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A town with the best of all worlds!

Orthez, the market town set in the heart of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in south-west France, has a location which guarantees it the very best of all the diverse regions, cultures and natural wonders that surround it. Lying between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenean Mountains, Orthez offers sporting activities unrivalled in France, but this is not the whole story.

Influenced by three different cultures

Orthez also benefits from lying on the confluence of three different cultures: those of Spain, of Basque France and of Bearnais France. The cultures and cuisines blend in Orthez to create an exciting and unique ambience which needs to be sampled… along with the equally exciting cuisine!

Picturesque and historic

The town of Orthez is both picturesque and historic. The birthplace of Jeanne d'Albret, Queen of Navarre and mother of King Henry IV of France, the town celebrates this fact with a museum named for its most famous daughter. This museum is in the same building as the Tourist Information Office, so on your first visit to the town you can kill two birds with one stone!

The Pont Vieux and the Tour Moncade

The dramatic fortified bridge, the Pont Vieux, which spans the Gave de Pau is next on the "must see" list… although as it rather dominates the town you would find it a little difficult to miss! Once you have taken in the splendour of the bridge, make your way to the top of the town where you can climb the magnificent Tour Moncade, a thirteenth century tower (remnant of the Castle of Moncade), which offers commanding views of the town and of the surrounding countryside. The tower now houses a meteorological observatory.

What to do, try, and buy in Orthez!

Orthez has a superb market every Tuesday, and you really should make the effort to get out of bed early to buy the best of the produce on offer. Local specialities include Foie Gras, the duck liver delicacy, and Bayonne cured hams. Orthez has plenty of good shops to tempt you, ranging from everyday supermarkets to fascinating crafts and speciality shops and boutiques.

Orthez's cuisine

There are also some fine restaurants, where the cuisine varies from the duck-based Bearnais gastronomy, with lots of substantial soups made with garlic, onions and even eggs (better than they sound!) to the spicier Basque dishes cooked with a proliferation of Piment Espelette, the red hot pepper grown in the region. The town has a good number of bars and cafés too, so the social side of life is positively buzzing!

Sports and leisure

As the diversity of landscapes in the region in which the town is situated, lends itself to so many possibilities, this truly is a sportsman's paradise. The mountains afford the opportunity for skiing, snow boarding and rock climbing, whilst the gorges and rivers allow for exciting white water sports such as kayaking and rafting. The Atlantic coast, only around a half hours drive away, is superb for surfing, with Biarritz being the European capital of surf! Then there is golf, horse-riding, cycling, fishing, walking… you get the picture. Anything is possible here.

How to get there

Reaching Orthez is simple. Ryanair, the low cost airline, offers you a choice of two almost equidistant airports, Pau and Biarritz, with direct flights from the UK. There is a station in the town too, which offers links to the TGV system, meaning that rail travel from the UK is also no problem. There is also another option, with the ferry port of Santander/Bilbao not far away, for those who are brave enough to make the crossing of the turbulent Bay of Biscay!

Property prices and availability in and around Orthez

Orthez is set in a rapidly developing property market, in an area which is attracting more and more interest from foreign buyers all the time. This has the effect of raising the prices along with the desirability of property here, but also means that any investment here is likely to prove a good one. Property in Orthez varies from the old, traditional houses in the centre of the town to the modern developments on the outskirts.

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Orthez AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Orthez?

Orthez lies in the far south-west of France, in the north of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department, close to this department's border with the Lande department.

Orthez Property Map

IN THE REGION OF AQUITAINE

Aquitaine Guide

Aquitaine Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF PYRÉNÉES-ATLANTIQUES

Pyrénées-Atlantiques Guide

  Pyrénées-Atlantiques Map


Population: 10,000


Access: By air: Fly to Pau or Biarritz with Ryanair. By rail: There is a station in the town which links to the TGV network. By boat: Take the ferry to Santander/Bilbao.


Economy: Cotton spinning, weaving, flour milling, paper, leather and production of cured hams are all important to the town's economy.


Interesting fact: Orthez was the site of a British triumph (Wellington) over the French (Foy) in battle. A British couple decided to celebrate this, and set up a restaurant called Wellington's. Predictably, it was a disaster and closed very quickly!

AGENTS WITH PROPERTY FOR SALE IN Orthez

Agence Immobiliere Le Bonheur
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Allez Francais
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