Sauveterre-de-Bearn is known for its medieval heritage and its natural beauty.This small village, is tied to its past and lives on today. This well kept secret is slowly being uncovered, particularly after its inclusion in the latest Michelin Voyage guide: “Les plus beaux Villages de France”.
At the gateway of the Béarn and on the edge of the French Basque Country, Sauveterre-de-Bearn sprung to life around the eleventh century.
Perched on a gentle promontory with magnificent views of The Pyrenees and above the rushing waters of the Gave d'Oloron, this beautiful medieval town has a remarkable architectural heritage and a wonderful natural environment.
The village can best be admired from national treasure, Le Pont de La Légende (Bridge of the Legend) of which an arch and a fortified gate remain. It once played an important role in the defence of the town. Visitors can take their the time to admire the view of the Gave d'Oloron surrounded by greenery, the Monréal Tower, the bell-tower of the Church of St Andrew and the medieval walls.
There are also beautiful views from the terrace of the church of the mighty Pyrenees providing the border with Spain. Near the viewpoint, the fortified church built in the 12th and 13th centuries is worth visiting for its tympanum and carved capitals. Another landmark in the village, the mighty Monreal Tower, standing 33 metres tall, built in the 12th century.
Whilst many visitors are content to simply soak up the atmosphere with a gentle walk, a picnic by the river or a stop at one of the local bars or restaurants in the village, others are eager to take on the myriad of other activities on our doorstep.
Market Days - Every Saturday morning is the village market day little changed for centuries where fresh produce is on offer in a convivial atmosphere. In Summer, the market is open Wednesdays as well. Within a 20km radius there are market days to be had every day!
Antiques - Pick up a treasure at one of the local Brocantes or go hunting at the Vide Greniers, a favourite weekend pastime.
Hiking/Running - Follow the many forested trails on foot or mountain bike. For sure you will want to take in a section of the famous Compostelle St Jacques which passes through the town and under the arches leading to the Pont de la Legende.
Canoeing&Kayaking - Take your own or reach out to a number of tour operators offering rafting and canoeing excursions down the river.
Fishing - Once a year, there is the World Wild Salmon Fishing championships in our river but equally through Spring & Summer great fishing can be had either through the graceful fly fishing or spinning. If you are lucky you might be able to secure a prized Trout or Salmon. Guided tours are also available. For further information please check www.unpf.fr/64
Bicycling - There can be no better place for biking with amazing scenery, a mix of flat and mountainous routes almost car free and plenty of chances for coffee stops! No wonder the famous Tour de France comes to our neighbourhood every year! We have a wide selection of bikes available for guests to hire during their stay from touring style to high end racing bikes and children bikes. Let us know in advance and we will have the right choice prepared for you.
Driving Tours - Many a weekend vintage car clubs and motor bikers can be seen cruising the small back roads zigging there way around the countryside.
Horse riding - There are a few riding clubs in the neighbouhood, the closest one is only half kilometre away. Ask us for any specific requirements you might have.
Water jump - Only 29km away from our hotel, at a high quality water lake, you the best thrill of your summer ! Water Jump : You can jump in the lake with our 12 distincts kickers with whatever is sliding or rolling (Bodyboard, Inflatable donuts, bike, ski, snowboard...)
Golf - With the oldest club in Europe in Pau and many other courses along the Coast golfers have plenty of opportunities to have a round.
This region has one of the richest French territory in terms of gastronomy, with influences from both the Béarn and Basque country (Half French, Half Spanish influence) . It’s famously known for its cuisine, thanks to its quality and refinement.
There are many fine wines from nearby wineries to accompany your meal with the Jurançon area being well recognised and of course Bordeaux and Navarre being not far away. For something different there is also a great range of bio and natural wines.
Dishes regularly on the “menu du jour” include Cassoulet (pork & white beans); Pot au Feu (beef stew) ,Garbure (rich soup), Jambon de Bayonne (ham), Confit de Canard/Magret de Canard (duck), Foie Gras, Gateau Basque (tart).
If you prefer a stay-in night your hosts can prepare a hearty meal with Asian influences. Otherwise we are well served with eating out options with 6 bar/restaurants in town, 3 bakeries, a charcuterie and an organic grocery store for locally grown produce.
There are also many highly recommended restaurants in our neighbourhood too so you can never be short of a great place to feast. Just ask us for a recommendation as we have happily tried them all in the name of “research”.
Spa thermal - Possibly the most famous local establishment is la Thermes in Salies-de-Béarn. A relaxing spa with famous salty water which has an unique know-how for more than 150 years. The therapeutic properties of strong sodium chloride water make the station's reputation in the field of rheumatology, gynaecology and developmental disorders. Hammam, jacuzzi, massages, slimming treatments, hot stones, aromatherapy, sauna…a whole range of treatments awaits you.
Yoga & Meditation - If you want to continue your yoga practice we can arrange: Either join the local groups with French-speaking teachers, or we can arrange a private session with a French or English speaking instructor. Of course we welcome group bookings for Yoga & Meditation retreats.
Art therapy - Book yourself into an art workshop which you’ll use creative juices to create your own little masterpiece whether that be metal work, pottery or painting. Or if that is not quite your style then there are plenty of opportunities to pick up interesting pieces from the various art shows and galleries around the area.
Soap course - Pioneer of cold process soapmaking in France, the family business aromaNature makes an exclusive line of natural handmade soaps that many loyal and enthusiastic customers have enjoyed for more than 16 years (we provide it to our guests as well!) Leanne & Sylvain have also been teaching the art of cold process soapmaking since 2004 and published two beautiful soapmaking books in French. Soap course can be arranged upon appointment.
La boutique des créateurs - A group of local creators has been established this little boutique in town. Jewelery, candles, bags, wallets, children's items, birdhouses and other cardboard furniture ...All came out ... of their hands.