What you need to know about visiting Luz Saint Sauveur

The village of Luz Saint Sauveur sits in the valley at the base of the iconic Col du Tourmalet at an altitude of just over 700m (2 100ft). It is a beautiful village surrounded by grand mountain peaks. We visit Luz Saint Sauveur regularly and always enjoy stopping for lunch or a coffee. The village has a great atmosphere and has that buzz of a holiday destination. In summer the cafes are full of cyclists, hikers, rock climbers, and sightseers either on their way to the day’s adventure or having returned from it.

Luz Saint Sauveur is a year-round holiday destination and is well set up to welcome the many visitors that come each year. For winter visitors it is ideally located a short distance from both the Grand Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden ski stations and the town has numerous ski stores and ski hire outlets to get you ready for the slopes. Shuttle services operate to the resorts so you can leave the car behind. In summer the village allows easy access to numerous hiking trails, Pic du Midi, Pont Napolean, and the UNESCO-listed Gavarnie. There are outdoor stores, and bike shops servicing the summer activities in the surrounding mountains.

Luz Saint Sauveur as a cycling holiday base

If you are planning a cycling holiday in the Pyrenees then Luz Saint Sauveur is definitely a location to consider for your base. It sits at the start of the climb to Col du Tourmalet in one direction and Luz Ardiden in the other. There are no less than 8 Tour de France cols all within reach of the village not to mention plenty of other spectacular routes to consider as well. This is also a great base for mountain bikers as well and you can head up to the mountain bike park at Bareges, a short distance away. In winter there is even the option of hiring a fat bike to cycle up on the snow!

We have created a list of 40 cycling routes in the Pyrenees that we recommend having a look at to see what is on offer in this region.

Cyclist riding through Luz Saint Sauveur in France
You will be wowed by the architecture in and around Luz Saint Sauveur

How to get to Luz Saint Sauveur

Luz Saint Sauveur sits at the junction of two valleys 30km to the south of Lourdes which is the largest town in the region. Most people will arrive via Lourdes and in winter this is the only option as the Col du Tourmalet closes from November to May. We have a separate article about How to Get to the Pyrenees that goes into more detail on traveling to the Pyrenees and we recommend you have a look at it also if you are unfamiliar with the region.

Road

When traveling from Lourdes you first follow the D821 before turning onto the D921. The journey time is approximately 30 minutes. The route from Lourdes is the way the majority of visitors will arrive in Luz Saint Sauveur. When the Col du Tourmalet is open you can also access Luz Saint Sauveur via the D918 via Bagneres de Bigorre. While this is a very scenic route it is also much slower as you access the smaller roads of the mountain pass.

Rail

Lourdes is the closest train station to Luz Saint Sauveur and is 32km away. There are regular buses connecting the train station to the village.

Air

The closest airport to Luz Saint Sauveur is Lourdes-Tarbes which is 44km away. Toulouse Blagnac airport is 210km by road and Pau airport is 96km away.

Bus

The 965 bus service runs from Lourdes to Luz Saint Sauveur year-round and provides a great option for those who wish to leave their car behind. There are also seasonal bus services connecting Luz Saint Sauveur with Gavarnie (summer), Luz Ardiden ski station, and Bareges ski station. The liO website has the timetable information. Tickets can be purchased on board.

Our tip before you board the bus is to double-check that the bus is going to Luz Saint Sauveur. The 965 service runs to either Cauterets or Luz Saint Sauveur but not both in one journey. It is clear to see on the front of the bus or ask the driver.

Getting around

Once you are in Luz Saint Sauveur it is easy to get around the village on foot so you do not need a car necessarily. You would be able to walk into the town center from most places within the village within 10-15 minutes.

Accommodation options in Luz Saint Sauveur

There is a variety of accommodation types to choose from in Luz Saint Sauveur that will suit everybody’s taste and budget. Within the village, there are a range of hotels to choose from typically in the 2 and 3 star range. A little further out from the center of the village you can consider the beautiful hotels near the thermal spas that overlook the village.

There are no less than 8 camping grounds to choose from in the village if that is more your style of accommodation. These range from simple pitches and cabins to small-scale resorts with pools, restaurants, and bars. You will also find plenty of holiday houses and apartments in and around the village if you prefer a fully self-supported holiday.

Eating and drinking in Luz Saint Sauveur

Being a popular tourist destination there are plenty of options to choose from in Luz Saint Sauveur when you need something to eat or drink. The town has a range of cafés and restaurants offering a range of cuisines at different price points.

Pont Napolean near Luz Saint Sauveur
A short distance from Luz Saint Sauveur is the beautiful Pont Napolean

When to visit Luz Saint Sauveur

Luz Saint Sauveur is a year-round holiday destination given its proximity to the ski slopes of Grand Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden so when to visit really depends on the type of holiday you are looking for. The summer season runs from May to October each year with the busiest month being August when French people take their annual summer holidays. We recommend a visit in Spring or Autumn (fall) if you wish to miss the busiest periods and hottest weather, especially if you are planning to come for a cycling or hiking holiday.

The winter ski season typically runs from December to March depending on the snowfall for the season. Most resorts open in mid-December and start closing from late March into April depending on the conditions. The week between Christmas and New Year is very popular and places get quite busy, so avoid that week if you prefer things a little quieter.

Things to do in Luz Saint Sauveur

Luz Saint Sauveur is a great base for a whole range of activities in the Pyrenees and you will have no problems finding a range of things to see and do. Within a short distance from the village, you can experience thermal spas, beautiful walks, bungee jumping, zip lines, canyoning, rock climbing, mountain biking, or paragliding. A little further afield will take you to the heights of Pic du Midi, the UNESCO world heritage listed Gavarnie, or a visit to the stunning Cirque du Troumouse.

Check our Day Trips from Lourdes and Things to do in the Pyrenees articles for some more ideas and details on some of the activities listed above.

How many days do you need in Luz Saint Sauveur?

How long you stay in Luz Saint Sauveur will really depend on how much time you have. You could easily spend a couple of weeks based here and enjoy the many varied activities the region has to offer. Equally, if you only have a few days over a bank holiday weekend, or as part of a larger itinerary, you can still enjoy the village and soak in the mountain atmosphere. Our recommendation would be to allow a 7-day stay, time permitting, which will give you the opportunity to see the major sights and attractions without having to cram everything in as quickly as possible.

Amenities and services

The village is well provisioned with 2 Carrefour Supermarkets, a chemist, doctors, dentists, and petrol stations. There are outdoor stores to browse and stock up on anything you need for your holiday as well as bike hire and ski hire outlets that operate seasonally.

You might also like

If you are thinking about a holiday in the Pyrenees and considering Luz Saint Sauveur as a base, you might also like to consider Argeles Gazost or Lourdes.