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Sauveterre de Béarn - pilgrim town with a castle

Sauveterre de Béarn is a charming old fortified town that lies on the pilgrim trail to Santiago de Compostela. It overlooks the lovely salmon river, the Gave d'Oloron, from a lofty position. This river, and the remains of the fortifications (which include an impressive though sadly ruined castle) make Sauveterre de Béarn a delightful and interesting place to visit, or indeed live.

Natural beauty

There is an unspoiled natural beauty to the countryside around the town, and this makes it a peaceful haven for those who love the mountains, the rushing rivers and the green pastures that make this land so successful in terms of agriculture. Lying close to the spectacular Pyrénéan Mountains, Sauveterre de Béarn is indeed a special place.

About town

Sauveterre de Béarn is a small agricultural town these days, but there is plenty to see and do, as long as you are not expecting the bright lights and bustle of a city. The bridge over the Gave d'Oloron is impressive, as are the other remains of the town's fortifications, including the partly ruined castle, and there is a pretty 12th century church, that of St André.

Romantic riverside dining

The town also has a good selection of shops and cafés, and most normal services are available locally. For those in search of a romantic evening, the riverside area offers the loveliest of settings, and there is a choice of good restaurants here, serving the acclaimed delicious Béarnaise and Basque gourmet specialities.

Out and about

This part of France is excellent for those who enjoy exploring and spending time in the open air. There are many fascinating places to discover within easy reach of the town, and these include pretty spa towns like Salies de Béarn, unspoiled ski resorts such as Pierre St Martin, the swish Atlantic resorts of Biarritz and Bayonne, and of course, all the beauty of Basque Spain is but a short drive away.

Sports on offer

Sports fans will also find lots to get involved in around the town, with the best salmon fishing in France available in the Gave d'Oloron, a rafting centre for those who like the adrenaline rush of white water sports, golf for those addicted to following the "little white pill" and, the usual tennis and petanque courts. Walkers, cyclists and horse-riders will enjoy taking advantage of the tranquil and unspoiled countryside of this region too.

How to get there

You can fly to Pau, Biarritz or to Bordeaux. Pau and Biarritz are both served by Ryanair, while Bordeaux is served by British Airways, Aer Lingus, easyJet and flybe. Rail travel also an option, with the TGV running to Bayonne, Bordeaux, Biarritz and Toulouse. Drivers will find the town easily from the A64 auto route.

Property prices and availability in and around Sauveterre de Béarn

The Pyrénées-Atlantiques can be quite an expensive place to purchase property, as it has huge natural advantages and is a perennially popular destination. Keeping away from the coast, however, to towns such as Sauveterre de Béarn can be a wise move if you want to keep the prices down. There is currently a good selection of property on the market in and near Sauveterre at very reasonable prices. At the higher end of the market you will find some wonderful character properties typical of the Basque style of architecture.

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Sauveterre de Béarn AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Sauveterre de Béarn?

Sauveterre de Béarn is situated in the far south-west of France. It lies slightly to the north of the centre of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department.

Sauveterre de Béarn 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: 1,304


Access: By air: The airports of Pau, Biarritz and Bordeaux are all within easy reach. By rail: The TGV runs to Biarritz and Bordeaux. By road: The town can be found near the A64 auto route.


Economy: The economy is agricultural.


Interesting fact: In 1170 Queen Sancie was thrown from the town's bridge into the river (with her hands and feet bound) to ascertain whether she was innocent or guilty of the murder of her newborn disabled child. She survived and was pronounced innocent.

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