05-08-2009 043 - copie

What to do, see and find out about during your stay.

Here sheep abound. They are not just a pretty picture postcard or an exceptional summer migration event, but part of everyday valley life, indeed they form its very identity.Much of the valley is in the heart of the Pyrenean National Park, a natural area of great beauty.It is of course paradise for hikers, whatever your level, from the family outing, to the mountain exploit for the really keen.It is also a place for skiing, with the ski resorts of Gourette and Artouste on the French side of the Pyrenees and Formigal on the Spanish side.It is also a very important destination for cycling, with the mythical feats of the Tour de France, for example the Aubisque Pass with its breathtaking view. You will be tempted by aquatic experiences, whether it be immersion in the soothing waters of the spa resort at Eaux Bonnes, or discovery of the more turbulent waters of the mountain streams and rivers for water sports and fishing.Spain is not far away, and the town of Pau as well, with its history, its castle...Lourdes is 45km away, the Atlantic ocean and the Basque coast are a one and a half hour's drive away.

In fact ther's too much to discover in just one trip !

Gourette. 30km away, Gourette is nestled into a natural « cirque» ; A great ski resort, specially adapted for children and beginners.

Artouste. Opposite the Midi d'Ossau peak, Artouste (a 40mn drive away) is exceptionally situated, and is THE winter resort for trying out new forms of snow sports. And in the summer the famous little train, the highest in Europe, attracts many visitors.

Formigal. Just after the Pourtalet pass, 50 mn away, Formigal has become the largest Spanish ski resort with 137 km of ski-runs.

The Bénou plateau. Just above our village, on the way to the Marie-Blanque pass, which forms the link between the valleys of Aspe and Ossau, you will find wide expanses of pasture-land, dotted here and there with barns, and there is a very beautiful view over the valley, and cattle roaming freely, which will delight the children.Horse-riding is on offer during the summer.

Spain.On the other side of the Pourtalet pass, 40 mn away, you are in Spain, where the Tena valley unfolds its magnificent landscape.

The Jurançon hillsides.In the Pyrenean foothills, take the time to check out the wine route, go for a stroll in the Jurançon hillsides (20 km away) and taste the wine and the Ossau-Iraty cheese (a local sheepsmilk speciality), directly at the producers'. A tasty outing.

Pau, Oloron. From Bilhères, Oloron is a 30 mn car-ride away, and Pau 40 km. Oloron and its old houses, its world heritage cathedral (classed by UNESCO) is a great place to visit.At Pau, Henri 1V's château will bring history to life, and the view over the Pyrenees is truly spectacular.