Pyrenees Accomodation

Pyrenees Accomodation

The Pyrenees is a beautiful range of mountains running 300 miles East to West along the French/Spanish border. Famed for dramatic mountain scenery, spectacular wildlife, tumbling rivers and waterfalls, the hills offer hiking in summer and skiing in winter. Our House is in the 11th Century town of Luz St Sauveur, high up in the Haute Pyrenees.

Wikipedia Says…

In classical mythologyPyrene is a princess who gave her name to the Pyrenees. The Greek historianHerodotus says Pyrene is the name of a town in Celtic Europe.[3] According to Silius Italicus,[4] she was the virginal daughter of Bebryx, a king in Mediterranean Gaul by whom the hero Hercules was given hospitalityduring his quest to steal the cattle of Geryon[5] during his famous Labors. Hercules, characteristically drunk and lustful, violates the sacred code of hospitality and rapes his host’s daughter. Pyrene gives birth to a serpent and runs away to the woods, afraid that her father will be angry. Alone, she pours out her story to the trees, attracting the attention instead of wild beasts who tear her to pieces.

After his victory over Geryon, Hercules passes through the kingdom of Bebryx again, finding the girl’s lacerated remains. As is often the case in stories of this hero, the sober Hercules responds with heartbroken grief and remorse at the actions of his darker self, and lays Pyrene to rest tenderly, demanding that the surrounding geography join in mourning and preserve her name:[6] “struck by Herculean voice, the mountaintops shudder at the ridges; he kept crying out with a sorrowful noise ‘Pyrene!’ and all the rock-cliffs and wild-beast haunts echo back ‘Pyrene!’ … The mountains hold on to the wept-over name through the ages.” Pliny the Elder connects the story of Hercules and Pyrene to Lusitania, but rejects it as fabulosa, highly fictional

Places to See

Luz Sat Sauver is right at the centre of the best bits of the Pyrenees. Luz itself is a great bases for a holiday but we’re also a short distance from some of the most famous places in the Pyrenees:

Gavarnie: a UNESO World Heritage Site and home to the longest waterfall in Europe, the stunning mountains of the Cirque of Gavarnie, and the Breche de Roland – subject of the Chanson de Roland.
Bareges: a small authentic Pyrenean town on the way up to the Col de Tourmalet, the lakes and mountains of the Neouvielle Nature Reserve.
The Pic du Midi: great views across the mountain range from the old observatory. See the webcams here.
Cauterets: a classically elegant spa town built as a resort in the 1800s. Great for thermal baths and swimming

There are lots and lots of things to do – see our Summer and Winter pages for activities and the Town pages for more information about things in Luz.

The Tour de France

Most years the famous Tour De France cycle race – 2000 miles around France – comes through Luz on its way up to the Col de Tourmalet (12km up the road from the village) or to the ski resort of Luz Ardiden. It’s quite a spectacle to see but bear in mind that the roads are shut for the day  to non bike traffic!  But you can watch it as it passes one minute away from the house. More details about race are posted on the official site: http://www.letour.fr/indexTDF_us.html

See You Tube clip about the Tour route up over he Col du Tourmalet. Just up the road from the house.

 

Hiking

The Pyrenees are world famous for walks, hikes and treks. Luz is more or less in the middle of the Pyrenees about 20km from the Spanish border. There’s a huge variety of short local walks around the old villages or along the rivers; day hikes up to some of the most famous mountains and high valleys in the Pyrenees and multi day hut-to-hut treks along the GR10 or the HRP.  If you are an experienced  walker, all the routes are easily accessible. Or your could sign up with our friends who run the excellent Pyrenean Odysseys and join their guided and supported walking holidays. Have a look at their website for ideas: http://www.pyrenees-mountains.com/ and see our Summer pages for more details.

Flying to  the Pyrenees

You can fly to four airports in the Pyrenees: Lourdes, Pau, Biarritz and Toulouse.

Lourdes is the closest to the house – just 35 minutes drive. Flights are available direct from London Stansted with Ryanair or via Paris with Air France.  The next best best is Biarritz out on the coast. You can fly here with both Ryanair and Easyjet  who both operate daily flights. The house is about 2.5 hours drive. Alternatively Toulouse is served by British Airways, Air France and Easyjet with several flights daily. It’s about 3 hours to drive from Toulouse to the House. From Pau the drive is about one and a half hours.

All airports have plenty of hire cars. With careful planning, you can get around by bus, but there  there is very limited public transport in the Pyrenees.

Driving to  the Pyrenees

It’s a long, fourteen hour drive to the Pyrenees from the UK but if you have the time it’s a great way to cross France. Head to Caen in Normandy with Brittany Ferries and then south from there via Le Mans, Tours. Poitiers and Bordeaux. Email us for recommended routes and places to stop off overnight if you want to break the journey.

 The Pyrenees by Train

There are TGV services to Lourdes from Paris. It’s about 5.5 hours but can be a great, hassle free way to travel and works well with an overnight in Paris using the Eurostar if you are coming from London. There are a couple of buses from Lourdes rail station up to Luz St Sauveur but the timetable is a bit thin so get in touch with us if you plan to travel this way so that we can check for you. Alternatively we may be able to arrange a minibus or taxi transfer for you.

Hike to the House!

This is not a completely mad idea ! Yes, it is obviously a very very long way from the UK :-) But Luz is also on the GR10 – one of several Trans-Pyrenean hiking trails. So if you were doing a three week hike, or something like that, and wanted a week long break in the middle you could literally drop in off the mountains to the house and hang out there for a week before continuing East or West.

Pyrenees Photo Gallery

As well as the images in this library, have a look at the Pyrenees Photos community Facebook pages and Googles photo library.