Walk to the pretty village of Amou
to buy crisp baguettes and fresh croissants for breakfast or maybe have lunch in one of the three good restaurants there. The Sunday morning market is a must.
.. with some poolside badminton or a game of boules in the garden. Or take your bikes and follow some of the cycling trails in the area.
After purchasing fresh local ingredients at your local market
for your barbecue, sit back and enjoy them at the house under the shade of the covered terrace.
Visit the 17th century chateau of Amou
open from mid July to end September. Privately owned by the same family since its construction it is a beautiful example of classical architecture.
For the energetic teenagers in the party
the nearby village of Amou offers plenty of activities such as tennis, microlights and quadbiking.
Visit a bullfight during the summer months
or, if you'd prefer something lighter, watch the 'vaches landaises', the gentler version often seen at village fetes and using beautiful black cows. You can even take part yourself.
Visit the 17th century Chateau of Gaujacq.
They have plant markets there for 2 days in May and October, an open air concert on the night of 24 July and candlelit visits on 2 Mondays in July and August.
You are just 10 minutes from Brassempouy
with its famous caves, the Museum of Archeology which has the oldest man-made artefact yet discovered (over 23,000 years old) and an interesting 12th century church.
Golf, in nearby Hagetmau,
where there is a 9-hole practice course with tennis, paddle, athletics and sauna facilities too.
View the countryside from horseback.
There is horse riding at the centre équestre Ous Pins in Tartas.
Experience water rafting in Sauveterre-de-Bearn.
Take a half day or whole day pleasure trip on an inflatable raft along the river. Meals can be booked and provided for you to enjoy along the way.
Visit the famous town of Lourdes.
There is plenty to see and do there including the sanctuaries, museums and walks in the footsteps of Bernadette. It's busy with tourists and pilgrims during the day but try to stay for the candelit procession held every evening at 9 pm. Nearby is a funicular railway which goes up through pine trees to the caves above the town (Le Pic du Jer) from where there are spectacular views over Lourdes, Pau and Tarbes.
Le Donjon aux Aigles at Beaucens.
The castle of Beaucens, 15 km from Lourdes, houses one of the most prestigious collections of birds of prey including eagles, vultures, falcons, buzzards and parrots. From Spring to September there's a musical show too.
The children will love Asson Zoo, 6km from Nay between Pau and Lourdes where 500 different mammals and birds from all the 5 continents are waiting to be discovered, 1115 different species in all.
The Gallo-Roman town of Dax
For extra relaxation, you could visit the historical Gallo-Roman town of Dax which has one of the best French thermal hot spring water and mud baths in the region.
can offer you highwire trips through the treetops and other adventures too for both adults and children alike - just 30 minutes - from your house.
The historic city of Pau
is under an hour's drive away or you can take the train from Orthez. It has a great castle and nine centuries of French history to unfold The castle itself has one of the biggest and most beautiful collections of tapestries outside Paris. Be sure to visit the Boulevard des Pyrénées where you can sit at a pavement café with a fantastic view of the mountains and watch the world go by.
Explore the area from up above in a hot air balloon.
You can take to the skies around the beautiful fortified town of Navarrenx.
Hiking in the Béarn des Gaves.
Call into the Tourist Office for details of all the 70 walks in the delightful Bearn valley. There's not only walking, but also horse or bike riding around Orthez, Navarrenx, Salies-de-Béarn and Sauveterre-de-Bearn.
Spend a day in Biarritz
about an hour's drive from your house. Head to the lighthouse for a panoramic view of the Bay and the Casino, and then take Le Petit Train from the Rock of the Virgin for a tour of the town. Biarritz has an Aquarium, Museum of Chocolate and also a Museum of Oriental Art, and for the shoppers, there are some tempting designer shops on the road near the Casino.
Visit Bayonne, capital of the French Basque Country
About an hour's drive from the house, Bayonne is an attractive old town of winding streets and famous for its ham and excellent chocolate! Anyone interested in Basque culture and history should visit the Musee Basque on the banks of the river. Very busy when the Fetes de Bayonne take place in late July but full of ambience!
Go to the beach
Enjoy the lovely beaches along the Aquitane coast. Hossegor, for example, is the 'surfing capital' with an endless beach of fine sand fringed by pine forests and a salt-water lake. There's a golf course there too.
For a lively seaside resort
head down to the Basque town of St. Jean de Luz. It has a fishing port too so there are plenty of excellent restaurants for tasty locally-caught seafood. Its town centre reveals a mixture of old world charm and medieval architecture which you can explore through the narrow lanes.
The French Basque towns are famous for the game of pelote, a court sport played against a wall with a ball, and a basket racket. Imagine squash with a basket on your hand and a ball that travels the speed of Michael Schumacher! Competition starts up in the autumn and you can catch the game being played in towns such as Biarritz, Anglet, Dax, Bayonne, St Jean de Luz, Capbreton, Hossegor and Bidart. For this and other activities in the area, go to www.cote-sorties.com and click on the 'sport' heading.
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