The most beautiful hikes in the Pyrenean Valleys of Béarn

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Do you want a nature holiday in Béarn and are you looking for hiking routes to discover the lands of Béarn? The Béarn is crossed by the main routes of the Ways of Saint Jacques de Compostela. You can take the trails laid out and marked out for Grandes Randonnées. Whether you are tempted by the pretty walks on the hillsides of Vic-Bihl. Whether you want to take up the challenge of the passes and peaks that culminate in the Pyrenean valleys. Or whether you prefer to roam the forests of the Pays de Nay. There is something to satisfy all your desires in the region. Put on your walking shoes, we reveal our favorite hiking trails in Béarn!


Photos of the article © Guide du Béarn Pyrénées


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the Great Hikes on the roads of Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle

The Ways of Santiago de Compostela have been used since the 9th century. Suffice to say that it is a safe bet for hikers from all over Europe. They are very well laid out and maintained. The markup and the advice provided by the tourist offices are of high quality. On the road, you can admire a very interesting religious heritage. In addition, you will find, in the stopover towns and villages, information, equipment and adapted services.

  • The GR10 passes through the Massif de la Pierre Saint-Martin and the Pyrenees National Park. The mountain views are breathtaking.
  • The GR78, on the Voie du Piedmont , takes you through the Ossau and Aspe Valleys. You will follow the Gave d'Ossau there, through landscapes of meadows. This is the ideal way to discover the tradition of pastoralism in Béarn.
  • The GR653 on the Voie d'Arles, also called "Via Tolosana". You will follow the Gave d'Aspe and its valley. This is an opportunity to learn about white water sports: Canyoning, rafting, canoeing...

    Learn more? Go rafting and canoeing in Béarn.


    Learn more? Go canyoning in Béarn.


    Pierre Saint-Martin

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    Hikes in the Ossau Valley

    The Ossau Valley is a natural and wild site. It is protected by the Ossau Valley Nature Reserve. It brings together different environments, with cliffs, passes, grazing meadows. The fauna and flora is very typical of the Pyrenean valleys and very rich in biodiversity. Here are some cool hikes:

    • The Ossau Valley Nature Reserve occupies 83 ha. It is crisscrossed with paths, which allow visitors to observe many animals, including griffon vultures.
    • The Plateau du Benou is a favorite site for families, as it abounds in activities: hiking, Nordic walking in winter, horse riding... It is near the Col Marie-Blanque.
    • La Falaise aux Vautours: This is a tourist site and an observation point for vultures, which come to nest along the cliff. A 12 km hike takes you there, starting from the village of Aste-Béon. It is long, with a lot of elevations.
    • The Col de Marie Blanque: It connects the Valley of Aspe and Ossau. Mountain trails will guide you to the top. The road is also passable by bicycle. Its view of the Pic du Midi du Bigorre really deserves its ascent.

      Learn more? Between Bielle and Escot, we recommend climbing the Pic d'Escurets.


      Benou Plateau  Benou Plateau

      Walks from Lake Artouste

      Lac d'Artouste is a large mountain lake in the Ossau valley. It is fed by the rivers of Soussouéou, Arrémoulit, Arious and other small streams. It is an exceptional site, ideal for walking, especially in summer, because the environment remains cool. Several hikes allow you to access it. The longest are from Laruns or Eaux-Bonnes. Others leave from the lake and take you to other equally pleasant mountain lakes:

      • The Vallon de Soussouéou: This is a 13 km loop through valleys and forests.
      • The Lac de Fabrèges: It is also a loop course, which joins the two lakes.
      • The Lac d'Arrémoulit: You will pass by the Col d'Arious to reach the lake, after 13 km of walking.
      • The Orteig loop: An often snowy path, which takes you through the Col d'Arious, then the Col de Sobe.

        Our good plan To get to Lake Artouste, we suggest you board the Petit Train d'Artouste... Read our article on our train trip to the heights of Artouste.


        Fabrèges Lake - Photo © Lesley Williamson

        Fabrèges Lake - Photo © Lesley Williamson

        Artouste Lake - Photo © Lesley Williamson

        Artouste Lake @Lesley Williamson

        Climbing mountain passes

        L'Ossau, L'Aspe and Barétous are Pyrenean valleys, which stretch below impressive mountains. The passes and peaks of Béarn are very popular with experienced hikers who enjoy the challenge of climbing its peaks.

        • The Col de la Pierre-Saint-Martin: 1760 meters from Arette, 25 km long by road. It is a hike reserved for very good walkers.
        • The Col de Pourtalet: In the town of Laruns, it is on the border between France and Spain. It allows you to cross over to the Spanish side to discover another facet of the Pyrenees mountains.
        • The Pic du Midi d'Ossau is legendary! In winter, its icefall is absolutely beautiful. It houses the highest planetarium in Europe. If you are with family, we advise you to use the cable car of the ski resort.
        • The Col de Marie Blanque: If it is very popular with cyclists, many hikers also walk there. It has rides for all levels, if you're not looking to climb it.
        • The Col de Soulor is an easy circuit, to do with the family. From La Sagette, allow about an hour to reach the gondola.
        • The Col d'Aubisque: A foot race takes place there every year, to change the walk a bit.

          Learn more? And why not try to climb all these passes by bike?


          Our good plan For a change, we suggest other bike rides in Béarn.


          Gourette from Aubrique


          Our guide to Béarn hikes is coming to an end, but there are so many others… We hope to have inspired you with some beautiful Béarn walks.


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          Did you like our article? Find others on our Blog “Do it your way”. Follow us on the Guide du Béarn-Pyrénées Facebook page and on Instagram @guidebearnpyrenees.


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