Local Activities & Places of Interest

L’Ancien Presbytère is situated just North of the Pyrenees and benefits from some of the most beautiful scenery and places to visit as well as a plethora of activities to participate in.  One of the true attractions of the region is how it can be a holiday destination to cater for everyone, whether you are looking to relax with a good book by the Pool, or perhaps go hiking, cycling, skiing and exploring the culture and heritage of this proud nation, it is all here.

We have collated a few of our favoured attractions for your reference.

the pyrenees


Forever seductive and tantalisingly close as you look at them from the garden or bedroom. The National Park in the centre holds the best
scenery and the rarest of flora and fauna. The Golden Eagle can be glimpsed and the Brown Bear is there but not often seen. Griffon Vultures, however, are often spotted soaring above the rock crags and mountain peaks. Marmots and deer are always visible, if you are quiet, and in the spring and autumn there is the spectacle of the Transhumance as farmers take their flocks to and from their summer grazing in the hills.

tour de france

Tour de France

The greatest bicycle race in the world visits the Pyrenees each year in July and there is always a stage within easy reach of L’Ancien Presbytère.



The slopes in the area provide some great enjoyment for all abilities without the congestion experienced in some of the more well known
Alpine resorts.

lakes in the pyrenees


The local lakes offer sandy beaches and safe swimming as well as water sports for all.

walks in the pyrenees


There are innumerable local walks from a section of the pilgrims’ way to Santiago di Compostella to a gentle stroll round the fields. In the Pyrenees there are hikes for all abilities, from family promenades to balade sportifs that include steep inclines and camping out overnight.

fishing in the pyrenees


Both the local lakes and the lakes and rivers in the Pyrenees offer a wide range of fishing for all tastes.

To fish in France you will need to obtain a licence or Carte de Peche, these can be bought at good sporting & fishing stores and most bar tabacs for around 60 euros for a year or you can purchase a one day or 2 week holiday permit for around 10 – 20 euros.

golfing holiday in the pyrenees


Golf in France is slowly becoming better known but there are still plenty of courses in the region which offer a challenge to all abilities with none of the queues or congestion on the tees associated with courses in England and Spain

motorsports in pau, france

Motor Sports

Pau is the home for motor sports enthusiasts, it has a regular track and in the summer its streets host the Grand Prix Historique a celebration of vintage cars.

pau three day event

Pau 3 Day Event

(L’Etoile de Pau) This event in a city renowned for its horse connections has now been granted the exclusive 4* status that puts it on a par with Badminton and Burghley. It takes place at the end of October each year and now attracts the best horse and riders from across the globe. Add this with the often fantastic Pau autumn weather and you have a great day out and spot for a picnic.

horse riding in the pyrenees


There are several Centre Equestres nearby where you can rent a horse for the day to enjoy the countryside from a different angle. You must be competent riders though.

jazz in marciac

Marciac Jazz Festival

A Jazz festival like no other, the French really do give this celebration of all the best things Jazz their unmistakeable fingerprint.

A huge marquee (‘le chapiteau’ – seating 5,000) is erected on the rugby field and two concerts are hosted there every night for the fortnight of the festival. Smaller marquees are erected in the centre of the village square, where free concerts are given during the day, and you can sit with a beer and a snack and enjoy these under the shade. Other musical events take place around the town (eg the ‘atelier de jazz’).


coutnry music festival in mirande


Hosts The French Country and Western festival held every July in this lovely town only a short drive from the house.  Over 200 stands are set up within the Festival site and town centre selling clothing and food. There are country music concerts from 5pm until dawn the following day and attractions such as hot-air balloon rides, American cars and of course, the Harley Davidsons.

the camino de santiago

The Camino de Santiago

(the Way of St. James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and coming together at the tomb of St. James (Santiago in Spanish) in Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain.
Our house, L’Ancien Presbytère, is on the Voie d’Arles which crosses the Pyrenees at the Somport Pass and goes on to join the Camino Aragones in Spain which then links up with the most trodden route (which is especially popular in mid-summer) the Camino Francés. There is a wooden sculpture and sign post 700 m from the house which acts as a reference point showing the way.

holidays near lourdes


Lourdes is a small market town lying in the foothills of the Pyrenees, famous for the Marian apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes that are reported to have occurred in 1858 to Bernadette Soubirous. Following these reports Lourdes has developed into a major place of Roman Catholic pilgrimage and of alleged miraculous healings. The 150th Jubilee of the first apparition took place on 11 February 2008 with an outdoor mass attended by approximately 45,000 pilgrims.

local markets in gascony


The local markets pride themselves on their regionally produced fare and are always a great place to buy your groceries and also to soak up the local relaxed atmosphere. They are a colourful show of the region and, if you wish, you can visit a different one every day of the week.
A full listing of market days can be found in our detailed house information pack.

local restaurants in gascony


Restaurant la Tour in Lembeye is a quaint restaurant that serves great food. From simple Pizzas and sumptuous salads to true local dishes prepared with care by chef Steffon Cauchois…. It also opens in the afternoon as a tearoom.

Le Petit Armanou just outside Lembeye is the quintessential French husband and wife auberge. Fresh simple food very well cooked and amazing value especially at lunchtime.