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A market town of Gascon charm

The little town of Maubourguet, which is situated in the south-west of France, not too far from the Spanish border, is a typically Gascon market town with the added charm that comes from its proximity to and affinity with, the Basque country and culture. Lovely half-timbered houses (colombage) jostle for space in the town, whilst out in the glorious rolling countryside there are delightful L-shaped farmhouses with distinctively shaped rooftops.

Maubourguet's amenities

Maubourguet, although rural in essence, offers most amenities such as supermarkets, restaurants, banking facilities, schools and garages, and is close enough to several larger towns to make long journeys non essential.

A feast of delights

Every Tuesday morning, if you drag yourself out of bed and make your way down to the town centre, you will be rewarded by a veritable feast for the senses. All French markets are a delight, but this is never more so than in this ancient region where the rural traditions are still holding strong, and the gastronomy is second to none. Food, with particular attention paid to its freshness and quality, is a serious business in this part of France.

Local culinary traditions

Although the cuisine may lack the pretentiousness of design and presentation that you may find in more fashionable areas, there is nowhere in the country that produces such quality of simple raw ingredients, nor which takes such a pride in its local culinary traditions. In the market in Maubourguet you can find evidence of this everywhere. Not only are the stalls filled to the brim with fresh produce, but the hotel and restaurant owners are the first to the stalls to choose the very finest of ingredients.

Dining out

If you don't make it to the market early enough to buy the best produce for yourself, don't worry, just treat yourself to a meal at one of the town's excellent restaurants. There is a good selection of these here, and all are of a high standard, although there is predominance of traditional French/Gascon fare.

Basque influence

The other influence on the food, (and indeed the culture) is that of the Basque country. Maubourguet finds itself, geographically speaking, on the very edge of the French Basque region, and as with Catalan France, and Basque Spain, the people in these areas are fiercely proud of their heritage.

Day tripping… a cornucopia of cultures!

As Maubourguet is centrally situated in France's deep south-west, it makes a great base for days out to see the surrounding areas. It is well within the bounds of a day trip to pop into Spain, or head west for Pau. Tarbes is close by (always good for a rugby match!), as is the pilgrim town of Lourdes. There is Andorra, for some tax free shopping, the rose-coloured city of Toulouse, or the beautiful mediaeval city of Carcassonne. It seems that everything is possible from here, which makes a little rural town seem like the cultural capital of southern France!

Sports and leisure

For the active, Maubourguet is an excellent choice of base too, as once again you are centrally situated here to reach the different areas associated with the different sports. The Pyrenean Mountains, with all their winter sports and adventure sports possibilities are close at hand, and the area close to the town has a long and proud association with horses and horsemanship. Equestrian centres abound here, so don't forget to pack your hard hat because there can be few better ways to discover this beautiful region than from the back of a horse.

How to get there

Reaching Maubourguet is quite easy and cost effective too, thanks to the existence of low cost airline Ryanair. Ryanair offers flights from various airports in the UK to Carcassonne, Pau, Perpignan, Biarritz and Girona, making air travel the simplest option. (Perpignan is also served by bmibaby and flybe.) The famous ferry crossing to Santander/Bilbao is another possibility. This is popular with those who can stomach the sometimes choppy Bay of Biscay leg of the journey! Rail travel will get you to Toulouse on a TGV.

Property prices and availability in and around Maubourguet

Property in the Haute-Pyrénées is frequently cheaper than that in neighbouring departments, for example, the Gers, and so can represent a really great investment opportunity. It is here that even those on a fairly tight budget may be able to realise the dream of owning a farmhouse renovation project, with the cheaper properties being found around towns like Maubourguet rather than near to the larger towns and cities.

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Maubourguet AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Maubourguet?

The town of Maubourguet is located in south-west France, in the north-west of the department of the Haute-Pyrénées.

Maubourguet Property Map


Midi-Pyrénées Guide

Midi-Pyrénées Property Map


Hautes-Pyrénées Guide

  Hautes-Pyrénées Map

Population: 5,770

Access: By air: The nearest airport is Pau, with others close by. By boat: Take the ferry to Bilbao/Santander. By road: The town is accessed from the D935 between Tarbes and Aire sur l'Adour. By rail: Take the Eurostar to Paris, then catch a TGV to Toulouse.

Economy: The economy of the town is agricultural and artisanal. Horse breeding is a significant factor in the surrounding countryside.

Interesting fact: Maubourguet sits on a confluence of two traditional and proud cultures, Gascon and Basque, and draws its unique atmosphere from a blend of the two.


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