There’s a great range of outdoor activities available in the Pyrenees in summer. We’ve listed the most popular but if there are any you’re interested in that aren’t here, contact us to find out if we can organise them for you.
Air boat – these are one-man inflatable kayaks specially designed for messing about on the river.
They can be taken on the same stretch of water as rafts and hot dogs, so if you prefer to be your own boss (and probably totally out of control), air boats are a good choice. You will almost certainly end up in the water, but don't worry because an instructor will always be on hand to help get you out!
Canyoning - Following a rushing mountain torrent, make your way downstream every which way - jumping, sliding, swimming, abseiling or hurtling down a water chute.
The mountain streams are icy cold but you are well-wrapped up in a thick wetsuit. This area has a good range of technical vertical or aquatic canyons. Half-day or full-day trips are available, as well as week long trips taking in the canyons of both Spain and France.
Caving - Journey deep underground in the limestone cave systems near Lourdes.
Our adventure caving full-day is a through-trip, with 4 big abseils into a vertical pothole in the morning, then an afternoon exploring the mud-filled caverns below.
The half-day trip is less technical, but no less fun; slithering and clambering through an underground assault course.
Chlorofil treetop park - Set your inner-ape free at this exciting treetop adventure park.
This really is an activity for all ages - from the special course for young children through green, blue and red routes, to the most challenging black course that even the most acrobatic of adults will find seriously tough.
Scramble up cargo nets, balance on suspended logs, whizz across huge zip-lines and teeter on the tarzan jump. Great fun!
Hiking - almost limitless possibilities for gentle strolls, tough day walks, rocky scrambles or long treks staying out at mountain refuges.
This area is dotted with stunning mirror lakes, crowned by snow-capped peaks and littered with flowers in the alpine meadows. One of our favourite routes is an airy ledge walk above the valley of Gavarnie, ending in the famous cirque with a scramble up to the Grande Cascade - the highest free-hanging waterfall in Europe.
Hot-dog - two-man inflatable kayaks similar to an Air boat but requiring some cooperation from your team mate!
Again, a high-chance of getting wet, so good fun on a hot-day when you just can't resist a dip in the river. Wetsuits, buoyancy aids and helmets are provided, and an instructor is always close by to offer guidance and rescue when you fall in.
Hydrospeed - also known as river luge.
Quite possibly the most silly way of travelling on the water. This involves donning flippers, clinging onto a float and setting off head first down the river. Best reserved for the early summer season, when the river has a lot of water.
Mountain biking - a huge range of tracks and trails are just waiting to be explored, from easy cross-country routes in the Val d'Azun, to serious downhilling at Cauterets.
Some of the ski lifts are running in July and August (including the Laquette chair just above Barèges), so this is the best time for downhill biking, as you can easily reach the vast range of VTT (French Mountain Bike trails) in the valley Barèges is in.
Paragliding - possibly the most awe-inspiring of our activities.
In tandem with an instructor you take off from the famous Col du Tourmalet for a long flight all the way down the valley.
The views are truly spectacular, and you may be lucky enough to soar alongside a vulture, or swoop down to scare a grazing marmot on the hillside. The closest you can get to flying.
Pony trekking - this area has several horse-riding centres offering many different levels of riding from a half-day taster for very young children, to a full-day or multi-day trek.
We recommend the half-day session exploring the Val d'Azun - an idyllic valley criss-crossed with farmers' trails and dotted with ancient barns and picturesque villages.
Rafting - the classic way to descend a mountain river and great for groups.
The instructor comes along for the ride, pointing out the best route and making sure everyone gets a good dunking - hang on tight or you'll soon be overboard.
The Gave de Pau river runs very fast in spring and early summer, dropping to a good fun grade 2-3 later in the season.
Rock-climbing - one of our favourite activities, this is a proper taster of real rock climbing with a local "Guide de Haute Montagne".
There are several great sites close to Barèges, including the slabs above the Glere lakes - a great day out with a good range of routes for complete beginners through to expert climbers.
After mastering techniques of climbing, abseiling and belaying, we recommend a refreshing dip in one of the breath-taking(ly) cold mountain lakes.
Via Ferrata - or "iron road".
These are man-made climbing routes including fixed metal pins, cables, ladders and wire bridges.
Originally invented to aid access to the crags and caves of the Italian Dolomites during World War I, they have now become popular across Europe. We can offer two levels of via ferrata - an introductory trip beneath the spectacular Pont Napoleon, or a very challenging longer route in the Gavarnie valley. A head for heights is a must!