We think the Hautes Pyrenees offers some of the best walking in Europe, close by are the 'Grand Sites' of the range; the three Cirques of Gavarnie, Troumouse and Estaube with their dramatically sculpted sheer faces, the imperious Vignemale, the Neouvielle lakes and the waterfalls of Pont d'Espagne.We describe stunning snow capped 3000 metre peaks as, astounding, amazing, surprising, awesome, vast but still fall many adjectives shy of doing them justice. Or, perhaps, better yet imagine the way Napoleon planted the trees behind Bareges in the 18th century to protect and avert avalanches and landslides away from the village of Bareges and the Col du Tourmalet, at 1250m altitude, Bareges is officially the highest thermal spa village in France. In fact, the existence of Bareges can be attributed to the discovery of its thermal waters by the Baregeois. The curative properties of the spa waters were well known to the local farmers, who bathed their sheep and the healing properties of the spa waters.
The Thermes - Thermal spa. After a 6 million euro refurbishment the Thermes are well worth a visit. Usually open from 1600 daily. You can use the piscine the pool which is a waist deep pool filled with hot sulphurous water to soothe your aching joints after a hard days skiing or boarding. For other treatments such as massages and Bain Hydroxeur and the immersion you will need to book these 2-3 days in advance as they get very busy during holiday times you will need a swim suit for these activities.
Mountain restaurants: - There are several, which we can recommend you visit all which are accessible to skiers and non skiers. La Couquelle is situated on the road between Bareges and the Tournaboup car park open to walkers for lunch and dinner, Chez Louisette in the forest of Lienz is a particular favourite of ours this can be accessed from the Tourmalet road about 2 kms out of the village, get to the end of the road it takes about 5-10mins please stick to the road as there are lots of animals/cattle!!!!!!!
You can explore unspoiled mountain villages where age old farming traditions survive and to this day the hay is cut by hand, discover surprising local history of our local area, the Pays Toy, with its fortified churches, isolated mountain settlements, watchtowers and Napoleonic influences. Visit the Pic du Midi Observatory perched on top of a near 3000m peak overlooking the bareges valley, our crystal clean air provides perfect conditions for the astronomers.
Tour de France comes to the Pyrenees in July. The mountainous terrain varies from the gently undulating plain of the Tarbais foothills to uncompromising mountains of the Tour De France and the road network reflects these differences offering rides of all styles. Located in the Pays Toy this area is an unspoilt region of the Hautes Pyrenees and many traditional methods of farming and tourism mean that this area is not that busy even in the height of summer the Pyrenean chain through south west France along the Spanish border the Pyrenees stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Mediterranean Sea in the east. In between are snow-topped peaks and lush valleys packed with history and culture, where the Tour de France and the famed mountain ascents of Tourmalet and the Aspin take place here during July, in this picturesque area of south west France.