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Pau is a city on the northern edge of the Pyrenees in France's Aquitaine region. It lies an hour away from the Atlantic coast, and is about the same distance from the snow capped peaks of the mountains. The best places to stay in Pau make an ideal base for exploring both the town and surrounding area.
The Boulevard des Pyrenees, which was created at Napoleon’s suggestion (and executed by a colleague of Haussmann's), runs from the Chateau to the Palais des Congrese. The route has the most amazing panoramic views of the snow capped mountains of the Pyrenees on one side and on the other of terraced gardens cascading down the valley. It's almost worth visiting Pau for this alone!
Pau's Chateau is notable as the birthplace of Henri IV. It is a magnificent building and is now a museum. Adjacent to the chateau is the Money Tower which was a royal mint until the French revolution. Other cultural offerings in Pau include a Musee des Beaux Arts with works by Rubens and Degas among others, and various buildings in a variety of architectural styles from the 16th to 19th centuries.
Europe’s first golf course was founded in Pau and there's a casino in the neo-classical Beaumont Palace.
For those who've just come for a stroll, there's plenty of good shopping and a wide range of cafes and bars for watching the world go by!
The best places to stay in Pau will be busy during the peak summer months. So if you're planning a trip in July or August, get organised and book well ahead.
For A Romantic Hideaway
- Villa Navarre is a beautiful eighteenth century mansion come hotel that lies on the outskirts of Pau. The rooms are elegant and tasteful, combining the old and the new. The food is gourmet standard. Plus there are lovely views and the hotel is surrounded by beautiful parkland.
Best Hotels in Pau
Villa Navarre 30 rooms from $184Pau
An idyllic hotel set in a beautiful 18th century mansion, on the outskirts of Pau. The tastefully decorated rooms combine modern style with traditional elegance. The atmospheric Le Soft Bar is a great spot to enjoy views over the Pyrenees. A grown up getaway for two.Romantic Break - The romantic suites boast lavish bathrooms and access to the sauna and hot tub, as well as gourmet food and stunning views.Sights nearby - Anyone with an interest in architecture and history should visit Beaumont Palace, less than a mile away.Great walks - The property sits on two hectars of lovely walks through the surrounding parkland.Views - Great views from hotel