On the slopes of the Col du Tourmalet, discover five authentic villages that have shaped the identity of this area.
Barèges | Labatsus
Mountain valley at the foot of the Col du Tourmalet
Tel: Barèges tourist office: +33 (0) 5 62 92 16 00
A pretty mountain village, Barèges is the most important of the five villages that line this side of the Col du Tourmalet. Many hikes leave from the village and its surrounding area, be it on foot or snowshoes, depending on the season. It is a village that combines all sorts of sporting activities such as paragliding, hiking, cycling, skiing, dog sledding, and rest and relaxation thanks to the thermal waters at Cieléo thermal spa which is open all year round.
To visit: the church whose font comes from the priory of St. Justin, the thermal bath whose springs have built the reputation of the village and the old funicular de l'Ayré.
Do not miss: the thermal baths, open all year round, offering relaxation and well-being services for all.
Located at 1100m altitude, this small flowery village seems to be suspended on the mountainside! It is full of cobbled streets called "herrades" and pretty stone houses.
To visit : the church of St. Vincent, Romanesque style and dating from the twelfth century, and two wash houses. You can also take a peaceful walk through the cobbled streets whilst enjoying the view.
Do not miss: The unique village restaurant "Chez Rosette" famous for its excellent garbure, a local dish that warms you up during the long winter days.
In the summer, an easy walk takes you up to the “Croix Saint Justin” cross where you can enjoy an exceptional panorama of the Col du Tourmalet and the valley below. After a 30 min. walk from Sers or 40 min. from Barèges, you can enjoy homemade pancakes at “Ferme Saint Justin” while enjoying the panoramic view.
Betpouey, a small agricultural village, is the starting point for many walks, close to the GR10.
To visit : the church of St. Laurent dating from the fifteenth century has a gabled bell tower which probably served as watchtower in the nineteenth century. There is also a wash house.
Do not miss: discover local specialities thanks to the "Moutonniers du Pays Toy", (the AOC Barèges-Gavarnie sheep farmers) who sell their produce direct to the public.
This small sunny village offers a breathtaking view of the valley, lulled by the sound of the waterfall.
Must visit : the 15th century church of Saint Sylvestre, the cobbled alleyways and the remarkable framework of the old wash house.
Do not miss : this tiny village with its peaceful feel and sunshine!
Viella, a charming little mountain village that has a perfect view of the beautiful Jeantoy waterfall.
To visit : the church of Saint-Michel with its sqaure bell tower which houses an 18th century baroque altarpiece and has been listed as an historical monument since 1990. Be sure to take a look at the Shepherd's fountain in the village centre, designed by the architect -sculptor Jean-Jacques Durancet.
Not to miss: a must visit for gourmands: farmers and local hotel-restauranteurs will help you to appreciate the culinary and pastoral flavours of their area.