Welcome to the home of the "Toys", Gascon for "handsome boys". A charming sort of Asterix village that's always held Counts and Kings at arm's length. Once an autonomous Republic, this region remains fiercely loyal to its roots, traditions and identity, and holds onto the solidarity of countryside folk.
The Toys are very proud of the sheep raised on their hilly slopes, producing the France's only AOC sheep meat: the inimitable Barèges-Gavarnie! It is the flowery slopes of the Hautes-Pyrenees that give this aromatic meat its distinctive flavour, tinged with notes of the wild thyme and licorice that carpet these blessed mountain sides. After their summer pilgrimage on the pastures, the sheep come back down in their thousands. This event is heartily celebrated by the party-loving locals with a great deal of singing, barbecues and traditional balls.
Another of the Toys' great traditions is thermal cures. It was Empress Eugenie who made spa resorts fashionable, and her particular favourite was this one in Luz-Saint-Sauveur. It became so popular that Napoleon III ordered a highway to be built, making Luz the crossroads of the most prestigious sites in the Pyrenees to this day: Gavarnie, Tourmalet, Pic du Midi, Cauterets-Pont d’Espagne, Lourdes.