Visit Béarn in 7 days

Castet
Visit Béarn in 7 days

Wondering what to visit in Béarn and what are the must-see sites? Where to walk in the Béarnaise region? Whether you want to practice a sport, discover its culture or have fun during family tourist activities… We have concocted a program for you to visit Béarn in 7 days.


Photos of the article © Guide du Béarn Pyrénées

Opening photo: The pretty village of Castet in the Ossau Valley

Day 1 - Visit Pau, the capital of Béarn

It is from Pau, the capital of Béarn, that we will begin this tourist circuit. It is only 85 km from the Spanish border that Pau, a so-called “Royal” city, is located. In fact, it has a very interesting heritage. But it has also become a cosmopolitan and lively city, which offers all kinds of city activities! Without forgetting this warm culture which could well make you fall in love with the south-west of France. Here are 3 must-see sites to visit in Pau:

  1. The Château de Pau: The most important site in the history of Pau, as it is the birthplace of King Henry IV. In addition, its architecture has remained intact over the centuries and it has sumptuous Renaissance gardens.
  2. The Boulevard des Pyrénées: 2km long, it leads from the Château de Pau to the Palais Beaumont. It is bordered by green spaces and you will see the Ossau valley and its mountains in the distance.
  3. Le Parc Beaumont: At the end of Boulevard des Pyrénées, this large park is a place of relaxation for families. You can picnic and rest in the shade of its large cedars. A theater is also located on site.

Read our article to prepare your visit to the city of Henri IV Urban walk in Pau, royal capital. Do not miss, if you are greedy, the discovery of the superb shop of Francis Miot (fr): jams, chocolates, sweets in a cozy tea room atmosphere.


Photo © Saiko3P | Adobe Stock
Photo © Saiko3P | Adobe Stock

Day 2 – Cycling the Pays de Nay

Béarn is a rural and natural region, ideal for cycling trips. Athletes will appreciate the mountain passes and valleys of the Pyrenees. Families will find easier walks in the Jurançon vineyard or the Pays de Nay. We recommend the following itineraries to take full advantage of it:

  • The Pyrenean Piedmont Cycle Route: Known as V81, it is part of a network of cycle routes linking the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. It crosses the Pays de Nay from Baliros to Lestelle-Bétharram, then crosses the Pyrenean Valleys to Bayonne.
  • The Calvary of Betharram: It is a relaxing site, not far from the Caves of Betharram. To reach it, a beautiful 37 km hike takes you through the south of the Pays de Nay, on cycle route 8, passing by the Notre-Dame chapel and the Baburet footbridge.
Photo © CM Studio | Adobe Stock
Photo © CM Studio | Adobe Stock

Day 3 – Hike in the Pyrenean Valleys and survey the mountain villages

The three main Pyrenean valleys are the Vallée d'Ossau, that of Aspe and that of Barétous. Their natural environment is very well preserved, with typical mountain flora and fauna. They are good for hiking. You can also make stops in charming perched villages.

  • La Vallée d'Ossau: The ascent of the passes attract experienced hikers, cyclists and motorcyclists who have fun on the winding mountain roads. We recommend a hike from the Col de Marie-Blanque. Count about two hours of walking. You will see beautiful views of the massif and the mountain lakes. This pass is at the junction with the Vallée d'Aspe.
  • The Aspe Valley: It offers a wide variety of activities: water sports, cycling, hiking, paragliding, or simply discovering nature...

Hike in the Pyrenean valleys.


  • The Barétous Valley: It is located between France and Spain. It is very popular for skiing, because it stays snowy for a long time. You will practice there: alpine and Nordic skiing, but also more unusual activities, offered by the resorts… Its atmosphere is more traditional and pastoralism is well anchored there. All kinds of animation are organized on this theme.

Read our article, organize your stay in Bearn: Visit the most beautiful villages in Béarn.


Marie Blanque pass
Circus of Lescun
The Pierre St-Martin


Day 4 – Practice white water sports in Béarn des Gaves

The Béarn is criss-crossed by the Gaves. The territories located to the west are even nicknamed the “Béarn des Gaves”. It is the perfect place to learn about white water sports. The south of Béarn, in the Béarnaise Valleys, is also privileged for these activities. Whether you are tempted by canoeing, canyoning or rafting, there is no doubt that you will find what you are looking for. Here are the four main Gaves du Béarn:

  • The Gave d'Oloron: It is ideal for an introduction to rafting or canyoning. But it is also a fishing area.
  • The Gave de Pau: You can go rafting with the family, but the level is a little more sporty.
  • The Gave d'Ossau: The rafting is quite sporty. It is a very famous trout fishing spot.
  • The Gave d'Aspe: Canyoning is practiced there at a sporting level.

A "gave" designates a watercourse, in Gascon. They take their sources in the Pyrenean mountains. Some are mountain streams, others are wide rivers. You will come across them in the Béarnaise valleys, in Bigorre, in Soule in the Basque Country and as far as Chalosse, in the Landes. They all join the Gave de Pau, which then takes the name of the Gaves Réunis, before flowing into the Adour.


Day 5 – Wine tourism in Béarn

If you are a lover of good wines, you will enjoy yourself in Béarn. From the fine wines of Jurançon to the astonishing Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh, from the more full-bodied flavors of Madiran to the sweet scents of Armagnac, the Béarnais wine region is very varied and offers you pleasures from aperitif to digestive.

  • Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh: A sweet and fruity white wine.
  • Madiran: A tannic and full-bodied red wine.
  • Jurançon: A sweet white wine very characteristic of Béarn.
  • Armagnac: This is a liqueur, renowned throughout the world.
Vic Bilh


Day 6 – Immerse yourself in Béarnaise culture in museums

Are you looking for history and knowledge? Do you want to enrich your knowledge of the territory of Béarn, its beautiful valleys and its religious heritage? Béarn allows you to explore the lands of ancient kings and lords, to admire objects from distant times, to experience the traditions and customs of yesteryear...

Our tips for visiting:

  • The National Museum of the Domaine du Château de Pau, to link Béarn to its most famous character, Henri IV.
  • The Navarrenx Interpretation Center to better understand Béarnaise culture.
  • The Bénéjacq Foie Gras Museum to delight your taste buds with local sweets.
  • As a family, the Château de Montaner introduces you to the life and craftsmanship of the Middle Ages and it is a very lively castle during the summer.
  • As a couple, the Maison Francis Miot Sweet Arts Museum (fr).

Day 7 – Discover Béarn differently during an unusual activity

Do you want to discover Béarn in all its facets thanks to unusual activities? We offer you some original ideas to spice up your holidays.

  1. Take a roadtrip along the Gave de Pau.
  2. Go back in time in the castles of Béarn.
  3. Awaken your senses as a family at Espace Ludopia.
  4. Climb aboard the Petit Train d'Artouste.
  5. Meet bears in the Aspe Valley animal park: Parc'Ours.


Our last good plan: To sublimate your stay in Béarn, why not relax in unusual accommodation.


We hope that this 7-day visit program has inspired you for your next vacation in Béarn.


the Artouste train - Photo © Lesley Williamson
Photo © Lesley Williamson


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