The best things to do and see in the Aspe Valley

Lescun
The best things to do ...

The Aspe Valley is part of the trio of Béarnaise valleys that extend to the foot of the Pyrenees, along with that of Barétous and that of Ossau. You will appreciate the breathtaking panoramas of the mountain ranges. But also a multitude of fun and family activities: hiking or cycling, rafting and canoeing, parks with many animals, picturesque villages and much more!

Read our articles on the Barétous Valley and the Ossau Valley to organize great stays in these exceptional natural sites.


Photos of the article Guide to Béarn Pyrenees

The most beautiful villages in the Aspe Valley

Béarn is a region of traditions and pastoralism is still rooted in Béarn culture. The people of Béarn are authentic and friendly. They are attached to their heritage and have been able to preserve it over the centuries. To better discover the region, here are the most beautiful villages in the Aspe Valley:

  • Lescun and its exceptional circus: It is located on the borders of France, near the border with Spain. It is a charming village, surrounded by forest, at the foot of a mountain. The village offers you an incredible view of its circus.
  • Borce, in the heart of a natural park: Surrounded by the Col du Saoubathou and the Pic d'Aillary, it is an impressive landscape that you will contemplate from the village. The town is home to the Parc'Ours, an animal park on the fauna and flora of the Aspe Valley.
  • Accous, near the Gave d'Aspe: Accous is a town on the banks of the Gave d'Aspe. Its environment is very natural and conducive to walking. Don't miss a visit to the Saint-Martin church, rebuilt in the 18th century. It is also the starting point for a beautiful hike to the Col d'Iseye.

Read our article on The most beautiful villages of Béarn, hidden in the hollow of the Valleys, at the foot of the mountains or at the top, they are magnificent.


Accous
Borce


Hiking in the Aspe Valley

Hikes in the Vallée d'Aspe will make you discover breathtaking landscapes on the steep cliffs of the Pyrenees, the mountain lakes and the meadows at the bottom of the valley. If the climb to the peaks and passes requires good physical condition, the walks in the forest on the plateaus are easy to access and family friendly. We have selected a few routes of different levels:

  • The Fort du Portalet: It is located in the town of Etsaut, near Urdos. The 7 km hike that leads there is one of the must-sees. You will take the Chemin de la Mature, from the Pont de Cebers, along the Gave d'Aspe. You will climb up to 1300 meters in altitude and the climbs are quite steep.
  • The Ansabère huts: From Lescun, a 10 km loop, on a passable and fairly easy to walk path, leads you to traditional huts, typical of the Pyrenean heritage.
  • The Lac d'Estaens loop: This is a 10 km route of medium difficulty. You will have to take the Chemin des Échelles to discover this very beautiful lake. Other lakes are also nearby.

The most beautiful hikes in the Pyrenean Valleys of Béarn.


Path of the Matûre, Fort of Portalet
Path of the Matûre, Fort of Portalet


Climbing mountain passes

The mountain passes of the Aspe Valley have the particularity of being very close to Spain. Sometimes you can even take the opportunity to cross the border! The passes of Somport and Hourataté are particularly famous. The main passes in the Aspe Valley are:

  • The Col du Somport: This mountain pass, straddling Spain and France, culminates at 1632 meters above sea level. The length of the road from Accous is 28 km and takes you to the ski resort. If you decide to get on your bike between May and September, you will probably see snow there. The climbs are of variable intensity and balance out as the ride progresses.
  • The Col d'Hourataté: This course of 9 km and a height of 1021 meters is of a fairly sporty and difficult level. You will leave from Bedous. The panorama on arrival at the Col d'Hourataté really deserves this effort.
  • The Col de l'Abérouat: From Lescun, this is a long road of 17 km! Its steep slopes, with strong drops make it a difficult route. Make the most of every break… You'll need it to get to the end!

The best mountain passes in Béarn by bike. They will not resist your pedal strokes!

Go rafting and canoeing on the Gave d'Aspe

The Gave d'Aspe is a very famous fishing spot. But you can also go canoeing with the family. The Aspe Valley is very natural and wild. It is a feast for the eyes to admire it over the water. Some portions are also suitable for rafting. You will find courses for beginners and some are more sporty.

Photo © Rafting 64
Rafting 64 offers descents on the superb Gave d'Oloron, from Navarrenx and Sauveterre-de-Béarn - Photo © Rafting 64

Canyoning

Canyoning is a sport that is still little known but which is becoming more democratic. Because if it requires a good physical condition, it does not require a big training. Some routes look like nature walks, which combine descent on a natural toboggan, walking, swimming... Others require you to have climbing knowledge or at least know how to abseil... In any case, it's is a white water sport very popular with families.

Photo © Experience Canyon

Photo © Experience Canyon

Family visits in the Aspe Valley

The Parc Ours de Borce is an animal park, near the Col du Saoubathou. You can take a walk in the middle of nature, among the animals. You will observe marmots, but also bears, of course. It is a magnificent observatory on the fauna and flora of the Aspe Valley.

Read our report on Le Parc'Ours de Borce.


Bear Park - Photo © Lesley Williamson
Bear Park - Photo © Lesley Williamson


The Ludopia space is an ideal site for a family outing. This amusement park is very original, with no less than 30 modules. They allow the youngest to explore and apprehend the 5 senses. The older ones will develop their balance, have fun with wooden games, exercise their brains...

Photo © Espace Ludopia
Photo © Espace Ludopia


The Notre Dame de la Pierre Ecomuseum is a historic monument, which houses a fine collection of old and traditional objects. Whether you like arts and crafts, archeology and history, or the nature and environment of the Aspe Valley, you will find all the answers to your questions there!


We hope that this walk in the Aspe Valley has charmed you and made you want to discover it during your next vacation in Béarn.


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