Pau, France

About Pau, France

  • Population: approx. 100,000
  • Distance from Paris: 405 miles
  • Distance from Madrid: 263 miles

Located in the Béarn region of the Atlantic Pyrenees in southwestern France, Pau is a picturesque town. It offers spectacular scenery and a temperate climate year-round with easy access to both the Pyrenees Mountains and the Atlantic coast, and is only two hours away from Spain. The city lies roughly one hour from the beaches of Biarritz, 45 minutes from the ski resorts of Gourette and Artouste, and 30 minutes from Lourdes. Pau, well-known for its beautiful parks, has more square meters of green space per inhabitant than any other European city. Many of the streets in the charming city center are pedestrianized.

The Old Quarter dates back to medieval and Renaissance times, and was built around the castle of Henri IV. It has an active commercial district, several museums, and a library that houses the mementos of Henri IV and Marechal Bernadotte, the former king of Sweden. Many colorful figures in the history of France came from this region, including Marechal Foch and d’Artagnan (leader of the Three Musketeers). The Wright brothers (famed American aviators) also worked in Pau for many years.