Sarrance travel guide

Photo of Sarrance

Visit Sarrance (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France)

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The village of Sarrance is in the valley of the Gave d'Aspe, in the Béarn province and in the western Pyrenees. It has been a pilgrimage destination since the medieval period, when a statue of the Virgin was discovered in the valley of the Aspe.

Explore Sarrance

France This Way review: Sarrance is a small village but has several attractive features so we recommend you pause for a visit when you are exploring the valley of the Gave d'Aspe

Most of the buildings that we see in Sarrance today were built in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Church of Notre-Dame in Sarrance

The centre of Sarrance is dominated by a church and its attached buildings, the remaining parts of a monastery that once stood here.

The church of Notre-Dame was built in the 17th century although the apse remains from an earler 12th century church. The belltower has four levels, each octagonal and smaller than the one below, and is in the local baroque style. There are also several small statues of the saints near the door.

The interior of the church is beautifully decorated with a frescoed dome above the altar, a painted ceiling, and several paintings all in vibrant colours as well as various othr furnishngs such as the altar and the organ: very charming and very unexpected in this small village!


The building next to the church in Sarrance is an unusual cloister with a row of arches at ground level and another row of arches with balconies above these. Unfortunately it was closed when we visited - the sign on the door suggested that if you are a pilgrim who wants to spend the night in Sarrance you will be granted access!

Also in the centre of Sarrance there are a row of pretty cottages, a fountain and a traditional lavoir, now restored. These are especially attractive because of the mountains that rise steeply behind the village

After exploring the centre of the village you can stroll down to the gave d'Aspe and onto the old stone bridge for nice views along te river and across the village.

Bridge and gave d'Aspe on the edge of Sarrance village

Attractions nearby

There are several small villages along the valley of the Aspe, but you are more likely to be here for the scenery. There are two marked trails that leave from the village, of different levels of difficulty:

  • a quite easy six kilometre walk called the Chemins de Bosdapous that is a chance to explore the countryside and along the river and
  • a shorter (three kilometre) but more difficult walk that leaves from a parking area a few kilometres north-west of the village and climbs to the top of the Trône de Roi.

Towards the south of the Valley of the Aspe you can visit Lescun village and also visit the Cirque de Lescun, a very scenic destination surrounded by mountains.

A few kilometres north of Sarrance at Escot you can take a small road to the east that continues to the Valley of the Gave d'Ossau. This is a low altitude pass through the hills called the Col de Marie Blanque that has some attractive scenery and is a useful route to reach the more important mountain passes of the Pyrenees such as the Col d'Aubisque and the Col du Tourmalet.

Note that nowhere in the village is very large: the closest large town to Sarrance is at Oloron-Sainte-Marie at the north end of the valley

Explore elsewhere in the Béarn. You can find more travel ideas in the Aquitaine guide.

See also Find Sarrance hotels

Photos of Sarrance

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The village of Lescun is close to the Cirque de Lescun and other scenic highlights in the western pyrenees

Lescun guide
Cathedral Saint-Marie in Oloron-Sainte-Marie

Cathedral Saint-Marie in Oloron-Sainte-Marie

The cathedral of Sainte-Marie is best known for its remarkable 12th century entrance

Cathedral Saint-Marie in Oloron-Sainte-Marie guide
Church Sainte-Croix in Oloron-Sainte-Marie

Church Sainte-Croix in Oloron-Sainte-Marie

The Church Sainte-Croix is an interesting roman style church built in the 12th century

Church Sainte-Croix in Oloron-Sainte-Marie guide


There are several sights of interest in Oloron-Saint-Marie including a picturesque section of river

Oloron-Sainte-Marie guide


Laruns is a pretty village, but it is the surrounding mountain scenery that attracts most visitors here

Laruns guide


Eaux-Bonnes is a 19th century belle-epoque spa town at the base of the Col d'Aubisque

Eaux-Bonnes guide

Address: Sarrance, Accous, Oloron-Sainte-Marie, Aquitaine, 64490, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 43.0522, longitude -0.600833

Plan your visit to Sarrance, Pyreees-Atlantiques

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Vallée d'Aspe: site of natural beauty (11 km)
  • Eglise, Oloron-Sainte-Marie (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (15 km)
  • Oloron-Sainte-Marie: town of art and history (15 km)
  • Vallée d'Ossau: site of natural beauty (17 km)
  • Cirque de Saint-Engrace: site of natural beauty (19 km)
  • Cirque de Sainte-Engrâce: site of natural beauty (19 km)
  • Gorges d'Ehujarre: site of natural beauty (20 km)
  • Gorges de Kakouetta: site of natural beauty (22 km)
  • Gorges de Kakoetta: site of natural beauty (22 km)
  • Col d'Aubisque: site of natural beauty (23 km)
  • Eglise St Blaise (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (26 km)
  • Gorges d'Holzarté: site of natural beauty (27 km)

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