Hautes PyreneesPress info 22 July 2013

After the rain last month which caused terrible floods, the Hautes-Pyrenees have re-started their summer, the clean-up is almost complete and here are 10 fantastic reasons to visit the Hautes-Pyrenees this summer:

 1.Visit the highest observatory in Europe at the Pic du Midi

At 2877 metres above sea-level, the Pic du Midi is the most exceptional place to view the complete panorama of the Pyrenees and the plains of SW France. The highest observatory in Europe, the Pic du Midi, founded in 1880, offers fantastic opportunities for astronomers and stargazers.  For an incredible experience, sleep the night in the Observatory and mountain bike down at sunrise. 1800m descent.

NEW – for 2013 Pic du Midi will be awarded the RICE label –“Réserve Internationale de Ciel Etoilé” for its clean air and stability of atmosphere.

Offer: 2 days, 1 night half board at the summit of Pic du Midi : £332 double, £220 single

2. Bathe in Donkey Milk Cleopatra-style at Aquensis

There are eight spas in the Hautes-Pyrenees and a visit to one of these spas is integral to a holiday in the region. Aquensis in Bagneres-de-Bigorre offers a ‘Donkey’s milk’ bath, where the benefits of donkey’s milk can be experienced in a private spa bath. Donkey’s milk is loaded with vitamins and purifies the skin.

Offer: 8 days, 7 nights Spa Tour: Half board 3-4* plus entry (2h) into 7 spas in the Hautes-Pyrenees: Aquensis, Balnéa,  CIELéO, Le Jardin des Bains, Les Bains du Rocher, Luzéa and Sensoria. £500pp

3. Drink Madiran wine

Visit Chateau Montusone of the best Madiran wine producers of the Pyrenees, frequently in the World’s top 20 wines.  Elegant and modern wine produced by one of the best winemakers in the world, Alain Brumont. Wine tours and wine tasting sessions with viewing points from treehouses around his vineyards towards the Pyrenean peaks. Or visit during the wine festival from 14-15 August when the village buzzes with wine tasting at every street corner.

Offer: 2 days, 1 night 3* half board, lunch with wine tasting, breakfast at “Château Montus et Bouscassé” and wine tour. £106 pp

4. A night in the trees

Escape reality – stay in a treehouse , bliss for adults and children alike. Views to the peaks of the Pyrenees and south facing terraces. Outdoor hot tubs for relaxation, together with light wood and  chocolate and turquoise interiors.

Offer : 2 Days , 1 night half board :£73 pp

5. Visit the Cirque de Gavarnie

The Cirque de Gavarnie is a UNESCO World Heritage site easily viewed after a 15 minute walk from the village of Gavarnie. It is an extraordinary natural arena whose summits reach over 3000m with a stunning waterfall  dropping  420m over the walls of the Cirque. Gavarnie is often referred to as the ‘Chamonix of the Pyrenees’ a mecca for climbing in summer and ice-climbing in winter.

Offer : 6 days, 5 nights 3* half board  (3 nights France, 2 nights Spain) with 5 days of guided hiking with luggage transfers £681pp

6. New Event  -‘Hautes Routes Pyrenees’

The NEW Haute Routes Pyrenees, a road biking event from Barcelona to Biarritz takes in the Hautes-Pyrenees including time trails in Hautacam and two nights in Argeles-Gazost from 4-7 September. Fun atmosphere or rent a bike and try the Hautacam section.

www.hauteroutepyrenees.org  1-7 September 2013.

Offe : 3 days, 2 nights  2* half board , space for bikes £106 pp

 7. Night ride 14km Luz to Luz: 5 August 2013

Starting at 9pm in the village of Luz Saint Sauveur, cycle the 14km to the mountain village of Luz Ardiden, reaching a final height of 1720m.  Over 1000m of climb! This night ride replaces the two scheduled night bike rides cancelled due to damage to the road at Col du Tourmalet after the floods.

Offer: 2 days , 1 night 2* B&B with an entry into the night ride and a ‘riders pack’ £68pp

8. View 16th Century frescoes at Mont Saint Calixte

The Saint Calixte church in the Louron Valley is the finest example of Romanesque art in the area and dates from the eleventh century, dedicated to an Aragonese martyr. Legend has it that this Spanish nobleman and his companion Mercurial  died helping the Louron people fight the Moors. The Romanesque church at Mont has frescos from the sixteenth century including a superb representation of hell on the façade. The church is classified as a historical monument.

Offer: 8 days, 7 night at the residence Lagrange Prestige (studio) + 1 Louron family pass’  (unlimited access to the Ludeo water park and chairlift at Val Louron plus preferential rates on many activities) £644 per family

9. Bungee Jump – the only place to jump in the Pyrenees

En route from Luz Saint Sauveur to the UNESCO site at Gavarnie, stop off at an authentic Napoleonic bridge, the only place in the Pyrenees where it is possible to Bungee jump, 80metres down!

Offer: 2 days , 1 night 2* half board plus one bungee jump £103pp

10. Tango in Tarbes

The International Festival ‘Tarbes en Tango’ from 17-25 August 2013 offers nine days of dance and music for all, beginners or experts. Showcasing internationally renowned Maestros – Argentine tango shows specially created for Tarbes, orchestras with international reputations all creating lots and lots of possibilities to dance –from milongas (dance nights) to apero-tango on the terraces of the local cafes -into the early hours! www.tarbesentango.fr

Offer: 2 Days , 1 night 4* half board with entry in to the Tango Festival £115pp


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 Vanessa Fisher

Travel & Outdoor PR Consultant

00 44 7957 618525