Pau, Ancient Royal City at the Foot of the Pyrenees
Capital of the Béarn department in the Aquitaine region, Pau is an old royal city beautifully set between the mountains and the ocean, at the extreme southwest tip of France.
It is heir to a rich tradition of tourism dating back to the 19th century, when it was a prestigious resort for aristocrats from around the world.
City of Art and History, Pau has managed to preserve its heritage and boasts magnificent buildings scattered throughout its territory : the national stud farm, different palaces, villas, museums, and a castle.
It is also a very green city, with more than 750 acres of green space, many rare and exotic species.
An Inspiring Natural Environment
Today Pau is a destination that is accessible to all. Located not far from the Basque and Landes coast and only 45 minutes from the Pyrenees and its ski resorts, the area is conducive to many sport and leisure activities : hiking, climbing, skiing, surfing, diving, sailing, golfing, spa relaxation...
It is also surrounded by a wealth of quality vineyards, like the Jurançon.
Do not miss
- The famous Boulevard des Pyrénées, a 1.8km-long avenue with a majestic view of the Pyrenees mountain range ;
- The National Museum of the Castle of Pau, birthplace and château of Henri IV : at once a veritable medieval fortress, a Renaissance palace and royal residence, it is one of France's most visited national museums ;
- The Pau Museum of Fine Arts, one of Aquitaine's biggest museums, is home to old and contemporary masterpieces from the 15th to 20th centuries, including a famous painting by Degas ;
- The birthplace and home of Bernadotte houses, a museum retracing the life and journey of Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, who was Marshal of the French Empire before becoming King of Sweden and Norway ;
- The Pau-Gelos National Stud Farm, created in 1808 by Napoleon I in Gelos, just south of Pau, has draft, sport and blood stallions, notably regional thoroughbreds. One of the farm's distinctive features is a collection of 19th century horse-drawn carriages.
There are many offers to help you discover Pau, including a Gourmand Pass, a "Castle and Little Tourist Train" Pass, a "Three Museum" Pass... Explore Pau just the way you want to!
- The Pau Grand Prix, an automobile race held on a circuit throughout the city streets (annual)
- The Historic Grand Prix, a gathering of vehicles that participated in yesteryear's races (annual)
- Urban Session, a hip hop dance and urban culture festival (May)
- L’été à Pau, an urban summer festival with refreshing musical encounters
- The Emmaüs Lescar-Pau music festival (end of July)
- Hestiv’Oc Festival, shining the spotlight on the South's music and culture (August)
- The Etoiles de Pau, international eventing and horse trials (end of October)
- Accès cultures électroniques, a festival dedicated to today's electronic culture (autumn)
- Un aller-retour dans le noir, or a one-way trip into the darkness, a festival focusing on thrillers, suspense, mystery, detective and crime literature (beginning of October)
- The Béarn Carnival, a grand celebration of all things Béarn (winter)
Try some of the Southwest's delicious culinary specialties as well as traditional Béarn and Pau dishes...
- Soups and stews: the cabbage-based garbure, and corn-flour broye
- Dishes : confit, magret and other duck or goose dishes, wood pigeon, Bayonne ham, trinxat...
- Cheeses : ossau-iraty, greuilh
- Desserts : a special gâteau à la broche cooked on a spit, merveilles
- Sweets : Coucougnettes du Vert Galant
- Wines : Jurançon, Madiran, Béarn and Pacherenc appellations
- By plane : the Pau-Pyrenees airport flies to Paris-Orly, Roissy CDG, Marseille, Lyon, Bastia, and Ajaccio
- By train : the SNCF station in Pau has direct connections with: Bordeaux - Paris, Toulouse - Vintimille and Genève; Bayonne - Hendaye and Spain, as well as access to the Aspe Valley via its liaison with Oloron-Sainte-Marie
- By car :
A64 motorway : Toulouse - Tarbes - Pau - Orthez - Bayonne – Spain
A65 motorway : Gascony motorway linked to Langon-Bordeaux
Main road 117 : Toulouse - Tarbes - Pau - Orthez - Bayonne – Spain
Main road 134 : Bordeaux - Langon - Aire-sur-Adour - Pau - Oloron - Sainte-Marie - Somport
Office de Tourisme et des Congrès de Pau
Tel : +33 (0)5 59 27 27 08
Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org