At any time of year there is so much to do.
Skiing, Snowboarding, Snow shoe walking.
Winter sports are a way of life with the ski stations of Hautacam, Luz Ardiden , Cauterets and the Val d'Azun within easy reach. Slightly further afield, but less than 1 hour are Bareges- Grand Tourmalet- the largest ski resort in the Pyrenees and Gavarnie-Gedre. These are all relaxed, family friendly with great facilities to make your winter holiday memorable.
The area is a mecca for cyclists from all over the world who come to experience some of the great climbs of the Tour de France : Tourmalet, Col d'Aubisque, Col d'Aspin, Col de Soulor , Luz Ardiden and of course Hautacam are all within easy reach.
Less well publicized but equally popular are the hundreds of mountain biking trails and the family friendly "Voie Vert" - a re-surfaced former railway line for cyclists and walkers which crosses the valley.
Whatever your level, the rivers and lakes offer so many possibilities. From the adrenalin filled white water canoeing to the more relaxed eg "Stand Up Paddle". and not forgetting the fun water park and swimming pools at "Lau Folies" and the hot thermal springs of the "Jardin des Bains".
Parapenting/ Bunjee jumping/ Via Ferrata/ Canyoning
Hautacam is literally the jumping off point for parapenting at all times of year. Bunjee jumping takes place at the 90m drop at Pont Napoleon in the season and a Via Ferrata route is to be found at the same site. Local guides and instructors are available to help you make the most of your stay and show you the ropes on these and other activites such as canyoning.
Walking and Climbing
The best way to really appreciate the mountains is to set off on foot on one of the many beautiful walking paths. Spring and early summer cover the meadows in wild flowers and stunning views greet you at every turn. Autumn can be pleasantly warm (above 20C) and the colours on the hillsides change gradually until the first snows in late november or december.
Most visitors to the area will wish to include a trip to Lourdes. Its world wide fame needs no further explanation and a visit there is highly recommended.
There is beauty on every corner from the little frequented villages with their stone churches and ancient "lavoirs" to the World Heritage Site of The Cirque de Gavarnie. The local markets offer a chance to try the regional produce which is often still made by hand in the traditional ways. For animal lovers there is the Parc Animalier which houses many of the native species and allows visitors a closer look at animals that might be more elusive in the wild eg marmots, bears and wolves.and the fabulous birds of prey at the Donjon des Aigles Further afield the cities of Tarbes steeped in equestrain history or Pau with its Chateau dating to the time of Henry VI are well worth exploring as is the natural geological cave system at the Grottes de Betharram.
A traditional area for sheep and cattle agriculture, many of the local festivities revolve around the seasonal pastoral activities - in the early summer the herds are taken up to the high pastures and in early autumn they come back to the valley. The "Fete de la Transhumance" in the summer and the "Fete de Saint Michel" in the autumn give visitors an insight into traditional practices. Summer also brings the Jazz Festival in Luz Saint Sauveur. In february there is "Cineziq" : a festival of cinema and music. In september the "Fete du Ciel" brings hot air balloons and parapenters to the Col de Coraduque. At other times there are different festivities for children and regular markets are supplemented with night markets, art fairs etc.