October 31, 2020

Artouste, the jewel of the Valle d’Ossau



Artouste is in the middle of a natural freeride area and offers a height difference of 700 between 1400 and 2100 meters. This station is ideal for skiing for all levels, which has attracted many riders and freestylers for a few years. It is a family and quiet season but also allows us to climb the adrenaline with varied tracks and greater inclination.

We access the Artouste station through the Sagette cable car, 27 km are skiable distributed in 18 tracks, 2 green, 9 blue, 6 red and 1 black. The Snow Park, symbol of the station, and the freeride area, delight riders and skiers, while the Kid Park will allow beginners to begin their adventure in front of the Ossau.

The Artouste ski resort offers different sectors for all levels.

· The Sagette sector, ideal for beginners and children with its Kidpark and its sled track, under the impressive view of the Pic du Midi d’Ossau.

· The Arracou sector offers beautiful red and blue slopes that extend from the top of the domain to the magnificent Soussouéou plateau, and you will ski among fir trees.

· The Séous sector is dedicated to more experienced skiers and thrill seekers. In particular, we found an area dedicated to freestyle (snowpark and snowcross).

We have been able to enjoy this small station and we have been wanting more, for example a freeride itinerary that connects the neighboring Gourette station with Artouste, we signed up for the next visit.

At the base of the station we find all the services: rental and purchase of equipment, restaurants, bars, etc. Also at 2000 meters we have the restaurant Le Panoramic with magnificent views and terrace to enjoy on sunny days in front of the impressive Midi d’Ossau.

Ski pass: very competitive prices

We are struck by their prices, a ski day for an adult is € 19 and for a child € 9, this is even more attractive.

Village of Artouste-Fabrèges

Created in 1984 on the shore of Lake Fabrèges (1250 m), the town has almost 800 beds, at the foot of the cable car that leads to the Artouste station. The architecture of the place, with its constructions of wood and stone, was designed to integrate as well as possible in this unique environment.

The Valle d’Ossau

I correspond to the part of the French Pyrenees that we found when crossing the Portalet Border. This, together with the Valle d´Aspe, and the Barétous Valley, form the area known as the Bearnés Pyrenees. This place stands out for its imposing mountains, the green of its meadows and the freshness that is breathed since being in the north face receives abundant rainfall.

It is a valley with a marked thermal character for many years, of picturesque villages, high mountains from which to see distant lands, glacial lakes with a lot of charm, but if something attracts attention as soon as you cross Portalet it is the feeling of reaching French territory, its language, the smell of artisan cheeses, typical sweets …

It is a valley with pastoral transhumance and traditions, a valley where skiing is present with its ski resorts, Artouste and Gourette. For those looking for a cozy atmosphere in a village with a traditional mountain architecture, its site is Laruns, 21 km from Artouste.

Laruns

Charming mountain village located in the heart of Valle d’Ossau, in Haut-Béarn (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), Laruns has about 1,200 inhabitants), but multiplies in summer and winter.

Laruns is the capital of the valley and deserves a quiet walk through its streets. Shops, bars and restaurants, and if you have occasion, approach any Saturday to enjoy its traditional weekly market.

We have been staying in several rural establishments that have enchanted us for the welcoming of their facilities and the friendliness of their owners, committed to sustainable rural tourism.

Summer

In summer, Artouste becomes a “Trail” station with more than 200 km signposted, workshops and specialized services for all lovers of this discipline. It also offers many hiking trails for the whole family, but attraction number 1 is the little train that leads to the lake and Artouste dam through great landscapes.

Artouste train

At 2,000 meters altitude, the narrow path of “Le Petit Train d’Artouste” It is the smallest small tourist railway line in Europe, whose route offers passengers the most impressive panoramic views of the Pyrenean mountain range, in its natural state, along its French slope, on a narrow 10-kilometer long track, with its stations , its crossings and its regulation center.

In 1932, at the end of the works, this idyllic mountain became, to the astonishment of own and strangers, an ideal space for tourism lover of natural values. And it was thereafter, when the Compagnie des Chemins de Fer du Midi (then absorbed by SNCF), gave the green light to continue the tracing of the railway. This railway line, designed for tourism, has the peculiarity of opening the most inaccessible trails, in normal conditions, through these mountains during the summer months. The subsequent development of the Artouste ski resort allowed to keep the little train a well-deserved rest during the long winter of the Pyrenees.

In 1932, after the construction of the reservoir, the tourist development of the area was proceeded; in 1966 the ski resort is created, and, in 1984, the cable car was replaced by a cable car. But we have to point out that, thanks to the small train, all the high mountain facilities have been able to be maintained, by guaranteeing a constant flow of tourism, especially during the summer months; It reaches 100,000 annual visits.

How to get

By car: From Spain you can access from Huesca through Sabiñánigo, Biescas, Sallent de Gállego and the Port of Portalet. If you come by Irún, by the A64, exit in Pau.

By plane: Pau airport 70 km away

More information

Artoueste ski resort

Tourist Office of Laurun, Maison de la Vallée d Ossau, 64440 Laruns, France

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