Heritage

The village is among the nine new sites or cities on the map of the Tour, but the riders will be on familiar territory as they go through the “département” of Hautes-Pyrénées that welcomes the event on a regular basis. Almost a neighbor of Trie-sur-Baïse, the city of Lannemezan was often the start of Pyrenees stages, in particular those heading to the Plateau de Beille. The préfecture, Tarbes, has welcomed the Tour since 1933.

It’ll be the 70th time that Pau welcomes the Tour de France after hosting it for the first time in 1930. The base camp, before or after having climbed the Pyrenees, is a perfect location for all sorts of stage profiles and the list of winners there shows just that: with climbers such as René Vietto and Fausto Coppi, or breakaway experts like Erik Breukink and Pierrick Fédrigo. In the sprinters clan, Sean Kelly, Erik Zabel and Robbie McEwen showed the way to the most recent winner in Pau, Marcel Kittel who conquered his 5th stage win there last summer, the 14th of his Tour career.

On the road

HAUTES-PYRENEES (65)

Population: 228,582
Prefecture: Tarbes
Sub-prefectures: Argelès-Gazost, Bagnères-de-Bigorre
Surface: 4,464 km²

Specialties: Bigorre black pork (AOC), Tarbes beans, wine (Madiran and Pacherenc du Vic Bilh AOC), Barèges-Gavarnie AOC sheep, Trébons onion, Gascon hen, garbure (soup), foie gras,

Sports Clubs: Tarbes Pyrenees Rugby, TGB (basketball)

Sport: skiing, nordic activities, ski touring, sledding, dog sledding, snowmobiling, biathlon, mountaineering, hiking, climbing, mountain biking, angling, horseback riding, cycling, paragliding, water sports, canyoning, golf. Events: Downhill mountain bike World Cup (Lourdes), Giant Tourmalet, Grand Raid of the Pyrenees, Pyr'Epic

Festivals: Festival of Gavarnie (Theatre), Tarbes in tango, Festival of equestrian creation in Tarbes, Festival of Sacred Music (Lourdes), Festival of Jazz (Luz St Sauveur), Piano Pic in the Grand Tourmalet, Festival of small churches (Louron Valley), Festival of the Mariolles, Fair of cheese, Wine festival in Madiran, Festival of the dogs of the Pyrenees, , Tradeshow in Loudenvielle.

Economy: food industry, railway industry, aeronautics, hydroelectricity, tourism 4 seasons, Pilgrimage to Lourdes, hydrotherapy centres, winter sports, mountain hikes, Pic du Midi de Bigorre, Cirque de Gavarnie, Pont d’Espagne (Cauterets), Pyrenees National Park, more than 300 lakes, 35 peaks over 3,000 m, Tour de France passes (Soulor, Tourmalet, Aspin, Val Louron Azet, Peyresourde, Ancizan)

Websites and social networks: www.tourisme-hautes-pyrenees.com / www.hautespyrenees.fr / www.pyrenees-trip.com / www.instagram.com/hautespyrenees / www.facebook.com/hautespyrenees / www.facebook.com/departementHautesPyrenees

GERS (32)

Population: 190,932
Prefecture: Auch
Sub-prefectures : Condom, Mirande
Surface: 6,257 km²

Specialities: goose and duck foie gras, magret de canard, confit de canard, Armagnac, melon in Lectoure, white garlic in Lomagne, croustade aux pommes (appel tart), Floc de Gascogne (liquor), black pork of Bigorre, garbure gersoise (soup), Gascony beef, Lou Bethet veal, wines (Côtes de Gascogne, Saint-Mont, Madiran…)

Sport clubs: FCAG (rugby)

Competitions: motor racing races on Circuit Paul Armagnac pf Nogaro

Festivals: Welcome in Tziganie, Bandas y Pena European Festival, Trad’Envie Festival, Feria del Toro, Eclats de Voix Festival, Festi’drole, Cuivro’Foliz, Galop romain Festival, L’été photographique (Photographic Summer), Tempo latino, Nuits musicales en Armagnac, Jazz In Marciac, Astronomy Festival, CircA,…

Economy: Tourism, agriculture, food industry, aeronautics, crafts 

Websites / FB / Twitter : www.gers.fr / twitter.com/LeGers32 / www.tourisme-gers.com / twitter.com/GersTourisme

Km 30

MARCIAC (Pop: 1,230) 

The international Jazz in Marciac festival, which takes place from late July to early August since 1978, welcomes more than 200,000 visitors each year. The biggest names in jazz have played in Marciac for the last  40 years: Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Charles Ray, Herbie Hancock or Chick Corea. But the patron of the festival for nearly thirty years is trumpet player Wynton Marsalis, who even has his statue on a square in the city. Since the inauguration of the Astrada Hall in May 2011, Jazz In Marciac has also been offering a cultural season outside the three-week festival. The concerts are held under a tent on the huge square of the Bastide de Marciac, the largest in the South-West of France (130 m by 75 m).
At the end of the Wars of Gascony, Guichard de Marciac, seneschal of Toulouse, representing the King, gave his name to this bastide. A month later, on September 14, 1298, Marciac received from King Philip the Fair the grants ruling its everyday life. A solid wall protected by wide moats and pierced by eight gates surrounded the Bastide, which was besieged in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Côteaux de Tursan

HAUTES-PYRENEES (65)

Population: 228,582
Prefecture: Tarbes
Sub-prefectures: Argelès-Gazost, Bagnères-de-Bigorre
Surface: 4,464 km²

Specialties: Bigorre black pork (AOC), Tarbes beans, wine (Madiran and Pacherenc du Vic Bilh AOC), Barèges-Gavarnie AOC sheep, Trébons onion, Gascon hen, garbure (soup), foie gras,

Sports Clubs: Tarbes Pyrenees Rugby, TGB (basketball)

Sport: skiing, nordic activities, ski touring, sledding, dog sledding, snowmobiling, biathlon, mountaineering, hiking, climbing, mountain biking, angling, horseback riding, cycling, paragliding, water sports, canyoning, golf. Events: Downhill mountain bike World Cup (Lourdes), Giant Tourmalet, Grand Raid of the Pyrenees, Pyr'Epic

Festivals: Festival of Gavarnie (Theatre), Tarbes in tango, Festival of equestrian creation in Tarbes, Festival of Sacred Music (Lourdes), Festival of Jazz (Luz St Sauveur), Piano Pic in the Grand Tourmalet, Festival of small churches (Louron Valley), Festival of the Mariolles, Fair of cheese, Wine festival in Madiran, Festival of the dogs of the Pyrenees, , Tradeshow in Loudenvielle.

Economy: food industry, railway industry, aeronautics, hydroelectricity, tourism 4 seasons, Pilgrimage to Lourdes, hydrotherapy centres, winter sports, mountain hikes, Pic du Midi de Bigorre, Cirque de Gavarnie, Pont d’Espagne (Cauterets), Pyrenees National Park, more than 300 lakes, 35 peaks over 3,000 m, Tour de France passes (Soulor, Tourmalet, Aspin, Val Louron Azet, Peyresourde, Ancizan)

Websites and social networks: www.tourisme-hautes-pyrenees.com / www.hautespyrenees.fr / www.pyrenees-trip.com / www.instagram.com/hautespyrenees / www.facebook.com/hautespyrenees / www.facebook.com/departementHautesPyrenees

Km 42

MAUBOURGUET (Pop: 2,500)

In 2014, Maubourguet held the start of a Tour de France stage won on his own in Bergerac by Ramunas Navardauskas, who held at bay a peoloton led ny John Degenkolb. Every year since 1990 the village hosts the Rencontres de Maubourguet combining artists and sports personalities working during a weekend for charities.

SIGHT

Château de Montaner
Built in the 14th century on orders from Gaston Febus to protect the borders of Bearn against Bigorre and Armagnac. It now holds several medieval animations.

GEOLOGICAL HERITAGE

Gaz de Lacq

Microorganisms in marine plankton flourish. When they die their organic matter is sometimes, exceptionally, preserved. With the burial a transformation takes place and the organic matter becomes oil -petroleum- and gas. These light elements migrate until they are trapped sometimes it is mostly oil (like in Parentis), sometimes mostly gas (like in Lacq).

MNHN – Patrick De Wever, professeur 

Km 56.5

MADIRAN (Pop: 420)

Viticulture was introduced in the region by Benedictine monks who planted vines in the village and turned it into a world famous appellation. Pilgrims heading for Compostella also contributed to the renown of Madiran. Formerly eclipsed by the wines of Jurancon or Bordeaux, Madiran became an AOC in 1948. Structured and generous, the Madiran wines use gapes like cabernet and sauvignon but also local breeds like tannat, pacherenc or palissé. They can be produced in Gers, Hautes-Pyrénées and Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Vestiges of the monastery are still visible next to the massive Sainte-Marie church (11th to 16th centuries).  

LANDES (40)

Population : 400 477 hab.
Préfecture : Mont-de-Marsan
Sous-préfecture : Dax
Superficie : 9 243 m²

Spécialités : foie gras, magret de canard, confit de canard, volailles fermières et bœuf de Chalosse, saumon de l’Adour, asperges et kiwi de l’Adour, tourtière, pastis landais, Armagnac, Floc de Gascogne, Vins (Tursan, vin des sables, Coteaux de Chalosse)

Clubs sportifs : Basket Landes (ligue féminine), US Dax Rugby (Pro D2), Stade Montois Rugby (Pro D2).

Evénements : Quiksilver Pro Surf, Concours International d’Equitation Ous Pins à Tartas, Championnat de France de la Course landaise, Course cycliste « La Luis Ocaña», Eurocup Basket Landes, Championnat de France de Tennis de Table sport adapté, Traversée des Landes en Roller, Coupe du monde Surf tandem Biscarrosse, Trophée Golf XLandes, Handilandes, Raid XL

Principaux sites touristiques : Réserve naturelle du courant d’Huchet, lac marin d’Hossegor, plage du Cap de l’Homy et phare de Contis, réserve naturelle d’Arjuzanx, Marais d’Orx, estacade de Capbreton, écomusée de Marquèze à Sabres, abbaye d'Arthous à Hastingues, musée de l’hydraviation à Biscarrosse, basilique de Buglose à Saint Vincent de Paul, maison de la Dame de Brassempouy, musée de la faïence et des arts de la table à Samadet, Château et Plantarium de Gaujacq, Musée de la Chalosse à Montfort en Chalosse, ville thermale de Dax, Musée Despiau-Wlérick à Mont de Marsan, Notre Dame des cyclistes à Labastide d’Armagnac.

Evénements culturels : Arte Flamenco à Mont-de-Marsan, Musicalarue à Luxey, Toros y Salsa à Dax, Le Festival des abbayes, Jazz in Sanguinet, Latinossegor, le Festival du Conte à Capbreton, les Fêtes de Dax et de Mont-de-Marsan et les fêtes locales dans chaque village des Landes (course landaise, corrida, bandas).

Économie : Tourisme, thermalisme, agriculture, sylviculture, élevage bovin et avicole, agro-alimentaire, industries du bois et des produits dérivés

Sites web et réseaux sociaux : www.landes.fr / www.facebook.com/Departement.Landes / twitter.com/LesLandes40 / www.youtube.com/user/departementlandes / www.flickr.com/photos/departementdeslandes / www.tourismelandes.com / www.alalandaise.fr / www.landestyle.com

Km 83.5

AIRE-SUR-L’ADOUR (Pop: 6,100)

Perfectly located between Bordeaux and the mountains, Toulouse and the sea, Aire-sur-Adour has played an important role since Antiquity as evidenced by the importance of its historical heritage, especially religious. The Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral and the Sainte-Quitterie church, which pays tribute to a very popular saint in the region, are the jewels of her religious heritage. The beautiful grain market, built in 1855 and restored in 1995, recalls the importance of the market in a city which was for a long time the capital of foie gras. Aire-sur-l'Adour has made a successful reconversion with the establishment of the Potez aeronautical factory.

Sainte-Quitterie church
The name of Ste Quitterie refers to a Visigoth princess who refused to abjure her Christian faith. She is said to have been beheaded in Aire-sur-Adour in 477 by her pretender. Her cult is widespread in Aquitaine and in Spain. Pilgrims on the St James Way used to stop and pray on her grave. The church is listed as a World Heritage site as part of the St James Way. 

Km 90.5

DUHORT-BACHEN (Pop: 660)

The village is worth a visit for the old St Jean de la Catelle abbey, turned into a stud farm, and for the pretty chateau du Lau (15th) and its surprising architecture inspired from Flemish buildings. Inhabited by the same family since its foundation, the castle can be visited on request. 

LANDSCAPE OF THE DAY 

Madiranais hills

Madiranais is the land where three departments meet: Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Hautes-Pyrénées and Gers. It has a particular soil profile that is renowned for its wines, Madiran (red) and Pacherenc (white). The wine economy is evident in the plush architecture of the wineries, recognisable from afar by the remarkable trees in their grounds. The rolling hills are characterised by a belt of woodland, hedgerows and pasture, interwoven with small plots on which the grapevines grow.

Km 97.5

EUGÉNIE-LES-BAINS (Pop: 450)

The spa was created in 1661 in homage to empress Eugenie, the bride of Napoleon III and a keen adept of thermal baths. Rich in calcium, magnesium, sodium and sulphur, the waters of Eugenie are ideal for the metabolism and to cure urinary and digestive affections. Combined with an adequate diet, they are also indicated for weight problems and diabetes. They also have an anti-inflammatory action against rheumatism. Gastronomy is also part of life in Eugenie-les-Bains, where chef Michel Guerard runs a three star restaurant, Les Prés d’Eugénie. It is the restaurant in which Alain Ducasse was trained in 1975.

Km 105

GEAUNE-EN-TURSAN (Pop: 680)

Geaune drew its name from Genoa, the town of Antonio of Pessagne, seneschal to English King Edward II, who founded the local bastide in 1318. Built in the shape of a chessboard with a central square in the middle and picturesque arcades sheltering shops and services, Geaune saw its rampart gradually destroyed in the wars between the lords of Bearn and the lords of Foix. The wars of religion and the French Revolution destroyed the church and convent of this typical bastide, celebrating the 700 years of its foundation in 2018. The St John the Baptist church and the Augustins Tower are the most remarkable monuments. But the region of Tursan is also noted for tits wines, especially popular internationally in the Middle Ages. 

Km 116

SAMADET (Pop: 1,140)

Worth a visit for the Departmental Museum of Faience and Table Arts. A royal faience manufacture was created in town in 1732 by the Baron of Samadet and it was immensely popular before collapsing in 1840. The abundant production of a century allowed the museum to display more than 200 items. 

PYRENEES-ATLANTIQUES (64)

Population: 667,249
Prefecture: Pau
Sub-prefectures: Bayonne, Oloron Sainte-Marie
Surface: 7,645 km²

Specialties: foie gras, confit, duck breast and other dishes derived from duck, piperade, Espelette pepper, Basque cake, Irouléguy, Itxassou black cherry, Bayonne ham, hen, Jurançon, AOC Mellow, Madiran, farm sheep cheese, salt of Salies-de-Bearn, lamb of the Pyrenees, Blonde of Aquitaine

Sports Clubs: Section Paloise Béarn Pyrenees, Rowing Bayonnais, Biarritz Olympique Basque Country, Billere handball, Elan Bearnais Pau Lacq Orthez, Anglet Hormadi Elite, Pau Football Club.

Events: Surfing World Championships, Biarritz Quiksilver Maïder Arosteguy Surfing, Equestrian Three Day Event "les Etoiles de Pau", Tour de France, World Slalom and Descent Canoeing Championships, Pau Grand Prix

Festivals: International Surf Festival, Festival Emmaus Lescar-Pau, Festival A Tant Rêver Du Roi, Music Festival in the Basque Coast 2017, Festival Des Rives & Notes in Oloron, Occitan Festival Hestiv'Òc, Biarritz Dance Festival ”Le Temps d'aimer “ (Time for loving), Transhumances musicales in Laàs, Biarritz Latin America Festival, International Film Festival of Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Economy: third economic and demographic area of the greater South-West. First national producer of sheep cheese, second for corn grain. It is the first department of Aquitaine for the number of farms. In the industrial sector, the Total group and its network through the Lacq basin, as well as Safran (Turbomeca, Dassault or Messier-Dowty) in aeronautics. Several companies specialised in precision mechanics, metallurgy or electronics like Exameca, MAP, PCC France, Rexam and others ...

Websites and social networks: www.le64.fr / www.tourisme64.com / www.facebook.com/Département-des-Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Km 159

MORLAÀS (Pop: 4,200)

Capital of Béarn for nearly two centuries, Morlaàs retained a rich heritage and especially the Sainte-Foy church, jewel of the Romanesque art with its richly carved portal.

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