Just 11 kilometers from the Spanish border of Portalet you can discover a small tourist train, the Artouste train.
Built to facilitate the construction of the Artouste Lake Dam in 1920, the train began transporting tourists in 1932.
We´ll park the car in the parking lot of Lake Fabrèges, where you´ll find out a small infrastructure of shops and restaurants that during the winter season cover the coquettish ski area of Artouste.
Board an egg-like cable car in Artouste for a vertiginous climb and enjoy a spectacular panoramic view encompassing Artouste Lake and, above all, the majestic Pic du Midi d’Ossau mountain.
Up above, snap a few photos of the surrounding summits before hopping on the legendary Artouste tourist train.
A mountainside train ride
Take advantage of the peaceful, 50-minute ride to admire the bird’s-eye view of the Soussouéou Valley. Keep an eye open for marmots and discover the typical plant life of this glacial valley, including rhododendrons and mountain pines.
During the summer months, this peaceful valley becomes a centre of pastoralism, welcoming many a shepherd at the head of a hungry flock.
A departure point for diverse hikes
Upon reaching the La Sagette railway station, a short 15-minute walk will take you above Artouste Lake and its impressive dam. During the off season, athletic hikers can tackle the Ossau Valley peaks, continuing up to the Arrémoulit refuge (a 1 1/2-hour climb).
Afterwards, rest your legs aboard the Artouste tourist train for the ride back.
Like to enjoy an open-air, high-altitude tour of the upper Ossau Valley? Then hop aboard the Artouste tourist train, for the ride of your life!