The Hautes Pyrenees situated in the south west of the Midi-Pyrenees region was given its name because of the imposing chain of mountains, the Pyrenees. Although the Pyrenees extends from the Atlantic Coast to the Mediterrenean Coast the most substantial part with the highest peaks are found in the Department 65.

The Hautes-Pyrénées is a predominantely a mountainous agricultural landscape of villages, farms, fields, upland pastures and winding mountain roads and a popular tourist destination .

The National Park or Parc Nationale des Pyrenees, stretching some 100km and extending over 45 000 hectares along the borders of France and Spain makes up a large part of the department. Here you can find a wide variety of fauna and flora, many rare species of flowers. In recent years there has been a lot of focus on bears of the Pyrenees, and those who are into wildlife will enoy the abundant wildlife and birdlife.

The capital of the Hautes Pyrenees is Tarbes. This is a rather understated lovely town which has undertaken major changes lately. During summer there are huge flowering baskets everywhere in the town.

Lourdes is probably the most famous and popular destination in the Hautes Pyrenees. Second only to Paris in the number of hotels each year millions of pilgrims visit from all over the world paying their respects to the shrine of Sainte Bernadette (the Sanctuary of our Lady of Lourdes).

The leisure activities in the Hautes Pyrenees are numerous and varied. Ranging from fly fishing, walking, hiking, mountain biking, climbing (rock and mountain), canoeing, horse riding, snowboarding, paragliding and last but not least skiing. The ski resorts of the Pyrenees are well known and have in latter years become very popular due to the enormous input from the Conseil General of the Midi Pyrenees with the improvement to the road infrastructure and the resorts themselves and also due to the fact that the cost is a lot lower than the Alps.

The resorts of Bareges, Cauterets, Saint Lary Soulan, Luz Ardiden, La Mongie and Peyragudes, and Piau Engaly there is skiing for all levels. Cross country skiing is also a popular sport in this area and there are many resorts catering for the cross country skier.

Many of the towns in the Hautes Pyrenees are famous historically for the cures. Bagneres de Bigorre is one of these. Like so many of the Spa towns it offers rest and pampering to many of you who may have played a round of golf or had a hard days skiing.

There are many more of these Spa towns such as Argeles Gazost, which also has animal park with local bears, and other such animals.

The Cirque de Gavarnie an UNESCO world heritage site is worth a trip stopping on the way at the Pont d’Espagne.

For those of you who are keen golfers, there are many golf course to choose from. There are 18 hole courses at Bagnères de Bigorre, Lannemezan, Tarbes and Lourdes and a 9 hole in Laloubère. If you get bored of these there are many more just across the borders and into the Gers and the Pyrenees Atlantic.

The Tarbes/Lourdes airport has been refurbished in recent years and it is a very busy airport during the summer months while during the winter months tour operators run flights for the ski season. Pau airport is only 30 mins from Tarbes and the airports of Biarritz and Toulouse are both approximately 1h45mins.

Property in the area has also seen an increase in capital growth lately and there are many new developments in the Pyrenees area which is proving to be quite popular.