Where are the property hotspots of the Pyrénées?

Where are the property hotspots of the Pyrénées? 1

With Spain on one side and France on the other, the Pyrénées span 430km and are just over 3,400m at their highest peak at Aneto, a few miles south of the French border. With a selection of ski resorts, which also offer other winter sports such as snowboarding and snowshoeing, these stunning mountains are highly popular during the winter, and are also a dream destination for hikers and cyclists in the summer.

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Famously part of the Tour de France, the Pyrénées are home to breath-taking mountainscapes and challenging climbs, such as the Col du Tourmalet, the highest road pass in the Pyrénées which has been part of the Tour de France more than eighty times.

In terms of where to buy, there are many property hotspots in the Pyrénées that can provide second home owners with year-round holidays and rental income. With Pau and Toulouse airports providing flights to international destinations, fast access to the Pyrénées is possible. This also makes it an attractive location to families looking for a permanent move as everyday working life can easily complement an active, sporty lifestyle.

No place like Pau

The vibrant city of Pau lies around 85km from the Spanish border and it is one of the most desirable locations to own property in the Pyrénées. Its breath-taking views of the mountains drove French writer Alphonse de Lamartine to describe it as the place with the “world’s most beautiful view of the earth”.

Rich in history and culture, its castle is famous for being Henry IV’s birthplace, but other must-see sites are the stunning Ossau Valley and the pretty villages in the Béarn region. Wine tasting in the surrounding Jurançon territory is also a favourite pastime of many. Closest ski resorts include Gourette, Artouste-Fabrèges and Cauterets, which are less than 1.5 hours away. Cauterets is also a spa town which has two ski areas in the heart of the national park.

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Just five minutes from Pau, this contemporary five-bedroom home (HH-11007769) – which is on the market exclusively with Home Hunts – is the type of property that is in high demand from families looking to move to the Pyrénées.

Designed specifically to optimise the incredible mountain views, the mature landscaped garden is an oasis of beauty and calm, enhanced by a sparkling blue swimming pool. Inside is spacious and homely, and includes a games room, well-positioned balconies and a wine cellar. Priced at €856,000, it won’t be on the market for long.

The beauty of Bagnères-de-Bigorre

In the Hautes-Pyrénées, the quaint spa resort of Bagnères-de-Bigorre is a leading tourist destination in the Pyrénées. Renowned for its stunning spa centre Aquensis, this is a place where it is possible to experience skiing and hiking amidst some of the most breath-taking countryside in the region. Part of the Grand Tourmalet nature reserve, which is home to Barèges and La Mongie ski resorts (which together provide over 100km of pistes), it is also not far from the famous astronomical observatory Le Pic du Midi de Bigorre, one of France’s top tourist destinations.

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Just twenty minutes east of Bagnères-de-Bigorre lies the infamous spiritual city of Lourdes and this splendid, seven-bedroom Napoleon III style manor house (HH-8988772). A 1930s property requiring renovation, this is a good investment opportunity for the right buyer. Close to amenities yet in a quiet environment, it would work well as a permanent home or as rental property for families looking to spend summers or winters in the area. It is priced at €609,000.

A fantastic future in Foix

The ancient town of Foix, in the Ariège, is dominated by the magnificent Château de Foix, a Cathar castle perched at the edge of the Parc Naturel Régional des Pyrénées Ariégeoises. From mountain pastures, to verdant valleys, unspoilt lakes and ancient villages, this nature park is home to some of the most exciting hiking trails and scenery in the Pyrénées. In winter skiing enthusiasts can make the most of the slopes in places such as Ax-les-Thermes, Les Mont d’Olmes and Ascou Pailhères.

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A highly sought-after location with overseas buyers, unique properties such as this immaculate 18th century Toulousian-style mansion (HH-10502937) are in demand in the Foix area. A spectacular property, retaining many original features, it comes with two independent gites, incredible views of the Pyrénées and 34 hectares of land. Currently on the market exclusively with Home Hunts, the asking price is €945,000.

If you are looking to buy property in the French Pyrénées you can search through Home Hunts’ portfolio at www.home-hunts.com. To discuss your specific needs and to find out more about locations offering the best investment opportunities, speak to a consultant directly on +33 (0)970 44 66 43.

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