I discovered the Val d'Azun for the first time in 1980. It was in the spring.
It was a real shock.
Coming out of the village of Arras en Lavedan, I was truly struck, confounded, by the beauty and harmony of the landscape before me.
At the exit of the village, the valley opens wide, on gently sloping meadows, soft green, some hedges of a more sustained green emphasizing the characteristic glacial form; further on, at the crossroads of secondary valleys, pretty villages with slate roofs and snow-capped peaks in the background! But what heights! Proud, slender, superb, giving the whole an incomparable strength and majesty.
A landscape that is both simple and magnificent, soft and majestic, a sort of culmination of Nature, of plenitude, of perfect harmony, in which one feels an irresistible desire to blend.
I thought, however, despite my 25 years, to have toured what the Pyrenees offer of beauty, sumptuousness and diversity. What I had in front of me was more than all that. Not grandiose, as Gavarnie or Ordesa can be, nor “extra-ordinary”, as certain Pyrenean landscapes are, but quite simply beautiful and harmonious, like an accomplishment, a finished work.
I had come for professional reasons, for a few months.
Forty years have passed, I stayed.
Behind the landscape, I gradually discovered a multi-faceted valley, largely up to the beautiful initial promise, and inhabitants with smiling hearts, welcoming and open, just like the valley.
The Val d'Azun naturally served as a framework for my profession, perhaps even, in fact, was it at the origin?
In any case, from my window, not a day goes by that I don't feel deep inside me what I felt that first day, this feeling of being gripped in the guts, happily bewitched by the Val of Azun.
In front of me, the Gabizos, quiet, accomplice, seems to watch over the Azunois.
To see, to discover, to do absolutely in Val d'Azun:
- Estaing lake
- The Tech dam
- The Soulor pass
- The Couraduque pass
- Villages, churches, houses, gates, chicken coops
- The Poueylaün chapel in Arrens-Marsous
- The church and the museum of None
- The mills of Arcizans-Dessus
- Arras en Lavedan, village of altitude
Unmissable and accessible hikes
- Lake Suyen, then the climb to the refuge of Larribet
- Pla de Prat lake, starting from Estaing lake
- The Boulest Valley
- Lake Soum from the Col de Soulor
- The Peak of Bazès
- The Peak of Pan
- The Soulor-Couraduque cross-country ski resort
- The transhumance of Lac d'Estaing
- The “El Dorando” festival
- The “Whisper of the World” festival
- The Trail of the Gabizos
- Sky Party
- The Arrens-Marsous market on Sundays in summer
- The farmers' market on Wednesday afternoon
And a little further
- The circus of Gavarnie
- The Bridge of Spain
- The Pic du Midi de Bigorre
- The Aubisque pass
- The Néouvielle nature reserve
- Cauterets, Hautacam, Grand Tourmalet, Luz-Ardiden, Gavarnie ski resorts