A lovely place - much underrated
"Walking for all"
The tourist office has a guide to 16 walks in the area. The only bad point is that it is only on sale in the summer and that starts on 1 June. However we were able to get a cheap map of the routes and the women there were knowledgeable about the length and difficulty of the different walks.
There are walks to suit all levels of ability, including chidren and wheelchairs at one end and good climbers at the other. It was even possible to find a simple walk over some peaks - something wonderful for me as I had not reached a mountain top under my own steam since serious heart problems in 1995. I hope to insert a photo later.
Vernet - les - Bains claims to be the first village arboretum in France.
Again the list of available trees with their numbers becomes available on 1 June although everything was in its full sumer splendour in May.
Fortunately that did not matter too much as the trees are numbered quite prominently and there are signboards up showing the identity of the closest trees at verious points.
They certainly have some wonderful specimens on both sides of the river.
The museum claims to be the largest collection of gemstones and fossils in France open to the general public and I certainly should not want to argue the point.
It is a collection made by the proprietor over a number of years and 80% of the specimens are French. The owner does conducted tours and speaks 4 languages. Only English and French were necessary when we were there but it took us a good 2 hours - could get a bit OTT in a party with all 4.
The owner gives clear explanations and has a considerable sense of humour.