Pau, France

Guide for the rail traveller


Local languageFrench
Country France


This pretty town is ideal as a base for the ski resorts of the Pyrenees, however there is plenty to commend it aside from snow sports. It’s particularly suited to lovers of the outdoors, with hiking trails through the forest, a botanical garden and oddly enough, palm trees that sway with the Pyrenees mountains in the background. Its biggest landmark is the Chateau de Pau, birthplace of the French Henry IV. Throughout the 19th century Pau was a popular holiday destination for affluent British tourists, so there are many grand villas that now house museums or are used as events venues. The vineyards to the south of the town produce Jurançon, a white wine that has been made here since the 15th century.

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