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Hiking trail

Cauterets Loop Walk

Hiking trail · Midi-Pyrénées
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  • View of cauterets
    / View of cauterets
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Tourist office
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Cauterets water font
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Trail down through wood
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Close barries after passing through
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / River gave
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Water channel
    Photo: Macs Adventure
m 1400 1300 1200 1100 1000 900 800 700 12 10 8 6 4 2 km

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. 

12.8 km
5:30 h
750 m
750 m

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.

Author’s recommendation

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.

Highest point
1265 m
Lowest point
830 m
Best time of year

Safety information

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.

Tips, hints and links

 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)  

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


Cauterets Tourist Office (Office du Tourisme). (924 m)
42.888399, -0.114183
30T 735651 4752462


Cauterets Tourist Office (Office du Tourisme).

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km - Standing with your back to the font dooor of the Cauterets Tourist Office, TURN LEFT and walk past Hotel Le Bois Joli, on your left. Then pass a turning on your left, beyond which you will find a little lion head water font (a good place to charge your flask for the day). Carry on uphill, following ‘Telecabine’ signpost, to reach T junction.

0.15km - Go STRAIGHT ON, crossing over the road and then BEAR LEFT, following white and red painted stripe markers of Grande Randonnee (GR) route. Carry on, passing ‘Bains Du Roehen’ and then a Basque pilota court, both on your right. Carry on to reach road.

0.35km - BEAR RIGHT and follow road, winding up hill to a point where the road bends to the left. To the right, you will see a small footpath with a small signpost for ‘Pauze 30mins’.

0.50km - BEAR RIGHT off of road onto footpath zig zagging your way uphill on stony path, following parallel white and red stripe GR markings (ones with white crossing red stripe indicate that the route is NOT in that direction). Carry on to path T junction.

0.90km - TURN LEFT, following signpost ‘Lisey, Reine Hortenu’ and continue uphill, crossing little stone bridge over stream to then reach a road.

1.10k - TURN LEFT onto single track gravel road, zig zagging uphill to reach bar/restaurant ‘Hostellier de la Reine Hortense’ (1220m above sea level). A popular eating place, 

3.20km - Go STRAIGHT ON uphill on road a little further on to find a small path to your left, signposted ‘Canceru 45 mins’.

3.40km - TURN LEFT and descend path, following orange symbol marker, number 4 route. This path descends steeply, zig zagging through the woodland. Eventually, you exit the woodland to then come to a minor road, with a village, away to your left.

4.30km - TURN RIGHT, passing a house on your right, to then find a path on your left, next to house number 12, to your right. BEAR LEFT, off of road onto path, signposted ‘Conce 20 mins’ and bearing orange number 4 path sign. Then continue to reach path T junction.

4.50km - TURN LEFT at path T junction, following signpost ‘Conce 15 mins’ on path flanked by low stone walls with fields either side. Then carry on through woodland, with stream to your right. Now continue to reach minor road.

4.90km - TURN RIGHT onto road and cross bridge over stream. Then TURN LEFT off of road onto path and continue downhill, with stream to your left. Then rejoin road and continue to three way crossing (following orange number 4 path sign).

5.10km - BEAR LEFT at three way crossing and continue to T junction. Then TURN LEFT at T junction onto dark grey gravel cycle route. Follow cycle route, which then runs parallel to main road to your right, with the River Gave beyond the road. Follow the cycle track all the way to a small bridge over a minor road.

6.80k - TURN RIGHT just before reaching the bridge to descend steps to a car park and the main road. Then cross the main road and BEAR RIGHT downhill along a minor road, signposted ‘Pont de Fanlou’. Continue over bridge over the River Gave to reach a black notice board on your left.

6.90k - BEAR LEFT off of road and walk uphill on little grassy path just behind the notice board. Pass between two houses at the crest of the rise to reach small car park. Now go STRAIGHT ON along road, winding uphill passing houses to left and right, to reach minor crossroads.

7.50km - TURN LEFT at crossroad and continue uphill to a turning on the right signposted: ‘Belevedere d’Aoumede’ viewing point.

7.70km - TURN RIGHT and continue to first turning on left.

7.80km - TURN LEFT, again following ‘Belevedere d’Aoumede’ viewing point sign. Carry on along road winding uphill to reach footpath on right, where the road turns left.

7.95km - BEAR RIGHT onto footpath, following signpost ‘Aumede 20 mins’. Zig zag your way up path to eventually reach road at the viewing point (with great view of Cauterets).

8.60km - TURN RIGHT onto road and continue a little way to track/path on your left. BEAR LEFT sharply onto track/path, following signpost ‘Seques 10 mins’. Carry on to reach electricity sub station.

8.90k - BEAR LEFT and pass around the left side of the sub station and continue on track/path following signpost ‘Seques’. Pass turning to left to barn and continue uphill. The path narrows as it passes more deeply into the woodland and then begins to plateau. Continue to reach path T junction.

10.00km - TURN RIGHT, following signpost ‘Cambasque 15 mins’ and continue to path turning on your right.

10.30km - Go STRAIGHT ON passing some stone buildings to your right and then pass under cable car. Then cross bridge over stream and, shortly after, cross bridge over river to then reach T junction.

10.70km - TURN LEFT following little sign ‘Cauterets’. Continue to metal barriers across path ahead. Don’t worry, the path is not closed; you are simple asked to reposition the barriers in a closed position once you have passed through (Refermer La Bariere S.V.P.).

10.80k - Go STRAIGHT ON, passing through and repositioning metal barriers, along path to reach path turning on left.

11.10km - TURN LEFT onto path, zig zagging down to and alongside the gushing white water river. Be sure to look out for and follow the white and red GR stripe markers. You will eventually descend to a bridge to your left and hairpin road turning to your right.

11.50km - TURN RIGHT and then BEAR LEFT at the hairpin bend to then make your way downhill on the road. Carry on a little way to find a footpath to your left, just as the road turns to the right.

11.80km - TURN LEFT onto path, following signpost ‘Cauterets 30 mins’. Zig zag your way downhill to reach path T junction.

12.00km - TURN LEFT and descend path, with stone water channel to your left. Then follow the path around to the right and follow path alongside river to your left, passing a small bridge. Do not cross the bridge. Carry on along path, with river to your left, to reach road. Then continue a little further to reach T junction.

12.50km - TURN RIGHT and walk down to a T junction on a road bend, with Carousel and playground on other side.

12.65km - TURN LEFT and make your way back to the Tourist Office.

12.80km - ARRIVE at Tourist Office


all notes on protected areas

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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12.8 km
750 m
750 m


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