Vacation in Pau, France
The "Good King"
Henry IV, dubbed the "good king" reigned over France from 1589 - 1610, was born inside the Chateaux de Pau and would later make it his personal resort. Situated atop of a large ravine in the foothills of the French Pyrenees, the Chateaux has an excellent view of its mountain range. The town of Pau has some of the best shopping districts in France with many high fashion stores. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Pau gets decked out with lights and decorations galore. Just as King Henry IV frequently visited Pau to unwind, visitors today can bask in the luxury of Pau's many hotels and spas.
Gateway to the Pyrenees
With its own airport and easy accessibility from any of France's major cities using the TGV (Train a Grand Vitesse), Pau is then only just 17 miles from the Pyrenees. Its only suiting that Pau serves as the official gateway to the French Pyrenees. If you are going to head for the hill make sure that you pencil into your schedule some time to hike the mountains. You will never get a view like atop of the Pyrenees. Along the trails there may be farmsteads of the Basque people.
As soon as you venture into the Pyrenees, keep in mind that you are now in Basque country. The Basque people are the Indiginous groups whose coulture and uniques language has managed to survive since the early middle-ages. They are a very rough and rugged group, but they are some of the nicest people you'll meet anywhere in the world. Just don't challenge them to a game a 'pallote'. You will likely get hurt. All of their traditional games involve some sort of brutness. One of their more famous events are the Basques in Spain who 'run with the bulls' wearing their traditional white clothing and red sash and beret.