Marcadau Hut Trip

A bit of snowy magic to brighten your winter

Winter sun and snow: day trips + mini-trek


The Pyrenees in winter are a wonderful time for walking in the mountains. The winter months are in general sunnier than the springtime and the combination of snow and sunshine is pretty unbeatable. If you can walk, you can snowshoe, and it is a great way of exploring the mountains in winter and discovering its different facets. Your six days are split between the Luz and Cauterets valleys – five nights in the comfort of Hotel Les Templiers in Luz and two nights in Refuge Wallon in the heart of the Marcadau Valley. A refuge in winter is an experience not to be missed and is a great first step to doing a longer hut-to-hut trek like the Encantats. The first three days enable you to ‘warm up’ with walks in the valleys of Barèges and Gavarnie, before heading out on the fourth day on your mini-trek.

Our overnight stay option in the mountains is the newly renovated and very comfortable Refuge Wallon in the Marcadau Valley, giving access to a splendid high lakes circuit and three valleys above the refuge. We can choose to spend more or less time up at the refuge depending on the weather and group preference. Refuge Glère and Oulettes are also options.

When you are staying in the hotel, come back each day to the village which has plenty of bars and restaurants, interesting shops, art displays and cultural events. If you wish you can add on some treatments at the local thermal spa (Luzea).

Holiday runs with two or more people.



1535€pp / 1100€pp
Price pp for 2P / 4P in group


This price includes :

•  5 nights double/twin share accommodation  in Hotel Les Templiers

• 2 nights full boarding in Refuge

• All equipment


• Shuttle bus from Lourdes train station (2€) or airport (15€)

• Dinners and drinks

• Activities on the two free days. There are plenty to choose from, do not hesitate to ask us for help choosing!


Day One: Arrive in Luz (bus from Lourdes), and welcome at Hotel Les Templiers in Luz St Sauveur. Take a wander around town to scout for restaurants and have a look around. We are happy to book restaurants for you if you’d like, but you will quickly see there are plenty of choices within walking distance from the hotel. Come back for a drink from our bar and a briefing on the week. You can buy your own bits and pieces for picnics (the bakery, butcher and supermarket are all close by and we have a fridge in the lounge to store your provisions).

Day Two: Meet your guide, check your equipment and enjoy your first day out snowshoeing in the Barèges valley. We may head up into the Aoube Valley, or into the forest above the Lienz Plateau, depending on conditions. Either way we will test our legs, and the snow, find the feel of the snow and practice using snow shoes, and avalanche transceivers.

Day Three: Snowshoe from Gavarnie village to the Pailha Plateau, above the Gavarnie Cirque, for a bird’s eye view of this UNESCO world heritage site and the frozen waterfalls. The path we take is a balcony path and is particularly spectacular in Winter pathwinter. We look out for ice climbers on the 426m frozen waterfall, enjoy lunch perched up high and return to the village for a hot chocolate or afternoon tea.


Day Four: The Saugué Plateau above Gedre is already an exceptional snowshoeing site, and the views from the Col de Porteillou (2238m) above the plateau are even more wonderful. You see all DSCN0910the frontier summits spread out in front of you, including the famous Breche de Roland and there are also spectacular views into the Gavarnie Cirque from another angle.


Day Five: We set off on our mini-trek. Depending on snow conditions we will either head up to the Glère Refuge or the Oulettes Refuge. Both are above 2000m and take us high into the mountains to the altitude of frozen lakes, winter conditions and above the cares of the world below.    Snowy ridge web

Day Six: From the refuge we can today head higher to either a summit or a high pass. The snow and weather conditions will determine our options. Your guide will discuss all this with you, and here you fully understand their value – they are the ones who understand the terrain, the risks, and the best options available on any particular day. The aim is always for you to have a full and enjoyable day, exploring an area you may not have reached on your own.

Day Seven: Descent from the refuge and return to hot showers, heating and comfortable beds in Hotel Les Templiers in Luz.

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