Stroll from the house into the centre of Salies de Béarn
and walk around the winding alleyways and streets of this charming Ville Fleurie. Visit the art exhibition centre on the banks of the river, stop at the various galleries, pop into Atelier Katy to see fabric being woven, visit the perfumiers' shop and buy hand made chocolates at the sweetmaker's. Enjoy lunch at La Terrasse restaurant overlooking the river.
Book a treatment at Les Thermes, Salies de Béarn's own spa,
where you can have anything from a massage to a mud wrap. Alternatively, go for a swim in the therapeutic swimming pool where the mineral-packed water is seven times saltier than seawater (the salt for which Salies is famous is used in top spas around the world).
Shop at Salies de Bearn's bustling Thursday morning market,
or the smaller market on Saturday mornings. On Tuesday mornings, there is a farmers and artisans market at a foie gras farm just outside Salies - a great place to find local specialities (July and August).
Walk the 'Chemin Royal'
which leads from the house up through the hills and vineyards around Salies de Béarn (details from the Tourist Office in Salies).
Visit the Hotel du Parc
for a drink or a meal in the Belle Époque surroundings that Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda enjoyed during their visits to the town.
Meet the locals
The 'Bar de Salys' in Salies de Béarn holds fortnightly Anglo-French quizzes - a good opportunity to meet the local French people and improve your French!
Visit the river at mediaeval Sauveterre de Béarn (15 min drive)
where you can swim, canoe and body board down the gentle rapids or simply have lunch or ice-creams in the gardens of Le Fil d'Eau tearoom.
Take to the higher parts of the river
for white water rafting and other river-based activities.
Hire bicycles and cycle along the river banks
in Sauveterre or through the lanes surrounding Salies.
Go horse-riding at 'Les Ecuries de Sancie'
and enjoy spectacular views. English speaking instructors available.
Take a day trip to Biarritz (50 min drive) with its superb beaches,
designer shops and Belle Epoque architecture. Have dinner at one of the restaurants by Le Vieux Port and enjoy fabulous seafood next to the sea. There are a number of beaches, including a calm bay with rock pools, the wide sandy beach in front of the town and beaches ideal for surfing and body boarding.
Surfing and body boarding
are also possible at many of the beaches along the Landaise coast, north of Biarritz.
Golf & Crazy Golf
There is a 9-hole golf course near Salies or you can have a game of crazy golf in the Jardins Publiques in the town. Ask at the tourist office for more information.
Tennis & Squash
If you want to be active whilst on holiday, there are tennis and squash courts in the town. Ask at the local tourist office for more information.
Take archery lessons at the Salies de Béarn archery club which is open to non-members on Wednesdays and Saturday afternoons.
Visit the attractive town of St Jean de Luz (1hour)
on its calm bay . Enjoy the speciality chocolate makers, seafood restaurants, and Basque linen shops. Walk around the colourful port and take a boat trip.
Visit the Aqua Béarn
water park just outside Oloron Saint Marie (1 hour).
Take a day trip into the Pyrénées (1-1.5 hours)
Look out for the wonderful cheese festival at Etsauts in the Vallée d'Aspe for a real sense of traditional Pyrénéen life.
Instead of taking the motorway to the coast,
drive through the pretty Basque villages, especially Espellette which is renowned for its chilli pepper festival in the summer.
Visit the pretty town of Pau (45 min), the capital of the Béarn.
Walk through the pedestrianized streets around the castle, enjoy the antique shops and enjoy lunch in one of the many restaurants. The Pau arts festival takes place in July and the Pau motor racing Grand Prix takes place in May/June.
Visit the attractive city of Bayonne,
the capital of the French 'Pays Basque'. The Fête de Bayonne in July is a colourful event that lasts several days.
Take a ride on Le Petit Train de la Rhune (50 min)
to the observatory at the top of the mountain where you will be able to see as far as the eye can see along the French and Spanish coasts.
Visit the lake in Orthez (20 min)
where you can sunbathe on the sandy beach, swim, hire pedalos, enjoy the flume slides and other activities at the lakeside park.
Take a day trip to Spain.
Enjoy tapas in the interesting cobbled streets of San Sebastian (1.5 hour), one of Spain's most sophisticated seaside resorts.
Enjoy the many festivals in the area throughout the year.
In Salies, there are: Le Piperadere on August 15th, Metiers d'Autan (crafts of yesteryear), the Féte du Sel over the second weekend in September, Le Fête des Blondes (the famous Aquitaine cattle!) at the end of August, an art festival in early July, and the various celebrations on July 14th.
Go salmon fishing on the Gave d'Oloron.
Sauveterre de Béarn holds the world salmon fishing championship every spring.
Visit the pretty town of Mauleon
in the foothills of the Pyrénées and see espadrilles being made. Espadrilles originated in the Basque country and Mauleon is the centre of espadrille making.
Have you visited Les Lilas?
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