GR10 self-guided Section 3 : From Etsaut to Cauterets

Time: 7 days - 6 nights - 6 days of activities

Mode Self-guided

Physical level: Easy Moderate

from 425 €

Code: 17PGR3LF

Travel type: Self-guided GR10

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From Etsaut to Cauterets, the GR10 takes you through the Pyrenean National Park. Created in 1967 to preserve an exceptional natural heritage, the park stretches from the Aspe valley to the Aure valley, along the Spanish border and two departments, the Pyrénées-Atlantiques and the Hautes-Pyrénées.


Setting off from Etsaut, via the famous chemin de la Mâture, you will reach the grandiose surroundings of the Ossau valley, that opens out before you and affords a spectacular view of the pyramid-shaped  Pic de Midi d'Ossau that culminates at 2884m. 


From Gabas to Arrens valley, passing through the ski resort of Gourette, you encounter a succession of lakes and villages in stone and slate and a never-ending wilderness that serves as summer pastures.  After having discovered the Arrens and Estaing valleys, you finish your holiday in the spa town of Cauterets, capital of the Bigorre.


Dates and prices


Every days from the middle of June to the end of September.

Booking from 2 people (solitary traveller: consult us).


From 15/06/2021 to 30/09/2021 :


Prices with luggage transfer :


Price per person for a group of 2 persons


Price per person for a group of 3 persons


Price per person for a group of 4 persons


Price per person for a group of 5 persons


Price per person for a group of 6 persons



Prices without luggage transfer :


Price per person for a group of 2 persons


Price per person for a group of 3 persons


Price per person for a group of 4 persons


Price per person for a group of 5 persons


Price per person for a group of 6 persons



Extras :

- Comfort version (4 nights in rooms) : 80€/pers

- Extra for a single room : 115€/pers

- Transfer back from Cauterets to Etsaut, for 1 to 4 persons : 220€/transfer (week) and 300€/transfer (sunday and public holiday)

- Extra night in half board shared dormitory in Etsaut : 40€/pers

- Extra night in half board double room in Borce : 60€/pers

- Extra night in half board single room in Borce : 90€/pers

- Extra night in half board shared dormitory in Cauterets : 45€/pers

- Extra night in half board double room in Cauterets : 50€/pers

- Extra night in half board single room in Cauterets : 60€/pers

The price includes

- Half-board accommodation

- Transfer day 4

- Luggage transport (depending on the option chosen) except for the two nights in a refuge on days 2 and 6

- 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

The price does not include

-Holiday and travel insurance
-10€ for booking fees
-Showers in the mountain huts
-Additional transfers
-Entrance fees, additional activities
-Drinks and picnics

Day 1 : Start of your holiday in Etsaut (or Borce according to your accommodation)

Once you have settled into your accommodation you can visit villages of Etsaut or Borce and the Maison du Parc.

The Moulette Bridge

Easy hike in shady loop up to the Moulette bridge, in the forest to discover high barns.

Walk to the col de la Coundre

A walk that lets you discover the valley of Etsaut. You will come across lovely scenery as well as relics of the past, such as old mills and barns. You arrive at the Col de la Coundre at an altitude of 1121m. Distance : 4km, duration : 2h15, altitude gain : +330m, descent : -330m. OR Distance : 6km, duration : 3h30, altitude gain : +490m, descent : -490m.

Day 2 : From Etsaut to Ayous refuge

Today’s walk is challenging with 1550m altitude gain. It offers scenery of an amazing magnitude : the Chemin de la mature, the plateau of Baigt-Sencours, shepherd’s cabins and the pyramid-shaped mountain the Pic du Midi d’Ossau whose reflection shimmers in the waters of the lake, Lac Gentau. Distance : 15km, duration : 6h, altitude gain : +1700m, descent : -330m.

Day 3 : From Ayous refuge to Gabas

Setting out from the refuge at Ayous, the GR10 drops down to the village of Gabas. Today's walk is shorter and it's a chance to recuperate after yesterday's efforts (or longer variants). The distance from the lake to the village isn’t far and will take about 3h00. The village is typically Pyrenean and situated in the famous valley of Ossau, with an emblematic summit, an exceptional flora and fauna, as well as a super cheese ! Possibility of two different longer variants: via Lac Bersau or via the Col de Suzon. Distance : 10km, duration : 3h00, altitude gain : +65m, descent : -990m. OR Distance : 12,5km, duration : 4h15, altitude gain : +235m, descent : -1155m (Variant Lac Bersau). OR Distance : 20km, duration : 7h15, altitude gain : +930m, descent : -1855m (Variant Col de Suzon).

Day 4 : From Pont du Goua to Gourette

In the morning transfer from Gabas to Pont du Goua or Eaux Bonnes to shorten the hike (optional, contact us). Today’s walk is strenuous, the climb up to the Hourquette d'Arre which culminates at 2465m, this is the highest part of the GR10 in the Pyrenees Atlantiques. You descend towards the lake Anglas and continue down to the ski station, Gourette. There is a good chance that you will be able to observe some remarkable fauna such as the majestic rare vautour fauve, vultures, royal eagles, mountain isards and marmots. Late snow covering is regular on this stage : a variant enabling to avoid the high point of Hourquette d’Arre can be organized. Possibility to divide the hike in 2 by adding an extra night, please contact us. Distance : 17km, duration : 7h15, altitude gain : +1550m, descent : -1155m (Pont de Goua transfer). OR Distance : 10km, duration : 4h, altitude gain : +900m, descent : -275m (Eaux Bonnes transfer). OR Distance : 24km, duration : 8h30, altitude gain : +1845m, descent : -1465m (Snow variant).

Day 5 : From Gourette to Estaing

Today’s stage of the GR10 is a transition, the trail crosses the border between the Béarn and Bigorre regions. You will be walking across high summer pastures and past shepherd's cabins to the Col de Tortes at an altitude of 1799m and on to the Col de Saucède at 1525m. You will arrive at the village of Arrens in the Val D’Azun valley, the first market town of the Bigorre region. Then you will reach the village of Estaing via the Bordères pass. Distance : 21km, duration : 7h50, altitude gain : +1200m, descent : -1490m (normal version). OR Distance : 16,5km, duration : 6h50, altitude gain : +1110m, descent : -1395m (comfort version).

Day 6 : From Estaing to Ilheou refuge

The GR makes its way up to the high plains of the Col d’Ilhéou, passing the cabins of Arroussec and Barbat. The col is situated at an altitude of 2242m, from which point the trail drops down to the lake of Ilhéou. Distance : 10,5km, duration : 4h30, altitude gain : +1250m, descent : -350m (normal version). OR Distance : 14km, duration : 5h30, altitude gain : +1325m, descent : -420m (comfort version).

Day 7 : From Ilheou refuge to Cauterets

Just a short walk for the last section of this part of the GR10. To Cauterets, passing by the Escala d’Ilhéou, you will no doubt have the chance to see marmottes and isards. In this high, airy mountain ambiance there are many traces of glacier erosion, lakes and moraines. Possibility of a longer variant via the Haugade Pass and the Marcadau Valley. Distance : 8km, duration : 3h, altitude gain : +75m, descent : -1100m. OR Distance : 18km, duration : 6h30, altitude gain : +515m, descent : -1530m (variant).


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 Etsaut or Borce (64), according to your time of arrival.


Day 7 in Cauterets (65), after your walk.


Nature of the walk

The walks are on good footpaths and trails, the terrain is varied but often rocky. Walks on mostly waymarked paths, but some technical difficulties are possible.


Level 3

For walkers in good physical condition, already experienced in mountain hiking. 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. Be aware that there are 2 challenging stages with a climb of 1500m/1700m. You need to be used to walking and take regular exercise to enjoy this holiday.


Half board

- 3 nights in a shared dormitory in mountain refuges on days 2, 4 and 6. Bring a sack sheet (blankets provided)

- 3 nights in a shared dormitory in gite on days 1, 3 and 5. Bring a sack sheet (blankets provided)


COMFORT VERSION (with extra) :

- 3 nights in room in guest rooms on days 1, 3 and 5.

- 1 night in a hotel** in room on day 4

- 2 nights in shared dormitory in mountain refuge on days 2 and 6. Bring a sack sheet (blankets provided)


- Continental breakfast (tea, coffee, milk, butter, jam)

- Evening meals in accommodations, often based on local specialities, include a starter, a main course and a dessert.

- Picnics and drinks are not included. Picnics can be provided by all accommodation.

Carrying luggage

You will need to carry a day sack only, with your water bottle, camera, picnic and goretex jacket. Our bag-moving service means you can travel light during your walks (except for the nights in mountain shelters, D2 and D6, where you have to carry your necessary personal belongings for the night, including a lightweight sleeping bag or liner, change of clothes, toiletries). Your main luggage will be transported by vehicle between the different night stops, which you will take places on days 3, 4, 5 and 7, unless you have chosen the version without luggage transport.


Self-guided walking, without guide.


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