Here you are at an altitude of 630m, above the valley and surrounding villages!
Valley of Luz and pretty hilltop villages
From Esquièze-Sère: about 15 min easy walk each way.
From Esterre: about 20 min very easy walk each way.
Since 16 October 1930, this castle has been listed as an historical monument due to its remains.
Take to the skies …
If you want to gain a little altitude, go to the “Château de Sainte-Marie” Castle!
Even if there are only two strong defensive towers, these remains are impressive and give you an idea what life was like during the medieval era in this high mountain valley in the Pyrenees. Here you are at an altitude of 630 meters where you overlook the surrounding villages: Luz Saint-Sauveur, Esquièze-Sère and Esterre. The panorama is as famous as the stones!
A little history...
The castle was built in the eleventh century by the Count de Montblanc, Lord of Bigorre, to keep an eye on the brigands coming from Spain or Barèges.
There are only two towers left of the castle connected by a wall called a “courtine”. The castle takes its name from a chapel called the “Priory of Sainte-Marie”, located below the castle. Abandoned for many years, it was restored in the 1980s and remains a precious witness of the past, listed as a Historical Monument due to its remains.
- From Esquièze-Sère
A short stroll makes it possible to reach Sainte-Marie Castel and enjoy its breathtaking panorama, all the more beautiful at night. Park near “Hotel Le Montaigu” and allow 15 minutes on foot along an easy shaded path.
- From Esterre
The walk is even easier from here and accessible with a pushchair, ideal for toddlers! Park up just before the village bridge, follow the road to Soula and turn left onto the yellow path marked "Château Sainte-Marie”. Walk takes ca. 20 minutes.
- Walking loop
You can park at Esquièze-Sère, walk up to the castle, and down to Esterre and then head towards Luz Saint-Sauveur forming a loop. Possibility to leave Esterre and make the loop in the other direction. Walk takes ca. 1 hour.
Once there, there are two picnic tables and some shady meadows. This is the family walk par excellence, your children can pretend to be knights in a real castle!