If you’ve read the other resorts we report on you’ll realise that we tend to go for the character of the resort as much as the skiing and Cauterets does not disappoint with its blend of Pyrénéean atmosphere and skiing options.
Our likes/dislikes: If you can get there during the school holidays you will find that the season starts early (mid-November) due to the north facing slopes. One of our dislikes here is the queuing for the big cable car (although we’ve heard that this has been replaced with a high speed bubble lift that should cut queues a lot). Absolute beginners may prefer to drive to the Pont d’Espagne where there is a couple of drag lifts coupled with a nice easy nursery slope.
Where to stay: If you can afford it we really recommend to stay in the village itself so you can avoid using the car. But wherever you stay you will probably have a walk to the cable car (unless you catch the ski bus) and that’s unfortunate for the kids as it’s tough walking in ski boots.
If you don’t mind a short drive each day we can recommend a lovely B and B a few km back down the road to Lourdes.
- Resort height: 1,350 -2,350m, village at 900m
- Access: By road south of Lourdes on the D920.
- Downhill runs: 2 black, 6 red, 7 blue and 5 green slopes.
- Size of domaine: 35km of pistes plus 6km at Pont d’Espagne (at 1450m).
- Snow cannon:
- Lifts: 2 cable cars, 7 chair lifts, 11 drag lifts.
- Lift Pass: around €163* per adult and €140* per child for a 6 day pass in high season (note that children are 13 and under).
- Website: http://www.cauterets.com/ (French only)
Skiing Lessons: Feedback from a France For Families’ visitor: In February, I had a 2 hour one-to-one lesson with an instructor from Ecole de Ski Francais for around 40 Euros*. The instructor was excellent, very polite, excellent English, very knowledgeable and very patient (needed to be with me!!!). We had turned up at Cauterets without booking lessons, and decided we needed some as we had not snow boarded before. ESF had no lessons available, but worked hard and found an instructor for us. Really helpful people. Highly recomended. There is also an Ecole de Ski Esprit Montagne in Rue Richelieu.
Ski Equipment: As in most skiing resorts there is a plethora of sports shops offering ski rental such as Sport 2000 (offering discount for advance internet reservation) or the conveniently situated Bernard Sport-Tifs (to be found right in the middle of the village, over the road from the Office du Tourisme).
Food Choice: There is a small Shoppi on the main road into Cauterets (coming from Lourdes). This supermarket should cater for all the needs of families self catering. And there are several boulangeries and boucheries in the village centre. If you want to eat out you will be completely spoilt for choice with a wide range of cafes and restaurants, offering both French and international cuisine. Our personal favourite is the Pizzeria Giovanni in Rue de la Raillère.
Baby Sitting/Kindergarten: Cauterets prides itself as a child friendly resort offering a nice Jardin de Neige and the Garderie les Marmottes nursery (for 2 months to 3 years of age) as well as numerous other entertainments for kids. We recommend that you check with the Office du Tourisme for details, or the Ecole de Ski Francais for the Jardin de Neige.
* please note that all prices are subject to change, so check the providers’ website for latest information
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