House | 4 bedrooms | sleeps 8
Maison Berchon is in a quiet location, yet only 30 minutes from historic Pau and world-famous Lourdes. So, there's plenty of sightseeing if you tire of relaxing in the garden or by the pool. Want to be even more active? Take your pick from golf, rambling, horse-riding, fishing and water sports - or, in winter, skiing, with both Cauterets and Gourettes just an hour away. Shopping in Nay's busy market is a delight and you can walk to the local baker for the all-important breakfast croissants.
The sitting room balcony overlooks the private garden, where there's plenty of space for children to play, trees to give shade and an area for al fresco eating. With 2 double and 2 twin bedrooms, the house is ideal for a large family, two smaller ones or a group of friends. The house has been newly renovated from top to bottom while taking care to preserve its many architectural features, including a stunning, traditional turned-wood Bearnaise staircase, original wood flooring and marble fireplaces.
Access to the swimming pool (occasionally shared with the owners) is via a secure gate in the garden. The pool (12 x 6 metres) has a rolling security cover that conforms to EU safety standards and a large tiled surround for sunbathing.
|Size||Sleeps up to 8, 4 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Lac de Baudreix 3 km|
|Nearest Amenities||300 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Lourdes 28 km, Nearest railway: Coarraze-Nay 500 m|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Pets welcome, Yes, smoking allowed|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, CD player, Telephone, Table tennis, Games room, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 1 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (4), Double beds (2), Dining seats for 8, Lounge seats for 8|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Private garden, BBQ|
|Further details indoors|
Quality Travertine-tiled bathrooms with thermostatic shower mixers and all-white suites. Separate utility room with third loo. Electric window shutters to most windows.
Multi-games table in den and board games, books, DVDs and magazines available for when you want to relax indoors. Wii console with games.
Official rating 4* (Inspection Classement Hotel)
|Further details outdoors|
Wooden garden furniture and gas barbecue. Sun-loungers, chairs and inflatables available poolside as well as table-tennis table and basketball net. Off-street parking for two cars. Sliding front gate means garden can be fully enclosed for children's or pets' safety.
The Aquitaine/Dordogne region
Aquitaine in SW France is one of the most varied regions of France, offering everything from rolling hillsides covered in vines to mile upon mile of sandy beaches to fertile, green river valleys and, of course, the majestic Pyrenees. It stretches down the Atlantic coast some 300km from central France to the Pyrenees and covers five departments - including Pyrenees Atlantiques.
Bordeaux, its capital, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with some stunning 18th century - and earlier - architecture and great bars and restaurants. The Bordeaux wine region is world-famous and the city hosts major musical and theatrical events through out the year. If you want to visit before or after your stay in Nay, Bordeaux is just 90 minutes from Pau via the newly-opened A65 motorway.
The Pyrenees Atlantiques, as its name suggests, stretches from the Atlantic coast along the Pyrenees to the south. Its two regions are the Basque Country and the Bearn.
The Basque Country in France (the other half lies over the border in Spain) runs from Bayonne to Hendaye along the coast and inland stretches through Basse Navarre to the Soule, where the southern part of the Bearn begins. We can't begin to do justice to the rich traditions and culture of the Basques here - let's just say their language is unique, their cuisine one of the best and their traditions steeped in history.
From Nay, it's a short trip to towns such as Mauleon Licharre (the manufacturing centre for espadrilles - those brilliant rope-soled sandals) and only 75 minutes on the motorway to elegant Biarritz (surfers' paradise and favourite resort of the Empress Eugenie). A bit further down the coast, you'll find St Jean de Luz - a small but perfectly formed resort that's worth the trip in the summer to enjoy the regular 'fuego del toro' celebrations or eat in one of the many great seafood restaurants.
Nay is in the Bearn, which runs the length of the Basque Country's eastern border. A landscape of alternating hills and valleys gives way to the steeper gorges and impressive peaks of the Pyrenees. Two major rivers - the Gave d'Oloron and the Gave de Pau - carve through the region, offering some of Europe's best salmon and trout fishing. The warm climate and fertile soil make this ideal farming country.
Nay is a bastide (Medieval new town) dating back to 1302 and you can still see parts of the original walls. Take the time to visit the lovely 15th century St Vincent church and Renaissance Maison Carrée in the centre of town and the unique Musée du Beret. For arts lovers, the Minoterie, an old industrial warehouse converted into studio and exhibition space, holds regular art shows – as does the Maison Carrée, which also has exhibits about the local area, including its rich industrial heritage. Maison Berchon itself was built by one of Nay's major 19th century textiles magnates.
The Gave de Pau, runs through the town and offers lots of opportunities for fishing, riverside walks and water sports. Nay also has a very modern swim pool - Nayeo - with plume, two pools and fitness centre, while the Lac de Baudreix with its sandy beach, lake and restaurant/bar is just 3km away. Within an hour's drive, golf lovers have the choice of nine courses. The closest are the two at Pau, including the oldest golf club in France, and an 18-hole picturesque course at Lourdes.
Every local village has its fete during the summer months and Nay's five-day extravaganza in August is one of the biggest - with a funfair, children's entertainments and a big parade.
Nearby Pau was the birthplace of Henri IV and you can visit his splendid chateau, visit art galleries and museums, shop in the lovely boutiques or impressive markets - and stop for a drink at one of the cafes on the Boulevard des Pyrenees to enjoy the magnificent views of the mountains. An ultra-modern sports complex, including a centre for pelota, the fastest ball game in the world, lies on the north side of Pau - as well as a major racecourse. In May, Pau hosts two Grand Prix weekends for vintage and Formula 3 cars and it's often a staging-post for the Tour de France in July.
Within 10 minutes of Nay, you can visit the Grottes de Betharram, an impressive group of caves, complete with underground train - and Lourdes, the world-famous pilgrimage site, is just 20km away. The Parc National des Pyrenees, with its abundance of nature trails and magnificent scenery, begins only a few kilometres from Nay - a fabulous resource for those who like mountain biking, rambling or climbing.
Nay's large mixed market on Tuesdays and local produce market on Saturdays give you plenty of opportunity to look for bargains or buy high-quality food from local farmers. You can shop for daily essentials at the excellent boulangerie and butcher just round the corner while the centre of Nay offers even more bakeries, a butcher, deli, post office and range of other shops.
If you want to eat out, local restaurants include the Deux Palmiers in the centre of Nay and the Vieux Logis 4km away at Estelle-Betharram for classic French dining. And watch out for places offering Assiette de Pays - which promote local specialities, on a plate. The two main cafes in the centre of town both serve brasserie-style meals at midday while other eateries include a creperie and pizzeria. For lots more choice, Pau's the place to go - you can take your pick of cuisine from Basque to Vietnamese, grilled meats to vegetarian.
21 to 24 August - Pau's fab summer festival Hestiv'oc takes over the town.
22 to 26 August - Nay celebrates its 60th annual Fetes de Nay.
22 to 26 October - Les Etoiles de Pau **** world class horse trials.
Availability Your dates are available
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2 Sep 2014
"Large well-appointed house with nice pool"
We stayed here as a family in August 2014 as part of a larger holiday. The hosts Tony & Yolanda were extremely welcoming and looked after us well while we were there. The booking process was efficient… More
Many thanks for your thoughtful review. We're delighted that you enjoyed your stay at Maison Berchon and the varied attractions of the region.
Our aim is to offer the best possible experience for our guests – so, we take seriously even minor concerns, such as your 'small niggles'. To date, nobody else has made the same or even similar observations – but we'll canvass previous holidaymakers to find out their views.
As you say, Nay's market is very much a local one, which is part of its charm. On Tuesday mornings, in particular, the market offers a fabulous range of fresh produce from the region – but there are also stalls that sell various gifts from traditional woven baskets and bags to handmade craft items, including children's clothes and hats, scarves and jumpers made from local wool or farm-produced honeys and jams. I agree that souvenirs such as 'cheesy bracelets' are not much in evidence – but you can easily find the equivalent in Lourdes.
The recent and unexpected change to a burger cafe of the best-regarded Nayais restaurant has been a disappointment - though it's fair to say that the burgers on offer are at the gourmet end of the spectrum. However, within less than a 10-minute drive (much closer than Pau) you can eat well at a number of restaurants in Lestelle Betharram, including the excellent Vieux Logis and the O Quatre Saisons, which guests have recommended – while five minutes takes you to the Lac de Baudreix lakeside restaurant, where they serve delicious food at both lunchtime and in the evening.
20 Aug 2014
"Perfect relaxing getaway spot"
The pool and outside space is perfect for relaxing in the sunshine. The villa itself is well-equipped for a big group and kept us comfortably entertained on the greyer days. Nay itself is a nice town … More
30 Jul 2014
"Did exactly what it said on the tin (and other reviews!)"
Had an absolutely amazing 5 days staying at this property with seven of us competing in this years Etape du Tour. As a base the plead was perfect and the house itself was large clean welcoming and ai… More
18 May 2014
"Very well equipped house, comfortable for large family with kids and very responsive and friendly owners."
Great place to stay with kids and larger family. Very friendly, near boulangerie and all shops, short enough drive to Pau, Lourdes and Tarbes, and nice places to visit around (recommend the zoo in Ass… More
12 Aug 2013
"Ideal house for family reunion."
This was a perfect house for our holiday with our two grown-up sons and their partners. The house was spacious, well renovated and lacked for nothing in terms of equipment. The kitchen was a good size… More
9 Aug 2013
"Grandiose and comfortable"
We stayed at 'Maison Berchon' during an extended holiday in France. We were with 4 other members of the family and the house was more than adequate for our needs. The Northern French archi… More
15 Jul 2013
"A perfect base for exploring Pau and the Pyrenees"
We stayed at Maison Berchon in July 2013 and it was the perfect house for our extended family of two adults, one 12 year old and three teenagers - a beautiful and elegant home, with plenty of space fo… More
6 Sep 2012
"Fantastic well equipped house and pool in the South of France"
We stayed for two weeks at Maison Berchon in August 2012. We were three generations of the same family including two under fives and grandparents in their sixties. All of us had fantastic time. Be… More
29 Jul 2012
"Ideal base for French Holiday"
I travelled to Nay with 12 friends as we were competing in the L'Etape de Tour 2012 from Pau to Bagners de Luchon. Yolanda and Tony couldn't have helped more and went well beyond the call of… More
24 Jul 2012
"Relaxing and comfortable house in the South of France"
I and 13 friends stayed here when we cycled a stage of the Tour De France in July 2012. We all loved the house. The rooms are large and comfortable, and the location is quiet and peaceful. Yolanda and… More
Thank you so much for this review. We were delighted to welcome you all to Nay – especially as the group was cycling L'Etape de Pau for charity. It's worth clarifying that half the group stayed in Maison Berchon as its maximum capacity is eight people. Exceptionally, we put up the other half in our home next door so that the group could be together and easily organise their cycling and other activities.
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