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Municipality of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (64)
Stage town for the 4th time
Population: 1,200 (Larunsoises and Larunsois), 674,000 inhabitants in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Béarnais and Basques)
Personalities: Empress Eugenie came to take the waters, Paul Andreu (architect of the largest airports in the world, including Roissy Charles de Gaulle), Cardinal Eyt (1934-2001, Cardinal Archbishop of Bordeaux between 1989 and 2001), Robert Paparemborde (rugby, 55 international caps)
Specialities: suckling lamb, garbure, Ossau cheese
Festivities: passage of the transhumance from all over the Ossau valley (July), "Nousté Damo de Laruntz" (traditional festival, 15 August), cheese fair (October, 15,000 people).
Sport: 16 sports associations including Olympique Ossalois (rugby), Ossau Handball club, Ski club of Artouste.
Events: Challenge d'Ossau grouping 4 running races including L'Ossaloise (June) and the Montée de l'Aubisque (August), Grand Trail de la Vallée d'Ossau (July), Tour du Piémont pyrénéen (cycling, August), Tour du Pic du Midi d'Ossau (cycling, September). Cycling club : Les randonneurs ossalois
Economy: Hydroelectricity, tourism (Artouste ski resort, Eaux Chaudes thermal baths), craftsmen and tradesmen, construction (carpentry, painting), pastoralism.
Labels: Pays d'art et d'histoire des Pyrénées béarnaises, listed tourist resort
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Une rue commerçante de la ville de Pau © Ville de Pau
Cyclotouristes au col du Pourtalet © Ville de Laruns/CDT64-Ziklo


Both stages finishing in Laruns were won by a Slovenian. In the 2018 Tour, the town had seen the victory of Primoz Roglic, the most enterprising and the most skilful on the descent after having ridden the Aubisque pass at the front. He was aiming for the final podium, which finally eluded him in the time trial in Espelette. Two years later, it was Tadej Pogacar who won his first stage in the Tour, ahead of Roglic, before going on to win the GC for the first time.   Close to the Spanish border, Laruns hosted the start of a half-stage in 1985, in the middle of a day that was particularly successful for the La Redoute team. Leader Stephen Roche had won the morning stage on the Col d'Aubisque, keeping alive the hope that he would be able to challenge Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond, his rivals from La Vie Claire. In the afternoon, Régis Simon, team-mate of Roche, beat his breakaway companion Alvaro Pino on the Laruns-Pau route. The history of the Tour keeps in mind a pioneer from Laruns, Jean-Baptiste Camdessoucens, who took part in the 1910 edition. The son of a customs officer, he was delighted to pass his friends and family on the long stage between Luchon and Bayonne (326 km). But his supporters, who only received the press several days late, waited in vain for him. After a fall in the Perpignan-Luchon stage, he broke his hand in his glass bottle and was forced to abandon the day before the stage he had been dreaming of.

La victoire de Primoz Roglic à Pau lors du Tour de France 2018 © A.S.O./Bruno BAde
Stephen Roche dans le Col de l'Aubisque sur le Tour de France 1985 © Presse Sports/ Jean-Claude Pichon


Ski resort of Artouste
The resort of Artouste is situated at an altitude of 1,400 m to 2,100 m. Facing the Pyrenees National Park with a superb panorama of the Pic du Midi d'Ossau massif, the ski area of Artouste welcomes visitors in an authentic and family atmosphere.  

Artouste train
Construction: 1920 (tourist operation in 1932)
Characteristics: The Artouste Train celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2022. Created to transport the men and materials necessary for the construction of the Artouste lake dam in 1920, it was from 1932 onwards that it was used for tourist purposes. From the Fabrèges lake, a vertiginous climb from 1,250 m to 2,000 m in altitude, on board a cable car, allows you to admire an exceptional panorama with the Pic du Midi d'Ossau in sight. Once at the top, it is time to board the mythical Artouste Train. At a peaceful pace, on the side of the mountain, the 50-minute journey offers a breathtaking view of the Soussouéou valley and the Artouste lake. You can see marmots and the typical flora of this glacial valley.  

Thermes des Eaux-Chaudes 
The reputation of Eaux-Chaudes is based on more than twelve centuries of history and experience. The springs are sulphurous, sodic, calcic and silicate. They are rich in glairine and bargin and treat respiratory tract and rheumatology. Among the royal visitors who have honoured the Eaux-Chaudes with their presence are the Prince of Prussia, the Duke of Montpensier, the Duke and Duchess of Nemours, the Spanish Infant Don Enrique and the Infanta Dona Josepha. In 1854, the Empress of the French, Eugenie, went down to Eaux-Bonnes and spent 16 days bathing at the Esquirette des Eaux-Chaudes. Today the establishment welcomes between 600 and 700 visitors each year.  

Vulture cliff
In the heart of the small village of Aste-Béon, at the foot of the Ossau nature reserve, the vulture cliff invites you to discover the great Pyrenean birds of prey and the life of the shepherds. Two species of vultures are present in the Ossau valley, the griffon vulture and the Egyptian vulture. They can be observed live thanks to cameras placed on the cliff, through a guided tour or in a museum space dedicated to them. 

Anéou Circus
In the heart of the Pyrenees National Park, just before arriving at the Col du Pourtalet, the Anéou cirque marks the border with Spain. This vast grassy plateau, situated at an altitude of around 1,700 m, offers a very clear view of Pic du Midi d'Ossau. It is the starting point for many hikes, such as the Pombie refuge, Pic de Peyreget or Pic de Canaourouye.  

The built heritage of Laruns
The town of Laruns and its hamlets have a rich built heritage: the listed monument of the Chapel of Gabas (12th century), the 19th century church of Saint Pierre and its marble stoup, numerous ancestral washhouses, fountains (notably the famous white marble fountain in the Place de la Mairie dating from the heyday of the spa industry in the 19th century), old houses and their door lintels, old streets...

Le domaine skiable de la station d'Artouste avec vue sur le Pic du Midi d'Ossau © Ville de Laruns/Régie Artouste
Le train d'Artouste avec vue sur le Pic du Midi d'Ossau © Ville de Laruns/Régie Artouste
Les thermes des Eaux-Chaudes de Laruns © Marie de Laruns
Panorama du Cirque d’Anéou dans les Pyrénées © Getty/Celine Garcia
La célèbre fontaine de Laruns, entourée de brebis © Ville de Laruns/Philippe Guilbaud


Cheese Fair
Traditionally, the Laruns Cheese Fair takes place on the first weekend of October, accompanied by its old-fashioned market and various events. The village is then dressed in its festive clothes for the occasion to revive the traditions: straw on the ground, old trades, costumes, traditional dances and songs, chicken in the pot in the restaurants. You can of course taste Laruns, a cheese produced from sheep's milk in the Ossau valley, which is also included in the Ossau-Iraty production area.

La Foire aux Fromages de Laruns © Ville de Laruns/Jbaycaguer

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