The top 10 must-see visits in Béarn

Pau
The top 10 must-see v ...

Are you planning a holiday in Béarn and wondering how to discover this beautiful region? We have selected for you the most beautiful villages, the most mysterious castles, the most incredible natural sites. Here is our Top 10 must-see visits in Béarn.


Opening photo: The Gave de Pau and the royal city in the background - Photo © Céline Garcia | Adobe Stock

1) The Chateau of Pau

Pau is the former Royal Capital of King Henri IV. Built in the 12th century, on a rocky promontory, it thus had a strategic position for monitoring the river below, the Gave de Pau. This is what allowed it to become the administrative seat of the Navarre kingdom. Today, the Château de Pau is a museum dedicated to this great figure of France. The whole city is worth a visit, for its exceptional heritage and its beautiful Renaissance gardens.

Photo © Lesley Williamson
Photo © Lesley Williamson

2) The Artouste train, travels on the heights of the Pyrenees

The Artouste train, with its 2000 meters of altitude, is the highest small train in Europe! The station of this unique train is located in the town of Laruns. It takes you to the heart of the Ossau Valley, to the high altitude lakes surrounding Artouste. During 10 km, you will have time to admire the splendid panoramas of the Pyrenean mountains.

Come with us, we are going on an adventure for a trip aboard the little Artouste train.


Photo © Lesley Williamson
Photo © Lesley Williamson

3) Asson Zoo and its felines

Asson Zoo is the ideal site for families. It will allow you to introduce children to felines and their lifestyles. This is a small zoo that offers you privileged contact with the animals. It is divided into 6 spaces adapted to these species, for their well-being and to show them to you in an environment as close as possible to their natural living conditions. During your visit, don't miss feeding time!

Photo © Asson Zoo
Photo © Asson Zoo

4) Salies-de-Béarn, the Venice of Béarn

On the border of Béarn and the Basque Country, Salies-de-Béarn is an emblematic village of Béarn des Gaves. It is called "the Venice of Béarn" because of the many streams that cross the town: the Saleys, the Beigmau, the Augas stream, Esperance stream, Montsegur stream, and many others... But it also has amazing salt water springs. A geological curiosity over 200 million years old. There you will find beautiful 17th century buildings, the thermal baths, and the Museum of Salt and Bearnaise Traditions.

Our visit to Salies-de-Béarn, read our report there to prepare for your visit.

We recommend a lunch break or a stay at the Hotel Restaurant Le Lodge in Salies-de-Béarn.


Salies-de-Bearn
Photo © Guide Bearn Pyrenees

5) Navarrenx, the first bastioned city in France

Navarrenx is an architectural jewel which has allowed it to take its place among the "most beautiful villages in France". This 12th century Bastide overlooks the Gave d'Oloron. It is on the Chemins de Saint-Jacques de Compostelle and has a very interesting heritage, in particular the stone bridge, the ramparts and their very well preserved watchtowers , the square of the barracks, the Saint-Germain church of the 16th century…

Read our article and follow us for a tour of Navarrenx, an architectural gem from Béarn.


Photo © Lesley Williamson
Photo © Lesley Williamson

6) The Parc'Ours, an animal park in the heart of the Aspe Valley

The Parc'Ours is an animal park, in the heart of a preserved natural area. It is located in the town of Borce, in the Aspe Valley. If you will naturally see bears there, it is also home to fauna and flora typical of the Pyrenees. You will come across both wild and domestic species, to the delight of the whole family.

Our visit to the Parc'Ours, a report to immerse you before your visit.


Photo © Lesley Williamson
Photo © Lesley Williamson

7) La Grotte de la Verna, a speleological exploration

The Verna cave is a huge underground room, crossed by a river, in the Massif de La Pierre-Saint-Martin. It is located in Sainte-Engrâce, on the Spanish border. An extraordinary visit will allow you to put on a speleologist's outfit and learn about caving. Several options of different durations are available to you. It is a real immersive experience that you will live there.

Photo © Lesley Williamson
Photo © Lesley Williamson

8) The medieval town of Sauveterre-de-Béarn

Sauveterre-de-Béarn is a medieval city. Its heritage is magnificent, among others, the Pont de la Légende, the Montreal Tower, the 12th century church of Saint-André. In the tower, you will find a large model of the city to better understand this fortified complex. The village benefits from a beautiful natural setting, on the banks of the Gave d'Oloron.

Prepare your family vacation in Béarn des Gaves with our article report.


Sauveterre-de-Bearn
Photo © Guide Bearn Pyrenees

9) The fortified castle of Morlanne

In the heart of Vic-Bilh, the Château de Morlanne is the work of the king builder Gaston Fébus. The visit includes the keep, the furnished interiors, works of art and a museum on the history of the castle and its benefactors: the Ritter couple. You can also stroll through its flower garden.

Read our report with video to discover the Vic Bilh and prepare your stay in this charming corner of Béarn.


Vic-Bilh
Photo © Guide Bearn Pyrenees

10) The Kakuetta Gorges, in the heart of the Béarn rainforest

The Kakuetta Gorges are very close to Sainte-Engrâce (in the Basque side of the Pyrénées Atlantique, very close to Bearn), in the heart of the Pyrenean Valleys. This humid forest forms a very exotic universe. A path winds through the forest, along an impressive canyon, nestled in lush greenery. Along the route, you will come across waterfalls, caves and small refreshing lakes. It's an easy walk, about 4 km, accessible to families.

Read our report on the Kakuetta Gorges: A spellbinding walk in the Kakuetta Gorges.


Photo © Lesley Williamson
Photo © Lesley Williamson

This selection of the unmissable sites of Béarn is not exhaustive and we leave you some nice surprises to discover on site.


Did you like our article? Find others on the Blog du Guide du Béarn. Find us on the Facebook page of the Guide du Béarn Pyrénées and also on Instagram @guidebearnpyrenees


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