• 10/7/2017 10:00 AM
  • Liu Yang

Destination Fly4free: the French Pyrenees

Places to explore in the French part of the Pyrenees

The snowcapped Pyrenees have always been a source of legend and superstition. This region is culturally varied and less developed than the Alps. The French part of this mountain range offers a gorgeous landscape of high peaks, green valleys, glacial lakes and streams, tiny picturesque towns and sacred pilgrimage sites.

How to get there:
Take a look at the flight deals to the French Pyrenees:

Where to stay:
In Lourdes, we encourage you to stay at 4* Appart’hotel Le Pelerin with very good reviews. This 4-star property is located on the banks of the Gave de Pau River, just 500 m from the Rosary Basilica and 250 m from the sanctuaries in Lourdes. The apartments at Appart’hotel du Pèlerin feature a fully equipped kitchenette and TV with satellite channels. Each one is also complete with an en suite bathroom and a hairdryer and offers views of the Pyrenees, castle and river. You can enjoy the buffet breakfast while reading one of the newspapers from the reception. Free WiFi is available and there is a free public car park 350 m from the property.

In Pierrefitte-Nestalas (3 km from Saint-Savin), we encourage you to stay at Grand Hôtel de France with very good reviews.

What to do:
The Pyrenees Mountains have wonderful hiking trails through forests and gorges, past streams and waterfalls. This region is perfect for nature walks, especially around the Parc National des Pyrénées, with its 3000-metre-high peaks, forests and wildlife. Take a spectacular hike to Breche de Roland, straddling the French-Spanish border.

The high mountain passes and foothill villages offer some of the most outstanding driving scenery. This region is also a good place to try canyoning.

To wash away stress, go to a spa and have a revitalising treatment or just relax in the pool or sauna.

Soar above one of the valleys on a tandem flight or take a course to obtain your licence.

The spring, when the snow melts and makes its way down the valley, is a perfect time to try thrilling white water rafting.

17 km of old tramway line between Lourdes and Pierfitte-Nestalas has been transformed into a safe and scenic route for cyclists, rollerbladers and walkers.

With numerous ski resorts at high and moderate altitude, it is also a great destination for your holiday in the snow. There are lots of sporting options on offer in 9 ski resorts of the Hautes Pyrenees (Grand Tourmalet, Cauterets, Gavarnie-Gèdre, Hautacam, Luz Ardiden, Piau Engaly, Saint-Lary or Val Louron). Luz Ariden is perfect for snowboarding. If you’re not really into skiing, you can enjoy a range of different activities, such as snowshoeing, dog sledding, night-time excursions, ice climbing and ice diving.

Visit Madiran, a wine producing region located just a 45 minute drive from Bidalet. Chateau de Montus, Domaine de Berthoumieu and Domaine de Bouscassé are a few of the wine producers that you can visit to sample their wines.

Explore the Romanesque churches. Go to the Pyrénées-Bernaises with vine-covered rolling hills and ancient castles.

Take your kids to Parc Animalier Des Pyrenees, presenting a number of regional animals cared for in their natural habitat. The park has been built into the side of a mountain. Take a path in the hills for a chance to admire common animals like the squirrel, marmot and otter, but also to approach foxes, wolves, ibex, mouflons, isards or brown bears within a few meters. It is even possible to touch some species.

For more Destinations Fly4free click here >>>

Start planning your next trip with Lonely Planet’s travel guide >>

Hautes-Pyrénées from Greg Vaughan on Vimeo.

Main photo: Sasha64, Marcus Stevens, Anibal Trejo - Shutterstock
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