Arreau is a small town in the heart of the Pyrenees of southern France and at the eastern end of the Pyrenees National Park. The town is in a pretty riverside setting and there are several historical buildings of interest, all surrounded by the steep wooded hills of the Pyrenees.

Explore Arreau

First I should say that the Arreau Tourist Office was closed at the time of our visit and although I could see occasional signs indicating a 'route touristique' to follow the signs seemed to disappear or be hidden away for most of the time. No matter, the town is quite small and I think I discovered most of the highlights!

riverside in Arreau town centre

The Mairie - market hall is in the center of Arreau and easily recognised by the open market area at ground level (markets are held here each thursday) and the small clocktower on the roof. A pretty building but do note that the building was only built in 1932 on the site of the original 16th century market hall, and the colombage woodwork is fake!

Starting from here all the important historical sites in Arreau are close to hand, as is the riverside walk - the part of Anneau along the river is the most picturesque and interesting part of a visit.

France This Way review: when out exploring it is quite rare to come across places that exceed my expectations - Arreau is one that most certainly did although I must admit I had never heard of the town until I was in the region and stopped on the off-chance that it would be worth a look around. In fact there is a great deal to see and enjoy here!


The notable monuments that you will discover as you explore include:

  • The Maison des Lys, next to the market square, is the most imposing medieval building in Arreau. It has an attractively decorated facade in colombage with a 'fleur de lys' design incorporated. This house dates from the 16th century when it was built for a local noble family.
  • The Church of Notre Dame is on the same side of the river as the market hall, and has its origins in the romanesque period. Inside the church the notable highlight is a 16th century carving of the Pieta (Mary and Jesus).
  • On the other side of the river the Chapel of Saint-Exupery has a roman style porch (note the carvings around the entrance) and chapel, while the octagonal tower and the main body of the church are a 16th century addition.
  • Close to here you can also see the Chateau de Ségure, with a square tower (more easily seen from the hill behind than from the riverside) and other interesting architectural highlights such as a decorative balcony at first floor level.
  • A little further down the hill on the riverside is the Chateau des Nestes, easily recognisable by its yellow crepi facade and central square tower with an open balcony at the top, apparently originally used as an astronomical viewing platform

Chateau and river in Arreau

Return a little way up the hill and follow the steep lane on the left near the Chateau de Segure towards a calvary cross and with a nice view across the rooftops of the town below.

Attractions nearby

Although you will come across various small towns, villages and ski resorts in the Pyrenees it is without doubt the scenery and the chance to enjoy the outdoors that attracts most visitors here.

The highlights near Arreau in the Pyrenees National Park include the Col du Tourmalet, the mythical mountain route from the Tour de France, as well as various other popular cycling climbs such as the Col d'Aspin and the Col de Peyresourde, so don't be surprised if you see groups of tired cyclists in the centre of Arreau!

You can find more travel ideas in the Hautes-Pyrenees guide and the Midi-Pyrenees guide.

See also Find Arreau hotels

Photos of Arreau

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • chateau-de-segure
  • chateau-des-nestes
  • church-detail
  • church
  • houses-along-river
  • maison-du-lys
  • rear-of-chateau
  • river-views
  • riverside-houses
  • riverside

Arrange a visit to Arreau

Book hotels, car hire and flights

Organise your visit using the options shown...

Hotels in Arreau best prices

See Arreau hotels

Reserve excursions

Map of Arreau and places nearby


Visit near Arreau with France This Way reviews

Col d\'Aspin

Col d'Aspin

The Col d'Aspin is an important mountain pass in the west of the Pyrenees

Col d'Aspin guide
Col de Peyresourde

Col de Peyresourde

The Col de Peyresourde is a mountain pass in the pyrenees, which often forms part of the Tour de France route

Col de Peyresourde guide
Col du Tourmalet

Col du Tourmalet

The Col du Tourmalet is a mountain pass in the Pyrenees, famous because the Tour de France passes here very often

Col du Tourmalet guide


2000 years ago the town of Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges had 10000 inhabitants - now it has 250! The Saint Bertrand de Comminges cathedral is the highlight in the old town centre

Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges guide


Valcabrere deserves a visit because of the very lovely roman style basilica of Saint-Just de Valcabrère, built on the edge of the village in the 12th century

Valcabrere guide


Bagneres-de-Luchon is one of the nicest of the 'belle-epoque' spa towns that developed in the Pyrenees in the 19th century

Bagneres-de-Luchon guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Hautes-Pyrenees

Address: Arreau, Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Midi-Pyrenees, 65240, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 42.905278, longitude 0.358889

Plan your visit to Arreau, Hautes-Pyrenees

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

Market days in Arreau, France

Regular market(s) are held in Arreau each Thursday all day. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Arreau (Francais)