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Week-end in a van in Béarn

Our agency GeoVan Concept, located near Pau, is an ideal starting point for visiting the Pyrenees or Béarn. From our rental agency, you can pick up a van and set off to discover the wonders of the region.

How do I pick up a rental van?

There are several solutions available to you:

  • Bring your own car : We have a secure car park where you can leave your car in complete peace of mind.

  • Arriving by train : We offer a free shuttle service to pick you up at Pau station.

  • Taking the plane : From the airport, you can either take a taxi to our agency, or opt for our transfer service for €15.

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Here are a few ideas for exploring Béarn over the weekend

Visit the pretty villages

The Béarn region is bursting with small towns and villages, each cuter than the last. Here's a short list of our favourites:

  • Sauveterre de Béarn : Visit the pretty medieval town and discover its fascinating history. Don't miss the "Pont de la Légende", which once spanned the Gave!

  • Lescun : One of our favourite mountain villages. Take a stroll here to admire the spectacular views of the Lescun cirque, often referred to as the "Dolomites of the Pyrenees".

  • Salies-de-Béarn : Also known as the "City of Salt"! People come here not just for the salt, but also to stroll around and discover its architecture. It is also known as the "Venice of Béarn" because of its houses built on stilts and its winding river.

  • Pau, la capitale du Béarn : We love the peace and quiet and the view of the Pyrenees mountain range (on a clear day). You can also visit the famous château, get lost in the old town and discover the gastronomy of the Béarn region. There's no shortage of good addresses here!

  • Navarrenx : Classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, Navarrenx attracts visitors for its superb fortified town and for its famous salmon fishing. In fact, Navarrenx is known as the salmon capital!

  • Oloron-Sainte-Marie : City of art and history, is a popular destination for strolling through the old medieval quarter. Every year, it attracts large numbers of walkers on their way to Santiago de Compostela.

  • Laruns : In the heart of the Ossau valley, it's a regular stop-off on the way to the ski resorts or to explore the beautiful walks in the surrounding area. At the foot of the mountains, this charming village is famous for its cheeses and thermal baths.

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The different activities available

The activities available in the Béarn region are diverse and varied. The main focus is on nature, but there are also many sporting and cultural activities. Here are a few ideas for having fun, whether you're on your own or with the family.

  • The Artouste little train : a unique adventure through the mountains of the Ossau valley, aboard the highest train in Europe. This trip is a must for all nature lovers, offering breathtaking panoramas and the chance to spot marmots in their natural habitat."

  • Rafting on the Gave d'Oloron : over 200 km of navigable rivers around Oloron. It's not for nothing that Béarn is also known as "the land of the Gaves".

  • The Verna cave : the great chasm in the heart of the Pierre Saint Martin massif. This is the largest lit underground chamber in the world. To give you an idea of its size, you could stack Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris 6 times on top of it (for children aged 5 and over, booking essential).

  • The various museums : Pau Castle Museum , museum of beaux-arts, and museum of parachutistes.

  • Laàs Castle and its various activities : visit the gardens and their many facets, discover the castle during a 3-hour treasure hunt, visit the museum, or take part in an escape game in the castle. You'll never be bored here.

  • The Jurançon wine route: it's impossible to come to Béarn without visiting the vineyards and winegrowers who produce the famous Jurançon! Drop in at the Maison des Vins de Lacommande, or go straight to the Jurançon winegrowers vinotheque.

  • The mountain kart in Artouste : For some thrills in the heart of the mountains, try this colourful activity. 8 km of downhill fun.

  • Discover the city of Pau on a life-size treasure hunt. If you've never heard of TerraAventura, now's the time to give it a try. Download the application (100% free) onto your mobile, solve the riddles to find the GPS coordinates of the cache where the treasure is! It's the ideal way to discover, or rediscover, while having fun! (Many quests throughout Aquitaine).

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The most beautiful mountain walks

Béarn also means mountains. Explore the three valleys that make up Béarn: the Ossau valley with its famous peak, the Aspe valley and the Barétous valley. Here are a few ideas for exploring these beautiful valleys on foot.

  • Tour of the Ayous lakes : A bit of a victim of its own success, unfortunately, thanks to its famous view of the Pic du Midi d'Ossau, this is still a must-do in the Ossau valley. 14 km, 5 hrs, 650 m ascent.

  • Lake Anglas : Situated above the Gourette ski resort, this trail offers beautiful mountain scenery. 6.5 km, 4 h, 700 m ascent.

  • Lake Aule : A good alternative to the Lacs d'Ayous, with views of the Pic du Midi d'Ossau from the lake! 6.8km, 4h30, 750m ascent.

  • Tour of Rey : A slightly more strenuous hike, offering magnificent views of the Ossau valley and the mountains on the other side. 11.6 km, 4 h 30, 920 m ascent.

  • The Pombie refuge : To get even closer to the famous Pic du Midi d'Ossau, head for the refuge at its foot. You'll feel very small here, that's for sure! 4km, 4h, 480m ascent.

  • Le Sanchèse plateau : A lovely family walk leading to a plateau with a beautiful waterfall. It's the perfect way to discover mountain landscapes, or have someone else discover them. 5.7km, 1h, 130m ascent.

  • Le chemin de la mâture (or the way to the mast) : for a slightly more original route along a path cut into the cliff. 9.6km, 5h, 690m ascent. Exercise extreme caution on the vertiginous section, not recommended for young children.

  • The Issarbe ridges : A family-friendly loop hike. 9.9km, 3h, 330m ascent.

If you would like more ideas for walks, as the list is obviously very long, you can contact the tourist offices directly.

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Don't leave without discovering our gastronomy

In Béarn, we're gourmets and we're proud of it! We love good things. So here are the specialities not to be missed during your visit here.

  • Jurançon wines, of course! To accompany all types of dishes, discover several domains (traditionally sweet wines, but you can also find some very good ones).

  • Madiran wines, for those who prefer red wine, go perfectly with duck or red meat!

  • Ewe's milk cheeses from the Pyrenees : a must-have that you'll find everywhere! They go perfectly with a glass of Jurançon.

  • The Béarn chilli pepper, grown in Monein.

  • Salies-de-Béarn salt: the only salt used to make Bayonne Ham

  • Garbure: a winter dish par excellence, this "peasant" soup is a whole meal...

  • Henri IV's poule au pot: made famous by the Pau-born king, this is also an excellent winter dish.

  • Spit cake, typical of the Pyrenees, is easily recognisable by its conical shape. As its name suggests, it is baked on a spit that rotates continuously, so you need to be patient to enjoy it!

  • Le Russe, created by a Béarn pastry chef, is a famous pastry in Béarn. But its recipe is a secret that has been handed down for four generations.

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