Dropping down the valley from the Spanish boarder and the Col de Pourtalet on the D934, the breathtaking views of the valley below, the open spaces of the mountains stretching to the horizon, the mountain air filling your lungs.. What more can you need? The road winds it's way down the Ossau Valley, the hairpin's of the higher reaches a past memory as you pass the road up to the Artouste ski resort with it's 27 km of groomed ski runs spread over 150 ha - ( in the summer months you can take a trip on a small gauge railway, I think it must be one of the highest in Europe) and to your right the Fabréges lake in the valley below.
Next a few wild hair pins as the road drops down to the hamlet of Gabas (with it's 12th century chapel) and the cows grazing on the side of the road keeping you company as you arrive in the hydrotherapy village of Les Eaux Chaudes, the houses clinging to the side of the Gorge du Hourat and the River Ossau below heading north to the village of Laruns and the sun setting over the mountains, it's time for a drink at Chez Lilou !
The Village of Laruns is the economic centre of the valley with the local Mairie and Tourist Office found in the centre. In the village there is a small cinema ( holds over 100 people) and an indoor public swimming pool ( open all year).
Sport and Activities in the region
The main activities are outdoor.. the rivers Ossau and Valentin giving lots of options for water sports ranging from rafting, canoeing and freshwater fishing ( lake and river). While all around the mountains during the summer months are a haven for sport.. Climbing ( there's an indoor wall in the Laruns gym with 35 routes), walking, mountain biking and horse riding are all on offer for your time in this beautiful region of the Pyrenees-Atlantique.
But don't forget the winter months when the ski resorts come alive...
Are you looking for a place to stay? ( summer and winter) Just outside the village centre, over looking the road to Eaux Bonnes, the camping du valentin has static caravans for rent all year round, or you can just pitch up ( in the summer) and enjoy the view from one of the shady camping pitches which they have on offer.