GR10 self-guided Section 7 : From Merens to Vernet les Bains
From Mérens, the high mountains open up and offer a wonderful section of the GR10, with a walk that leads to the Refuge of Bésines, altitude 2104m. Another highlight is the part of the trail that takes you past the Bouillouses lake, famous for its natural beauty, it's situated at 2020m altitude in the Carlit Massif, it is an absolute gem to discover. Crossing the high plateau of the Capcir towards the Pays de Conflent you will enjoy a feast of wonderful views. You will discover some lovely mountain villages, the gorge of Caranca and the natural reserve called Mantet and Py before arriving at Vernet-les-Bains.
Every days from the middle of June to the end of September.
Booking from 2 people (solitary traveller: consult us).
From 15/06/2023 to 30/09/2023 :
Prices with luggage transfer :
- Price per person for a group of 2 persons : 645€
- Price per person for a group of 3 persons : 635€
- Price per person for a group of 4 persons : 630€
- Price per person for a group of 5 persons : 625€
- Price per person for a group of 6 persons : 620€
Prices without luggage transfer :
- Price per person for a group of 2 persons : 490€
- Price per person for a group of 3 persons : 485€
- Price per person for a group of 4 persons : 480€
- Price per person for a group of 5 persons : 475€
- Price per person for a group of 6 persons : 470€
- Comfort version (4 nights in rooms) : 70€/pers.
- Extra for a single room : 110€/pers
- Transfer back from Vernet-les-Bains to Mérens les Vals on a week day: 225€/transfer
- Transfer back from Vernet-les-Bains to Mérens les Vals on Sundays and public holidays: 270€/transfer
- Extra night in Mérens half board double room : 55€/pers
- Extra night in Mérens half board single room : 65€/pers
- Extra night in Mérens half board shared dormitory : 50€/pers
- Extra night in Vernet half board double room : 60€/pers
- Extra night in Vernet half board single room : 85€/pers
- Half-board accommodation
- Luggage transport depending on the option chosen except for 2 nights in refuges on days 2 and 5
- Dossier containing maps, route notes (1 for 4 persons, given in 1st accommodation)
- GPS tracks if you ask us + access to the detailed itinerary on the Mhikes GPS mobile application
-Holiday and travel insurance
-15€ booking fees
-Showers in the mountain huts
-Entrance fees, additional activities
-Drinks and picnics
Day 1: Arrival at Mérens les Vals
Installation in your accommodation
according to your arrival time. Depending on your arrival time, you
can visit the village or go hiking.
The Col de Joux
A loop hike that starts on open ground and then enters the forest to reach the Col de Joux between the Ariège and Orgeix valleys. The ridge passages offer beautiful views of the surrounding peaks, including the Dent d'Orlu.
The Etang de Comte
Walk along the Mourguilhou stream, through pastures strewn with gentians and rhododendrons, to the pretty and bucolic Comte pond.
Distance: 11.5km, duration : about 4h30, altitude gain : + 700m, descent : - 700m. OR Distance: 12km, duration : about 4h50, altitude gain : + 760m, descent : - 760m.
Day 2 : From Mérens to Bésines refuge
From Mérens, the GR10 leaves the Haute-Ariège to approach the Capcir region. This is a classic Pyrenean walk of deep valleys and passes. A long ascent along the valley and the torrent of the Nabre will lead you to the Porteille des Bésines, at 2333m. Then you will descend to the Etang des Bésines and its guarded refuge. From the terrace of the refuge, the view towards the Etang des Besines and the nearby Pic Pédros is superb. Distance : 9km, duration : about 4h45, altitude gain : +1305m, descent : -260m.
Day 3 : From Bésines refuge to Bouillouses lake
From the Bésines refuge, the itinerary crosses the Coume d'Anyell pass at an altitude of 2391m, before descending to the Lanoux lake, at the base of the Carlit mountains. This pond, or rather Lake Lanoux, is the largest in the French Pyrenees, with its surface area of 1.71 km². During your descent to the Lac des Bouillouses, through the Porteille de La Grave, take the time to observe the surroundings, which are favourable for encounters with isards and mouflons. Distance : 16km, duration : about 5h45, altitude gain : +695m, descent : -750m.
Day 4 : From Les Bouillouses to Planès
Day 5 : From Planès to the Carança refuge
The profile of the walk is reminiscent of a rollercoaster, with a descent often corresponding to a pass or a high plateau to be crossed. Today, the Pla de Cédeilles (1911m), and the Mitja pass (2367m), a remarkable lookout point towards the nearby Capcir and the emblematic Pic du Carlit, are on the programme, with landscapes that become Mediterranean. Distance : 15km, duration : about 6h30, altitude gain : +1190m, descent : -890m.
Day 6 : From Carança refuge to Py
Today, you will walk from the refuge of the Caranca to the hamlet of Py. The GR10 crosses the reserve natural of Mantet and then the reserve of Py. There is a passage across the Col del Pal (2294m), with a wonderful panorama. If the weather is good, a short round trip (+1h30) to the easy Serre Gallinière peak will broaden your horizon even more. And after the Alemany valley and reserve, you will join the village of Py, where you spend the night. Distance : 16km, duration : about 6h45, altitude gain : +860m, descent : -1665m.
Day 7 : From Py to Vernet les Bains
From the village of Py, the
Mediterranean atmosphere becomes more and more pronounced,
especially with regard to the vegetation. Thus, a balcony route
over the Rotja valley leads to the Goa tower located on a small
offering a beautiful panorama of the Canigou peak and the Haut Conflent. Then a ridge path followed by a forest descent leads to Vernet-les Bains. Distance : 9,5km, duration : about 4h00, altitude gain : +510m, descent : -870m.
This programme is an example of the itinerary we aim to adhere to. It may be necessary, if situations arise that are beyond our control, for the itinerary to be modified.
Day 1 at your accommodation in Merens les Vals (09), according to your arrival time.
Day 7 in Vernet-les-Bains (66), after your walk.
Regular walker, in good physical condition with experience of mountain hiking. Hiking 6h-7h per day on average, altitude difference 700m-1000m on average, on fairly easy trails, with some small technical difficulties.. The walking times mentioned are given as an indication, they are average times that only take into account the duration of the actual walking without counting the break times. Depending on the weather conditions, the walking pace can also vary, ranging from +300m to +500m of climb per hour.
2 nights in shared dormitory in mountain refuge on days 2 and 5
3 nights in shared dormitory in gites on days 1, 3, 4 and 6
1 night in shared dormitory in “auberge de montagne” on day 3
COMFORT VERSION (with extra cost) :
2 nights in room in a guesthouse on days 1 and 6
1 night in room in hotel** on day 4
1 night in room in an “auberge de montagne” on day 3
2 nights in shared dormitory in mountain refuges on days 2 and 5
For nights in dormitory, bring a sleeping bag liner (blankets provided).
- Continental breakfast (tea, coffee, milk, butter, jam)
- Evening meals in gites, often based on local specialities, include a starter, a main course and a dessert.
- Pic-nics and drinks not included.
You will need to carry a day sack only. Our bag-moving service means you can travel light during your walks, except for the nights in refuges, D2 and D5, where you have to carry your personal belongings necessary for the night (eg. lightweight sleeping bag or liner, change of clothes, toiletries). Your main luggage (that should please be easily transportable) will be transported by vehicle between the different night stops, unless you have chosen the version without luggage transport.
Self-guided walking, without guide.