Luz St Sauveur

Luz St Sauveur

Luz St Sauveur is really two or three small villages that have become one town. The oldest part dates from before the 11th Century and centers around the fortified Templiers church. This part of  town is full of little old cobbled streets, interesting and elegant 17th and 18th century houses and a smattering of bars and hotels. We call this part of town ‘Luz’.  The area of St Sauveur is actually a bit further to the West. In the 18th Century these fine old houses and hotels were built around the Thermal Baths as a health resort. The thermes are well worth a visit.

Then there are a couple of ajoining villages (although there isn’t really any separation any more) including Esquieze Sere  and Esterre. The House is technically in Esquieze Sere because it is just the other side of the river (which runs at the back the garden). In rather typical French style there are two town halls a couple of minutes apart. The Rough Guide sto the Pyrenees and has a useful section on Luz  St Sauveur for further reference, or try the Tourist Office for general information.

Places to See

Luz St Sauveur is at the heart of the French Haute Pyrenees. There is a huge amount to see and lots of activities. See our Summer and Winter pages for ideas or the Pyrenees pages for general ideas.

Food and Drink

Luz St Sauveur has several bars – try the Bar Centrale (hidden, unsurprisingly, in the centre of Luz). You can get a good pizza here to eat with your beer. The Tasca (below the Masion de la Vallee) has Spanish influenced food and a jolly atmosphere or he Terrace Bar is great for breakfasts or simple self service food. There are a few others which seem to have no name so just wander about and see what you can find.

For food try the restaurant at the Hotel Templiers or Chez Christine. It’s possible to eat in all of the hotels (see below) if you book. Or you can get very French style food as takeway from the Marmiton or a hot, ready roast chicken from the butcher’s.

One of the best thing about Luz though is that you can buy great food to cook. There are three butchers – all of which sell local, meat and charcuterie. The area is famous for its lamb which carries an AOC mark. There are two supermarkets and a vegetable shop. On Mondays the market is in town and lots of local producers sell food there. As in most mountain areas, there is excellent hard cheese, cow and sheep.

They do make wine in the Pyrenees. In fact the red wine – Madiran – has been discovered to be the best known for healthy effects on the heart (in moderation naturellement). The local white wine, Jurancon, comes in both dry and sweet. It’s strong and might not impress afficionados of fine wine but a lot of people love it. Both red and white wines have punch and flavour, because the vines have to work hard here to survive the winters.

Hotels

If you have friends or family coming to visit Luz St Sauveur for a while and don’t have room at the House we can recommend that Hotel Templiers run by our friend Sian and Laurent. They are friendly and welcoming and can give lots of information about things to do – or they will just leave you alone if that’s what you prefer.  The Templiers is just opposite the fortified church at the center of town. A nice place to sit outside and watch the life of the town.

Fetes and Animation

Luz St Sauveur and the nearby villages all have a full prgramme of ‘animation’ during the summer. There’s something happening somewhere almost every day in through the summer whether it’s a Bal, a gig, a free circus event, a demonstration of old local farming techniques or a bungee jump off the local bridge. Look around for posters adverstising events or get a list from the Tourist Office. Luz has a Shepherds Choir too – the Orpheon – it’s really worthwhile going to see them sing traditional Pyrenean songs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1M2oyc2ffA

 

Jazz a Luz

Luz St Sauveur has a famous Jazz festival which has been running for 22 years. People come from all over the world to take part or just to listen. Jazz a Luz is run by a co-operative of local enthusiast and each year has a very broad range of live performances all over town. It’s a great atmosphere so if you are a jazz fan consider booking the House as your base for the festival. Music ranges from the extremely avant-garde to trad. Here’s a couple You Tube clips to give you the idea. Check with the organisers for next year’s programme.

 

 

 

 The Town Photo Gallery