The queen of the Pyrenees
Why visit Luchon?
- The lively Pyrenean town's Belle Epoque style.
- Thermal springs and vaporarium in the rock.
- Views from Superbagnères of the "3000+ peaks" in the Pyrenees and Aneto.
- Hikes to the best Pyrenean lakes from the Valleys of La Pique, Oueil and Arboust.
- Hospice de France on the Santiago de Compostela route.
Soak up the magic of a Belle Epoque town
Luchon, "the queen of the Pyrenees", lies in a majestic landscape where the Pyrenees reign supreme.
This spa town has held onto its elegant Belle Epoque architecture. Walk around the Allées d’Etigny, the beating heart of town, then have a leisurely stroll to the Spa area. It unfurls in the age-old Quinconces Park.
Stylish villas, plush hotels, a casino and Italian-style theatre revive the splendour of a town popular with the world's greats from Napoleon III to Gustave Flaubert.
The Luchon region in the heart of the Central Pyrenees has 18 peaks exceeding 3000m! If you're looking for breath-taking views then head to the Superbagnères mountain pass or the Balès mountain pass over Bourg d’Oueil.
RELAXATION AND REJUVENATION
At Luchon thermal springs
Luchon thermal springs and their ultra-modern Health and Wellness Centre are an absolute must. The main attraction: the vaporarium, a huge natural hammam that's unique in Europe! Thermal spring water filters through the rock face and releases steam at temperatures of 38°C-40°C into its network of 150m underground corridors. After you've been through the corridors, slip into the round pool filled with sulphur thermal spring water that has been famous since Gallo-Roman times and popular with the 18th century jet set.
Use Luchon as your base and feast your eyes: here and there you'll see churches, chapels, watchtowers and an entire cross-border heritage awaits in La Pique, Oueil and Arboust Valleys.
HIKES AND SPORTS
Tackle the mountain
There are 400km of signposted trails around Luchon for leisurely walks or lengthy hikes. Soak up the stunning scenery in La Pique Valley, Oueil Valley, and Lys Valley where you'll come face to face with the Cascade d'Enfer (Hell's Waterfall). Climb up to Oô Lake, one of the most picturesque mountain lakes in the Central Pyrenees. Follow the Tour de France competitors' tyre marks on a bike trek. Take an 8 min cable car ride from central Luchon to Superbagnèresski resort in winter.
Experience the Hospice de France's rich history
The Hospice de France is an age-old rite of passage between France and Spain 12km south of Luchon. It's seen countless people, from pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela to Spanish Republicans during the Retirada, pass through it at an altitide of 1380m since the 18th century. The site has been fully renovated in an awe-inspiring setting of waterfalls, pastures and forests. It's open for overnight stays, meals or trips to its little museum.
The Hospice de France can be reached by car from April to November. It is the start point for legendary hikes: Port de Vénasque, Chemin de la Frèche and Cirque de la Glère.
How to get to Luchon
- By car: from the A64, junction 17 (Montréjeau), then N125 and D125. Toulouse is 140km away, Bordeaux is 340km away, Montpellier is 380km away.
- By plane: from Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées (90km) or Toulouse Blagnac Airport (140km).
- By train: daily connections with Toulouse. The last section (Montréjeau-Luchon) is now by bus. In winter you can take a Skirail from Toulouse.