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Beauty spots and View Points

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Pic de Midi d'Ossau
Paul Williams
Choosing particular beauty spots and viewpoints in this area is diffcult. As the road wind through the valleys and along the hill tops nearly every turn affords a memorable view, and the more you travel into the mountains the more dramatic the views become.

And for those sturdy enough to leave the car and put on their walking boots...

Right, the Pic de Midi d'Ossau, pictured from a hill 20 kms south of Pau


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Towns - Beauty spots and View Points

Bielle. Ancient capital of the Ossau Valley
Hanging valley of Benou. Le Benou is a `hanging valley', a flat area high up in the mountains between the Ossau and Aspe valleys, where horses and sheep roam at will. An excellent starting point for a walk.
Larrau. Village high up in the mountains in the Pays Basque
Bridge of Holzarte
Pic: Paul Williams
Gorges d'Holzarte and d'Oldhadibi. A dramatic 3km walk brings one to the spectactular gorges of Holzarte and Oldhadbi, 300m clefts carved by the rivers over many millions of years.

A wooden suspension bridge crosses one of the gorges - not for those suffering from vertigo but sure to make your walk a memorable one!
Pau. Elegant city heavily influenced by the British, now capital of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Boulevarde des Pyrénées. This remarkable 1.5km long road along the edge of the cliffs on which Pau is built affords remarkable views of the Pyrénées. During the summer the heat haze often conceals the mountains, but on clear days the remarkable purity of the air brings them so close you feel you can almost touch them and you wonder where on earth they were hiding on, those other days!
Col d'Ibardine. Shopping centre on the Spanish frontier
Panoramic view of the Basque coast.
Larrau. Village high up in the mountains in the Pays Basque
The Forest of Iraty. One of the largest deciduous forests left in Europe and a popular holiday spot.
Luz-Saint-Sauveur.
Pic du Midi de Bigorre. You can visit the observatory at the top of this mountain.
Saint Engrâce. A scattering of settlements high in the Pyrénées
Gorges de Kakouetta
Gorges de Kakouetta. One of the deepest gorges in the Western Pyrénées, a walk-way has been built alongside the mountain stream for visitors. Deep caves lie at the far end. There is a small entry charge during the summer for the upkeep of the gorge - the path was washed away a few years ago.
Issarbe. One of our favourite spots! Perched on a ridge, with the steep valleys on either side and magnificent views north towards the river plateaux.
Tardets-Sorholus. Commercial town close to Pyrénéen valley
La Madelaine.
Urdos. Small village at the head of the Aspe valley, close to the Spanish border.
Chemin de mature
Chemin de la Mature. A remarkable piece of engineering carved this path in the sheer cliffs of the Gorges du Pont d'Urdos. It was created by forced labour, originally to bring down timber, from a high mountain forest, to be used for building France's navy.

Today this is provides a lovely walk high in the mountains for those tourists who do not suffer from vertigo.

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