Top things to do

Top Choice Wildlife Reserve in The Pyrenees

Parc Animalier des Pyrénées

Around 12km south of Lourdes, off the D821 near Argelès-Gazost, this fantastic animal park is home to many species that were once commonly sighted across the Pyrenees. The animals live on special ‘islands’ designed …
Top Choice Viewpoint in Vallée des Gaves

Pic du Midi

If the Pyrenees has a mustn’t-miss view, it’s the one from the Pic du Midi de Bigorre (2877m). Once accessible only to mountaineers, since 1878 the Pic du Midi has been home to an important observatory, and on a cle…
Top Choice Cave in Vallée de l’Ariège

Grotte de Niaux

Most people know about the prehistoric artworks of the Dordogne, but far fewer realise that ancient painters left their mark in caves all across the Pyrenees. Halfway up a mountainside about 12km south of Foix, the …
Top Choice Cave in Lourdes

Sanctuaires Notre Dame de Lourdes

The spiritual centre of Lourdes is the subterranean grotto where Bernadette Soubirous is believed to have experienced her visions in 1858. From the Porte St-Michel, a broad boulevard sweeps towards the gilded spires…
Top Choice Market in Vallée de l’Ariège

Marché de St-Girons

In the village of St-Girons, a massive market spreads along the riverbank every Saturday throughout the year. If you're in the area, it's well worth fitting it into your itinerary. You'll find beautiful fruits and v…
Top Choice Gastronomy in Lourdes

Le Viscos

Ex-TV chef Jean-Pierre St-Martin has established his own gastronomic hideaway in St-Savin, 16km south of Lourdes. Known for blending Basque, Breton and Pyrenean cuisine, as well as his unshakeable passion for foie g…
Cave in Vallée de l’Ariège

Grotte du Mas d’Azil

Twenty-five kilometres northwest of Foix, near Le Mas d’Azil, this rock shelter is famous for its rich finds of prehistoric tools. Visits are by guided tour, which take you through underground galleries and describe…
River in Vallée de l’Ariège

Rivière Souterraine de Labouiche

Deep beneath the village of Labouiche, 6km northwest of Foix, flows Europe’s longest navigable underground river. Discovered in 1908 by a local doctor, it’s been open to the public since 1938. Barge trips lasting 75…
Chateau in Pau

Château de Pau

Originally the residence of the monarchs of Navarre, Pau’s castle was transformed into a Renaissance château amid lavish gardens by Marguerite d’Angoulême in the 16th century. Marguerite’s grandson, Henri de Navarre…
Middle Eastern in Pau

La Fiancée du Desert

Colourful tapestries, fairy lights and Moroccan lamps set the scene at this rustically chic spot that seems to be everyone's favourite eatery du jour. The small plates are best – order a platter with tabouli, hummus…