If, like many, you have a desire to escape the routine, in the Gers (Gascony) you’ll find an undiscovered paradise with some of the most spectacular scenery in France. Gascony is truly a land that time forgot.
Salies-de-Béarn – a French village with a Spanish influence
Salies-de-Béarn is a heady mixture of the Spanish and French Basque regions, rich in local gastronomie de terroir and robust wines. Salies is a picture-perfect village of vertiginous, gabled houses overlooking the Saleys River. Known from the Bronze Age as the ‘Salt City’ for having an underground water source seven times saltier than the ocean, its signature product was lucrative until the mid-19th century. Then competition from the Languedoc and the Camargue weakened the salt market dramatically. Salies then reinvented itself as a spa village. In addition to the virtues of its salt, the local water contains more magnesium than any other natural spring in the world. Its spa is still in operation, offering health, beauty and fitness regimes
There are many recreational choices to match your individual taste. Cycling, fishing, kayaking or rafting on the beautiful Gave de Pau and Gave d’Oloron rivers nearby are all on ofer. Whether you’re vacationing or just passing through, you’ll want to time your visit to include lunch at Les Fontaines Fleuries. The menu at this fabulous restaurant is sourced from local producers, prepared in-house, and is what memories are made of.
Sue Aran is a writer and founder of FrenchCountryAdventures.com tours of Gascony which reveal authentic, gastronomic and gorgeous Gascony AKA the Gers…