The Pyrenees are a great place to go for a day trip from Toulouse. If you would like to get some fresh air, do some sports and enjoy a great landscape, then I would recommend you this hike. We have done it with friends on a very sunny summer day and we enjoyed every second of it. There are two options, depending how sporty you are or who you do it with.
Le Lac d’Oô
The first lake the “Lac d’Oô” is very accessible to everyone and especially families with smaller kids, as it is reachable in just one hour easy walking. It still goes up quite a lot (+350 height difference), but it is doable for everyone. You would still need good shoes as some parts can get a bit slippery.
Parking: Park at the Parking des Granges d’Astau, some km after the village Oô.
From the Parking keep left and walk past the restaurants. You will soon see a big map showing the path up to Lac d’Oô. Keep walking up until you come to the stone bridge (on the picture), cross over the bridge and walk towards the refuge at the top. You will then see the lake in front of you. The refuge offers drinks and food during the day.
Tip: Walk a bit along the lake and go for a swim in the lake. It is still a bit chilly even in August, however you will enjoy a great swim in a turquoise lake.
Le Lac d’Espingo
For the sporty ones, you can walk further up the mountain and enjoy another great lake, the Lac d’Espingo. This path is a bit trickier, as you will need to really hike over stones and slippery parts.
Start the hike on the left side of the stone bridge. There is only one way that takes you up the hill on a small stony path with a gorgeous view over the Lac d’Oô and the waterfalls.
Once at the top, you will see the full valley of the Lac d’Espingo with its refuge and horses. The lake is a great place to take a picnic break and go for a swim (only for people who don’t mind very cold water).
For the really motivated people, you can even walk 10min more and visit the third lake around the corner. Just keep on walking towards the mountain and you will soon see the lake in front of you. This one is also great for a swim (the swimming spot looked even more perfect than at Lac d’Espingo).
Once you enjoyed the view of this third lake, it is time to make your way back. It tooks us about 1h45 to go down from the top with only small water stops.
Once at the bottom of the hill and before taking your car back to Toulouse, you can stop at one of the bars. We stopped at the second one down the hill, as you can nicely sit at tables in the grass. They also sell homemade mountain cheese in the little souvenir shop.
Tip: Check the weather forecast beforehand, as the weather in the mountains can quickly change and bring good shoes, if you decide to do the big hike, as you will walk over stony paths and slippery stones due to waterfalls coming down the mountain. If they announce a sunny day, think about bringing sunscreen and a hat.
Have a great sporty day with your friends and family at one of the lakes or even all three,