Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cauterets, skiing in the Pyrenees

Approaching the Pyrenees mountains

Skiing in the French Alps were my first experiences with Latin culture - especially with the Latin queuing habits. All the Swedes standing practically still as all the Italians and French deftly passed them….

View from the valley

Now I want to pass on my love for skiing to my children and being only two hours from the Pyrenees ski stations, I wanted to go even though my husband was away. A ski week alone with two children = kamikaze mission? We went to lovely Cauterets, just outside the Aquitaine border, in the Midi Pyrenees region. I had some doubts on the first day when we arrived in the rain and the station was closed due to the storm Xynthia arriving. The storm passed us and only damaged one of the lifts, but nearby ski stations had to close entirely.

The next day was sunny and perfect, but I was sweating just getting our equipment from the rental shop, taking us all up to the station in the cabin lift and getting the skis on my children... We had picnic in the sun and then I took them to ski classes. That gave me two magnificent hours on my own surrounded by these majestic mountains. Pure happiness. When I went to pick up the children, they were both smiling and rambling over their words to describe what they had been doing. After trying out the hotel pool and Jacuzzi and the play area, we had dinner at the hotel. I fell asleep at the same time as my children, exhausted but happy.

Proud Pioupiou skier

We then had the routine settled. Calm morning, buy bread to make sandwiches and picnic up at the station. After the ski classes, a snack and then head for the pool and the play area. In the evening there were animations at the hotel. Introduction to circus, Wii tennis tournament and question games... what the French call 'ringard' but really lots of fun!

Skiing is the best vacation all categories in my opinion - outdoor activity in a beautiful setting and lots of well needed food!

Picnic up at the Cauterets station Lys

View from the terrace

View from the top of the slopes at Cirque de Lys Cauterets

Café down town in Cauterets

Part of the Aladin hotel dessert buffé

Circus training - a plate on a stick

Other evening activities were Nintendo and sudoku

We stayed in Cauterets, a very nice mountain village, at the Odalys Balneo Aladin Residence, a very family oriented hotel. The ski slopes are at 2400 metres, so it is a snow sure option. Very nearby you find Donjon des Aigles, a view point to study eagles, falcons, vultures and other high mountain birds in their natural environment. It is open from April to September, so we couldn’t’t go there this time.


  1. Je vois que vous avez passés de bonnes vacances.Vous n'aviez pas oublié la j'en suis toute émue!!!

  2. Wow. It's very comprehensive. Would love to go here soon. Thanks!

    french ski


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