GR 11 (Spain)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
The Portella de Baiau, between Andorra and Spain, on the GR11 footpath
|Length||840 km (522 mi)|
|Trailheads||Hondarribia, Cap de Creus|
|Elevation change||39,000 m (128,000 ft)|
From West to East, the trail starts at Cape Higuer (Basque Country), crosses Navarre and Aragon and finishes at Cap de Creus (Catalonia.) Its exact distance is difficult to measure, roughly 840 km and a total elevation change of 39,000 m. The route is separated into 45 sections. At the end of each section there is normally a useful stopping point (camping spot, town, hostel or refuge) but in general, supplies have to be carried for 3–4 days. Because most rivers flow perpendicular to the trail, the GR 11 passes over many valleys affording beautiful vistas but also many ascents and descents - some days as much as 1600 m ascent (with equivalent descent).
The trail can be walked in either direction - the deciding factors being the steepness of the terrain and the Sun. In the eastern (Catalan Pyrenees) and central part of the route (Aragonese Pyrenees), days are hotter and the profile more steep, which can prove physically challenging, especially for individuals who are less physically fit. The heat is much better tackled when the body has acclimated and physical conditioning has improved toward the end of the trip. Although walking East might provide a more comfortable start, it implies facing the Sun during the morning.
Fit walkers normally manage to complete it in about 44 days, although some people have been known to complete it in 24 days or less.
The GR 10 is a similar route but on the French side of the border while the Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne (HRP) follows a generally higher route through the Pyrenees, frequently crossing the French-Spanish border.
- GR11 The big walk along the Pyrenees – Chronicles a full GR 11 hike, including photos and Google maps.