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Larrau

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Sights in Larrau
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Larrau is a pretty village high up in the mountains in the Pays Basque near the Pic d'Orhi one of the highest mountains in this fiercely independent region. It is a splendid place to start exploring the drama and the beauty of the area.

Nearby are the forests of Iraty and the dramatic gorges of Holzarte and Olhadibi. To the south a road meanders over the mountains to the Port de Larrau and thence to Spain, following one of the many smaller routes once used by the pilgrims going to St Jacques de Compostelle.

There are many marvellous view waiting for those ready to don their walking boots.


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Things to do in Larrau

Mountain hiking; close to GR 10 Hiking and Snow walking
Larrau is close to the Grand Randonér (GR) no 10; there are also a number of hiking routes into the mountains where you constantly get wonderful views, including one to the Pic d'Orhi which dominates this area.
Cross-Country skiiing at Iraty-Soule, 2km Skiing

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Things to see in Larrau

Col d'Orgambidexha Natural History
Bird watchers on the Col d'Orgambidexha
To the west of St Engrâce lies the Orgambidexha pass, the front line in the battle between naturalists and hunters. Every Autumn the passes and mountains of this part of the Pyrénées fill with hunters ready for the migration of the Wood Pigeon, or palombe, very much a local delicacy. Other migrants also suffer. The shooting rights are sold every three years and in 1979 two naturalists bought the rights in this pass, to stop the shooting, much to the fury of the hunters.
Since then the triennial price for this pass has increased, while that of most of the other areas has decreased. The revenue goes to improving the facilities for hunters. This year (1997) the price to be paid by the Association Orgambidexha Col Libre is expected to go up from 100,000 FF to 106,000 FF.
From mid-August the migrations begin: Black Kites and Honey Buzzards; then Black Storks, Ospreys, Hobbys and Marsh Harriers (September); then in October Red Kites, Buzzards, Sparrow Hawks and of course the Wood Pigeons as well as many other smaller birds; finally the Cranes pass in November.
The Association welcomes support, financially and at their study centre. Tel: (+33) 5 59 25 62 03
Gorges d'Holzarte and d'Oldhadibi Beauty spots and View Points
Bridge of Holzarte
Pic: Paul Williams
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!
The Forest of Iraty Beauty spots and View Points
One of the largest deciduous forests left in Europe and a popular holiday spot.
Hermitage of Saint Joseph Pilgrimage of St Jacques-de-Compostelle
At 1300 m high, in the middle of a forest, this little chapel was built in 1656 to give refuge to the pilgrims choosing this high route for their journey. It was completely restored in 1993.
Head of the Saison valley Valleys and Passes

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