A walk around the mountainsides surrounding Cauterets, a perfect alternative for the Cable car to Cirque de Lys. Walk to Cauterets via Lac D’Iheou walk when the cable car is not running.
Today’s walk follows trails, first ascending the mountainside to the East and North of Cauterets, before descending to the Gave Valley. From here you walk along a quiet cycle path before crossing the River Gave. You then ascend a trail to a viewing point, Belvedere d’Aoumede, which affords a picturesque view of the town of Cauterets and mountains beyond. From here you climb further into the forested mountainside. The trail then plateaus before descending to then pass underneath a cable car and then cross a tributary of the Gave. Finally, you make your way along a Grande Randonnee (GR) route, taking you back alongside a tributary of the Gave to descend back into Cauterets.
Though the walk involves a lot of ascent and descent, the effort is worth it for the great views you get of the Gave valley and mountains along the way, such as that from Belvedere d’Aoumede.
Some of the ascents and descents can be steep and a little slippery in places, requiring care, especially when wet.
Waterproofs (summer showers can be heavy). Suitable footwear and walking poles/stick are advisable.
Cauterets has a good range of shops for food, drink, medicines, hiking equipment, etc.. There is a water font close to the start of the walk, were you can top up your water flask, as the ascents of this walk will induce thirst.
Close to the apex of the first ascent, you will find a popular restaurant/ bar, Hostellier de la Reine Hortense (1220 metres above sea level) https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g196622-d3863921-i178055400-La_Reine_Hortense-Cauterets_Hautes_Pyrenees_Occitanie.html
There is also a café at Belvedere d’Aomede (though it was firmly closed in mid July 2017). Otherwise, there is nowhere else en route to purchase food or drink.
This tour is available on the following itineraries: WFSWIPNP