From the foothills to the Aspe and Ossau valleys, passing through the vineyards of Jurançon, your path will cross medieval cities, valleys, rivers (here called “gaves”), pastoral villages, and perhaps THE path, the path of pilgrims walking to Saint Jacques de Compostela. Pau, the capital, combines all of the region’s assets, full of English charm and Occitan flavors … to guarantee a change of scenery and total relaxation.
Capital of Béarn presiding over the Pyrenees, Pau is the birthplace of Henri IV, the most popular King of the French who put an end to the religious wars and to which we associate the famous Poule au Pot - star of béarnaise gastronomy. Pau is also a modern city, great for shopping or relaxing at Beaumont Palace casino. We say the city has a certain English charm. It is true that Agatha Christie liked to visit here and we must remember that the first golf course in continental Europe was established here in 1856 … yes indeed!
The castle where Henri de Navarre, future Henri IV, was born. It houses a national museum where one can discover in particular richly decorated apartments and splendid Gobelins tapestries.
To do, to see
Discover the city, its gardens and its famous Boulevard des Pyrénées in a carriage from the national horse farm of Pau - Gelos.
Experience the excitement and thrills at the Eaux Vives Stadium. A unique experience in an exceptional location, on the Pau river. The outdoor course is suitable for all ages and all levels.
It was of course the favorite wine of King Henry IV, who tasted it for the first time at his typical Béarnaise baptism, when his grandfather rubbed his lips with a clove of garlic and a little wine … A wine that is both flavorful and lovely to look at, on the vine in circus vineyards – out of the ordinary! - like in the bottles with green and gold shades. The Wine Route of Jurançon is the occasion for a lovely promenade through the hills.
A tasting visit at the House of Wines and of the farms in Jurançon upon request. It is also a cultural centre hosting fairs, concerts and of course festivals celebrating the region’s wine in December.
It’s time to reveal that the “Basque beret” the French accessory par excellence, is from Béarn! Oloron is the capital of the beret, because they are still made there in the purest tradition – which does not stop them from being trendy. Other attractions in this land of art and history at the confluence of the Aspe and Ossau mountain rivers: the Sainte-Croix church and the Sainte-Marie Cathedral from the twelfth century.
Saint Blaise Hospital
Located on the route to Puy en Velay on the paths leading to Saint Jacques de Compostela, the church has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its unique architecture in France, where Romanesque art and Hispano-Moorish art meet.
Salies de Béarn
Salies, city of salt. In the middle of Béarn? Yes, the Saleys and other rivers in the area are filled with salt. Valuable resource for food preservation, including the famous Bayonne ham, salt is also beneficial for the body. The Moorish-style spa typical of the nineteenth century, will welcome you for a peaceful break. For a more active outing, rafting in the mountain rivers (or “gaves” as they are known locally), hiking on the Pain de Sucre [Sugarloaf] … And if you like the charm of old villages, art galleries and good restaurants, you will soon feel at home!
To do, to see
Its architecture and history make Orthez a must-see in Béarn because until the fifteenth century it was the capital of Béarn and Prostestantism. And one says that it was a humanist refuge.