The Area

This page contains lots of hyperlinks to follow giving additional information to help you plan your holiday with Pyrénées Motorcycle Tours – Relais des Motards.

Cirque de Gavarnie.

Cirque de Gavarnie.

 

The local area is saturated with diverse activities. If you are seeking a relaxing break, the spectacular Parc National des Pyrénées offers plenty of gentle walking routes, which are pretty in all seasons.  Some 30,000 hectares of the Pyrénées have been listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997 and include the magnificent Cirque de Gavarnie which is a must to visit during your stay.

Stroll amongst the snow-dusted pines in winter or feel the sun break through the shady treetops in summer. Watch the charming marmots play on the grassy hillsides, whilst enjoying a tasty picnic from the many quaint village bakeries and patisseries en route. The area is also full of breath-taking waterfalls, and no where better to see them than Pont d’Espagne followed by Lac Gaube, which can either be done on foot (its not too difficult) or chair lift.  At Lac Gaube you be in the very heart of the Pyrénées, you can see Vignemale with its glacier which is the highest of the French Pyrénées summits.

Pont d'Espagne with a plethora of waterfalls.

Pont d’Espagne with a plethora of waterfalls.

Pyrénées Motorcycle Tours – Relais des Motards is also ideally located between several interesting towns, so there is plenty of sightseeing to be found. The nearest historic spa town of Bagnères-de-Biggore was a Roman settlement- famed for its warm waters, which can now be appreciated in the stylish Aquensis spa, featuring an impressive vaulted pool area, marble steam chambers and a rooftop terrace with mountain views. Bagneres is also home to a great golfing range, and the nearby Médous Caves are filled with spectacular stalagmites and stalactites.

Lourdes is a 15-minute drive away, discover the hill-top Chateau fort de Lourdes and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, where Bernadette was said to have been visited by Mary and where holy water flows from the magnificent building’s taps, also the Grottes de Betharram in nearby Saint-Pé-de-Bigorre.

Pau being 45-mintues is a beautiful town to visit with its lovely chateau, formerly used by Napoleon as a holiday retreat, it is home to the famous Pau Circuit, which hosts the annual Grand Prix de Pau and has the oldest golf club in continental Europe dating back to 1856.  Pau is also a good for shopping and from the terrace cafés you get beautiful views of the Pyrénées mountain range.

For the adrenaline junkies, the Gascony district offers extreme sports such as water kayaking/rafting, canyoning, paragliding and fantastic skiing.  The wonderful twisty roads (which reveal a beautiful view round every corner!) are perfect for keen cyclists and bikers. Many of the local mountain roads are included on le Tour de France route and the nearby ski resorts are perfect for all levels.  Just a short drive from the Pyrénées peaks, Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours is ideally situated between some of the best ski resorts in France.

Skiing at La Mongie, the largest ski resort in the French Pyrenees

Skiing at La Mongie, the largest ski resort in the French Pyrenees

Just a 40-minute drive away is the resort of La Mongie the largest ski resort in the French Pyrénées at 1800m at the foot of Pic du Midi. With a wide variety of pistes La Mongie offers a wealth of runs to guarantee a fun day!  There are 2 ski schools available, with multi-lingual staff and contained nursery slopes. The resort features a selection of cafes and traditional French restaurants, and there is also a tourist information centre and plenty of equipment-hire shops.

La Mongie has a great range of beginner slopes, but offers some spectacular blue, red and black runs, one reaching nearly as high as Pic du Midi, which you can also access by gondola. A lift-ride over the valley takes you to Baréges, a neighbouring village with fantastic nursery slopes and plenty of scenic, tree-lined green runs. There are also some challenging red runs and fast blue pistes. Skiing in the Pyrenees is a very laid-back affair, without the noise, queues and nightclubs of the Alps.  Up to date information on skiing in the Hautes-Pyrénées can be found on the N’PY web site.  See our blog too Le Grand Tourmalet …..

This article recently published in The Guardian – Skiing in the French Pyrénées: Who needs the Alps?

Fashionable Biarritz for surfing and bathing.

Fashionable Biarritz for surfing and bathing.

The fast and direct roads make it easy to travel slightly further, so you can also enjoy the surfing and sunbathing at fashionable Biarritz or the more traditional Basque sea side town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz with its traditional white painted houses and green or red shutters.  Even hop over the border to Spain for a different view of the Pyrénées!

With an average of 300 days – 2,000 hours of sunshine a year, the Midi-Pyrénées is one of the sunniest regions of France. The village has a very moderate climate compared to the extremes of the nearby mountains and beach resorts, which are just a short drive away. But even in summer, the high altitudes in the Pyrénées mean that it still gets chilly, so it’s recommended that you pack for cool and hot temperatures if you plan to make use of both the mountains and the lowlands.