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Spa town and star town!

The town of Bagnères-de-Bigorre (or Bagneres de Bigorre) is found in the south-west of France, not too far from the Spanish border. It is set in a stunning location, amidst the wild and beautiful scenery of the Haute-Pyrénées. The town is a spa town which has an added extra. On the pic (peak) above the town there is an observatory where you can view the stars and planets and learn about the night sky. There has been an observatory here since 1880!

Bagnères-de-Bigorre - lively and modern

The town's glory days have somewhat faded, from the grand era of thermalism, when everyone who was anyone in Europe would come to Bagnères-de-Bigorre to be pampered and to "take the waters". However, its forward-looking attitude has resulted in a town with a lively atmosphere and a good clutch of modern amenities. There are a good number of shops in Bagnères-de-Bigorre, with all the usual boulangeries, boucheries and banks.

Charm and faded elegance

If there is a feeling of fading grandeur about Bagnères-de-Bigorre, it only adds to its charm. The great era of thermalism is over, and those towns which thrived on high society's passion for all things thermal have had to move on too. But the days of wine and roses have left an indelible stamp on these little French spa towns. The hotels wear their past like a badge of honour, and you are immediately aware that if walls could talk, these walls would have some fine tales to tell! Many of the buildings also hark back to the past, with timbered houses and ancient streets.

Spa centre

If you feel like some serious pampering, get yourself along to the Aquensis Centre. Here you can indulge in any treatment that takes your fancy, and benefit from the pure healing qualities of the mineral waters for which Bagnères-de-Bigorre is famed. Afterwards, while still glowing and feeling gorgeous, why not treat yourself to a meal in one of the town's restaurants... you can choose from traditional French fare, modern cuisine or even a simple pizza at the local pizzeria. Finally, if your night is still feeling young, take a chance on Lady Luck at the casino.

A room with a view

When you go to the observatory don't spend all your time looking up at the stars, as there are some amazing sights to be seen a little closer to earth. It goes without saying that the views from the pic are without peer, as you gaze out across one of Europe's most beautiful mountain ranges. Close to the town is the National Park which maintains some unique and fascinating flora and fauna, including bears, marmots and birds of prey. Travelling just a little further afield, you can easily make it to Spain and discover a different culture entirely.

Sports galore

Being close to the Pyrénées means that you have access to some amazing sporting opportunities. You can make for the mountains and the traditional winter sport of skiing in resorts such as La Mongie or Cauterets. The latter was featured in a recent Channel Four programme about a couple who moved from England to run a holiday business in the resort! If you fancy something a little different, you can try the white water sports in the rushing rivers of the canyons or stick to an old favourite and play golf on the excellent eighteen-hole course close to the town.

How to get there

To reach Bagnères-de-Bigorre you can fly to one of several airports that are within easy reach of the town. Of these, Pau is the closest, with direct flights from the UK with budget airline Ryanair. Rail travel is also possible and the TGV takes you to either Toulouse or to Tarbes, from where you can access local services (bus or train) to your destination. If you are driving, you can find the town from the A64 auto route.

Property prices and availability in and around Bagnères-de-Bigorre

Bagnères-de-Bigorre benefits from lower prices than many other towns in the south of France. It is cheaper to buy here than on the Atlantic or Mediterranean coasts, and also property here is considerably better value for money than on the other side of the border in northern Spain. Property is, however, increasing in value in this area, so don't wait too long before making a decision to buy here. There are still, at the time of writing, some renovation properties coming onto the market, and of these the stone-built rural properties are the most desired.

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Bagnères-de-Bigorre AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Bagnères-de-Bigorre?

Bagnères-de-Bigorre is located in the south-west of France, quite close to the border with Spain. It lies in the centre of the Hautes-Pyrénées department.

Bagnères-de-Bigorre Property Map


Midi-Pyrénées Guide

Midi-Pyrénées Property Map


Hautes-Pyrénées Guide

  Hautes-Pyrénées Map

Population: 8,048

Access: By air: Fly to Pau, Biarritz or Toulouse. By rail: The TGV will take you to Toulouse or Tarbes, from where you can link to a local train. By road: The town is accessed from the A64 motorway.

Economy: The economy is based on thermalism.

Interesting fact: Bagnères-de-Bigorre has an observatory on the pic (peak) above the town from where you can view the stars as well as the stunning scenery.


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