Places Of Interest
There are many places of interest within easy reach of Chalet Hay. Listed below are some of the key attractions and there are many more to be discovered!
Bagneres-de-Biggore – Relax in a café off one of the side streets such as the Pause Café that does really delicious drinks and chocolate fondue. The Saturday market is a great way to take in the atmosphere of this picturesque town at the foot of the valley and shop for some local delicacies. There are also a couple of museums and the tourist office can advise of local events happening during your stay.
Pic Du Midi – Europe’s highest observatory offering fantastic views of the mountains and flat lands, this also includes a museum and has a restaurant and gift shop.
Chateau-Mauvezin – A medieval castle in the Baronnies Valley just 40 minutes from the Chalet and a great day out. Visit the restored museum, tour the Castle then picnic and relax in the castle grounds for the afternoon.
Tourmalet Botanical Gardens – Three beautiful gardens where you can discover the varied and beautiful fauna of the Pyrenees in a stunning mountain setting. Open mid May to mid September.
Pont d’Espagne – Located above the town of Cauterets and in the National Parc des Pyrenees. the Pont d’Espagne is a series of walks which takes in water falls, lakes and fantastic views. A visitor’s center is based in the town at the start of the routes.
Le Gouffre d’Esparros – Situated in the Baronnies Valley in the village of Esparros is this incredible cave system with it’s amazing rock formations and huge chasm.
Les Grottes de Labastide – Again situated in the Baronnies Valley are these amazing caves which are particularly famous for the 14,000 year old cave art. This visit also includes activities highlighting how life may have been in prehistoric times. Open April to September.
Grottes Préhistoriques de Gargas –A series of prehistoric caves that are world famous for the 25,000 year old cave art. Numbers are limited to preserve the drawings so it may be best to book in advance.
Betharram Caves – Beautiful caves which are explored on-board an under ground train.
Grotte de Medeos Caves – An ancient cave system on the edge of Bagneres-de-Biggore, partly explored by boat and partly on foot.
Le Donjon des Aigles – Eagle keepers with daily bird of prey exhibitions in a restored castle setting. Open April to September.
Le Petit Train d’Artouste – Europe’s highest tourist train meanders through the high Pyrenees to the Lac Artouste. Great views to take in and takes around half a day for around 20 euros per person.
Escaladieu Abbey – Beautiful abbey and a lovely relaxing place to stroll around.
Cirque de Gavarnie Brèche de Roland – Visit the spectacular UNESCO world heritage site. The cirque its self is a 1,400m high amphitheatre with a 400m waterfall and a natural gap in the rock above. The nearby Cirque de Troumouse is also worth a visit as part of a full day trip. Only a 1hr 15 min drive from the Chalet. This is FANTASTIC!
Lourdes – The Catholic Mecca gets a whopping 6 million visitors a year. Maybe not quite what you would expect, but a worth a day trip and only a 40 minutes drive from the Chalet.
Pau – A beautiful city with a fantastic mountain backdrop. Great for shopping, eating out and tourist activities, notably the Promenade des Pyrenees.
Biarritz – Spend a day at the beach just 2.5hrs drive from the Chalet. Biarritz is the closest point to the sea for us. Biarritz has some of the best beaches in Europe and is renowned for its top class standards.
Saint Bertrand de Comminges – An 11th century cathedral, roman ruins, archeological museum and walled village add to a lovely day trip.
Parc National Pyrenees – The Chalet is based on the fringe of the national park, the park itself is there to protect the fabulous local wildlife, for example the isard, the marmot, the desman and the lammergaier. The park is accessible to all and can be enjoyed over long hikes or short walks. Just call into the nearest Parc national office located in Luzarden for more information. We LOVE it here!
Aquarium Tropical de Pierrefitte – Found in the adjacent valley this small tropical aquarium is fun for all the family.
Spain – The Spanish border is only an hours drive away, with the historic tourist towns of Bielsa and Ainsa only a further 30 mins and 1 hour away. An absolutely stunning scenic drive and excellent way to explore the Ordesa National Park, taking in the stunning views of the enormous lake.
and a little more relaxed … spot the mannequins in Campan and enjoy a large glass of red!