Pau and horses, a passion that goes back to the 19th century when the national stud farm was created and a host of Anglo-Saxon aristocrats stayed in the Bearn city. Today, Pau and its surrounding areas, just a stone’s throw from Spain and gateway to the Pyrénées National Park, welcome you throughout the year to enjoy your passion for horses. So, get your riding boots and helmet on and head off to discover our horse-focused selection in and around Pau.
1- The "4 étoiles de Pau", a unique equestrian event
The "4 étoiles de Pau", every year in the end of October, is the only 5-star eventing competition in France. Dressage, cross-country, jumping and an Official 4* International Horse-drawn Carriage Competition (CIAO) comprising a dressage event, a marathon and a manoeuvrability event. It is the only national event which brings together the best riders. An exceptional, breathtaking show organized at the Domaine de Sers in Pau. Moreover, this estate is also France’s 2nd-ranking training centre, accommodating over 700 horses a year on its 12 ha of tracks across its 70 ha of land.
2 - Pont-Long Racecourse, racing since 1842!
The Pont-Long Racecourse, north of Pau, inaugurated in 1842, is open for galloping with its grassy track. It is France’s 2nd-ranking race-training centre just after Chantilly and before Maisons-Laffitte. A must-not-miss place for lovers of Sunday races, who will particularly delight in its panoramic restaurant, the Volpoom.
3 - Two great guesthouse and guest room addresses around Pau, in the Jurançon vineyards
Dôme de Carpe Diem guesthouse is paradise on Earth, an extraordinary place offering a breathtaking vista, nestled in the Jurançon vineyard countryside, facing the Pyrénées Mountains. An invitation to live in perfect harmony with nature. This unique timber-framed circular house seems to reign upon the treetops. The property covers 1.4 ha of wood and prairies, where the owners’ two donkeys roam free. The land is enclosed, on a hillside and the dome has a panoramic terrace overlooking the mountains with garden furniture and an electric barbecue.
Clos Mirabel is a magnificent 6-hectare estate, just a few minutes from Pau and its castle. It offers several accommodation options ranging from guest rooms, houses, holiday guesthouses to furnished studios, perfect for family holidays or romantic getaways. Its 18th-century Manor is set in a private park, at the top of the first Jurançon hillsides. The whole estate offers a majestic view of the surrounding vineyards and the entire Pyrénées’ mountain chain (less than an hour away).
4 – Our favourite for trekking through the Pyrénées: La Forge equestrian farm.
Near Pau, this old family property once belonged to blacksmith and farrier ancestors. Gérard welcomes you to this picturesque setting where you can enjoy a bit of horse-riding and feel totally free as you roam across magnificent Pyrénées landscapes. Whether you’re a novice or experienced rider, young or old, whether you’re looking for basic initiation or a weekend’s trekking, you’ll definitely find something to suit you, from a horse-ride through the forest, crossing a ford, and even a stroll through the vineyards with the Pyrénées Mountains as a backdrop.