The GR11 Trail

The Traverse of the Spanish Pyrenees - La Senda Pirenaica

By Brian Johnson

The GR11 traverses the Spanish Pyrenees from Irún on the Atlantic coast to Cap de Creus on the Mediterranean, and often enjoys better weather than its French counterpart, the GR10. Leading over high passes and through sweeping valleys, the 820km route is presented in 47 stages. Trekkers require experience of high mountains.



June to October for the Central Pyrenees. Spring and autumn would be possible in the Basque Country and near the Mediterranean.


The route goes from the Atlantic Ocean at Irun on the French-Spanish border and passes through many small villages in Spain and Andorra.


alpine-style mountains, crossing passes up to 2700m where there is rough, steep terrain to traverse. It is at the upper end of walking difficulty. Early season, with snow on the high passes, would require mountaineering skills.
Must See

Must See

The Basque country, Anayet lakes, Ordessa and Monte Perdido National Park, Aiguestortes and Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, the Maladeta range, Andorra, Cap de Creus Natural Park.
13 Apr 2018
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.5cm
  • Overview

    This comprehensive guidebook to the magnificent GR11 trail, which runs 820km from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, provides everything trekkers will need to take up the challenge - detailed route description, excellent photographs, lots of background information and unique, custom-produced maps. This glorious traverse of the Pyrenees, on the Spanish side, is a serious challenge - passing over a succession of high alpine passes where boulderfields, scree slopes and occasional snowfields may need to be crossed. It is presented in 47 stages of 8-31km.

    It is well waymarked and has regular opportunities to top up on food and drink, described within the routes and in a detailed place-by-place appendix at the back. Also included are bad weather options - although the weather is often good along this route - detours to find accommodation at some points, and advice on where to stay, supplies, language and logistics, as well as a glossary including Aragon, Basque and Catalan words, to help you find your way.

  • Contents

    National and natural parks
    From the Atlantic to the Mediterranean
    The GR11
    Weather and when to go
    Getting to the start
    Getting home
    Culture and language
    Using this guide
    The GR11
    Getting to Cabo de Higuer from Irún
    Stage 1 Cabo de Higuer to Bera (Vera de Bidosoa)
    Stage 2 Bera to Elizondo
    Stage 3 Elizondo to Puerto de Urkiago
    Stage 4 Puerto de Urkiago to Burguete (Auritz)
    Stage 5 Burguete to Hiriberri (Villanueva de Aezkoa)
    Stage 6 Hiriberri to Ochagavía (Otsagabia)
    Stage 7 Ochagavía to Isaba (Izaba)
    Stage 8 Isaba to Zuriza (over Peña Ezkaurri, GR11-4)
    Stage 9 Zuriza to La Mina
    Stage 9A Zuriza to Hotel Usón (Puen de Santana) (GR11-1)
    Stage 10 La Mina to Refugio de Lizara (GR11)
    Stage 10A Hotel Usón to Refugio de Lizara (GR11-1)
    Stage 11 Refugio de Lizara to Candanchú
    Stage 12 Candanchú to Sallent de Gállego (Sallén de Galligo)
    Stage 13 Sallent de Gállego to Refugio de Respomuso
    Stage 14 Refugio de Respomuso to Baños de Panticosa
    Stage 15 Baños de Panticosa to San Nicolás de Bujaruelo (Buxargüelo)
    Stage 16 San Nicolás de Bujaruelo to Refugio de Góriz
    Stage 17 Refugio de Góriz to Refugio de Pineta
    Stage 18 Refugio de Pineta to Parzán
    Stage 19 Parzán to Refugio de Biadós (Viadós)
    Stage 20 Refugio de Biadós to Puen de San Chaime (Puente de San Jaime)
    Stage 21 Puen de San Chaime to Refugio de Cap de Llauset
    Stage 22 Refugio de Cap de Llauset to Refugi de Conangles
    Stage 23 Refugi de Conangles to Refugi dera Restanca
    Stage 24 Refugi dera Restanca to Refugi de Colomèrs (by Port de Caldes, GR11-18)
    Stage 25 Refugi de Colomèrs to Espot
    Stage 26 Espot to La Guingueta d’Àneu
    Stage 27 La Guingueta d’Àneu to Estaon
    Stage 28 Estaon to Tavascan
    Stage 29 Tavascan to Àreu
    Stage 30 Àreu to Refugi de Vallferrera
    Stage 31 Refugi de Vallferrera to Refugi de Comapedrosa
    Stage 32 Refugi de Comapedrosa to Arans
    Stage 33 Arans to Encamp
    Stage 34 Encamp to Refugio de l’Illa
    Stage 35 Refugio de l’Illa to Refugi de Malniu
    Stage 36 Refugi de Malniu to Puigcerdà
    Stage 37 Puigcerdà to Camping Can Fosses, Planoles
    Stage 38 Camping Can Fosses, Planoles to Núria
    Stage 39 Núria to Setcases
    Stage 40 Setcases to Beget
    Stage 41 Beget to Sant Aniol d’Aguja
    Stage 42 Sant Aniol d’Aguja to Albanyà
    Stage 43 Albanyà to Maçanet de Cabrenys
    Stage 44 Maçanet de Cabrenys to La Jonquera
    Stage 45 La Jonquera to Els Vilars
    Stage 46 Els Vilars to Llançà
    Stage 47 Llançà to Cap de Creus

    Appendix A Route summary table
    Appendix B Facilities table
    Appendix C Glossary
    Appendix D Sources of information

  • Updates
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    We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our contact form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).

  • Reviews
    By far the best guidebook I have ever used.

    I can honestly say that this is by far the best guidebook I have ever used. We walked for 51 days using this guidebook, and lost our way only 2 times [very minor, missed a turn-off both times, but soon realized and got back on track within the hour]  NONE of these where the fault of the book, actually if we had spent more attention to the book, we would not have missed the turn-offs.

    Brian Johnson’s detail to the trail is second to none, whenever we were in doubt, we would check the book, and it all became clear. Although we carried the Prames Maps with us, we never actually used the maps. We did the GR11 only using the guidebook.

    While on the GR11 we met a handful of hikers [we were there early in the season] and every single one of them praised Brian Johnson and how well the book was written.

    What we REALLY liked about this guide, was the “reliable” water-points, highlighted on the map, and color coded in the route description – this really made the walk a lot easier and lighter.

    Absolutely no hesitation, anyone planning on doing the GR11 should have this book.

    Trails Talk review.

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Brian Johnson

Since taking early retirement from his career as a physics and sports teacher, Brian Johnson has found time for three thru-hikes of the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2700-mile round-Britain walk, three hikes across the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean as well as a single summer compleation of the Munros and has climbed all the Corbetts in Scotland. He has also completed a 2200-mile cycle tour of Spain and France and done multi-week canoe tours in Sweden, France, Spain and Portugal. A keen climber and hiker, he has led school groups in Britain, the Alps, the Pyrenees and California and has completed ten traverses from Atlantic to Mediterranean on the Pyrenean High-Level Route, GR11 or GR10. As a fanatical sportsman and games player, he has competed to a high standard at cricket, hockey, bridge and chess. His crowning achievement was winning the 1995/96 World Amateur Chess Championships.

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