At the heart of the Hautes-Pyrénées, Bagnères-de-Bigorre stands at the foothill of the Pic du Midi with a height of 550m. Its population reaches 8,800 inhabitants and is really famous for its spa. Every year, the town welcomes 8,000 patients taking the waters and is the first health resort of the department. The preserved green setting surrounding it offers many possibilities for both family and sportive discoveries. Bagnères-de-Bigorre benefits from an excellent location and is very close to the Tourmalet domain, which is the first ski area of the French Pyrenees with more than 100km of runs.
The town was founded a long time ago and the warm thermal waters of Bagnères were already appreciated by the Romans, as were also the beautiful landscapes between plain and mountain. The spa activity is still important today, with the existence of high-level establishments.
But the charm of the town works also thanks to the remaining houses of the time where the whole society loved to come there on holiday. It has a privileged location only a few kilometres of main sights of tourism: the Pic du Midi, the prehistoric cave of Labastide and, amongst the most beautiful of the world, the natural caves of Médous that you can visit by boat. Less than 20km away, Lourdes is well-known and welcomes every year a multitude of Chretien pilgrims and patients who pray for a miracle. The natural park of the Pyrenees, on the south, has unlimited resources for promenades and hikes.
In terms of economy, the main source of revenue for the town is obviously tourism, but Bagnères also welcomes several companies centred on mechanics, electricity and aeronautics. This makes Bagnères a quite dynamic town with many possibilities of work and business.
Hautes-Pyrenees is quite affordable for a department located in the south of France, but unfortunately the area of Bagnères-de-Bigorre is really appreciated and thus, has the higher prices of the department. At the beginning of 2009, its prices reached €1,800/sq m. However, its prices remain far lower than the national average which is around €3,197/sq m.
Because Bagnères is an attractive town, very pleasant to spend holidays, no less than 35% are second homes. If you would like to buy a house there, know that 55% of the properties are apartments, which is already quite a big proportion for a small town. However, 10% of the properties are vacant, which means that you should perhaps easily find your dream property!
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The lovely town of Bagnères has lots of assets to attract people. That is why it is so popular and also why one third of the houses are second homes. Here are some of the reasons which attract them:
Architecture: as health resort, Bagnères has a typical architecture and also comprises many interesting buildings. The Jacobin tower, built during the 13th century, is the only remaining part of the church of the Frères prêcheurs and was its former belfry. The Saint-Vincent gothic church dates from the 14th century, whereas some vestiges from the 12th century of the Saint-Jean cloister can be seen, in particular the great door which belonged to the former church. The thermal baths built in the 19th century are also impressive and are still in activity.
Good food: the mountain areas are often rich in gastronomy and taste. There, they celebrate the lamb of mountain, cheese, Gascony black pork, foie gras, confit of duck, Rocher des Pyrenees (cake cooked on a spit) amongst many others… Simply go and discover the flavours of local products, under the magnificent covered market of the 19th century!
Entertainment: as it welcomes many tourists, the town provides a good programme of animations and the celebrations permanently follow one another all year round. Village festivities, picturesque markets, traditional dances and singings are numerous in the town and its surroundings. Furthermore, there is a cinema in Bagnères and the casino provides a good diversity of shows.
Ski: in the area, a myriad of activities can be done beside the spa which is of course predominant. During the winter, ski is really the activity to do. Bagnères stays only at 20km of the Tourmalet domain, which is the first ski area of the French Pyrenees with more than 100km of runs. There, you will be able to practice downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, racket and more other winter sports! So close to the skiing runs, you can decide the same day if you will go skiing or not, depending on the weather for instance!
Rental opportunities: because Bagnères highly attracts tourists, it will be very simple to find someone to let your property, either during winter (with the ski area not being too far) or summer, when people come to benefit of the weather and in the same time of the spa.
The town of Bagnères offers very pleasant promenades. Numerous houses draw the attention by their façades or architecture, and beautiful squares and garden punctuate the strolls through the health resort.
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