Navarrenx is a village in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region of New Aquitaine, 30 km west of Pau and 20 km north of Oloron-Sainte-Marie.
The relatively small municipality (6 km²) is crossed by the Gave d'Oloron and several of its tributaries, at the foot of the massifs.
Now with nearly 1100 inhabitants, Navarrenx is a member of the highly rated Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of France, and also holds the label of green station. It is its exceptional historical heritage and highlighted in a relevant way that explains this recognition. The city was the first in France to be equipped with a bastioned sixteenth century. By the 13th century, however, a bridge had been built to allow pilgrims to reach the Pyrenean passes, the village being already a stage of choice on the way to Saint-Jacques. It was then in the fourteenth century that Navarrenx became a bastide thanks to Viscountess Marguerite de Béarn, the walls being fortified even more in 1523 (a century before Vauban). The city was never taken... Later, the city has also become an important river port, the urbanization exceeds the walls, but the historic heart is preserved.
This remarkable heritage, combined with a very rich natural environment, which delights fans of culture, hiking and fishing, made Navarrenx a stronghold in the 20th century this time as a tourist destination. A must see !
A veritable open-air museum, the historic heart of the bastide, surrounded by its ramparts, has generally been preserved.
One will like to discover in the picturesque city traced with the cord around its central place the Saint-Antoine door (restored in the XVIIe century), the tower of Poudrière, the place of Barracks, the military fountain, as well as Gothic houses and, on the square of the town hall, an arsenal built on the ruins of the house of the kings of Navarre. To see also, the house Paillé, of the XVIe century. And of course, the visitor has full latitude to walk along the ramparts...
It is also advisable to include in a "discovery" circuit the Saint-Germain church, built in 1551 in late Gothic style. Surprising interior decorations such as stone masks will be observed. Once a Protestant church, the church found its "vocation" under Louis III who came in person to restore the Catholic worship. Mistreated during the Revolution, the building is remodeled one last time in 1852, and has an entrance bell tower. The church also houses paintings offered by Napoleon III.
We will not forget the bridge over the Gave, restored in the twentieth century, on the bases of a work of the thirteenth century modernized over the centuries, floods and the prosperity of the commercial port (the boats carrying the wood of the valley d'Aspe were doing it).
For guided tours of the country house or benefit from an audio guide, contact +33 5 59 38 32 85.
Many craftsmen are established in the historic center, and you can also visit the Cigar House, labeled "Living Heritage Company".
Hiking trails centered on the territory of the town or connected to the historical path of Saint-Jacques (GR65) have been designed, some routes may also be suitable for lovers of mountain biking or equestrian ride. Attention, since Navarrenx, the Pyrenean reliefs are close and require hikers a good physical condition. Brochures and information on +33 5 59 38 32 85. Note that depending on the season, routes may present additional difficulties (snow, flood Gave).
The Gave and its tributaries can also delight lovers of thrills. For descents of rafting, to join the +33 6 18 61 10 36.
To learn Basque pelota, contact +33 5 59 66 57 07. Finally, you can reserve a tennis court on 03 36 14 94.
In addition, Navarrenx has become a fishing capital for salmon and trout. To learn about this exceptional leisure, contact a guide at +33 5 59 66 04 39.