At any time of year there is so much to do.
Skiing, Snowboarding, Snow shoe walking.
Winter sports are a way of life with the ski stations of Hautacam
and the Val d'Azun
within easy reach. Slightly further afield, but less than 1 hour are Bareges- Grand Tourmalet
- the largest ski resort in the Pyrenees and Gavarnie-Gedre
are all relaxed, family friendly with great facilities to make your
winter holiday memorable.
The area is a mecca for cyclists from all over the world who
come to experience some of the great climbs of the Tour de France :
Tourmalet, Col d'Aubisque, Col d'Aspin, Col de Soulor , Luz Ardiden and
of course Hautacam are all within easy reach.
Less well publicized but equally popular are the hundreds of
mountain biking trails and the family friendly "Voie Vert" -
a re-surfaced former railway line for cyclists and walkers
which crosses the valley.
Whatever your level, the rivers and lakes offer so many possibilities.
From the adrenalin fille white water canoeing to the more
relaxed eg "Stand Up Paddle". and not forgetting the fun water park and
swimming pools at "Lau Folies"
and the hot themal springs of the "Jardin des Bains".
Parapenting/ Bunjee jumping/ Via Ferrata/ Canyoning
Hautacam is literally the jumping off point for parapenting at all
times of year. Bunjee jumping takes place at the 90m drop at
in the season and a Via Ferrata route is to be found at
the same site. Local guides and instructors
to help you make the most of your stay and show you the ropes on these
and other activites such as canyoning.
Walking and Climbing
The best way to really appreciate the mountains is to set off on foot
on one of the many beautiful walking paths. Spring
early summer cover the meadows in wild flowers and stunning views greet
you at every turn. Autumn can be pleasantly warm (above 20C)
and the colours on the hillsides change gradually until the first snows
in late november or december.
Most visitors to the area will wish to include a trip to Lourdes.
Its world wide fame needs no further explanation and a visit
there is highly recommended.
There is beauty on every corner from the little frequented villages
with their stone churches and ancient "lavoirs" to the World
Heritage Site of The Cirque de Gavarnie
. The local
markets offer a chance to try the regional produce which is often still
made by hand in the traditional ways. For animal lovers there
is the Parc Animalier
which houses many of the native species and
allows visitors a closer look at animals that might be more elusive in
the wild eg marmots, bears and wolves.and the fabulous bird of prey at the Donjon des Aigles
Further afield the
steeped in equestrain history or Pau with its Chateau dating to the time of Henry VI
are well worth exploring as is the natural geological
cave system at the Grottes de Betharram.
There are numerous horse riding centres nearby which offer fabulous rides out in the mountains.
eg Centre Equestre Bernicaze