If you want to experience the beauty of Gascony outside the busier, warmer months, then staying in one of our country houses and going on a skiing break in the Pyrenees might be the perfect family holiday for you…
What I am suggesting is that for your winter holiday you could stay in one of our lovely Simply Gascony country houses AND enjoy great skiing in the beautiful Pyrenees.
How is this possible?
Because Simply Gascony has teamed up with ‘Sarrat Sport’, one of the leading skiing agencies in the Saint Lary resort in the heart of the Pyrenees (and see below). Sarrat Sport will organise everything you need to make this ‘double holiday’ work for you and your family.
First, let me tell you more about Saint Lary. Located high in the beautiful Pyrenees mountains, this resort is part of the Aure Valley and has everything you need to make the best of your ski holiday. The Aure Valley is one of the hidden treasures of France. This wide unspoilt Pyrenean valley offers breath-taking views, endless activities, and is also close to Spain thanks to the Aragnouet-Bielsa tunnel. Rich from its history, the Aure Valley is an important part of the Pyrenees’ identity and home to many amazing villages such as Lançon, Ens, Aulon, Aragnouet or Bourisp.
It’s at the heart of this beautiful valley that Saint Lary has been evolving over the centuries and is now the ideal location for family skiing holidays. Saint Lary has been labelled a ‘Family Plus Mountain resort’* by Ski France and you’ll easily understand why.
If you’re planning a family ski holiday, Pla d’Adet will probably be your go-to slope as it offers multiple family-friendly services. Yes parents, Saint Lary has indeed thought about you and designed services such as childcare centres, ski schools, a snow garden, and a kids’ park.
The resort is as good for beginners as it is for experienced skiers, so if your children have just started learning how to ski, they will be able to meet you on the slopes at their own pace. If you are a beginner yourself, you will also have the opportunity to learn as all levels are welcomed at this ski-station.
Saint Lary is not only an ideal place for skiing holidays, but this village is also the place to be when you want to take a break from skiing and just enjoy the area with your family.
Le Rio at the Sensoria Spa centre is a great way to discover something different - as you plunge into its natural spring water at 32 deg C., you and your children will have access to whirlpools, geysers, bubble beds and massage jets. Le Rio is a nice way to take a break from the cold and let your senses be enhanced by the warmth of the water, so you can relax and your children get to enjoy it with you!
La Maison du Parc National is also a great place to discover with your family. Renovated in 2014, this museum will teach you everything you need to know about the flora and fauna around Saint Lary.
Another must-see with your family is the ‘Maison du patrimoine’ (Heritage house) where you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a museum, a shop and a media centre to learn about the preservation of the Pyrenean heritage.
Saint Lary offers a wide choice of restaurants to enjoy a delicious family meal - who doesn’t like a good meal after a day’s skiing? Saint Lary has everything you need to enjoy authentic French food in an amazing location.
Here’s how it all works. When you rent one of our comfortable, well-equipped country houses this winter or spring, we will also introduce you to our ‘Working Partner’ in Saint Lary, the ‘Sarrat Sport’ ski agency (and see below**).
The arrangement we have with this agency means you can decide to take a break from your country house rental for a day or two, and drive up into the Pyrenees to Saint Lary. Sarrat Sport will be expecting you (with coffee and croissants!) and will have all the equipment you need ready for you. They will also guide you to the most suitable lifts and slopes for your party.
Result: no time wasted and up to 5 hours of great skiing, followed by a delicious, leisurely lunch in Saint Lary. Then you can drive back to your country house for warm fires, hot baths and, if you wish, dinner prepared for you by a local chef.
Everyone, especially a parent, has to think about the budget! Saint Lary’s family-oriented thinking also shows in their prices by offering various promotional offers to help you enjoy this break without it costing too much.
Saint Lary is definitely an amazing destination for family skiing holidays. However, if you or anyone in your family is anything like me, you’re probably not going to want to ski every day. By arranging your skiing in Saint Lary as part of a Simply Gascony winter holiday, you can choose to ski when you want, and when the weather and the mountains look enticing.
And if you don’t ski, the Pyrenees have a lot to offer which still allows you to enjoy the incredible scenery and mountain air. A huge range of winter activities is available, including snowshoeing, husky-dog sledding, skidoo riding, sledging, cross-country skiing or even paragliding!
If you do not feel like skiing or any other snow sports and just want to enjoy a day off relaxing and enjoying the mountain scenery, Saint Lary has everything you might need! And I can tell you that as I write this, the snow is already falling in Saint Lary for this winter. Historically the best months for skiing here are January to March, so why not have a look at our selection of ‘Winter Available’ houses below to see which suits you...
* This label is granted to all establishments who set up services that help parents on holiday with their children.
**Sarrat Sport is one of the leading ski-hire agencies in Saint Lary. Simply Gascony, helped by one of our owners, have developed with Sarrat Sport a range of services designed to enable our country house guests to enjoy skiing in the Pyrenees while staying with us in Gascony. More details in our next blog.
To help you plan your winter holiday here are some of our properties that will be available this winter, all of which have central heating and wood fires:
Les Chenes is under a one hour drive to Saint Lary and Chateau Glatens in just over two hours. This makes it entirely possible for you to look at the weather at breakfast in your rental house, decide you want to go skiing and be on the slopes by 10am. This will give you time for skiing, a late lunch and then back to your house. You will be able to organise all this with our new Working Partner, Sarrat Sport which is based in St Lary, who will make it all work for you! More details in our next blog. Book a holiday to remember with Simply Gascony: Discover our Gascony holiday rentals Follow us on: