Things to do in Oloron Sainte Marie in the French Pyrenees
This Easter we took to the road and traveled aprox. 650 km from Madrid to the southwest of France. Our first stop was in Oloron Sainte Marie, which is a town in the ´Pyrénées Atlantiques´ region of Béarn…
Oloron Sainte Marie is situated at the feet of the Pyrénées about 50 km from the Spanish border and 100 km from the Atlantic ocean and is at the confluence of two gaves. A ´Gave´ is a river that is sourced in the Pyrenees and normally subject to flows that are very strong. The rivers are known as the Gave d’Aspe and the Gave d’Ossau.
Oloron Sainte Marie is also the capital of the Haut Béarn and the point of origin of the three Haut Béarn valleys, namely the Aspe, Ossau and the Barétous Valleys.
I thought I´d share some of the lovely things we saw and I hope this persuades you to visit this beautiful area in the southwest of France 🙂
Things to do in Oloron Sainte Marie
- I will always treasure a memory of all four of us (Me, hubby and the two kids) sitting on a bench in the Public Garden, tightly squeezed together, enjoying the sight and sounds of the fountain in front of us and soaking up the first rays of the Spring sun. I can imagine it being a place where people come together during the year to enjoy local events and meeting up with family and friends.
- You HAVE TO have to visit Laulhere for their famous ´beret laulhere´. Oloron Sainte Marie is also famous among hat enthusiasts because it is the capital of the basque beret. I couldn´t resist buying one and wore it practicaly every day on our trip. Visit my Instagram feed to see these photos. In their store they show you the process of how the berets are made from 100% goats hair.
- The Mountain Rivers i.e. the Gave d’Aspe and the Gave d’Ossau that merge to the gave d’Oloron
- Oloron Cathedral (French: Cathédrale Sainte Marie d’Oloron Sainte Marie) is a Roman Catholic church and former cathedral. Construction of this Romanesque and Gothic architecture was started in the 12th century by Gaston IV, Viscount of Béarn. In 1929 it was listed as a historic monument by the French Ministry of Culture.
- Médiathèque (The Public Library). Unfortunately it was closed on the day we were there but from the outside it look really impressive and advanced and we could see why it was awarded the Equerre d’Argent architectural award in 2010.
- The Lindt factory which we unfortunately did not visit because of time and was maybe a good thing because Easter is noramally a time where I stuff my face with tons of chocolate Easter eggs. Btw click here to see what we do with our leftover Easter candy! You can also visit my post of the time we visited the Lindt Chocolate Museum in Cologne, Germany.
- Oloron Sainte Marie has several pedestrian bridges (also known as Footbridges) like the underslung girderbridge, steel bridge and the wooden bridge.
- The picturesque houses you can see along the riverfront (see first photo in this post) was just so pretty and the views from Saint Mary bridge (see photo just above) were spectacular.
- The beautiful old Historic Town with its lovely old building that scream French charm.
- We were told that Market day is on a Friday but unfortunately we visited there on a Thursday.
Where we stayed
Watch my video here
Until next time guys when I will be posting about Pau, the popular town to the north-east of the Pyrenees. Thank you so much for reading!
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