Pau Béarn Pyrénées
Land of adventure and nature
To live the sport, the nature, the relaxation and the new experiences, the Béarn is an ideal playground. This Green and generous territory offers a wide range of activities and sensations : from the top of the mountains to the center of the cities, from the hike to the practice of a collective sport in the Hall, from the bottom of the Valley of Ossau to the wooded parks of the heart of Pau, water activities at water centres and balneotherapy centres…
The main color of the territory of Pau Béarn Pyrénées is undoubtedly the green.
Whether it is the color of the lawns of Parc Beaumont, like that of the National Park of the Pyrenees, the hillsides of the Jurançon or the Aspe Valley, the farmland and the gardens of the cities, while Béarn is green. Even Pau, the city of “vert-Galant”, is the city of France with the most green spaces per capita!
Pau displays 330 hectares of municipal green space. If we add the national domains of the forest of bastard (291 hectares) of the Park of the Castle (19 hectares) of the wood of the hospital and the Park of the University, we arrive at 650 hectares. Taking into account the number of inhabitants, each Palois has 81 m2 of green spaces.
Originally, this park belonged to the family of Countess Anna de Noailles. In 1898, Henri Martinet, a landscape architect, redesigned it in an English style. From its aisles that converge to the bandstand at its Lake in the Bald Cypress, the Beaumont Park is home to beautiful trees for many centenaries : always green Redwood from California, Cedars from the Himalayas, Araucarias from Argentina and Chile, Judea trees, horse chestnut from the Balkans, magnolias. Bucolic, the pyrenian garden recalls the mountain, its rocks, its perennias, its streams. Nearby, on the south slope, the Théâtre de verdure hosts shows in the summer.
The Park covers an area of 8000 ha in the upper Ossau Valley. In the commune of Laruns, from the South of Gabas to the Spanish border, from the Ayous pass to the Lake of Artouste, it manages and protects the natural environment and all its biodiversity (wildlife, flora, landscapes, sites…). It welcomes and informs the public in its House of the Park and offers numerous activities and events in season.
Discovered in 1953, in the heart of the limestone mountains of Haute-Soule and the Barétous, between pays-Basque and Béarn, the cave is an exceptional geological site, with volumes out of the ordinary. The gigantic room of La Verna, designed to be visited since 2010, is the largest in the world, it is ten times larger than our Lady of Paris. After the visit of the Hall, a long staircase carved into the rock and the scree allows access to the Weir of the river and to have a panoramic view on the chasm of the Pierre Saint-Martin and on the gallery by which the first explorers arrived.
The Betharram caves are among the most beautiful in Europe. They are located in two departments : it is entered by the Pyrénées-Atlantiques and is evident by the Hautes-Pyrénées. They are visited by boat and by train : the visited part extending over 2.8 km with an impressive elevation of 80 m and the underground course of the river covers 3.5 km. The visitor enters the mountain through a natural orifice, enjoys vast halls rich in concretions, discovers the abyss that connects them to the River following a natural flaw, witness the work of the water, then comes out by an artificial tunnel dug from 1913 to 1924.
The original museographic space is located at the foot of the cliffs of Aste-Béon in the Ossau Valley. Thanks to the cameras placed near the nests, it is possible to observe live the wild vultures and the Egyptian vulture of Egypt, in their nests, from the hatching to the first flight of the young, from the feeding of the small to the flight training. A pedagogical and playful course with 12 rooms on 372m² allows the discovery of life in the mountains, this territory shared by shepherds and Raptors…
In this beautiful Oak Grove with strange shapes, to discover in the trees, 12 paths of increasing difficulties, for the youngest accompanied by the parents, to the most intrepid hungry for thrills. A quieter walk at the foot of the trees, in the forest is also possible, a stroll along the Ayguelongue : this beautiful Brook that winds in the middle of the trees of the forest of the Vert’tiges and invites to take a break under the shade of the old oaks.
If you enjoy the lakeside walks, the great outdoors, hiking, horseback riding or biking, picnics with family or friends, in the mountains or in the valleys, with the massif of the Pyrénées in backdrop, you will never be left , the Béarn is an inexhaustible playground…
It’s a little beach in the mountains ! The recreational area in a green and refreshing setting has rock climbing, games for children, health courses, sports fields, picnic area but also a beach of supervised sand, waterslide, water ski, of a waterjump.
This Lake of 220 hectares allows to admire the panorama on the chain of the Pyrénées thanks to a hiking and mountain biking around the Lake, to fish (by boat, to make the boat (catamaran, optimist, paddle), to explore the didactic discovery course of the basins of nursery.
Pau Béarn Pyrénées and its specific sports
Béarn offers a wide range of sporting practices whether in individual sport, team sport, family or friends, in competition, or for pleasure. Everyone can find an activity that resembles him, from the most classic (sneakers, badmington, rugby, football, handball, tennis, volleyball, Aqua aerobics, sports halls, etc.) to the most original. Some activities, well anchored in the landscape are more than centenaries, while others, more recent, gradually make their place in the heart of the béarnais.
Running is one of the favorite practices of weekends. Each practice in its own way : mountain trails for the most ambitious, the feminine for the engaged, the Greenways for jogging in family, endurance races on horseback for the most seasoned…
Basque pelota, a sport of rare intensity, requires strength, skill and agility. Its followers benefit from exceptional equipment for its practice. The agglomeration has equipped itself with a Jaï Alaï which welcomes all the sports of Basque balls (Cesta Punta, Chisterra, Pelote…).
Golf is a practice imported by the English who dates from the nineteenth century. Pau Golf Club 1856 is the oldest golf course on the European continent. For amateurs like seasoned, 5 Golfs in Béarn Pyrenees: Golf blue green de Pau Artiguelouve, Golf Club de Salies-de-Béarn, golf compact Idron, Navarrenx Golf Club.
Follower of the tour de France, you will enjoy the route of the Pyrénées passes : l’aubisque, Marie-Blanque and la Pierre St-Martin, otherwise the paths of St-Jacques, the route of the vineyards, the mountain biking trails, the bicycle greenways, so many itineraries to travel to two wheels.
The Royal City is a stronghold of fencing in France with the Organization of many French Championships in different categories, but also by the success of its teams. Over the past six seasons, the Pau have accumulated three titles and three silver medals in a sabre team.
The mechanical Center Pau-Arnos is unique by the natural quality of its site placed in the heart of a Green Valley at the foot of the Pyrenees and by its selective configuration. Designed by professional drivers of the auto and motorcycle competition, the speed track, born under the sign of performance and technicality, allows everyone to try at speed and mechanical sports.
Since the Ski Club of Pau was created in 1908 at the station of Gourette, the first resort of the Pyrenees, the Béarn has stopped investing in the white gold. It is possible to practise today Alpine skiing in the stations of Gourette in the ski area completely renovated, but also Artouste, Arette; and in particular the Nordic skiing in Issarbe and Somport. Discover also beautiful snowshoeing or Nordic walking in the beautiful areas of Issarbe, Somport and la Pierre St-Martin.
And to get to the scene, nothing better than the ski bus ! During the season and during the school holidays, shuttle buses are in daily connections between Pau and Gourette, between Oloron-Sainte-Marie and la Pierre Saint-Martin, between Laruns and Artouste.
Pau Béarn Pyrénées and water
If Pau Béarn Pyrenees is a land of greenery, the water is very present to live nature intensely, sportingly or pleasantly.
The gave and the whitewater Stadium range from pairs for thrills. Water bodies are set up to enjoy fun activities for both young and old alike. Swimming pools and water stadiums throughout the entire territory offer all sorts of sporting and aquatic activities. Thalassotherapy and balneotherapy centres are often associated with it to awaken its senses and recharge.
It hosts international Canoe-Kayak competitions, but you can also practice rafting and whitewater sports, and enjoy a lunch at the Club-House terrace with your friends. This pool can accommodate all audiences from the age of eight. Thanks to a flexible operating mode, the water flow can be regulated according to the capacity and the maturity of the users.
This aquatic park, with a green and wooded area of 5 hectares, nestled in the heart of the Béarnaise countryside, not far from Pau and Oloron Sainte-Marie, offers many aquatic attractions such as: wave pool, River with buoys, slides and pentaglisse, boat and boats buffer…
Calicéo is an aqualudic Centre of balneotherapy open all year round. Baths ranging from warm to warm relaxing are equipped with waterfalls, goosenecks, jacuzzi and geysers, a sauna, a hammam and treatments and massages but the centre also offers sports with aquabike or aqua aerobics.