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Le Balcon de l'Ossau

Guest House 3 star NN in the Ossau Valley
and Charming holiday cottage

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Whether you are a walker, a hiker, a sports lover, interested in flora

and fauna , history, the arts, architecture, music, gourmet cuisine you will love what our region has to offer.
Following are a few examples of the diverse riches of the area.

Walks and hikes

There are numerous walks from the house or less than a 15 minutes car ride away. The GR®78 runs through Bescat giving access to the EVT - the Escou Valley Tour - comprising 60kms of beautiful local walks. The Ossau valley is renowned for its moun-

tain walks and we can offer you a comprehensive selection of guide books and advice.

Sporting Activities

Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter there are numerous activities on offer to satisfy your exercise needs and for getting back into shape! Here are a few examples and useful addresses for horse riding, mountain biking ( good trails in the immediate area), fishing, skiing, snow-shoeing.

Adventure sports

The Ossau Valley is a wonderful playground for canyoning, hydro-speed, rafting, caving, rock climbing and other sports. Here are a few specialised local sites to give you an idea of the activities on offer and their contact details.

Flora and Fauna

The Ossau Valley is also a haven for plant and animal lovers. Situated in the heart of the Parc National des Pyrenees, here you can find a huge number of plant and animal species. With patience you should be able to see Marmots, Izards, Royal Eagles and

Bearded Vultures. With a little chance you will discover carpets of Edelweiss or Lady's Slipper. The world famous botanist Pierrine Gaston - Sacaze was originally a shepherd from Bagès in the valley. Born in 1797, he was responsible for the finding and identification of many of the plants we know today due to his genius and passion for the flora of the Pyrenees.


Travelling through the Ossau Valley you will discover a region with a rich history and a well preserved heritage be. Walking in the mountains you may stumble across one of the engraved stones, an ancestral tradition perpetuated by the shepherds of

the valley or one the many standing stones with particularly fine examples to be found above the village of Bilhères. In the villages many of the doors carry inscriptions engraved on their lintels denoting the past professions of the inhabitants, symbols of religion, family, fecundity, love etc.. There are also several listed buildings, the 14th century Château de Béon, the church in Béost dating from the 11th century, an old Roman road, to list just a few. The lovely city of Pau, birthplace of Henry IV, the fascinating town of Oloron Sainte Marie and of course the famous pilgrimage site of Lourdes are all within a 30 minute drive.


Local Produce

Cheese is produced throughout the Pyrenees, but in the three surrounding valleys of Ossau, Aspe and Baretous the tradition has been particularly well maintained with the practise of taking the sheep to the rich mountain pastures from

May to September - this summer pasturing produces the finest quality "Brebis" (ewes milk) cheese available. In the mountains the shepherds live in "Cuyalas" rudimentary stone buildings where the cheese is made. This, the Queen of all cheeses is special due to the diversity of plants such as Alpine clover, liquorice, plantain, wild thyme combined with the greedy nature of sheep ! It is possible to accompany the animals on their traditional trip to and from the mountains known as the "transhumance" during the months of May and September and to visit the local cheese producers (we've kept the best addresses for you). Land of tradition and savoir vivre, the Ossau Valley and its region will seduce even the most discerning palates with a large array of specialities including meats and wines, created by true professionals, passionate about their art.