Meditation retreats off the beaten paths? Pyrenees mountains guide service and spiritual direction.

Meditation, contemplation, experiencing stillness. Adventourous private made to measure hiking retreats as you wish they were. Exploring lesser known and hiked massifs between Vall d'Aran and the Mediterranean.

Mountain Leader
Private guided contemplative hikes & made to measure retreats, hikes & treks, terms.
Levels of difficulty
Some suggestions 

made to measure hikes and treks in the Pyrenees mountains? Hire Richard  Mountain Leader


Richard our resident is an experienced Mountain Leader too.
Don't worry if you don't like following marks be it long distance footpaths (GR 10 or GR 11, La Senda) or marked parts of the Pyrenean High Level Route (HRP).
Ask Richard for that more adventurous contemplative hike, survival retreat or spiritual adventure holidays you're dreaming of. Trekking includes camping in the wild, enjoying mountain sceneries, retreating into stillness, observing wildlife, fishing or photography, ...  off the beaten paths, suiting your level of fitness aiming to develop it.

Below are some suggestions. They're in no way limitative. Together we'll realize the made to measure mountain retreat you're looking for.
contact: or call +33 626 99 33 11


Meditation, contemplation, experiencing stillness, hiking and camping into the Pyrenees, Guide Service :  

Included : guiding, hiking tents, overnights at our quiet house before and after your hike.
Not included : other gear, food and travel costs. When staying in huts the mountain leader's costs (board and lodging) are yours, this is usual.
When needed : cooking gear including gas can be hired. You're not allowed on planes with it.
Minimum number of hiking days : 7.


Private hikes wherever you prefer in the East half of the Pyrenees

Hiking & trekking in the Pyrenees, levels of difficulty:

Use the scale bellow before contacting our Pyrenees guide service. It helps to determine your level of fitness. All meditation hikes and mountain retreats can be designed in a way to help to improve your shape as well. Body awareness and a good physical condition are the basics of genuine reliable spirituality. 
Mountain hikes combined with more or less fasting are a natural fitness training: in 2 weeks you turn excess fat into lean muscle! Hillwalking improves your strength, stamina and suppleness. And needless to say, your natural beauty returns.  
Contemplative and meditation hiking mountain retreats high up in the Pyrenees need the necessary condition to carry your max. 15kg rucksack uphill.

Richard prefers taking you along unpublished trails, through passes used for smuggling long before the European Union existed or during world war II to help people escape to Spain.
You won't find these routes in books and many of them even disappeared from the more recent ordnance survey maps. Only shepherds, hunters and people living here still know where they were and find them.
Ask Richard to adapt  that kind of unforgettable adventure holidays to your level of fitness and wishes. He knows what's possible.

Our grading is as follows : 

* Walker =  novice  You have little training, cannot yet read a map and would lose your way.
* Learner : You practice sport twice a week but don't have mountain experience off the beaten paths, crossing snowfields or orientation.
* Hiker : you do have mountain hiking experience, are used walking barely visible paths, you're able to navigate and aware of your limits.
* Mountaineer : you're an experienced all-season mountain hiker able to dig out steps with an ice-axe and stop yourself on a snow slope.


made to measure private family hikes through the Spanish Pyrenees mountains/

Some suggestions for a private made to measure hiking retreat:

These are some suggestions but anything goes. Hiking retreats may range from a short 5 days up to 2 weeks or longer, adapted and made to measure according to your level and what you like. 

1-week retreat through the Puigmal and Canigou massifs around the Catalan border

Level: walkers and hikers.
This hiking retreat can easily be adapted if you've less or more experience.
The border massif can be hiked combining camping in retreat with 1 or 2 overnights in warded huts at both sides of the French/Spanish border. Camping in the wild and overnighting in the free Baraque des Allemands above the village of Mantet, or just camping are possible too.
The Carança clough is probably it's most adventurous part (see picture).
In mountain spring the hike up to peak Puigmal is a blooming flower reserve and invitation to awe, contemplation and gratitude.
You may prefer starting from the Spanish Catalan side using the rack railway to get to Nuria and start walking your retreat from there.
Peak Canigou is one of the Catalan holy mountains since the Goths. The walk up is not that difficult and the views reach over to the Mediterranean. The walk downhill to Casteil runs past the world famous Sint-Martin du Canigou abbey.
Lower in the valley there is Villefranche de Conflent a Vauban Fortress where you could stay a day visiting and take the little yellow mountain train for a very special journey through the Cerdagna. 

Another suggestion for a private hiking retreat Pyrenees area

made to measure private hike observing chamois and mouflons

1-week or longer private hiking retreat around Lanous lake and nature reserve.

Level : motivated walkers and learners.
This tour is in the French Pyrenees Orientales county. It's an especially nice nature retreat in mountain Spring (about half of June when snow has melted) because of its flowers and outstanding natural beauty.

These massifs can be crossed starting from Col de Puymorens or any higher Cerdagne village. As well as from the Ariege county walking up from L'Hospitalet. Or hiking through the wildest part of the wildlife reserve above Ax les Thermes.
It may be combined camping for retreat into solitude and stillness and staying in huts. Since large parts between peak Peric and peak Carlit are nature reserve and reserve of outstanding natural beauty, camping is only partially allowed and bivouac restricted. Peak Carlit can be hiked up starting from the lake Bouillouses hut and running down to 'castel isard' where, when being quiet, one can observe many herds of wild sheep (mouflon) and chamois. There we could camp and retreat for a few days enjoying, contemplating and experiencing nature's stillness.
Estany de Lanós as it is called in Catalan is the largest lake of the French part of the Pyrenees 2,5 km long and 500m wide (1,71km²). Superb views on Lanós and another 12 lakes in a not that difficult to walk area.

next suggestion for a private more relaxed hike

made to measure private hike in the Pica d'Estats massif observing chamois and mouflons

1-week or longer private hiking retreat exploring Pica d'Estats massif off the beaten paths.

Level: Hikers and higher.
This hiking retreat or trek, mainly in Spain, is one of Richard's alternatives to marked long distance round tours on the border between France and Catalonia.  We hike past deep blue tarns through the first +3000m massif of the Pyrenees mountains with ever more beautiful views. 
The scenery is a harmonious mix of summer pastures, mountains and lakes. Offering most beatifull places for retreat, bivouac, observing nature, contemplation and being still.
Climate is delightfully Mediterranean and generally dry. Although end of August first snow may make this mountain retreat more adventurous above 2.700m. 
We may follow poorly marked paths, with here and there a cairn crossing the scenery in silence.
Eagles and vultures rule the skies and wolves or Lynx can be seen from time to time, and perhaps also one of the few remaining bears.

An overnight in the Certascans hut and/or Pinet hike is possible. However combining with camping in the wild in more hidden most beautiful wild spots hiking of the beaten trails into the side valleys, camping into retreat for 2 or more days is much more rewarding.
We may climb the peaks of Puig d'Estats ( 3.143m) and Montcalm (3.077m) and trek back into France along old almost forgotten smugglers' path Quiet valleys where the chamois live and to observe marmots and maybe surprise a lynx or lonely wolf or stumble over some bears trail. Stillness all around.

1-week Escape to Freedom trail high level hike.

Level: motivated hikers and mountaineers.
Combining off the beaten paths, we follow trails used during World War II by passeurs to smuggle crashed pilots and Jewish families across the border to Andorra. This hike is quite difficult since parts of the trail aren't clear anymore.  But maybe the trail never was very visible as smugglers paths often are. And we may wonder how untrained families managed to cross here overnight in silence, avoiding to make any noise that would betray them.
The path from the village up to summer pastures is overgrown since it's not in use anymore. Higher up the trail runs high up above the valley and its old mule path to port de Siguer. Which the freedom route had to avoid as it was controlled by the Germans.

Private hiking mountain retreats as you wish they were.

Level: from walker on.
Looking for a shorter than 4 weeks Grand Retreat? Off the beaten paths high up in the Aston, Pica d'Estats or an other massif in the Eastern part of the French or Spanish Pyrenees? A time-out combining trekking, camping in the wild, retreat and all the time you need to pick up your innate need for balance between contact and withdrawal, movement and stillness.

More information on these adventurous and contemplative private hikes or treks exploring lesser known and hiked massifs between Vall d'Aran and the Mediterranean? call or mail Richard +33 626 99 33 11

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 private hikes in the French, Andorran and Catalan PyreneesPyrenees   made to measure hikes HRP, GR and off the beaten paths   private hiking retreats in the Pyrenees