Where to ski in Béarn?

Laruns
Where to ski in Béarn?

Béarn is 100% nature and mountains and winter Béarn ski resorts, are very attractive... Did you know that historically the 1st Pyrenean resort is Béarnaise? It is Gourette in 1908, created by a ski club from Pau. We are going to tell you about all the places to go downhill skiing, but also Nordic skiing or simply enjoy the joys of the mountains. Snowshoes, skating rink, pancakes at 4 pm and invigorating meals of mountain and cheese specialties in the evening... Snow holidays in Béarn, we love it!

Post photo op: Sebastian Staines / Unsplash

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downhill skiing in Béarn

Hit the slopes on skis, snowboards or other fun and new machines, it's in Gourette, Artouste and La Pierre Saint-Martin that it happens.

The resort of Gourette has it all

It is the oldest ski area in the Pyrenees, but make no mistake, it has been completely renovated and offers you modern facilities. At an altitude of 2400m, in the valley of Ossau, 120ha and 42 tracks, it is the extent of the festivities that await you. Gourette is a family resort , which has modernized its network of slopes for children and beginners. It's important to find wide slopes , well served by chairlifts, when you start, isn't it? But beware! This is not for all that a resort devoid of sensations, there are still tracks that will give the thrill to experienced skiers and enough to satisfy your freestyle desires with a snowpark. In addition, Gourrette is a certified station which practices selective sorting and promotes renewable energies ...

The little extra of Gourette is that a few kilometers away, there is Eaux-Bonnes and its hot and sulphurous thermal waters. A spa with a water park for the whole family. It is the ideal place to go after a good day of skiing.

Think of the ski bus (FR) during weekends and school holidays, to avoid taking your car, it's more user-friendly and less tiring. For accommodation right next to the slopes, we recommend the hotel La Boule de Neige which has been welcoming mountain lovers for 3 generations.


Gourette
Photo © sasha64 Adobe Stock

The Artouste ski resort, view of the Pic du midi!

Artouste offers you a 150ha ski area, with 17 ski slopes, or 25 km of downhill runs with a smile on your face. Raise your eyes to the sky to see the Pic du Midi ! There are 4 distinct sectors in Artouste:

  • At La Sagette , take the " eggs ", the cable car to reach the beginners sector on foot, with a sledge or your toddlers. Are you new to skiing? This is the ideal place ...
  • In Arracou , there are other blue runs
  • In Seous , this is where snowboarders like to go and have fun at the snowpark. There are also black runs for experienced and red runs to warm up.
  • In Soussoueou , it's quiet skiing, you glide nonchalantly, or enjoy the landscape on the long descents in the middle of the pines.

The station is managed by Altiservice , which manages a total of 4 stations in the Pyrenees. If you are a regular, there is an interesting reduction card to take ... Then take advantage of advantages in other resorts such as Saint-Lary, Font-Romeu and Cambre d'Aze (free insurance, wire cut, family offer ... ). Artouste is definitely a resort for everyone, the whole family will find something to have fun at their level.


It's not just the ski slopes, which will keep the whole family busy during the holidays in Béarn in winter, there is also a whole multitude of activities to do, read our article to find good ideas for activities. to do in winter in Béarn.


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Need accommodation ?

  • How about seeing the Hôtel du Pourtalet , which is just above Artouste? There is even a delicious spa for days without muscle stiffness… The hotel also includes a good restaurant , the Sorbier, with a fantastic view and mountain specialties. Convenient not to come out after dinner!
  • There is also the Hôtel d'Ossau , very well located for walks in the mountains and quick access to the resorts.
  • Camping des Gaves is open all year round and is a landmark for mountain lovers.

Artouste
Photo © olegmit Adobe Stock



Want to bring back a delicious souvenir ? Try honey from the Pyrenees ! La Miellerie de la Montagne verte welcomes you with an interpretation center to learn more about beekeeping and beehive products are qualitative, at Sylvia and Jean-Luc

On the restaurant side, we have several addresses to recommend:

  • In Laruns, there is the Pamplona , which is also a tapas bar. Hmmm a good beer with a charcuterie board to remake the world!
  • Also in Laruns, there is the Ossau hotel restaurant . Honor to local products! But maybe you prefer pizzas? It is also possible ...
  • Le Chalet l'Hermine , to taste local products before or after mountain sports.
  • Le Pourquoi pas , where Isabelle welcomes you in a warm atmosphere, to taste well-cooked regional products

Family resort of La Pierre Saint-Martin

La Pierre Saint Martin resort is located in the Barétous valley , it is a large resort. It offers you a beautiful alpine ski area of 75 ha, on 24 tracks. There is a space for beginners with ski lifts. The rest of the area will also appeal to experienced with modern and fast lifts. There is plenty to sled and have fun in freeride areas. If you like the chalet atmosphere , this picturesque resort is the place to go because it is really pretty ...


The longest blue slope in the Pyrenees is there , it is the Boulevard des Pyrénées! During the holidays, La Pierre Saint Martin comes alive during the day, but also in the evening after the slopes have closed! Evening events are organized, torchlight descents, hikes… Fancy an unusual exploration ? Visit la Verna cave , a huge underground room that can also be visited in winter!

© damian-mccoig--unsplash
© damian-mccoig--unsplash

 

I want to go Nordic skiing in Béarn

You don't like downhill skiing? Do you want to discover other sensations? To simply enjoy the mountains, without putting on your skis? Snowshoes, entertainment, sled dogs and more… Nordic ski resorts await you in Béarn!

La Pierre Saint Martin , this large resort, also benefits from a magnificent Nordic skiing area , the Braca Forest. 25 km of secure and marked trails… Treat yourself to the services of a guide to learn how to recognize animal tracks, follow a trail or understand the nature that surrounds you with his winter coat…

Somport is another Nordic ski resort, extensive and at the heart of a magical panorama. Somport is at the limit of the Spanish border, the domain also extends there. As it is at 1600m, it benefits from good snow cover for its 25 km of cross-country ski trails. For snowshoe enthusiasts, there are 9 km of specially dedicated trails. A great experience to do at Somport? A night in an igloo that you will have built with your hands!


© Stanley-Dai-Unsplash
© Stanley-Dai-Unsplash

Issarbe is in the Barétous valley, it is a large and relatively uncrowded area (take advantage of it !!) with 31km of cross-country ski trails, snowshoe trails and even night hikes! The Nordic or alpine ski slopes of Béarn await you, where will you go on vacation?


Mountain gastronomy

On ski vacation , do you want to enjoy mountain gastronomy ? There are delicious Béarnese specialties to taste in the many restaurants at the foot of the slopes and also in the mountain restaurants .

Read our article on the gastronomic specialties of Béarn , to always know what to choose in the restaurant.


What to eat at the foot of the slopes in Béarn? For starters, a delicious garbure . It is a very complete soup, which can be enjoyed as a starter or accompanied by meat for a full dish invigorating. Based on cabbage , duck with Tarbais beans , it is a very traditional dish, revisited by mountain restaurants. When it comes to meat , we sometimes eat wood pigeon in Béarn , choose this dish in small family restaurants, where it is locally sourced and cooked with expertise . The chicken in the pot is also a specialty that we taste with pleasure, because it is invigorating and it warms . With the Spanish accent, we taste the Pipérade , a dish made with peppers, sometimes spicy and delicious. We taste the pipérade as an aperitif , on toast, or with an omelet.

To find a good restaurant in the ski resort of your choice, consult our “ Restaurant ” section and indicate the location where you are.

Discover the cider houses , a type of restaurant that we often come across in the Basque Country, but sometimes also in the Béarn! All year round, the harvesting producers take care of their apple trees and from December and especially from January to March, they squeeze a delicious cider. Cider from this region is often less sweet than its Breton counterpart and is best served with a savory dish, such as a piece of beef. The cider houses open the doors of their establishments and offer to taste this artisanal cider, just squeezed, accompanied by a simple but delicious meal (the Txotx).


And of course, do you want to bring Béarnais cheese back in your suitcase? In the Béarn there are many valleys and mountains and this is why the herds of shepherds benefit from a delicious herb… and give incomparably creamy milk flavored with thyme. There is sheep , goat and cow cheese to choose from! Taste Ossau-Iraty made from sheep's milk, a cheese that dates back to Roman times. If you like goat cheese, you will find Cabécou in the Béarn Pyrenees. Pérail is a cheese from Béarn and the Basque Country, it is soft and creamy and made with raw sheep's milk. There is also the famous Tomme de Sheep from the Pyrenees, sweet and aromatic at the same time, with its beautiful yellow rind.


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Read our article on Béarn cheeses, with tasting tips . To find a cheese producer , visit a workshop on your way, see our dedicated section.




Did you like this report? Consult the Guide Béarn Pyrénées Blog . Discover others by subscribing to the Facebook page of the Béarn Pyrénées Guide . We also have an Instagram page @guidebearnpyrenees.


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