Between the Atlantic coast and the first snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees, the Aldudes valley is a jewel that has remained intact since the dawn of time.
It weaves between steep mountains along the river, the Nive des Aldudes, and crosses three villages: Banca, Les Aldudes and Urepel.
Around a bend, a farmhouse with oxblood red shutters typical of the region is revealed, a herd of sheep accompanied by their shepherd enjoys a breathtaking view of the surrounding hills.
Time seems to have no hold on this region so far from the civilized world and yet the Basque coast is only an hour away.
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Pascal Arcé, chef and owner of the hotel-restaurant Arcé, a child of the country, has observed its evolution.
“The valley has had its ups and downs.
Fifty years ago, tourism was dynamic.
Spending your holidays here was fashionable, then tourists became increasingly rare before finding a second wind ten years ago...
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