Barèges Village, French Pyrenees

Barèges is one of the best kept secrets in the Pyrenees; a friendly unspoilt village with access to the biggest ski area in the region, the Tourmalet area. The wide selection of pistes are well maintained and cater to all abilities from absolute beginners to all-mountain skiers seeking the thrill of deep powder and challenging slopes, and due to the high investment made in snow making equipment, there is always the chance of fantastic snow.

The Pyrenees often have more snow than the Alps because their closeness to the sea, and because it is further south, there are many glorious bright sunny days, creating perfect ski conditions.

Our chalet is situated just outside the village centre, a ten minute walk away, where you will find several friendly restaurants serving traditional Pyrenean food. There are also some great bars, which cater to all tastes and ages.

The jewel in Barèges' crown is the thermal baths at the top of the town. Napoleon's troops often used them to soothe their battle-weary limbs, and you can still take the warm waters and indulge in the treatments on offer, a perfect way to relax after a hard day's skiing.

Barèges offers the perfect place from which to explore the Pyrenees in both the summer and the winter - the Tour de France goes through the village every other year, right past the front door, so you can watch the action in comfort. The famous Cols on the route, the Marie Blanque, the Col D'Aubisque, the Col D'Aspin and of course the Col du Tourmalet are all within easy reach if you fancy tackling them by bike yourself.

The area has some of the best walking anywhere. The GR10, the route across the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean passes through the village on its way back into the mountains. There are several walks which can be reached from the chalet of varying degrees of difficulty and length. The local tourist office will be able to advise on conditions and recommended routes.

Links to websites:

1. www.grand-tourmalet.com All information about the area
2. www.n-py.com For information about skiing in the Pyrenees - webcams, snow reports etc.
3. www.vacances-pyrenees.info/site-120.html tourist information, Barèges
4. www.luz.org Luz is a small modern ski resort with fantastic intermediate and advanced pistes. The town itself is very pretty, and has a fascinating 14th century fortified church which is well worth visiting.
5. www.ecoloski.com For ski guides and instructors
6. www.esf-bareges.com Another site for ski guides and instructors
7. www.gavarnie.com Information about Gavarnie
8. www.picdumidi.com Link to the observatory. Open in the summer for tours etc.
9. www.thermes-bareges.com The thermal spa in Barèges
10. www.location-ski.sport2000.fr/bareges-185.html Our recommended ski hire suppliers