We will refund you the difference plus an extra 5% discount off your stay. Contact us on 0203 475 4756.
- If you find the exact same product (same dates, same residence, same type of accommodation, same reservation conditions) on sale elsewhere cheaper than we offer, we will refund you the difference.
- To qualify for this reimbursement, the offer price seen elsewhere must be recorded at the same time as booking with us, and you must send us proof of the price seen elsewhere (screenshot or scanned document).
- Offer only available on destinations directly managed by Madame Vacances.
High in the French Pyrenees, the resort of Peyresourde links up with Les Agudes in the neighbouring Haute-Garonne mountains to the very large and high-quality Peyragudes ski area with two contrasting mountain sides and resort centres. Peyragudes is modern and purpose built, and a lot of money has been spent on good fast lifts that serve pistes that are all over 1,600m. It's easy to access from three international airports (Lourdes-Tarbes, Pau and Toulouse-Blagnac) or on the TGV from Paris to Tarbes. It's friendly and small-scale, and because it's still relatively unknown though the mountains here had a starring role in Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies - offers fantastic value.
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Peyragudes has two centres. Les Agudes is the more established of the two, and perhaps the less attractive, though it has the best beginners' slopes. The village of Peyresourde is more stylish and today has the lion's share of the accommodation and facilities, especially around the hamlet of Balestas. Although not well known in the UK, Peyragudes has plenty of Spanish and French fans, who make for a friendly, bustling, family-friendly atmosphere with lots of good eating and entertainment options.
Seventeen high speed hands-free lifts whisk skiers up to the top slopes at Peyragudes, with skiing at an altitude of 1,600m to 2,400m. There are just shy of 60km of pistes, split into 51 runs to suit a range of skiers, including a few challenging black runs, with a maximum single descent of 1,400m. Snowfall can be quite variable, sometimes over 8 metres, sometimes just over 1m. Luckily though, more than 200 snow cannons help keep the snow in good condition.
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There is a snow park for boarders, 15km of cross country paths, and good snow-touring options. The resort has excellent sun, taking some of the chill off the mountain air, and makes much of the panoramic views available from most of the ski area. The famous Vallée Blanche is a beautiful 5km red that takes skiers through some stunning mountain scenery. Val des Lumières, from the Cabanou restaurant, is another good, long red. Intermediates will love the Isards Traverse, accessed from the Serre Doumenge lift. From Isards, the 2,233m Belvedere run continues a long, attractive descent down towards the resorts. Val des Agudes is an attractive blue run straight off the lifts, with access on to the more challenging, red-rated Chevriers. Passe Bleue is another enjoyable blue, and gentle enough for low-level intermediate skiers. The Combe de Magnéras is another enjoyable, gentle blue.
Most of the best steeper slopes are on the Les Agudes side of the mountain, at the top of the Cap de Pales chairlift. There are two snow parks. The Peyresourde snowpark is at 2,000m, and has good features, including long tables up to 12m in length, rails and boxes. It's accessed from its own dedicated lift, has a snack bar and a sound system. An XXL park with rails, jumps, tables and bumps is off the Flamme chairlift on the Agudes side of the mountain. Peyragudes does its best to keep up with the latest trends, and new for 2015-16 is a 500m Fun Cross course with plenty of hazards and a 'ski movie' filming facility that allows fast sharing of your experience on social media. Also innovative are the 'N'PY Moov' areas, off the side of some of the blue runs, which offer small obstacle courses for boarders and skiers. Beginners have an area just above each village, both with magic carpet lifts and a chair lift. The best first steps on the main mountain are the Carrousel run before moving on to the Grand Traverse.
Peyragudes doesn't have the alternative entertainment options that some big resorts can boast, but what it does have is high quality and enjoyable. Airboarding is available one-day-a-week in each village, using the lower slopes and lifts. Children of 10 years and over can take part. Snake-gliss is riding on a linked caterpillar of sledges, and is open to 6 years and up for one-hour sessions throughout the skiing season. Yooners are ski-bladed sledges, steered with a joystick, and groups can organise sessions. Peyragudes also has dog-sledding, snowshoe and snowmobile operators. Making the most of the spectacular solar conditions, the resort offers a number of sunrise and sunset tours and experiences. The Spassio Thermal complex in Peyresourde, offers swimming, steam, spa and water therapies and relaxation treatments. There's also a historic natural thermal spa in Génos-Loudenvielle, 12km away, that's been developed into a major hydro treatment centre. Both offer deals on combined ski/spa passes.
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Eating and Drinking
There are 16 bars and restaurants in Peyragudes, with the majority on the Peyresourde side of the mountain, and a good quality selection on the slopes. Les Cîmes has good mountain specialities, including the thick, warming soup called garbure, a vegetable concoction given a special touch with confit duck. For the best value, check out the set menus at this popular resort restaurant. La Flamme in Peyresourde serves good quality international favourites, including steaks, pizzas and burgers, and its hot chocolate is very well regarded. Le Christiania Agudes in that village also does pizza to eat in or take away. On the slopes, Le Cabanou makes the most of a popular setting close to some of the best runs on the mountain.
Le Cabanou is also one of the resort's nightlife mainstays, with sophisticated drinking and dining followed by late night music. La Terrasse in Peyresourde is another welcoming spot, and handy for the village's accommodation blocks. Bodega El Feston in Peyresourde is a tapas bar and also hosts music. If you want to expand your nightlife horizons, head down to Luchon, just down the road and with a more varied scene.
Peyragudes has one of the shorter ski seasons, opening on 12th December in 2015 and closing on 3rd April in 2016. Lifts and slopes open sequentially as conditions allow.
Passes are sold through partners and can be bought online before travelling. A combined pass for Peyragudes and Val Louron opens up 82km of skiing. The Neiges Louronnnaise pass is available with a number of different packages, including day, weekend and week passes, as well as unlimited skiing season-long at both resorts. Adult rates are payable by 18 - 74-year-olds; children are 5 - 17-year-olds. Children under this age range and seniors over it can ski for free.
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Ski Equipment Hire
With 13 winter sports outlets, Peyragudes has an excellent ski hire choice. They include a big, plush Intersport branch.
Lessons and Ski Schools
ESF, France's largest ski school, has a branch in both Peyresourde and Agudes, offering tuition for everyone from beginners, to those looking to improve. Children can enjoy their first lessons in the ski kindergarten. Lessons are available in English, Spanish and French.
Childcare and Family Facilities
There is childcare available in Peyresourde, information is available from the Tourist Office.
Free outdoor parking is plentiful at both Peyresourde and Les Agudes. A much smaller amount of under-cover parking can be found at la Maison de Peyragudes.