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Starting from Arreau, the Aure valley follows the river Neste from Aure to Spain, now accessible through the Aragnouet-Bielsa tunnel, open 24/7. In the past, the journey to Spain followed often-blocked mountain passes, notably in the Rioumajou Valley.

This wide and unspoilt valley completely avoided the industrial development of the nineteenth century, as the railway stopped at Arreau. It enjoys a privileged microclimate, which is largely sunny and is well protected from westerly weather systems by the Arbizon peak, watching over Saint-Lary.

Saint-Lary is truly the heart of the valley, and grew rapidly in the postwar period with the construction of large hydroelectric dams at high altitude and, later, following the development of Saint-Lary ski resort from 1957 onwards.