Tarbes is located just north of Lourdes in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France. The Pyrenees are just to the south and the nearest ski resorts about half an hour from Tarbes. The mountain views are an attractive backdrop for the town. Tarbes is a historic town and is full of architectural masterpieces, the cathedral, churches and stylish façade, all bear testimony to its ancient heritage. The city is also known for the Equestrian festival and also its national stud farm which produces finest quality horses. Its ideal location at the foothills of the Pyrenees provides ample opportunities for the sport enthusiasts with activities like mountain biking, rafting, rock climbing, paragliding, etc



Sights and Activities

  • Jardin Massey is a 19th century 25 acre park featuring some interesting tree specimens, various statues, monuments, a 14th century cloister, a greenhouse and the Hussard fine arts museum.
  • Parc bel Air provides some great views of the Pyrenees.
  • Cathedral Notre Dame de la Sede
  • The National Haras of Tarbes is a historical stud farm. They put on calvary shows and give guided tours at some times of the year. Ph: +33 (0)562 563 080



Getting There

By Plane

Tarbes has a small regional airport known as Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees Airport and is located 9 kilometres southwest of Tarbes. Air France, operated by Brit Air serves Paris, BMI has seasonal flights (summer) to Manchester and Ryanair will start flights to London from December 2009 onwards.

Some of the other nearby airports which offer better connectivity and greater frequency of flights are at Pau, Carcassonne and Toulouse.

By Train

Tarbes has good rail connections with rest of the towns of the region and it also lies on the high speed TGV network of France. SNCF operates the major rail services in France.





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Keep Connected


France is one of the best connected countries in the world, with data speed for upload/download ranked among the top 5 in the world. Most hotels and hostels would have in-house facilities to provide free internet access. Many major cities also have initiatives put in place to provide free wi-fi connection in public spaces. Alternatively there are internet cafés available in most cities/towns at a reasonable rate. Some private businesses, such as local cafés (or even the Starbuck's chain), may also provide wi-fi connectivity - keep an eye out for the signs by the shop windows/doors. Also look for the @ symbol prominently displayed, which indicates internet availability. However, with most homes now wired for the internet, cyber cafés are increasingly hard to find, especially outside the major cities.


See also: International Telephone Calls

To dial an international number from France, the IDD is 00, followed by the country code that you wish to dial, the area code and the phone number.
To call France from abroad, start with the international direct dialing (IDD) code from the country you're in, followed by French country code 33, the area code (drop the first zero in front of the area code), and the phone number. French telephone numbers are rarely given without the area code. The telephone number, including the area code, is made up of 10 digits. They are written in a set of 5 pairs of digits (i.e. 01 xx xx xx xx xx).
In France, the area code designations are: 01 - Paris Area ("Région Ile-de-France"), 02 - northwest, 03 - northeast, 04 - southeast, 05 - southwest, 06 - mobile phone providers. From 2010 onwards, 07 will also be assigned to mobile phone providers in order to cater for the surging demands for mobile phones.

Emergency numbers are 15 (medical aid), 17 (police station) and 18 (fire/rescue). You can also use the European emergency number 112 (perhaps a better choice if you don't speak French). These calls are free and accessible from virtually any phone, including locked cellphones.

France uses the GSM standard of cellular phones (900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands) used in most of the world outside of the U.S. There are several companies (Orange, SFR, Free, Bouygues Télécom and some others MVNOs like Virgin Mobile) offering wireless service. The country is almost totally covered but you may have difficulties using your mobile phone in rural or mountainous areas. If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands. Then incoming calls and SMSes are free.


La Poste in France is also referred to as the PTT (short for postes, télégraphes et téléphones). The mailboxes are painted bright yellow and often there is a slot for local city mail and another slot for "outside mail". Normally there is a queue in the post office, but most of the post offices have the self service machine installed which is quite easy to operate. Nowadays many of the tabac and even some of the souvenir shops also sell postage stamps. Normally an overseas postcard costs almost as much as sending a letter. Mails sent in France also have a zip code. The first two numbers represent the administrative department (e.g. in Paris' case that would be 75).

Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Apart from the basic job of mailing letters, most of the post offices do some banking activities also and some even have photocopy machines and cyber cafes for internet access.

For international package services, you might also check options with companies like DHL, UPS or TNT, which have competitive services and prices and might be faster in most cases.

Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 43.232864
  • Longitude: 0.074121

Accommodation in Tarbes

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This is version 10. Last edited at 8:26 on Apr 26, 17 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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