Experiences from others

Hiking in the Pyrenees Present – 2013

pic de crabere

John at pic Crabere

Guided Hike around etang dáraing

Roelof just to say many thanks for your guided walks. They were a great adventure and experience. You were professional at your job and great to get along with. The Auberge, Refuge and Annie were all you could want for but nothing beat the hospitality of your own place. I would recommend Bergtoppers to anyone. All being well I planning to come back next September to do the Aran 5 walk. All the best John Carroll Northern Ireland


Tour de Juifs

hiking in the pyrenees
hiking in the Pyrenees

Dear Roelof and Ireen

Thanks yet again for insuring that our trip went really smoothly.
We don’t blame you at all for the weather!


Marianne, Tom, Michelle, Dylan and Kobo

hiking in the pyrenees

in mai at etang dáyes

What do you do when you want to go hiking but have no time to buy the maps, plan the routes, decide where to sleep…..Furthermore, your knowledge of the French language is so elementary that making a reservation at the renowned ‘gite’ seems like an insurmountable task.
Actually the answer is easy, just do what we did and send ‘Bergtoppers’ an email. Within 24hours you will have a day by day itinerary of possible hiking routes, including hours (very accurate!!) & elevation, and proposal for places to stay overnight.
Having seen our itinerary we didn’t have much to comment as we didn’t know the area anyway so we just went with it. All our expectations were surpassed.



Two weeks ago, four of us, my husband and I with our two kids aged 14 and 12, had a great 4 day hiking holiday all planned and arranged by the Bergtoppers. The hikes varied in distance from 4 to 7 hours , each very different, but always beautiful scenery. We received a map and detailed instructions, so there was no way we could get lost. The fourth day hiking was the best when Roelof took us up to Lake ‘…..’ The path was still covered in snow in places, making progress a little more difficult but the effort was worth it and we enjoyed our lunch at the lakeside.

The first two nights were spent in an auberge in Seix and the other two nights in gites in the mountains. One of the gites, owned by the Bergtoppers, is situated in an absolutely stunning location and, as my daughter commented, has ‘million dollar view’. Ireen is an exceptionally good cook , and even catered for my daughter’s rather difficult preferences. To make life even easier Bergtoppers supplied us with a packed lunch every day. There was no way we would be hungry during the hikes!! (I think we even put on weight …)

So for those looking for a hiking holiday with no worries about food, accommodation or route planning, I can highly recommend Bergtoppers!

The Freedom Trail

Dear Jonathan, Mossy, Rachel, Naomi, Eric. Richard, Ros, Jeremy, Brian, Roelof and Bruce,

Am back in full swing at work; aches and pains forgotten. But the unique experience all of you gave me will be long remembered. With group dynamics you dragged me from France to Spain. 2600 meters did not sound so bad.. Now that I have multiplied by 3.3 to get 8480 ft. I must ask how I had the cheek to think I would not slow all of you down, Thank you for the patience and kindness.

Mossy thanks for the offer to carry my bag up the snow field but it really was time for you to go play in the snow. I watched you with pleasure and envy. Bruce and Roelof had already taken much of my heavy stuff. The bag just looked full size. Thanks to you and Rachel for telling me what young people plan to do.

Ros sorry for usurping your bed and scrambling your things. You and Richard gave me the best reward by dropping back to walk and talk. Again thanks for the wine, advice and listening to my stories. Silk sheet bag was a real discovery.

Eric thanks for all the plans. I know you & Brian did the last walk with the slow group just to keep me company.. You are knowledgeable and fun traveling companions. Long may your enthusiasm continue.

Jeremy, the breadth of your interests and joy in teaching was/is a delight. I will now see gargoyles and stained glass windows through your eyes. You, Eric and Brian explore with the energy of Mossy’s years.

Roelof you are a professional at your job. You led us well. You measured and judged my truncated abilities precisely. You left me assured that I could do it, despite I bet many misgivings. I do hope we will walk together again, perhaps a little less demanding path next time. I will try to weight 2 stone (13 to 15 kg) less and train a bit harder ahead of time.

Jonathan, like it or not you now have a full time congregant at a distance. You make group dynamics also work with prayer and learning. Shacharit in public looking up at the rising sun behind the mountains filled one with awe. I have never met a Rabbi like you, and certainly not al the top of a mountain. Your energy of mind and body will last beyond even my advanced age. But I cannot promise to walk the mountains with you in my late 90s +. Going to try though.

With appreciation, WynneRabbiJonathan

The Freedom Trail II

The walking has been wonderful and everyone has shown a super spirit. This is what community is all about! I am so grateful. I have to thank Jeremy Schonfeld in particular, because, when I mentioned the idea over tea one Shabbat, instead of telling me I was meshuggah, he said “I’ll come with you”. He did, bringing his immense erudition on all things Jewish to enrich our journey.
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