Neighbouring territory of the Pays de Nay, the Ossau valley offers a wide variety of natural sites in the heart of the Pyrenees, ski resorts, thermal baths, sports and leisure activities. It is also the cradle of pastoralism with its cheese fair and transhumance.
The Ossau valley is one of the four large mountain valleys of Béarn. It stretches geographically from north to south over about fifty kilometres from Rébénacq (15 kms from Pau) to the Pourtalet pass (on the Spanish border).
It is made up of two cantons: in the lower part of the valley is the canton of Arudy with a Pyrenean piedmont landscape. In the upper part of the valley is the canton of Laruns with low, medium and high mountains.
Crossed by the Gave d'Ossau, the mother branch of the Gave d'Oloron, and dominated by the peak of the Midi d'Ossau which culminates at 2884 metres, it is the easternmost of the three Bearn valleys digging into the Pyrenees chain.
It communicates with the Pays de Nay (Ouzom valley) and the Lavedan (Argelès-Gazost), to the east via the Aubisque pass; and with Aragon, to the south via the Pourtalet pass.
The village of Laruns (heart of the Ossau valley) is 34 km from the Pays de Nay (38 min).