The surrounding area of Tarbes
Tarbes is the perfect base camp for exploring the area!
You’ll be able to explore the major sights of the Pyrenees such as Lourdes, Gavarnie and the Pic du Midi, classified ‘Grands Sites Occitanie- Sud de France’.
If the superb, unique views leave you speechless, here are some key words to write on your postcards:
magnificent, hospitality, favourite, we’ll be back!
The ‘Marian City’ of Lourdes is well-known across the globe for its Marian apparitions, and exploring the town is a very moving experience. As for the heritage sites, come and discover the fortified castle that houses the Musée Pyrénéen.
During the season, the Pic du Jer can be accessed via a cable car or on foot (if you’re feeling brave), for some breath-taking views of the city and the valley.
Gavarnie and the cirques
The Cirque of Gavarnie is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO, and you’ll be taken aback by the sheer beauty of the area.
This magnificent site can be accessed on foot or with snowshoes in 2 hours.
You can access the nearby Cirques of Troumouse and Estaubé by car. Make sure you always check the weather forecast in the mountains.
Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Tourmalet and the Pic du Midi
Bagnères is a charming little thermal resort with an artistic trail in the town centre. If you’re passing through on a Saturday morning, don’t miss the market!
Follow signs for the Col du Tourmalet to get to La Mongie: the departure point to take the cable car to the Pic du Midi.
At an altitude of 2,877 m, the highest observation site in Europe, you’ll go closer than ever to the stars with an unforgettable view of the Pyrenees. For a magical experience, visit the scientific museum and enjoy your lunch with a view of 300 km of mountains!
On the panoramic walkway suspended in thin air, you are in with the promise of an adventure and can expect a rush of adrenaline. This place is not-to-be-missed while you’re staying in Tarbes.
On the way back, relax in the bubbles at Aquensis in Bagnères-de-Bigorre.
Pic du Midi: picdumidi.com
Cauterets, Pont d’Espagne
With the typical 19th-century architecture, grand hotels and monumental facades, Cauterets is a remarkable mountain village.
From the thermal village, set off along the waterfall and rivers trail.
At the entrance to the Pyrenees National Park, this site at the heart of a bountiful natural environment is the departure point for a family-friendly walk to the Lac de Gaube, with a reflection of Vignemale, the highest peak in the French Pyrenees, in the turquoise-blue waters.
You could end this superb day in the warm waters of the Bain des Rochers thermal spa.
Go to the shores of a lake… that is not too far… and easy to access!
You can access the Lac de Payolle and the Lac d’Estaing by car and then walk around these lakes. Go for a picnic on the shores of the Lac du Tech or the Lac d’Isaby which are both easily reached on foot (suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs).
In Tarbes, you can walk at the Lac de Soues, Lac de Bours, or if you venture a little further away, the Lac de l’Arrêt-Darré.
All about the abbeys… and châteaus
Close to Argelès-Gazost, come and explore a medieval village and its treasure, the 12th-century abbey of Saint Savin. Near the Chapel of Piétât, the view of the Pyrenees is absolutely breath-taking!
Further east, the fortified castle of Mauvezin and the Abbey of Escaladieu are open all year round.
In the north of the department, come and visit the Abbey of Saint Sever de Rustan. West of Tarbes, during the peak season, you’ll enjoy admiring the beautiful 18th-century Château de Gardères.