Pau, the historic capital of Béarn, is a lovely town and an excellent gateway to the Pyrénées. It was founded by the English, but some British customs still linger. France's first golf course is here and so is an historic tea shop. There are also two excellent museums worth a look.
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- Art and Culture
- Natural Beauty
- Head to the Musée des Beaux-Arts and feast on works by El Greco, Degas, and Rodin.
- Pau's regal past is commemorated at its Musée National du Château de Pau. Henri IV was born here and many exhibits are related to his life and mistresses.
- Follow the Sentiers du Roy (King's Paths), a marked trail just below the Boulevard des Pyrénées. When you reach the top, walk along until the sights line up with the mountain peaks you see.
- Race car aficionados should mark their calendar for the Grand Prix de Pau in late May/early June.
- The Pont-Long Steeplechase is still one of the most challenging in Europe.