There are three important points to note about this business:
The Biros valley is one of the few unspoilt valleys in the central Pyrenees to have been spared winter sports developments. The valley ends in a wall of 3000 metre mountain with Spain on the other side. The village of Sentein is more or less the end of the road, surrounded by dramatic high peaks and lush beech forests. At the top of the valley the famous Pyrenean footpath – the GR 10 – descends slightly to afford hikers the chance to restock in the village grocery. Black kites wheel above the village while thousands of house martins chase around the 12th century church spire. Above the tree line the brown bear prowls, feeding on wild blueberries and small animals.
The POSSIBILITIES: these centres were originally aimed at groups of children from urban centres who would spend 3 or 4 weeks in a colonie de vacances somewhere close to nature. Dormitories were packed with bunk beds; food and hygiene was rudimentary. Times have changed and children’s needs (and desires) have evolved: a lot of these centres have been transformed into more upmarket accommodation for children and adults: both families and groups. These new guests are interested in:
CYCLING: the Tour de France passes through this region nearly every year: the Col de la Core and the Col de Portet d’Aspet are the nearest passes within easy reach. Mountain biking is also a big attraction in the valley with trails in every direction.
HIKING/WALKING: Clearly the trans-Pyrenees footpath – the GR10 – is the big attraction for experienced hikers but there are plenty of shorter, easier hikes to be made in and around the valley and its neighbours: the Riberot valley (leading to Mont Valier) and the Bethmale and Bellelongue valleys.
CONFERENCES, PARTYING/WEDDING RECEPTIONS: Mountain centres of this size are very rare – especially within 90 minutes of big urban centres like Toulouse – and so are in demand from such diverse groups as Airbus (for corporate brain-storming), Extended families for ‘cousinades‘ (don’t ask!) and people from worldwide looking for an original wedding location.
What we like about this property is that it has been refurbished to a high standard: roof, windows, equipment and kitchens are all in excellent condition … and yet there is still a part of the building to be finished. This gives buyers the chance to put their stamp on the place and decide whether to create more accommodation or more facilities for the guests. The other strong selling point is the drinks licence which is like gold dust in these parts. An excellent business … a must-visit property!