Around Bareges

You will find Bareges both friendly and inexpensive, a pretty Pyrenean village nestled amongst dramatic mountain scenery. The village dates back to the 14th century when the spa waters were first discovered, it was during the 18th and 19th centuries that Bareges was to play its role in the golden era of spa resorts in France. Napoleon sent his wounded troups to Bareges to benefit from their remarkable curative properties, today the spa baths specialize in relaxation rather gunshot wounds! We thoroughly recommend the Thermal Baths where you can pamper yourselves with jacuzzis, saunas, thermal baths, a pool and massages after a day's skiing or walking. The thermal baths are still a popular destination, visited by "curistes" in spring and autumn, which sees holiday-makers return year after year.

Bareges in winter is not just a magnificent ski area... take a stroll to St Justin for suberb views over the valley, try a local Pyrenean dish in front of a log fire at a local auberge, enjoy the relaxed and informal nightlife in any number of local bars, and experience the warm welcome to be found in the Pyrenees...

Our holidays are based in Les Sorbiers a fine period Napoleonic building in the heart of the village, which we have sympathetically restored and modernised to the level expected of high quality family run hotels throughout the Pyrenees.

Bareges is a traditional mountain village; nestling in an impressive, steep-sided valley and surrounded by towering 3000m peaks. The village is part of the Tourmalet ski resort - a perfect base for winter skiing, and wonderful in summer for walking, cycling and multi activity holidays.

Bareges is now known principally as a winter ski destination, as part of the Tourmalet ski area - the largest ski resort in the French Pyrenees. In Summer Bareges is a perfect base for mountain activity holidays; walking, cycling and mountain biking, paragliding, pony trekking, caving and watersports everything combined in a multi activity holiday!

Bareges is surrounded by beautiful meadows and woodland, and guarded by towering snow-capped mountains. Despite the idyllic rural setting, Bareges has good road access year-round and the village has plenty of shops and facilities. There are several ski and sports shops for convenient ski and snowshoe equipment hire, two bakeries, a cash point, post office and small supermarket. For families, there is an outdoor swimming pool in summer and childcare facilities during the school holidays. The local ski school (Ecole de Ski) is particularly good with children and our children ski with them too. Bareges has plenty of hotels and restaurants offering good local cuisine, and some lively bars. Our local "Le Richelieu" is owned by the Sabathie family who also have the village butchers! The village is lively in the winter, but is a family friendly ski resort. Many people ski here to get away from the crowded Alpine resorts and experience the ambience of a traditional mountain village. The local people are very friendly and welcoming, and the prices are inexpensive.

Bareges is part of the Bareges-La Mongie Tourmalet ski area and has plans for a new fast lift direct from the village within the next few years. In the meantime, the village is well-served by a free ski bus service - running up to the ski resort every 10-15 minutes. The main lift departure area is only 2km ride - five minutes on the ski bus, and most weeks of the season you can ski right back to the village on a lovely green run beside the river, or a blue piste which zigzags down through the woods above the village.

Bareges is also known as a destination for walkers. The GR10 long distance walk traversing the Pyrenees from Atlantic to Mediterranean passes right through the village, and Bareges is right on the edge of the Neouvielle Nature reserve and the Pyrenees National Park. There are numerous lovely walks direct from the village and the famous Cirque de Gavarnie, a world heritage site, and the lovely walks above Pont d'Espagne in the neighbouring valley of Cauterets, are just a short drive away. Les Sorbiers specialises in guided holidays (see specialist weeks), led by either by ourselves, or English speaking, specialist qualified Mountain guides that have live here full time and know the area better than anyone else.
Cyclists flock to Bareges in summer to attempt the legendary ascent of the Col du Tourmalet. The Tour de France passes through Bareges virtually every year, and the challenging climb is always a highlight of the route.