Discover the major sites of the Pyrenees
Visits not to be missed
Discover during your vacations in camping Baretous Pyrénées, a magnificent region with a remarkable cultural heritage.
At the crossroads of Béarn and the Basque Country, the campsite is located near many natural sites in the region such as La Pierre Saint-Martin, the Kakuetta Gorge, the Holzarte Footbridge, the La Verna Cave, the Iraty Forest, the Bétharram Caves…
- The valley of Barétous
- La Pierre Saint-Martin
- The Iraty Forest
- Le petit train d’Artouste
- Le cirque de Lescun
- The Caves of Betharram
- St. Blaise Hospital
- The lakes of Bearn
- The Basque coast
During your stay in Aramits, in the Barétous valley, discover the many tourist sites of the region in all seasons. The diversity of the landscapes will allow you to spend pleasant vacations in the Pyrenees. Bearn and the Basque Country, territories with strong cultural and traditional identities, will delight you.
Places to discover near the campsite
- The valley of Barétous : A land of tradition
The valley of Barétous is one of the three valleys of Béarn with Aspe and Ossau. The “Valley of the Musketeers” inspired Alexandre Dumas to write his masterpiece, and Henry d’Aramits was one of its literary heroes.
The pastoral tradition in the valley is still very present today. The shepherds’ festival in Aramits is the unmissable event every year, on the 3rd weekend of September: the return of the summer pastures, this major event where the sheep accompanied by their shepherd come down from the mountains, the summer transhumance coming to an end. During the festival, spectators will attend the shepherd dog competition, an exhibition of agricultural and craft equipment, and the famous shepherds’ meal.
And in July and August, every Thursday evening, a traditional meal is organized at Aramits the shepherd’s supper with traditional songs and projection of films about pastoral life in the valley.
A bit of history : Since time immemorial, the shepherds of the Barétous and Roncal valleys (in Spain) have grazed their herds on the heights of the limestone massif of La Pierre Saint-Martin. In the 14th century, a pastoral brawl broke out between the shepherds of the two valleys, degenerated and set the region on fire and blood for years. Sovereigns and representatives of the Church tried with difficulty to put an end to these conflicts. It was only in 1375 that a peace treaty was sealed: The Junta of Roncal. The 13th of July of each year is celebrated this pact, and since then the mayors of Barétounais offer three cows to their Aragonese counterparts on this occasion. This peace treaty is more than six centuries old and today seals the friendship of the inhabitants of the two valleys. This ceremony is one of the great events of the valley.
- La Pierre Saint-Martin
The massif of La Pierre Saint-Martin is a major geological site of the Pyrenees National Park. This rocky, lunar landscape, sculpted by erosion and time, has created some of the most spectacular chasms and caverns in the world.
The road, which leads from Aramits to the pass of La Pierre Saint-Martin (1760 m), marks the border with Spain and offers sumptuous landscapes and panoramas alternating large meadows and vast forests. This family winter sports resort of La Pierre Saint-Martin, dominated by the Pic d’Anie (2504 m), offers a ski area with 24 slopes between 1,500 and 2,000 meters above sea level. The resort is very popular with families for the many activities and entertainment offered (downhill skiing, Nordic skiing, tobogganing, snowshoeing, dog sledding …).
In summer, the resort also offers many activities such as hiking, cycling, mountain biking, speleology, paragliding…
- Kakuetta Gorge
Discovered in 1907 by the famous speleologist Edouard Alfred Martel, Kakuetta Gorge is a exceptional site. This canyon of the Soule valley, in the heart of the Basque Country, about 2 kilometers long with vertiginous walls and abundant and lush vegetation, offers a trip to the heart of the Basque Amazon. Along the path, the footbridges allow you to safely reach a waterfall to reach the cave of the Lake. It takes about 2 hours to walk there and back.
- The footbridge of Holzarte
Built at the beginning of the 20th century, the Holzarte footbridge facilitated the logging of the region. It overhangs the Olhadübi Gorge at more than 180 meters above the canyon: sensation guaranteed!! On the route of the GR10 which crosses the Pyrenees, the footbridge is accessible in less than an hour. It is important to bring good shoes and water. As for the most courageous, they will be able to continue the hike through the gorges in about 5 hours.
- The Verna Cave
La La Verna Cave, discovered in 1953, is one of the major sites of the region with its huge cavity of 3.5 million m3!! That is seven times the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. Located under the massif of La Pierre Saint-Martin, it is the largest natural cavity in the world open to the public. Different variable visits are possible. It is a high place of speleology in Europe.
- The Iraty forest
In the heart of the Basque Country, facing the Pic d’Orhi (2017m), the Iraty forest is the largest beech forest in Europe. In this green and serene environment, a multitude of hiking and mountain bike trails are marked out on the 17 000 hectares of this territory. Numerous flocks of sheep, cows and horses graze throughout the summer.
- The little train of Artouste
The petit train d’Artouste, the highest in Europe, at 2,000 meters above sea level, advances at 8 km/h for nearly an hour to cross the slopes of the Ossau massif. This line, opened in 1930, was used at the time for the construction and supply of hydroelectric plants. This railway line offers breathtaking landscapes, a favorite playground for many marmots. Lac d’Artouste is the terminus of the little train and offers many hiking departures to reach the various lakes around the Pic de Midi d’Ossau (2884m).
- The circus of Lescun
Located in the Aspe valley at 900 meters altitude, the Lescun circus is one of the jewels of Béarn. This remarkable site, on the route of the GR10, offers a grandiose panorama on the massifs of the National Park of the Pyrenees. Many paths are proposed to hikers who will cross, on their way, herds of cows and sheep.
- The caves of Betharram
At the limit of the department of Hautes-Pyrénées, the Grottes de Bétharram were discovered in 1819 and opened to the public at the beginning of the 20th century to become a high place of pilgrimage. This unique journey to the center of the earth, on foot, by train and by boat, gives its visitors an intense emotion and an exceptional memory.
- Sain-Blaise Hospital
Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Romanesque church from the 12th century on the border of Béarn and the Basque Country reveals its multiple ornaments of Hispano-Moorish style. Its dome is considered an architectural jewel. The church of Hôpital Sainte-Blaise is a famous stop for pilgrims on the Path of Santiago de Compostela.
- The mountain lakes in Béarn
The main lacs béarnais are located in the Ossau valley and offer the possibility to make superb hikes with splendid landscapes: Artouste, Ayous, Montagnon, Bious-Artigues, Arrémoulit…
- The Basque Coast
Biarritz, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Bidart, Bayonne, Anglet, Hendaye, so many beaches resorts with crazy charm and marked Basque culture, country of surfing par excellence with magnificent beaches appreciated by sportsmen and nature lovers. Stroll along the coast or stroll through the lively and colorful streets.
Biarritz with its aristocratic history will seduce you with its chic and classic atmosphere. Saint-Jean-de-Luz has a beautiful bay where children splash about in peace and a charming fishing port. Bayonne has always been a major commercial crossroads in the southwest and today is well known for its festivities that last four days and five nights every year at the end of July, the town dons its traditional white and red colors. Bidart which has five kilometers of coastline is a paradise for surfers and hikers who can enjoy the Coastal Trail from the many viewpoints overlooking the ocean.
And why not take a jump to San Sébastien? From Hendaye train station, take the topo (train) which connects San Sebastien in 30 minutes. You are there. Take the time to wander through the wide shady streets and enjoy the pintxos, the famous tapas that are the pride of the city, then enjoy the large beaches in the heart of the Basque city.