Pau, France

Self Catering Pau Holiday Homes, Cottages and Gites 

Pau is the capital of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Aquitaine region of France. Pau is 100 km from the Atlantic Ocean and 50 km from the Pyrenees. Spain is 50 km away in a straight line. The frontier is crossed by the col du Somport (1,631 m) and the col du Pourtalet (1,794 m).

When you stay in a Pau Holiday Gite, you’re in a town which stands on a 200m elevation overlooking the valley of a mountain river called the Gave de Pau, where a ford gave passage to the Pyrenees. The Gave, which becomes a torrent when mountain snow melts, begins in the Cirque de Gavarnie. It is the principal tributary of the Adour after 175 km.  The other rivers of the region are the Luy de Béarn, tributary of the Luy, the Ousse, and the Ousse des Bois, which flow into the Gave de Pau, and the Uzan, which joins the Luy de Béarn.

When you rent a holiday home in Pau – you’re visiting a town steeped in history – for it was fortified in the 11th century to control the ford across the Gave de Pau. During the early 16th century, the Château de Pau was made more habitable by Gaston III, count of Foix. Napoleon III refurbished the château and Pau adding streets of Belle Époque architecture. Pau is also noted for being the birthplace of the 16th century king of France Henry IV.

Today when you stay in a Pau Holiday Cottage – the Château de Pau dominates the city. It has a small garden that was tended by Marie Antoinette when she spent her summers in the city. The château is now considered a French historical monument and contains a collection of tapestry. Pau is still a centre for winter sports and equestrian events, with a steeplechase.

The Funiculaire de Pau is also worth a trip when you stay in self-catering accommodation in Pau. It links the city centre and Boulevard des Pyrenees to the railway station in the valley.

The train station Gare de Pau offers connections to Bordeaux, Bayonne, Toulouse and Paris, and several regional destinations – there is a TGV service to Paris too. Pau is located 200 km west of Toulouse, 30 km from Tarbes and Lourdes. Pau is served by the airport of Pau-Pyrenees 10 km away. Ryanair flies into and out of Pau’s airport. Pau is at least a day’s journey by car (without breaks) form France’s northern ferry terminals – alternatively – there are ferries received into Spain’s northern ports.

The local climate is typical of a continental region: summer temperatures peak at around 28°C, and the area is mainly sunny all year round. In the winter temperatures drop considerably, but strong winds are rare.