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Chez Olivia

Awesome place! We stayed 2 nights and it was wonderful . The beds are large and confortables, the kitchen has everything we need and the best was the owners who were so friendly amd easy going guys. 
If you want to have a quiet weekend this is your flat!we want to repeat!  Xabier

  It doesn't get much better than Olivia's fantastic gite. From the moment you walk in the front door - your jaw drops and you start wishing you'd booked for a longer stay. Beautifully arranged with eye-wateringly stunning views of the Pic de Midi, there is nothing lacking in this gite. Nor in the welcome we had from Olivia - who hosted us like old friends. Indeed, we will certainly be back, as not only have we found a lovely place to stay, but we've made great friends too with Olivia and her fab family!  T&Z

Séjour magnifique dans un super cadre a la montagne . Les hotes sont vraiment super !! toujours très attentif de ce que nous avons besoin . La literie est excellente tout est très mignon et super propre . Nous reviendrons c est sur !!!!! Merci!!!  Marie

What a great place and host! Quiet place with plenty of acreage for kids to explore, and if you're lucky, you might be accompanied by one if their sweet cats! We loved the mountain views and the proximity to Lourdes and all the mountains, comfortable and with very nice hosts...English and French speakers. Nathan

Le chalet est vraiment très très agréable, la literie meilleure qu'à l'hôtel et le petit poêle : au top ! Les hôtes sont extrêmement gentils, disponibles et connaissent très bien les environs. Je recommande cette location ++++ Thomas

We had a great time ! 
The location is wonderfull with magnificent views of the Pyrenees. 
Olivia and her family are really nice, always listening and concerned for our well -being!  We were able to eat delicious eggs from their chickens ! 
The accomodation is lovely, quiet and very comfortable . 
Nearby, many opportunities for hiking and running ; especially as Olivia is herself runner and her valuable advice ! But many other activities are possible! The health SPA is very nice in Bagnères 
We came in the winter, we are tempted to come in the summer !!!! 
Thank you Olivia!  Jean-Marie

Nous avons passe un week end prolonge chez olivia. La maison est parfaite!!!! Très bien équiper, la literie EXTRAORDINAIRE!!! Une vu splendide, olivia, son marie et c'est enfants très serviable a l'écoute et de très bon conseil!!!! Rien a dire a part que on reviendra!!!  Marina

La casa renovada y limpia, muy acogedora, cocina completa y nueva. 
En el monte pero a 5min de la ciudad, una zona preciosa. 
Un trato familiar y muy atentos en todo momento. 
Gracias Olivia.  David

About the area [scroll down for "About the Gite"]
We are located in the beautiful Haute Bigorre region of the Hautes-Pyrenees, 1.5 hours south west of Toulouse, 2 hours (south) east of Biarritz and just a short drive north of Spain.
We are just 5 minutes drive from Bagneres-de-Bigorre (15 minutes by bike on the way as it's mostly downhill but a little longer to get back home!), 25 minutes south of Tarbes, a wonderful city, the home of Napoleon's Haras National, TGV station and Tarbes-Lourdes airport. 

We are very well serviced by transport connections, airports at Tarbes (25 minutes), Pau (50 minutes) & Toulouse (90 minutes); train stations at Tarbes and Toulouse and motorways all the way to Tarbes, either from Biarritz and Bordeaux (west France) or Toulouse (central).

Our area is extraordinary. If you like sport, nature, excitement, tranquility, culture, music, great food and wine, all the seasons, you will love it here.

Some of the local attractions and activities,
  • We are half and hour from the col du Tourmalet and the col d'Aspin (by car) for all those road bikers out there, or even Tour de France fans. Some of the best road biking in France and host to the Tour de France most years. 
  • There are also hundreds of kilometers of mountain bike tracks (VTT) accessible directly from the gite or starting further up in the mountains and catering to all tastes in biking from woodland tracks to aggressive downhill scree. I can recommend many trails depending on what you're looking for.
  • Skiing and Snowboarding at La Mongie, just half an hour away, or there is a bus from the town, five minutes down the hill which will take you and bring you back, no need to brave the roads or find parking.
  • The Pic du Midi observatory is accessible either by cable car from La Mongie or on foot from the col du Tormalet or Artigues (the most beautiful route in my opinion, through the val d'Arize and the original mule track to the observatory, although it is long). It is the most wonderful facility to visit with amazing views - we can clearly see the "pic" from here.
  • Trail running is a very popular sport here and I can recommend many trails as it is my preferred sport. There are lots of races close and in the local area, the "Grand Raid des Pyrenees" at the end of August being the most well known, most well attended and one of the hardest in France (80Km, 160Kms or 240Kms non stop) starting and ending in the beautiful Neovielle National Park just over the next valley about an hour or so's drive away. There are many refreshment stops at which to view the race or why not combine your holiday with participating in this or one of the many wonderful races in the area [N.B. It is possible to arrange massage at the gite for post sport recuperation and/or during pre race rest days.]
  • If you'd rather walk, there are gentle ambles suitable for the most tranquil days or many day hikes. You can scale pics, hike to lakes and follow the herds. The Transhumance takes place in May or June and October of each year and is an amazing experience to walk with the herds from early in the morning as they are taken to the mountains for the summer or returned to the valleys. 
  • There are many other outdoor activities to enjoy,
    mountain boarding, 
    parcours accrobranche - ariel walkways in the forests and above the rivers, 
    cross country skiing,
    ski de randonnee,
    snow boarding,
    treking and even just an afternoon of "pony club" for the children at the Equestrian Centre at the bottom of the hill.
  • The local town, Bagneres-de-Bigorre is a strong cultural centre, being the host to Piano Pic, an International piano festival for about 10 days towards the end of July of each year (in 2014 I will be hosting a study holiday to coincide with the festival, studying the works for some time during the day, lots of free time to enjoy the local area and concerts in the evenings - more details and accomodation options to follow, once the programme is set). 
  • The summer is a spectacle of music here and summer evenings can be spent enjoying a drink or a meal outside with live music, be it Pierre and his 'cello or Jean-Baptiste and David's serious Blues and impro band!
  • Also in July is "Equestria" at the Haras National in Tarbes, an extravaganza of all things horse - amazing.
  • In August each year in Bagneres there is the weekend of Arts de la Rue and the Festival of Song, including everything from traditional mountain songs to modern vocal expression.
I could go on - visit the town website! also 

If all of this seems too exhausting - Bagneres-de-Bigorre is a spa town and a visit to the Aquensis Spa is a must.
About the Gite
The gite forms one end of a traditional Bigordain farmhouse believed to be in the region of 250 years old. The property was very important in the area and one of the buildings even has an original fully functioning bread oven which used to service the surrounding families - we use it periodically, usually for pizza parties! The bread oven is located in a very pretty cottage next to the house which we also use as our bike and sports equipment garage. It is lockable and available for use by guests for all sports equipment such as bikes and skis.

The gite has been renovated to the highest standard and although the house itself is old, the accomodation is clean, fresh and modern. 

The gite will comfortably sleep 5/6, will luxuriously sleep 4 and has the 
capacity to sleep 8.

The gite accomodation comprises,

  • Bedroom 1 - with a 160cm double bed, westerly orientation
  • Bedroom 2 - 2 single beds, facing east
  • Snug - a cosy corner for reading or watching a film. This corner has an extremely comfortable sofa / double bed - not a standard "clik-clak" but so good it can be used as a permanent bed!
  • Mezzanine sleeping platform - with 140cm mattress. Unfortunately this is not available for use until August as we are missing a ladder! Please also note this is not suitable for young children although it is perfect for older children and teenagers (and also rather fun for grown-ups too!). 
All beds and mattresses are of exceptional quality and dressed with crisp cotton sheets. All linens and towels are provided.
  • Shower room - extra large shower, toilet, basin, heated towel rail and washing machine with local slate floor.
  • Kitchen / sitting room area - fully equipped kitchen with oven, induction hob, dishwasher, fridge (separate freezer available), iron and ironing board and all cleaning equipment provided. Both the kitchen floor and worktop is of local slate from the stone quarry on the edge of the village up the road (as in the bathroom). The kitchen area also has a large oak table which seats 6-12 (extendable). 
  • There is a wonderful woodburner central to the kitchen / sitting room area - lovely on cold winter evenings or even on the occasional chilly Spring or Autumn day. The sitting room overlooks the fields to the west and has wonderful evening light. On occasion you may receive a visit from the ponies who spend time in the field adjacent to the gite from time to time.
  • The main entrance doors open into the kitchen / sitting room from the deck which spans the width of the building providing a lovely connection to the outside and a good spot for an aperatif!
  • There is a garden adjacent to the gite with an outside table and chairs and BBQ area. The best views on the property are from the gite garden where you can see the Pic du Midi, the tip of the Montaigu and of course the unmistakable bicycle shaped Casque de Lheris - the three ever present pics that define the Haute Bigorre. The prices this summer reflect the fact that the gite garden is not quite finished, although the roses are climbing already next to the gite and on the barn wall opposite. It will also not be possible to use the dedicated drive until later in the year although there is plenty of parking space and very easy access.
Chez Olivia Blog
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Archive(s) :
Photos of the Gite and Garden
Lac Payrelade
Photos of the Area
Fun in the Mountains!

Trail Running


Apologies for the delay in updating pricing for 2015.  This year we are keeping it simple following the success of 2014 and the intermediate winter season.

Weekly price of 550 euros, Saturday to Saturday.

Out of peak season, you can book a period of less than a week as follows,

85 euros per night plus 5 euros a day for wood during winter and autumn or as necessary.

Weekend prices, (Fridays and Saturdays) and bank holiday weekends are 100 euros a night.

Minimum two nights up to four persons.

Minimum three nights over four persons.

Wood is charges at 5 euros a day irrespective of length of stay when it is necessary to light the fire.

At certain times of year, particularly when it is quiet we will offer reduced rates so you can benefit from the calm times!

© 2013 All photos/images property of Famille Baulf
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