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 Baregois. The curative properties of the spa waters were well known to the local farmers, who bathed their animals and the healing properties of the spa waters were first recorded in the 15th century by a farmer trying to help out his favourite injured sheep.
In 1673 a royal cortege first visited the village and benefited from the spa. Spa holidays became fashionable, and in Napoleon III ordered construction of the present-day thermal baths military hospital in 1860. Its warm sulphurous waters first became generally known in 1675 when they were visited by Madame de Maintenon and the duke of Maine, son of Louis XIV. A military hospital was founded in 1760.
During the 18th and 19th centuries the French nobility Popularized Bareges and Napoleon sent his wounded troops here to benefit from the remarkable curative properties of the waters. Today the "Thermes" specialize in relaxation rather than the treatment of gunshot wounds and offer a variety of services; hot baths, jacuzzis, massages, saunas, an excellent way to complement a day in the mountains. The waters are naturally hot flowing from the mountain at 42C. Hopes of a miraculous cure should probably be reserved for a trip to nearby Lourdes, but we guarantee that after a hard day on the slopes skiing or a long days walk, a visit to the spa will soothe tired limbs after a day in the mountains, and leave you feeling invigorated. Not to be missed.