Hiking in the Ossau Valley: climbing the Pic d'Escurets

Bilhères
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En route for a wonderful hike in the heart of Béarn . Go to the Vallée d'Ossau to discover grandiose landscapes and stretch your legs at Pic d' Escurets . A walk of 2 hours, accessible for all the family and which will make you fall in love with this beautiful region. Put on your walking shoes and get ready !

A hike in the valley of Ossau, at the gates of the Aspe valley

This hike begins at the Col de Marie-Blanque in the town of Bilhères . Less than an hour from Pau, this pass that delimits the valley of Ossau and the valley of Aspe is a legendary place. Did you know that the Tour de France has run here13 times! No wonder that there are many cyclists who come to enjoy the beautiful roads that meander the valley and compete with the demanding slopes that reach, in some places, 14%. Bikers also like these winding laces.

Pic d'Escurets Hiking

The colors are beautiful 

It is possible to park at the sign indicating the pass, but it is better to be early to have room. We crossed the road and left for 2 hours of ride and 400 m altitude difference . We attack the hike with a nice climb, but the effort is ok because the view is already beautiful . The peak is 1500 m high, but do not worry, we're not starting from scratch! In the car park, we are already more than 1,000 m. The first part of the walk is done in a very pleasant undergrowth . We chose to do this hike early in the fall and we saw a multitude of beautiful colorful flowers sporting the course for the enjoyment of walkers.

Pic d'Escurets Hiking

The first part in the undergrowth

Pic d'Escurets Hiking

We saw a lot of flowers on the way

The hike is quite short but the slope is rather steep. No need to be a great sportsman to get to the top. Just take the time, climb at your own pace, take breaks and especially enjoy the scenery. It is very easy to find your bearings by following   the yellow signs that indicate the " Pic d' Escurets Tour ". Today, the weather is beautiful and we are not the only ones to walk around here. Everyone has a smile: the mountain makes you happy!

Pic d'Escurets Hiking

Follow the guide !

My other pleasure on this hike was to find fruit to nibble. No question of testing unknown foods, but rather to savor delicious wild blackberries . If you too are greedy, remember that you have to pick them more than a meter from the ground . Few animals can urinate at this height, if you know what I mean ...

Pic d'Escurets Hiking

Last one for the road

On the way to the summit

Meeting with the fauna of Béarn


In addition to the beautiful flowers , we saw the typical fauna of the Pyrenees , including majestic cows that do not really like to be taken in pictures ... They guard their territories carefully, better to admire them from afar.

Do you see the flock of little white dots in the distance?

We were also able to admire sumptuous vultures , which are much harder to photograph ! On the other hand, to approach them, I advise you to make a turn to the cliff to the vultures . Only 20km from the hike is a fascinating place dedicated to these birds of prey . There are interactive exhibits and vultures can be watched closely without disturbing them, thanks to cameras that film their nests. Great isn't it ?

the vulture cliff

Let's go watch the vultures - Photo credit vulture cliff

For the one that likes animals , I have another address that should please you! Pyrenean Ride offers horseback riding in the Pyrenees for a day trip and even short breaks.

Pyrenees Rides

Photo Credit Pyrénéenne Ride - A ride on horseback to explore the Pyrenees.

A 360 ° panorama

Back on topic. After an hour of walk, we arrive at the summit of Pic d' Escurets . The view is great and offers a 360 ° panorama of the surrounding mountains. In good weather, we can see the city of Pau   , which is however 40km away! More expert eyes may be able to distinguish Bigorre's Pic du Midi, which rises to 2,872m . We would spend hours up there admiring the view and exclaiming. It's so beautiful.
After taking a breath of fresh air and a small snack , we come down quietly by the same path.

What a magnificent view!

The best terrace in the world for a small snack

The last 2 tips before going on an adventure:

  • What to wear? It is best to go with real hiking shoes. Although the walk is short, the path is rocky in some places.
  • When to go? If you go in summer, it is better to go in the morning because part of the hike is done in full sun. In early spring and autumn, the landscapes must also be beautiful with the snow on the heights!

A beautiful relaxing walk

Did you like our story? Find us on the Facebook page of the Béarn Pyrenees Guide , but also on Instagram @guidebearnpyrenees


Article written by Mélanie Oliva for the Guide Béarn Pyrénées


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