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Best bases for self-catering in the Pyrenees

Best bases for self-catering in the Pyrenees

Old Apr 4th, 2024, 07:45 PM
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Best bases for self-catering in the Pyrenees

We are a non-driving, self-catering, senior couple who will be visiting the Pyrenees for the first time this fall. Have you ever based in Luz St. Sauveur and what were your impressions? Our plan is to spend a couple of weeks taking taxis and local buses on daytrips to nearby easy hikes. Will also be doing same on the Spanish side for the previous 2 weeks.
Your suggestions?
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Old Apr 4th, 2024, 11:30 PM
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Cauterets is another possibility if you want to stay in the mountains.


It depends on which part of the Pyrénnées you want to access. Luz Saint-Sauveur for Gavarnie and the col du Tourmalet, and Cauterets for the Pont d'Espagne and the lac de Gaube. Or you could stay in Argelès-Gazost foraccess to all these sites with a longer bus ride and also access the lac d'Estaing area. Argelès has a bigger market.

view from the Argelès cemetery:

It all depends on the availability of transportation. Given that you are spending a couple of weeks in the area, staying in a hub like Argelès or Pierrefitte-Nestalas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierrefitte-Nestalas) might make more sense. It would also give easy access to Lourdes for its chateau if interested in Pyrenees culture: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%...ort_de_Lourdes

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Old Apr 5th, 2024, 02:54 PM
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We stayed in Luz in 2016, but we had a car and I did not look at what public transport options were available. It may depend on the time of year you are there. We were there in October which was too early for the winter skiing season and later than the summer hiking season. On our fist day which was a Sunday, we were not overly taken with the town but that was probably for a few reasons- not impressed by the supermarket, disinterested unhelpful lady in the TO and just the usual Sunday quietness of the town. But we came to like it after we spent more time looking around.

If you have read my reports you will know we do not eat out a lot, but we did have very good lunch and dinner out. There are couple of things to see in the town itself - a lovely fortified church, the Napoleon bridge, chateau ruins on a hill, a little chapel on another hill. And of course the amazing backdrop of the mountains. The boulangerie and boucherie we went to were both good. There were two supermarkets, one larger than the other. The larger one was old, crowded and lacking some things we wanted and the smaller one was newer and quite pleasant, but small. Between the both it was fine for most things. If course, this was nearly 8 years ago. Where has time gone?!!

We are not serious hikers but did do some moderately walks. We went to Cauterets but only to go to Pont d'Espagne and Lac de Gaube. I believe you can walk up to them from Cauterets, but I am not sure easy would describe the walk. I am not sure what walks would be directly from Luz itself.

Anyway, this is my report on our stay. Scroll through to the Pyreness section. We were there for two weeks. It is a beautiful area but not sure how it would be without a car. I have read your reports and for some reason, I thought you had a car but obviously I was mistaken.

Good luck,
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Old Apr 5th, 2024, 02:56 PM
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I meant to link to my report on our stay,

Country Roads in Autumn. Ten weeks in country France.
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