"Allons-y" is ideally situated for visiting the complete range
of tourist attractions and excursions.
The Pyrenees, of course, with their famous Cols and ski
stations, national parks and lakes. The Pic de Midi, reachable by cable car,
or for the more adventurous (summer only) on foot, dominates the sky line, with
the sun glistening on its observatory. It’s now possible to stay the night,
under the stars, and breakfast watching the sunrise.
There are several caves to visit locally, along with the Chateau
de Mauvezan, abbeys and churches.
Locally, there area myriad of small towns, which offer markets,
restaurants, street cafes, wine "caves" and music festivals (notably the 10day
long international " Jazz in Marciac" in August). The annual national equine
festival takes place at Tarbes.
The historic pilgrimage town of Lourdes is only 35 minutes away,
with a busy calendar of events throughout the year.
If you would like further info on the events in Lourdes please
Further afield, Auch (50 mins) Toulouse (1.30 mins) Biarritz
(1.40 mins), Tarbes, and Pau, are all worth a visit, depending on whether your
interests are shopping, history, surfing or architecture.
One and a half hours on the A64 (the local motorway –
wonderfully quiet!) will take you to the Atlantic coast at Biarritz and the
surfing beaches of Les Landes, or the picturesque resort of Saint-Jean-de-Luz in
the Basque Country. There are many international surfing competitions held around
Biarritz during the summer months that are well worth visiting.
Slightly nearer, you can cross into Spain through the mountain
tunnel and visit the amazing town of Ainsa, to enjoy spectacular scenery or just
do some cheap shopping.
The area offers a wealth of sporting activities for the serious
and not so serious participants. Cycling, mountain-biking, golf, canoeing,
canyoning, climbing, tennis, swimming, running, skiing, snowboarding,
paragliding, fishing, horse-riding are all available. For more information see
the Allons-y Active section.
There are numerous, marked walks to be enjoyed without having to
get into the car: the beautiful River Arros is nearby, where, if you go quietly,
you will see kingfishers and herons. The local lanes and woods abound with
wildflowers, and kites and buzzards will be your companions.
Slightly further afield, there are lakes, and, of course, the
mountains, which are equally beautiful in summer as in winter. Suggested routes
are available in the information centre.
The centre is in one of the most peaceful, beautiful areas of
France, so just sitting and enjoying the views is guaranteed to reduce stress
levels. If you tire of the pool and sunshine, or perhaps after a day of rigorous
exercise, there are many spas and thermal baths to be experienced. The nearest,
and largest is Aquensis in Bagneres-de-Bigorre – check out their website on
An obvious pastime in such a beautiful place would be
painting/drawing. A pack of materials is available, free of charge, for anyone
who fancies having a go.
A selection of books, magazines, DVD’s and board games are
available to borrow for the duration of your stay. Details available in each
Visits to nearby vineyards, perhaps as part of a wine-festival,
or to sample the local Armagnac are a must for those who wish to experience the
essential French culture.
Large supermarkets are approximately 15 km away, in Tarbes,
Lannemezan and Tries sur Baise, with smaller stores nearby for your bread (also
delivered on some days) and essentials.
Welcome packs are provided in each house on arrival, and longer
shopping lists can be purchased by arrangement.
Tarbes (16km) will provide for the more serious shopper, as will
the historic city of Pau with its spectacular mountain backdrop (40 minutes on
Markets abound: almost all of the local small towns have their
own, selling everything from onions to underwear, in an atmosphere of relaxed
conviviality. In the summer months, many of the markets take place at night
(it’s cooler) and take on a carnival feel. In December, Christmas markets, often
with skating rinks, are popular, where you can search for unusual gifts whilst
enjoying a cup of warm red wine and grilled chestnuts.
There are plenty of restaurants in the area, ranging from
take-away pizza to award-winning, gourmet establishments. Details and customers
comments are posted in the information area. Transport can usually be arranged
at a small cost.