Visitor reviews for Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie Ski Resort
March 16, 2016
Val from United Kingdom
Bareges is a friendly, unspoilt and unpretentious spot for some excellent skiing and great value. Prices on the mountains and in the village are less than half of what you would pay in the Alps. Easy to get to via flights to Lourdes and the very cheap navette bookable on the Lourdes airport site. Hotel le Central highly recommended.
Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie Ratings
Overall: 3.4. Based on 24 votes and 40 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie.
Public Transport: 3.4
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.7
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 3.0
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie.
Ski in/Ski out: 3.7
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 3.5
(1) There are no snow groomers at Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.3
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 3.7
(1) Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 3.5
(1) The staff at Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 4.0
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 3.6
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.0
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 2.6
(1) Not even a kicker at Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.5
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 2.8
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 3.2
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 3.5
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 3.2
(1) Overall, Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 3.4
(1) Overall, Grand Tourmalet-Bareges/La Mongie is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
January 24, 2014
Steve Webster from United Kingdom
Bareges/La Mongie is now known as "Le Grand Tourmalet".
Bareges was one of the earliest ski resorts in France, dating from the 1930's, but is now quite low by modern day standards. La Mongie, at 1850m, is much higher and the snow markedly better.
I flew Ryanair, from Stansted to Lourdes, early on a Saturday morning, carrying full ski kit incl boots, skis, av kit etc..
After a surprisingly pleasant flight (I'm not a fan), we were met on arrival by Stef (the male part of the chalet partnership in which we were staying), and less than an hour later were at our base for the week: Chalet Tourmalet. As its name suggests, it is on the Col du Tourmalet, one of the most famous climbs on the Tour de France.
Stef reckoned that we could have been on the slopes by 11am! (A feat I've only ever achieved in the Alps at Cham or PdS when flying the same day.)
Well? First thing to say is that the snow wasn't brilliant. But? That was more a function of the strange weather system that had freezing levels over 3000m across both Pyrenees and Alps, than any particular local phenomenon.
The pistes were in good condition and it is clear the resort is making big efforts to "up their game", with new lifts, runs and snow making.
I skied precious little off-piste, but the potential is awesome! The resort has some easily accessible pitches for novice off-pisters and really great treks for the true powder hound! The signature mountain of the area, Pic du Midi. has ski de Haute Montagne that rivals better known gnarly spots such as La Grave and Meiji....
My accommodation was truly excellent! Carolyn & Stef were fantastic hosts! Superb food, excellent evenings, clean and comfortable surroundings, and I was even introduced to the RN version of Ludo! (Never having played Ludo, I was amazed at how competitive "Uckers" was!)
Ryanair fly to Lourdes Saturday & Tuesday, but Toulouse is only a couple of hours away with many more flights.
I thoroughly recommend you try it!
March 14, 2012
Mark from Jersey
Just returned from a weekend in Bareges during which a great time was had by everyone in our party (35 of us) which included beginners as well as seasoned skiers. The slopes at Bareges and La Mongie were well presented and (especially for a French Pyrenees resort) varied with something for everyone. Unlike other resorts in the area (I have skied both Cataurets and Gourette before) you have the scope to travel a bit due to the extent of the area (100 km of piste of which 90% was open). The prices in both the town and on the mountain for food and drink was incredibly cheap when compared with the Alps and the lift pass was reasonable also. My wife and I had such a good time we are going back for another weekend at end of the month which given my general loathing of spring skiing should be testament to the value for money this resort gives. Another advantage after a days skiing is that Bareges has its own thermal spa where you can relax and enjoy a jacuzzi, steam and sauna as well as the thermal baths for 11 euro. Please be aware though that this is not a mega plush place like some alpine resorts but a quaint and cheap place to spend time on the slopes. As for comments earlier in this forum about the locals, I found them to be pleasant and accommodating. I rate this as a great place for a weekend to 4 day ski break for those looking for a cheaper alternative to the Alps. We used it as a extra trip on top of our usual week in the Alps which makes it a bit of a bonus. If you have a car and include trips to nearby resorts then a pleasant week could also be enjoyed.
January 27, 2010
Mike Harris from United States
I'm a Brit living and working in the States currently. Decided to try the Pyrenees in 2009 for a family ski holiday to coincide with a business trip I had to make to Toulouse. Decided on La Mongie (Bareges & La Mongie) since it is the biggest resort but rented a nice house/chalet which we found on a site called rent-in-france.co.uk/directory. The property was located just outside the town of Bagneres de Bigorre which proved to be a good location for bars and restaurants. Since we were only there for 6 days and the weather was a bit iffy, we decided to buy day passes - which proved sensible because it allowed us to visit some of the other resorts nearby, including a gem called Peyragudes and Cauterets. Fantastic places with really great ski areas. Can thoroughly recommend this whole area.
January 14, 2010
Adur from Spain
When I read a comment about this resort, I got completely dissapointed. I know that it's France but you can't say to foreigners to learn your language if they want to comunicate with you. That's completely racist and if a staff member answers that to the people, maybe he or she will get a punch in his face one day from someone, because it's disgusting to get that type of answers.
I don't say that everybody has to know how to speak English, Spanish, German....but at least a little bit of English just because it is the worldwide language. When you come to Spain you want people to speak French or at least English too, right?
Bareges & La Mongie is a place that needs tourists so it can mearn money, so you can't expect to be working with them if you have no idea how to communicate. The resort isn't internal and only for French people so please adapt yourselves and don't be so selfish.
February 23, 2009
Erwan from France
I've skied the Bareges/La Mongie resort for many years and I still enjoy it. We just took a one week break starting Feb 14th and had the chance to ski fresh snow (it snowed one meter of fresh snow the week before we arrived) and had plenty of sunshine.
The resort is one of the largest in the Pyrenees and the pistes at Bareges/La Mongie can accommodate all levels of skiers.
I strongly recommend it to anyone, especially families.
February 16, 2009
Juan from Spain
I have skied in La Mongie (Bareges/La Mongie) for the last 8 years and I am proud to say that La Mongie is one of the best resorts in the Pyrenees.
Lots of friends of mine have had accidents there and there is always the same story.
All the pisters, by default, thinks that you are trying to lie to them. My friend with accident insurance have to prove it to the pister but these one have no way to check if it is true or false.
To sum up, La Mongie (Bareges/La Mongie) is excellent except for the staff.
April 30, 2008
Tristan Hay from United Kingdom
We have skied the Tourmalet for about six weeks over the past two seasons. The conditions in general have been really good, with some excellent powder days and when the white stuff is a bit scarce the resort has really used what they have well.
It’s an excellent resort to learn; the beginner area at la Mongie being right by the village and there are loads of greens which stretch around the ski area. As resorts go it's really family friendly especially as the travelator, beginners area and sledging area are only about 50m from the centre of the resort. For intermediates there is a good range of blues, try from the Quatre Termes chair lift. There are also some challenging reds. Try the laquette moguls which are always quiet to name a couple. There are plenty of off-piste short cuts to practice on and for experts the Pic du Midi is the pinnacle of many challenging off-piste routes. We stay in the Campan valley on the La Mongie side and always drive to a couple of other nearby resorts on each visit, Gavarnie and Cauteretts being our favorites.
The pistes are quiet especially in the week. The lift passes, ski lessons and ski hire are much cheaper than the Alps but best of all th food and drink is much more reasonably priced and fantastic in quality; 'La Planche Pyrenee' at La Mammas restaurant does it for me every time!
We also visit the spa in Bagneres-de-Biggore, the Aquensis, to relax our aching muscles and as we holiday with some non skiers this is one of many non skiing things to do locally, though most seem to favor sitting in front of the log fire drinking red wine!!
We rent out a lovely renovated 4 bed mountain grange with log fire and south facing garden etc. which is only 10 minutes from La Mongie by car. See our website chalethay.co.uk, worth a look even just to get a bit more info on the area.
March 29, 2008
Elinor Morton from United Kingdom
A response to Gaizka and Rob's comments
This year, between us and friends that have been to Bareges, we have had to call upon the rescue services 3 times: once for my son who had a bad fall on the slopes, and had to be taken to Lourdes for a Cat scan, one broken leg and a badly shattered elbow. In all cases, the treatment received was superb, efficient, kind and very supportive. The assurance that you pay on the forfait is insignificant but the peace of mind it gives you is immense.
I would also like to point out that three years ago my skis were stolen. Although there was no need, the people in the cafe and the pisteurs (who do an amazing job on the pistes when you consider the number of people who use them) were incredible, contacting the police for me, helping me down the mountain and making the whole experience slightly less unpleasant.
I disagree with your comment that the locals are obliged to speak English. If a French person came to England, they would be expected to speak our language - it's a matter of common courtesy. Having said that plenty of people in the village do speak English, but we would rather speak French (all be it not terribly well).
March 26, 2008
Gaizka Perea from Spain
A comment to Robs observations:
If you worked in any of the Spanish islands or in many towns of the Spanish east coast, you would know that if 80% of your customers are English or German, you better learn some English AT LEAST!
In La Mongie there are far more Spaniards than French in the winter season, and we spend far more money in Bareges/La Mongie than the French; so I would expect a little effort from the locals, and resort staff to communicate and ease any problems that we may encounter; AT LEAST you could have ONE guy in the resort that spoke English and Spanish; this way, from any point of the resort the staff could phone him and solve the language problems.
Apart from this, I love the area and off-piste snowboarding is great and almost endless in Bareges. But the last two years, snow has been scarce and the shortcomings of the staff have been highlighted.
The pistes have not been cared for enough and it was easy to find mud, rocks....in the middle of the piste, whereas smaller resorts with apparently less resources keep the pistes in great shape till the season ends. And to finish with my criticism (cos I really love the resort, I have been coming for 4 years), the snow park area seemed to be kept by drunken monkeys!!! Bad jumps/rails and too little, terrible boarder-cross. The snow park area is enormous but is totally under utilised. You could fit at least three times more jumps, rails etc... and to top it up, the snow park staff only takes care of it once a week or less.....on a daily basis, the ramps are wrecked in a couple of hours and no one cares about it, when they should be caring and fixing the ramps all day; I think that´s what they get paid for, and what I would expect after paying for my season pass.
Three years ago the snow park was ok, I don´t know what happened....Luz Ardiden snow park is 10 times better in 4 times less space.