Reviews of Gourette, France

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  3 of 5  (2 reviews)
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Reviews: 3
    3 of 5,  "Good for a few days or improvers."  05/10/2012 @ 16:32
Price Paid
Booked Trip Through
Organised ourselves
Times Visited
2-5 Times
Review Detail
My brother in law lived in Pau, and we made 3 trips over to visit Gourette from 2007-09.

Each time we stayed in Pau and drove up each day, about 45 minutes, so I don't know what accomodation is like or prices.

Parking was easy and copious, wit hplenty of buses up to the town centre. From there, it's a couple of hundred yards to the snow. Lift passes were relatively cheap compared to more mainstream resorts. It is mainly french locals there, with a few spanish. It's not the sort of place people generally fly to to spend a weeks holiday there. More a local resort for the odd weekend or day trip if you live nearby.

The first year we went there was very little snow, only about half the pistes were open and there was plenty of grass and rock showing through the snow. The last year they were having to dig trenches through the snow for some of the chair lifts to pass through!

It's mainly shorter blues with a reasonable number of greens and reds and a couple of blacks.

We went there after one previous week of boarding, so it was a great learning area. Several blues combined a bit of fun and twists and turns, with some flatter wider spaces ideal for linking big turns and practising your switch riding.

If you are an experienced boarder, looking to do a run once, then go to a new one, you will quickly run out of pistes.

It can also be hot in the Pyrenees. We had 16 degrees on the slopes. I was baking for one of our trips. Tends to mean by the afternoon the snow is slush. So first thing in the morning you ride on ice, about 10 am - 12 you get reasonable snow, then it all gets very soft again, so check the forecasts...

Overall it was great for convenient access, price and simplicity whilst learning, and we had some good lessons there too. But outgrown it now, and would look for bigger resorts with more to offer.

Although there is a lovely chalet style hotel on the slopes, about 300 yards from town, and if I could spend Christmas there for a lazy week of comfortable boarding, then I would be very tempted!
Lots of space outside of school holidays,
Virtually no Brits!
Cheap for French snow.
Great for 2nd to 3rd week beginners/improvers.

Relatively small for experienced riders.
Weather forecasts need careful checking for snow/temps, so don't book to far ahead.
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Reviews: 4
West Midlands
    3 of 5,  "Small and Friendly but let down by infrastructure"  27/01/2011 @ 19:33
Price Paid
£200 approx
Booked Trip Through
Booked independently and drove their by car
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
Gourette is part of a Group of resorts known as "La Nouvelle Des Chaine Des Pyrenees" or NPY for short.

We visited it over New Years week 2010/11.

We stayed in a self catering apartment booked though Owners Direct and although modern, warm and comfortable it lacked some of the basic things like a proper can opener or bed linen.

We were informed by other guests that this is the norm for French apartment owners but there was no mention of this on the owners direct website.

The Slopes and town were situated 100m from the apartment which made for a nice easy trip to the shops to load up on water, sandwiches and anything else you might need for the day.

The resort was surprisingly busy for its small size given that there was Cauterets 30km to the East and St Pierre Martin 20km to the West and other resorts a little further east like La Mongie,
Tourmalet and St Lary Soulan.

The lift pass price was a little cheaper than other French resorts but was let down by the lack of good piste markers and general management and infrastructure.

There are good number of slopes for most abilities but mainly suited to beginners/intermediates. There are two snow parks and one marked off piste area as well as other non marked
off piste area possibilities.

One snow park was open but the other closed as lack of snow but was generous in size with a rope pull and poma lift system to serve it.

The resort is currently undergoing a fair bit of modernisation which it needs really. They have already replaced some parts of the lift system with new gear and have plans
to replace other parts in the coming year.

To sum up, if you want a cheap holiday, easy going resort and are at intermediate level and you enjoy touring other nearby resorts then this could be the resort for you but personally I’d give it a miss for a year or two until it’s completely modernised.

We also visited Cauterets two times. (see other review for Cauterets).
Nice distance from town and lifts.
Decent variation of slopes and levels.
Good snow parks (snow permitting)
Hot Spots
The off piste areas at 2450m
Lack of good piste management.
Parts of town currently under construction.
Very crowded pistes over New Year.
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