What to do in Béarn in winter?

Pau
What to do in Béarn i ...

The Béarn Guide has imagined a program of cool activities for you to make your winter stay in Béarn unforgettable. Objective : Forget the gray, the rain and the cold! We are going to spice up your winter holidays… Play sports in the open air and take a big breath of invigorating fresh air, satisfy your curiosity and stimulate your brain, taste and taste good dishes to awaken your taste buds. Let's go for a discovery or a rediscovery of Béarn in a new light!

  Opening : @tamas / Adobe Stock

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Practice a winter sport in the Pyrenean resorts

The Pyrenean mountains and valleys are magnificent. This postcard decoration will undoubtedly make you want to take advantage of the snow to have fun with your family, to do a winter sport or a few walks in the snow-covered forests of Béarn. We set off to storm the Pyrenees, in the heart of the main resorts :

  • The Gourette station, in Eaux-Bonnes, is the oldest station in the Pyrenees. You will find all the traditional snow-related activities there: downhill skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, sledding, etc., but also more fun sports : freestyle skiing, large winter ziplines, Nordic baths and sauna... children are very well received with spaces adapted and reserved for beginners, lessons. There are also activities and unusual outings : meeting a snow professional aboard a groomer, geocaching with Terra Aventura, or even spending the night in an igloo with l'Aventure Nordique.

  • The station of Artouste, in Laruns, is more oriented towards hiking in the snow : cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, Nordic walking. Children can learn to ski, at the Kidpark with lessons led by Pépito, and tobogganing on a carpet. For thrill seekers, don't miss its unmissable icefall to climb!

the good idea After winter sport, you deserve a moment of relaxation and well-being! The Ossau valley is famous for its hydrotherapy. In Laruns, you can enjoy the benefits of thermal waters during a spa, hammam, sauna or treatment session, especially at the Spa & Montagne Institute (fr).


  • Just before the Spanish border, in Urdos, the Nordic area of Somport is a small, friendly, family-friendly ski and snowshoe resort, with a ski school for beginners.

  • In the town of Arette, on the border between the Basque Country and Béarn, the resort of La-Pierre-Saint-Martin offers alpine and Nordic skiing. The Béarn Guide has left for a ski weekend in La-Pierre-Saint-Martin (fr)!

find out more

For a complete tour of the resorts, see our article : “ Skiing in the Béarn ” (fr).


winter in the Bearn

Snow is the No. 1 playground in Béarn in winter!

Discover winter canyoning

Canyoning is a whitewater sport, which is usually practiced in summer. But in Béarn, some professionals offer winter canyoning. It is a very physical and complete activity that combines different disciplines: hiking on snow, abseiling on ice waterfalls, caving, swimming in rapids...

The clubs will provide you with basic mountaineering knowledge, essential for mountain safety, specific equipment, and will guide you on courses, adapted to your level and your physical abilities. If you want to know more, here is our full article on canyoning in Béarn

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Kathaayatraa Canyoning welcomes you to Laruns, near the ski resorts of Gourette and Artouste, to introduce you to winter canyoning. You will see, it is an extraordinary experience!


winter in the Bearn   winter in the Bearn

Canyoning in winter, a very original activity full of adventure, to try with professionals, such as Kathaayatraa Canyoning. Photos @Kathaayatraa Canyoning

Go hiking in Béarn

It's not just winter sports that keep you airy. To recharge your batteries in the heart of nature, hiking, whether on foot or by bicycle, is a good way to recharge your batteries by practicing a gentle but warm sport, while exploring the regions of Béarn.

On foot, we offer three very different worlds to adapt to all your desires of the moment :  

By bike, here are two articles, with itineraries according to your level :


winter in the Bearn

Climbing the Pic d'Escurets, a good idea, but carefully study the access and weather conditions before setting off!

Explore the beautiful villages of Béarn

Lovers of old stones will have their eyes sparkling in front of these authentic villages of Béarn. Crossed by the roads of Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle, the religious heritage is remarkable there. What is also called the “ small heritage ”, made up of wash houses and fountains, mills and ovens, statues and small monuments… reveal the soul of this country. It is particularly well preserved, thanks to the passion and perseverance of these Bearn people, in love with their land. We go to visit the most beautiful villages of Béarn.


winter in the Bearn

Welcome to Oloron Sainte-Marie!  

Sightseeing tours

Many tourist sites are open all year round. We invite you in particular to satisfy your curiosity and to learn more about yourself in the museums of Béarn. Here is a selection by category of museums that welcome you in winter :

  • History : Museum and estate of the Château de Pau, with the life of Henri IV in the background.
  • Local life and environment : Salines museum center, in Saliès-de-Béarn.
  • Arts : Image Center of Orthez.
  • Gastronomy : Foie Gras Museum, in Bénéjacq.

Béarn has known great builders, such as Gaston Fébus and the Lords of Albret, from whom Henri IV came. A small nobility settled on these fertile lands and built many castles and beautiful mansions. We take you in the footsteps of these famous characters, to tell you their stories, through the castles of Béarn, magical medieval tours.


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Taste the mountain specialties of the Pyrenees

All these walks and visits, it digs... It's time to taste the mountain specialties of the Pyrenees. Béarn is a rural and agricultural country, with an authentic and gourmet gastronomy : foie gras, garbure and Tarbais beans, beef and lambs fed in the rich pastures of the Pyrenean valleys, hen in the pot of Henri IV... There are some. for all tastes. Do not miss out on the essential Béarn cheeses!  

Do you like cakes? Read our article to discover the famous spit cake (fr), so typical of mountain cuisine, with its pretty dough pins!  


winter in the Bearn

Spit cake, made at a market in Laruns. Photo @Lesley Williamson

Wine tourism

The Béarn wine-growing region is recognized in AOC mainly for its Jurançon and Madiran wines, the most famous! But also for its appellations “ Vins du Béarn ”, Saint-Mont, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh. This promises you great tastings and oenological discoveries. More and more estates are opening their doors to you and doing wine tourism, something to vary the pleasures around wine... We show you around the cellars and vineyards of Béarn. To go a little further in your knowledge of the Jurançon vineyards : what if we took a road trip on the wine route in the Barétous valley (fr) or a quiet visit to the Gan cooperative?


winter in the Bearn

The Barétous Valley in winter  

Relax in the thermal baths, spa and wellness areas

We played sports, we educated ourselves, we ate well... But vacations are also about relaxing and taking care of yourself. We tested for you a well-being and cocooning stay in Béarn, with spas, jacuzzi, sauna, thermal baths, accommodation and table d'hôtes to enjoy the thermal waters of Béarn in complete serenity!


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We hope that these few ideas will have made you want to experiment with new activities and will allow you to see the region differently, during your next winter holidays in Béarn.

Did you like our article? Find more on our Blog.

Follow us on the Guide du Béarn-Pyrénées Facebook page and on Instagram @guidebearnpyrenees.


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