The Hautes-Pyrenees is a stunning, mountainous department in the south-west of France bordering Spain. Over two thirds of the department is dominated by the soaring peaks of the Pyrenees Mountains, and renting private property in Hautes-Pyrenees takes you to the heart of these peaks, where rural culture lives strongly and the natural landscape will not fail to inspire.
The Parc National des Pyrenees stretches for over 100km along the national border, which protects a staggering number of plants and animals, high in the mountains, and as you can buy property in the outer ring of the park, it is very accessible for hiking and walking in breath taking and awe-inspiring scenery. UNESCO named the incredible Cirque de Gavarnie a World Heritage Site, and for good reason.
Skiing in the Hautes-Pyrenees region is particularly good for beginners and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. The huge Bareges-La-Mongie resort has 64 runs for skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing, and there is a maze of snowshoeing trails to be enjoyed. Tourmalet and St Lary Soulan are bustling resorts, offering real village charm and over 100km of piste.
The capital of Hautes-Pyrenees, Tarbes, is home to almost half of the population of Hautes-Pyrenees. It is a delightful market town, which provides a selling point for all the best local produce, which makes experimenting with local food in your private property in Hautes-Pyrenees a genuine pleasure.
Lourdes is a famous site for pilgrims from around the world, seeking to experience the site where a young girl named Bernadette saw visions of the Virgin Mary, and searching for miracle cures.
A magnificent centre for walking, climbing and mountaineering, Cauterets borders the Parc National des Pyrenees, and taking a Hautes-Pyrenees holiday rental here has the added advantage of allowing you to relax in the famous spa facilities after a hard day in the hills. Other historical spa towns are picturesque Bagneres-de-Bigorre and Capvern-les-Bains.
Arrens-Marsous is a stunning little town in a ‘U’ shaped valley, which turns into the largest cross-country skiing resort in the Pyrenees, and also offers dog sledding and plenty of outdoor activities.
Maubourguet is a staggeringly charming market town with strong Basque culture, and with one of the most delightful markets in the whole of France. Like near-by Tarbes, the town has a hugely strong equine heritage, and there is no better way to discover the region than from the saddle.
Being at altitude, summer temperatures are lower than in much of France, but having said that, average temperatures average ranging between 18 and 22°C from June until September. Autumn sees long, Indian summers and little rain, winters are generally mild, until the snow begins to fall on the peaks, average temperatures can drop below 10°C from November until March.
The only airport in Haute-Pyrenees is Tarbes (LDE), which recieves connecting flights from Paris (CDG). Alternatively, Toulouse (TLS) receives direct flights from the UK, and is under 2 hours from any of the self catering Haute-Pyrenees private properties available for rent from Holiday-Rentals.co.uk.