Tarbes is the main town of the Hautes Pyrenees and accounts for 46,200 inhabitants. It could be described as a pleasant town with many attractions within a stone’s throw too. South of the town, there are the pilgrimage town of Lourdes, the Pyrenees and Spain. West there is Aquitaine, with an easy access to the Atlantic, and north the famous Gascony with its gently-rolling Tuscany-like plains.
The town is organised around the Place de Verdun with its many bars and restaurants, a lively place in summer where you could sip the local winess. The town centre is lovely with many town houses, some of them having painted walls. Tarbes benefits from views over the Pyrenees, which you cannot grow tired of.
The climate is sunny and there are lovely gardens and parks where you can enjoy this. The locals love to practise horse riding and really, horse lovers will thus be happy there. As strange as it seems, rugby is also much practised.
The Marechal Foch was born in Tarbes, a hero of WWI and a local pride. You can visit a museum dedicated to his life. Another pride of the town is its gastronomy. A special kind of beans, the Tarbais, are produced in the town. The gateau a la broche cake is the locals’ delight. Local farmers also rear traditional species of pigs from the Bigorre area and sheep from Barèges… mouthwatering isn’t it? Why not have a look at our gastronomy section below?
The financial crisis struck Tarbes much less than other parts of the Midi Pyrenees. In Tarbes in 2009 there is still a will to buy and the market is more sound. This explains why the crisis there has fewer consequences.
Prices are currently going down, thus it is clearly the moment to buy in the town. It is however not the moment to sell. Indeed, the town was renowned for being ‘more expensive’ than other Hautes Pyrenees towns but currently offers interesting prices.
For now, the market has not been slowing down in Tarbes however. The rental market is healthy. For a property for sale in the area, allow €1,624 /square metre, which is quite inexpensive, the national average being €3,197 /square metre. The average rental price is €8.28 /square metre /month which is reasonable too given the assets of the area.
To get updated info about property prices in Hautes Pyrenees, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Click here to have an overview of Midi Pyrenees Property Prices.
Tarbes is a discreet town which has definite assets. Located in a breathtaking environment, its has lots to offer to its inhabitants.
Great environment: places around the town such as Lourdes are really worth a visit. The Pyrenees are really beautiful and offer an healthy environment to live. Many sports can be practised there such as hiking, walking and any kind of watersports as there also are many lakes in the department. Eventually, Tarbes is home to famous rugby and horse-riding clubs.
Get there easily: easy access to the town is an asset as the department is globally difficult to reach for travellers from the UK. Tarbes is accessible from Pau, Toulouse and Carcassonne airports quite swiftly. TGV high-speed train lines come to a stop in Tarbes, which is ideal as you can travel from St Pancras to Tarbes in the same train. By car, the town benefits from the access to the A64 and linked with Toulouse (150km) and Bayonne (150km).
Good food: Tarbes has many specialities on offer. The main one is obviously the Tarbais bean which was imported from latin americe during the 18th century and is now kept as a treasure chest. It received the label rouge award in 1997 which is an evidence and acknowledgement of its high quality. The Porc Noir de Bigorre (black pig from the Bigorre area) is also a nice speciality. This species had been safeguarded in 1981. Bigorre pigs are reared with much attention and their meat is exceptional. This should be one of the first meals to taste when settling in the area as it reveals a part of the local culture.
Mountains and sea: Tarbes has access to both treasures quite easily, this is a main asset explaining why second homes in the area are very sought-after. The ski rental market is very successful in this area as mountains are hardly one hour way.
Fewer Brits around: to be honest, Hautes Pyrenees are little-known amongst foreigners because they correspond to a certain type of buyers. The department and its towns are ideal for nature lovers seeking calm, stunning landscapes and a healthy lifestyle. It is thus not that different from the neighbouring Gascony but summers are milder in Hautes-Pyrenees, and access to the mountain is much more simple too. However, the Hautes Pyrenees’ culture is often influenced by the neighbouring departments’ (food, street markets, architecture styles…). As areas such as Gers are more crowded and prices have become sometimes unbearable, the Hautes Pyrenees may receive more Brits but never as much as in Gascony since the profile of the department is specific.
Unfortunately Tarbes has lost most of its architecture during the two World Wars. However, the mayor and its team do many efforts to improve the town centre, which already has lots of statues and nice gardens to offer.
Click here for more info about the Architecture of Midi-Pyrenees.
|Take a closer look at the Hautes Pyrenees property market:|
|Bagnères de Bigorre Property Information||Cauterets Property Information|
|Lannemezan Property Information||Lourdes Information|
|Saint Lary Information|