region. This is THE definitive work on the area - a veritable bible of information packed full of detail on the valleys, peaks, glaciers, lakes and mountain huts of the range. The mighty 416 pages include 170 walks, multi-day routes and moderate ascents of some of the principal summits in the central and high Pyrenees. Published Feb 08. K

ISBN: 9781852844707 - Walks and Climbs in the Pyrenees

Backpacks, Boots and Baguettes, A Walk in the Pyrenees, Simon Calder & Mick Webb - The Pyrenees stretches 900 kilometres, from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean coasts, and provides some of the most breathtakingly beautiful landscape to be found in Europe. This rocky ridge rides the cusp between three cultures: French, Spanish and Basque - each having its own rich and passionately defended identity - and every year tens of thousands of visitors sample its unique delights. TV presenter Simon Calder is an enthusiastic fan of this spectacular mountain range and, being a keen walker, delights in the well-plotted hiking routes that traverse the region. Along with friend and colleague, BBC radio producer Mick Webb, he steps out to conquer the roof of the Pyrenees. They follow the time-honoured tradition of walking the G10, the preferred route of the fiercely independent -and, at times eccentric - French Ramblers' Federation. Testing a hiker's emotional resilience as keenly as his walking boots, the G10 is not for the faint-hearted. Weaving an occasionally treacherous, always exhilarating trajectory through a landscape of strong traditions and strange animals, Calder and Webb narrate an eventful and humorous travelogue that will delight keen hikers and armchair travellers alike. Published Dec 04 K

 ISBN: 9780753509029 - Backpacks, Boots and Baguettes

Walking in the Cathar Region, Cathar Castles of South-west France, Alan Mattingly - Walking in the Cathar Region offers 22 walks based on the once strategically important castles that dominate the foothills of the Pyrenees. The collection of walks explore the castles and other locations which featured in Cathar history (mostly the 13th century) ensuring that this is an interesting and valuable guide to this area. The three long-distance walks, Le Sentier Cathare, Le Chemin des Bonshommes and the Grande Randonnees 7 & 71, are also included. Each walk has as its focal point a castle or other location associated with the Cathars. Summaries of the historical connections of each location with the Cathar period are given, and together these relate the story of the downfall of the Cathar Church, from the massacre in Beziers in 1209 to the siege at Montsegur in 1244, which ended with the burning alive of over 200 believers who refused to renounce their Cathar faith. Published March 05

The Cathar Way: The Sentier Cathare, Alan Mattingley - The Cathar Way - the Sentier Cathare - is a popular, well-waymarked trail which links several of the world-famous 'Cathar castles' of south-west France. A challenging, fascinating and rewarding route, it is not an arduous mountain trek. The trail runs for about 250 kilometres, from the Mediterranean coast, westward to the historic town of Foix. It can be walked in two weeks or less by anyone who is well-equipped and moderately fit. Good-quality accommodation is available at regular intervals along the entire length of the trail. The trail traverses the dramatic foothills of the Pyrenees mountains, a beautiful countryside which enjoys plenty of sunshine and which is rich in wildlife. The highlights of the Cathar Way are the 'castles in the sky' like Queribus, Peyrepertuse and Montsegur. These incredible medieval fortifications will forever be associated with the ill-fated Cathar 'heresy', which was brutally suppressed in the thirteenth century. Published May 06

 ISBN: 9781852844868 - The Cathar Way: A Walkers Guide to the Sentier Cathare, a Trail Linking Cathar Castles in Southern France

Gascony and the Pyrenees (Cadogan Guide) - Cadoganí s stunning guide to Gascony and the Pyrenees takes you deep into a fascinating region that is home to both Gascons and Basques. This is a place for lazy touring and with Cadogan as your guide, youíll be able to meander through the beautiful scenery and find the perfect village restaurant where "madame" will cook you up a hearty plate of game or duck that Parisians would die for. Published May 07