5 – 9 Oct 2017
4 nights, 3 days

A holiday discovering the Pyrenees wildlife

INCLUDED Transfer from Toulouse
3 days guided hiking
4 nights full board
NOT INCLUDED Flights Insurance
OPTIONS Additional nights can be added

The central French Pyrenees is home to some unique and very special wildlife. On this guided wildlife holiday you will be accompanied by a local expert who knows just where to go to stand the best chance of discovering some of the most elusive animals of the Pyrenees. You will hike on often indistinct and rough terrain on unmarked paths, so you should be a regular hiker, confident on your feet.

The brown bear

Thanks to the wildness of the terrain and a concerted re-introduction programme, the brown bear is once again thriving in the Pyrenees. Although the chances of seeing one in daylight are remote, you may be lucky enough to see their paw prints in muddy ground and traces of fur left on tree scratching posts.

Your guide will take great pleasure in telling you all about the reintroduction programme and the tracking of these impressive animals in the Pyrenees.

Birds of prey

The Lammergeier is otherwise known as the bearded vulture and is an endangered species of raptor which is now breeding successfully in certain areas of the Pyrenees.

It is a distinctive bird, easily identified thanks to its spoon shaped tail and strong markings. During your wildlife holiday be sure to keep your eyes peeled and check the skies regularly for its distinctive flight.

You may also see the Egyptian vulture which has distinctive white feathers with a black trailing wing edge. This bird of prey is on the global red list but is often seen frequenting the skies in the central Pyrenees

Snake eagles, short toed eagles and also golden eagles are other raptors that you may well see on this wildlife holiday in the French Pyrenees.

The red deer rut

On this autumn wildlife holiday, your guide will take you to out of the way areas in which you’ll experience the red deer rut up close and personal. This is a special experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.

For around 4 weeks from the end of September, the red deer stags are at their most active, seeking females with whom to mate and defending their territory from incoming males. This period is known as rutting season or ‘la brame des cerfs’ and is a highlight of the nature calendar in the Pyrenees.

The bellow of the red deer from such close proximity will send shivers up your spine and you should have some amazing photographic opportunities to capture these majestic animals in all their glory.

Other Pyrenees wildlife

On your wildlife holiday you may also see chamois and maybe also reintroduced ibex, mountain goat like animals that scamper along rocky outcrops in impressive style

Accommodation for your wildlife holiday

The accommodation for your nature discovery break is a delightful auberge set high on a hillside near Aspet. Fantastic home-cooked food made from local products and a spa facility are the highlights.



After picking up your rental car from Toulouse you will drive to your accommodation where you’ll be met by your English-speaking guide. He’ll tell you all about the area and what you can expect over the next few days. After dinner you’ll retire to your room for a good night’s sleep.


You’ll leave your accommodation at 09h00 and follow your guide up to the Col d’Artigascou from where your hike will take you up onto the ridgeline with stunning views of the mountains bordering Spain. This is the territory of the chamois, of the Lammergeier/bearded vulture and also the brown bear. The walking is off the beaten path and will take you to places where you may see signs of the passage of the bears such as footprints and fur on trees. At the end of your hike you’ll return to your accommodation for dinner.


Spend the morning enjoying the accommodation’s facilities including the spa and swimming pool. Your wildlife excursion will take place in the afternoon and evening, the best times of day for seeing the deer rut here. You’ll take both a picnic lunch and something to eat in the evening. Your guide will take you off the beaten path where you’ll learn the techniques for getting close to red deer during the rut and hopefully be able to take some good photos of them too! It will be dark, around 21h30, when you return to your car so a headtorch with new batteries will be required.


Another day of wildlife explorations and off the beaten path hiking in the local area.


Today you leave the Pyrenees and head back to the airport for your flight home. We hope you’ve enjoyed discovering some of the wonderful wildlife of the Pyrenees and will come back again soon.
Experience red deer rut on wildlife discovery holiday
Brown bear in the Pyrenees
Spot the Egyptian vulture on wildlife discovery holiday
The capercaillie
See chamois on a Pyrenees wildlife holiday
Chamois on a mountain slope in Pyrenees
See tracks of the brown bear in the Pyrenees
Fur of a brown bear on a tree in French Pyrenees
See tracks of brown bear on a Pyrenees wildlife holiday
Ibex on a mountain slope in the Pyrenees
See Lammergeier on a Pyrenees wildlife holiday

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