Welcome to Pau, pretty town at the foot of the Bearnese Pyrenees. Once the city of Henri IV, it has an impressive array of atmospheres, landscapes and activities on offer! Ocean or ski slopes, hiking or canoeing, small trails or classified sites ... Pau is a delight for young and old alike! The subtle alliance of the four seasons has made Pau a green city, dotted with parks and gardens. It is a perfect place to stroll and contemplate the Pic du Midi d'Ossau. The panoramic view of the Pyrenees is like a painting that you could almost believe to be a constant, but which is nevertheless always changing. The palm trees on the Boulevard des Pyrénées call out to the snow-capped peaks ... a picture postcard view. On a human scale, the centre of Pau is pleasant to walk or bike around. Fashionistas like to stroll around the pedestrian and shopping centre. From berets to shepherd's umbrellas, there is everything here! Before you go, an obligatory wander around "les halles" indoor market and the "carreau des producteurs" section, with its local cheeses, vegetables and fruits ... the top specialities of the Bearnais region!
The must see spots in Pau
The Boulevard des Pyrénées: from this mythical boulevard, the mountain panorama runs in a cinemascopic format. A box office hit, called "the most beautiful view in the world" by Lamartine, a poet and lover of the Pyrenees. It is a unique place to stroll and relax, where it is feels good to have a drink or enjoy an ice cream, it offers a breathtaking view of the Château de Pau at Palais Beaumont, with the Pyrenees as a backdrop. The Beaumont Palace: from here, a walk leading straight to Beaumont Park and the Palais des Congrès, legacy of a flamboyant past, councillers still work to this day. Dances and weddings are still held here too! The gardens of the l’Hôtel du Département (local council): from the bottom of the Boulevard you can access, by funicular, the contemporary gardens of the l’Hôtel du Département and the Sentiers du Roy (King's pathways) which snake through the middle of a palm grove. The Château de Pau: its time to take a guided visit of the Château, the birthplace of the "Good King" Henry IV. Before you know it an hour has flown by. The Gave de Pau: from the royal residence, head towards "Basse Plante' and the "Parc du Chateau" and join the banks of the river. Its tumultuous waters lend themselves to water sports, which are practiced here in the heart of the city ... guaranteed thrills! There are plenty of events year round in Pau! The Bearnais Carnival, The Automobile Grand prix, Hestiv'Oc, International horse riding/dressage…..all events that bring international crowds ... all year long: dates to put in your diary.
The surrounding area
Pau's most famous neighbours are Lourdes and Biarritz, which better allows us to understand that Pau's geographical location is one of its main assets. Between the mountains and the ocean, the hills and the valleys, and of course close to the Gavarnie Valley, as well as the Gers, the Landes, the Basque Country or Spain ...great locations to add to your stay! The Jurançon Vineyard: traditionally white, this sweet or dry wine is always savoured but best served chilled! And people are often surprised by its character and originality. The producers of the Jurançon Wine Route and the Jurançon producers' winery welcome you all year round to discover this princely nectar. The National Museum of the Château de Pau: stands in the heart of the city, looking out to the Pyrenees, on a rocky outcrop overlooking the river. The Château de Pau is an emblematic monument of this city and the two are closely tied. Originally a Feudal castle, throughout the centuries it has been a royal palace, an imperial palace, a national palace and finally a museum. Pau castle offers visitors a true insight into local and national history. The architecture of the monument bears witness to a history of more than a thousand years. The Middle Ages to the nineteenth centuries have all left their mark on its walls and its decor. Numerous historical figures have shaped this place, none more so than Henry IV, first king of France and Navarre who was born on 13 December 1553.