Barèges Travel Guide

  • Ski school
    Ski school
    by AlexisRJ
  • Snow, snow to ski!
    Snow, snow to ski!
    by VincentJJ
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    Laura and Alexis
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Barèges Things to Do

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    ski area La Mongie-Bareges.

    by VincentJJ Written Jan 18, 2005

    Ski Facts
    Total Number of Lifts: 55
    Total Length of Pistes: 135km
    Green Runs: 21
    Blue Runs: 26
    Red Runs: 20
    Black Runs: 3
    Off Piste: lots
    Cross Country Skiing: 35km
    Mountain Restaurants: 7
    Ski into the Village: Yes
    Snow Canons: 250

    The Skiing
    Skiing in Barèges has a very different feel from the well known resorts in the Alps. For a start it is more local - most people you meet will be either French or Spanish. The skiing areas are less crowded too. Outside the French school holiday it's rare to encounter queues for lifts or lunch. Intermediate and advanced skiers will have lots of space on the pistes (on some runs it's not unusual to find yourself skiing alone) while beginners will get more time with their instructors because there are fewer people in ski school. You can ski from the centre of the village all the way from Barèges over the Col du Tourmalet to La Mongie or to Artigues in the Campan Valley.

    Barèges is an old spa town which dates back to the 14th century. The village is built mainly from local stone and sits in a narrow valley on the edge of the protected mountains of the Neouvielle Reserve and the Parc National des Pyrenees. Hunting and new building have been banned in these areas so the mountains remain unaffected by the kind of mass tourism that has spoiled many ski resorts in the Alps.

    Long before skiing became popular in the 1900s, Napoleon III built a military hospital in Barèges so his wounded troops could benefit from the thermal waters. The Thermes are still open today and offer the weary skier warm baths, showers, jacuzzis, saunas, thermal showers and massage. Barèges remains a small and friendly place. Life centres around the one main street where you'll find a 400 year old church, a little cinema, one good supermarket and a handful of bars. Nightlife is low key and, although there is one nightclub, Barèges is a fairly quiet place.

    Getting There
    60 min drive from Pau

    Related to:
    • Skiing and Boarding
    • Theme Park Trips

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