A must for your camping trip: Pau, the capital of Béarn
120 km from the campsite in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, discover Pau, capital of Béarn where Henri IV of Navarre was born! It's not the next door, but the trip is worth it! To save time, here are Pau's must-see attractions not to be missed.
The castle of Pau and its museum, in the footsteps of Henri IV
Former fortress of Gaston Fébus, legendary figure in the history of Béarn, the castle of Pau has become a royal palace, the birthplace of Henri IV, first king of France and Navarre.
The visit takes you from the main courtyard to the keep, through the various rooms of the castle such as the king's room, the apartment of Empress Eugenie and the venerable frames of the castle. On the ground floor, the dining room with its gigantic oak table is really worth a look. More unusual, the turtle shell which, it is said, served as a "baby bed" for Henry IV!
On the museum side, the exhibition rooms contain beautiful collections of paintings and sculptures (19th and 20th centuries), Sèvres porcelain, period furniture and other works of art, as well as an exceptional collection of tapestries from the Manufacture des Gobelins de Paris.
If you like more than any museum, we strongly advise you to visit the Bernadotte Museum dedicated to the former marshal of Emperor Napoleon I, then the Museum of Fine Arts in Pau.
Boulevard des Pyrénées, a spectacular viewpoint over the mountains
During your camping holiday in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, the 1,800-metre Boulevard des Pyrénées is one of the places not to be missed. This spectacular walk offers a breathtaking view of the Pyrenees mountain range and the Pic du Midi d'Ossau. With many bars and restaurants, it is the perfect place to have an ice cream or a drink in front of the mountain!
The Pau Funicular, a short trip from another era
To reach the Boulevard des Pyrénées, take the Pau funicular, which was put into service in 1908. Since then, it has remained unchanged and has become one of the city's most emblematic tourist attractions. The children will be delighted. Take advantage of it, it's free and it avoids going up the stairs!
Lescar Cathedral, a jewel of Romanesque art in Béarn
Away from Pau, about 10 minutes away, Lescar Cathedral is well worth a visit: richly sculpted capitals, magnificent hunting scene in mosaics, trompe-l'oeil balustrade... Built in the 12th century on the heights of the medieval city of Lescar, the historic capital of Béarn, the Romanesque cathedral houses the tombs of the kings of Navarre, including the grandparents of Henry IV.
The favorites of the campsite
- The Pau-Gelos National Stud Farm: an 18th century castle, Napoleonic stables, a collection of horse-drawn vehicles, entertainment for children and horses of course!
- Le Tour des Géants: at the bottom of the Boulevard des Pyrénées, the first open-air museum dedicated to the Tour de France, its winners and their achievements in Béarn.