Authentic Villages

Val d'Azun

All the charm of this pretty corner of the Pyrenees...

Val d'Azun
Pretty valley composed of eight villages

Guided tours
during summer

Val d'Azun info center
in Arrens-Marsous

Let you tell the story of their stones...

Let yourself be charmed by these 8 small villages with stone walls and slate roofs, their little streets and Bigourdan houses, their granite door lintels decorated with ancestral symbols, their rustic churches once serving as watchtowers of neighbouring Spain, with their multiple streams – once the true heart of the village, where people gathered around the wash area, the mill, or kept the milk and butter cool in the leytés (small stone construction serving as a fridge).

Arrens-Marsous, gateway to spain
Formerly two parishes and separate towns, there are two churches: that of Arrens entered as an historical monuments *, Gothic style built in the eighteenth century with a crenellated enclosure and a square bell tower. And that of Marsous, with its Romanesque chevet, rebuilt in the 18th and 19th century with a superb bell tower, updated in the 19th century. But the queen here is the historical monument “la Chapelle Notre Dame de Pouey Laün” (Chapel of Our Lady of Pouey Laün) enthroned majestically on its rocky peak, or the "Golden Chapel", an architectural treasure. To visit it, simply ask for the key at “La Maison de Val d'Azun”. The chapel was a pilgrimage high point on the famous St. John's way.

Aucun, architectural treasure

Aucun is a village rich in architectural heritage with a very beautiful architectural offering: the church with two crossed naves from the 11th and 15th centuries, Romanesque doorway to the chrisms surrounded by the paschal lamb and birds, 16th century carved stoup and baptismal fonts, square tower, wash houses and a former presbytery turned Mountain Museum. The town invites you to walk through its narrow streets, listening to the voices of its inhabitants with their sometimes gritty accent thanks to the smartphone app "Chemin de mémoire » (Memory Lane).

Arcizans-Dessus, along the stream

On a glacial shelf, well exposed in Soulane, Arcizans-Dessus offers a curious succession of water mills spread along the Gave (river) which were used to mill the various cereals produced in the valley. One of these mills has been kept in working order and is open to visit during the summer months. Also discover its Romanesque church with chrism, porch, carved lintel and polygon turret.

Arras-en-Lavedan, village with Artitude

The village defends the entrance to the valley. Above the village stand the ruins of Castet Naü, currently undergoing restoration. Arras has many curiosities: a church listed as an historical monument with its gothic door filled with cagots, rectangular steeple bell tower, 14th century virgin and child, former presbytery and circular tower turned Art House. Arras is above all a village of artists who have filled their streets and meadows with original artworks to be discovered while taking a stroll.
Ipad tablets with the App "Arras Village d'Artitude" available on loan and maps available at the post office, Town Hall and “La Maison des Arts”.

Bun, on an icey ledge

The village is at the fork of the Arrens and Estaing valleys. The painted and gilded wooden altar of the old church was preserved in the current church built in 1905. The chicken coop dating from 1820 in the courtyard of the town hall, is remarkable.

Estaing, beautifully spread out

This commune is a scattered settlement and has a 14th century church. It was formed late on by the unmarried sons and daughters (of Aucun and Bun) who had not yet married and who had older siblings with a birthright as first born to inherit all the families property and possessions. It is the rallying point for transhumant herds and shepherds towards Lake Estaing from where they reach the high pastures.

Gaillagos, speckled

"Gailhat" means "speckled cow". One of the first lords of this village, among the oldest and sunniest in the valley, created a very famous dairy cattle breeding centre here. The wealth of Gaillagos comes from the manufacture of knitwear. Romanesque church, remodeled in the 17th and 18th centuries; magnificent view over the Gave d'Azun valley.

Sireix, royal village

On the mountainside, near the hiking area "Curadère-Cabaliros" is Sireix, home to the Abadie family, and the mother of Jean Bernadotte, (Marshal of Napoleon’s Empire and founder of the current Swedish dynasty) was born. Legend has it that a fairy emerged out of the waters of neighbouring Lake Estaing and gave to one of the inhabitants of Sireix its noble lineage...

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