The walker has a choice of three paths from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean along the length of the Pyrenees. The most northerly, the Pyrenean Way, officially the French GR10, starts in Hendaye and finishes in Banyuls. It is a mid-slope route with the highest pass at 2509m above sea level. The Haute Route Pyrénéenne sticks much closer to the watershed. If you chose to take in the Aneto, the highest peak in the Pyrenees, you will be climb to 3404m. The Senda Pirenaica, the Spanish GR11, is another mid-slope route but higher than the GR10, with a dozen passes over 2500m.
Maps of the GR11
I used a combination of the 1:40,000 maps contained in the Spanish Prames Guide (7th edition) and the Topo España 3.0 maps on my Garmin eTrex 30 GPS. The Prames maps are good for planning and only contain very occasional errors. (Beware: the coordinates used on Spanish maps are based on the Datum Europeu 1950 and not on WGS84 used in the rest of Europe. If you confuse the two you will be up to 200m out!).
The Topo España 3.0 map, if you know how to use a GPS, is much more useful in the field. Again, although the maps are mostly very accurate, I found some incredible errors. Notably, parts of the Senda Pirenaica between Planoles and Núria are marked as straight lines, as if the cartographer’s pen slipped!
The sketch maps in Brian Johnson’s excellent Cicerone guide to the GR11 are not really suitable for navigation. If you stray off the route they will be very little help – the scale (1:90,000) is too small and the detail insufficient in rugged mountain terrain.
21 thoughts on “Map of the Senda Pirenaica, Spanish GR11”
Could you tell me how to find the pou de neu on Pic Neulos?
Have been up many times and never realised it was there.
Hello Richard. I had some difficulty finding it at first because it was marked in the wrong place on my GPS map! From the Pic Neulos you follow the GR10 (or road) SW for 1.1km to the Coll del Pou. If you get to the hairpin bend you have gone about 200m too far. At the Coll del Pou (1109m above sea level) you will see a gate on the fence which marks the frontier, with the Pou de la Neu signposted. Go through the gate and turn left (E then NE). The Pou de Neu is 220m from the gate in a clearing in the middle of the woods but very obvious once you get there.
It is a good place for a picnic because it is sheltered from the wind.
best wishes Steve
Hi, I would like to do a 3-4 day hike through a good section in late September. Can you recommend a route/where to get on and off to be able to get back to the drop-off location?
It is easy to get to Candanchú by train/bus from either France or Spanish side. You should be able to get back to Barcellona from Torla but it will require planning and you may have to pay for a taxi some of the way.
I hope this helps.
Am flying into Barcelona and getting the train towards Zaragoza. Is there a bus/train from there to Candanchu as I cant seem to find any info on line.
You can catch a train to Canfranc and use a taxi or bus from then on. Happy planning.
Thanks a lot for your great website, it helps my husband and me a lot preparing for the GR11.
I really hope you can answer these two questions for us:
1) The track from Setcases to Núria seems quite long for one day. We’re young and active but not that experienced hikers. What would you recommend? If we do it in two days, where can we stay overnight? We don’t plan on taking a tent.
2) How easy is it to get from Núria to Eyne? I read your post on “joining up the dots” but we can’t find much information on the length, duration, level of the pass. We do need to get to France at some point to catch our train in Toulouse. Any advice on this?
Thanks a lot in advance!
1. Ulldeter is one hostel between Setcases and Núria. Coma de Vaca is another but the path from there to Núria is tricky.
2. 700m positive 1100m negative, 14 km. It is a good path. 6 hours should cover it. To get to the railway station at Bolquère adds 1h20m. But you might like to stay at Cal Pai in Eyne overnight
Hi Steve, I am planning to re-start from Pineta and finish at the Med but at Port Bou. Is it possible to walk direct from La Jonquera or Cantelops on a path?
There are several possibilities
1. Walk from Requesens to the col del Faig and then follow the GR10 to the Refuge Tomy (great overnight stop). Next day walk along the frontier to the refuge de Col de Banyuls. Continue along the border to the Col de Querroig where you turn right along the ridge and descend to Port Bou.
2. Continue from Refuge Tomy to Banyuls and then take the Sentier Walter Benjamin to Port Bou (or catch train!)
3. Continue on GR11 to just north of Espolla and then head up to the Col de Banyuls.
Have a great time!
Thank you so much for the info, your site is amazing !
We are two 18 years young boys, going on a trip to Pyrenees 19.-29. december.. What is the situation there in the winter?
Also, we want to hike for about 9/10 days, but do not know the best approach. Can you give us some of the best route choices to hike that period of time?
Thanks a lot,
At the end of December the Pyrenees are more suitable for skiing than walking (unless you want to go snow shoeing, of course). The only zones where you can walk in mountains without equipment are near the Mediterranean (as far as Ulldeter) and near the Atlantic (as far as Zuriza, if you are lucky). Otherwise you will need to stay low (less than 1500m) to avoid snow.
Have you tried to hike in winter there? Is it too much snow?
Do you maybe know any other good trail in winter in europe? Could GR20 in Corsica be a good choice?
I live an hour’s drive from the Pyrenees and go there all year round. In winter I go to the lower slopes for walking or higher up snow shoeing. So yes there is too much snow above 2000m (and sometimes above 1500m) to think of walking on the GR11 in Spain or the GR10 in France. See my page on winter walking in the Pyrenees.
As for the GR20, I haven’t walked it but I know people who have. You cannot walk in at the end of December without crampons. See video.
Best wishes, Steve
Thanks for your website. I’m looking at flying into Barcelona in the second week of November and wanted to do some walking in the Pyrenees with a frined. We’re both pretty active but haven;t done much winter mountaineering. I’d looked at doing a coastal trek from Cadaques to Collioure but am wondering whether doing part of the GR11 route would be a better option. Any recommendations? We have about a week.
The coastal trek is very nice and you can extend it in both directions. Alternatively, look at my page on Pyrenees cross-border walks. You could walk inland from the Cap de Creus on the GR11 and come back on the GR10 to Banyuls. 12, 13 or 14 would fit the bill, but you would need to plan the route carefully as it is not all waymarked. More problematic, many refuges will be closed.
Hi Steve, thank you very much for providing so much useful information.
I am planning on doing two weeks on the central part of the GR11 this summer and am currently looking for suitable maps. You wrote that you used the Prames 1:40.000 maps. I have been wondering how large these maps are, as there are 46 of them and they come with the book for a total of around 30€. In comparison a single map from Editorial Alpina is 15€. Are we talking about two completely different kind of maps here?
While researching for the Prames Guide I stumbled upon a new Prames Guide containing 1:25.000 maps (https://libreriaprames.com/topoguias-prames/563-gr-11-senda-pirenaica-tomo-i-euskadi-navarra-y-aragon.html). Do you have any experience with this one?
Paper maps are nice to look at when you are at home. Nowadays I rely on my phone GPS in airplane mode and with a spare charger battery. (BTW, I used the Prames guides when I did the GR11 in 2012-14.)
Excellent, informative website! Thanks.
I am planning to spend approx. 8 days in the areas betweeen Canfranc and Puigcerda, but have doubts of which part is the best in terms of transport – and beauty.
I can get to Canfranc from Barcelona (do I need to buy tickets in advance or just before/on the train?).
But where is a “natural/best” stop after eight days to get public transport back?
You are probably going to need to take a taxi at some time, or hitch. There are some busses. From Canfranc you could aim for Bielsa. Or from Bielsa you could aim for Conangles. Conangles-Areu. Areu – Puigerda. As long as you are going after 1 July you shouldn’t have any problems with snow. All sections are gread. I have a slight bias for Canfranc to Bielsa.