Like its bigger Pyrenean cousin, Barèges, Cauterets is also a spa town. It is only 28km from Lourdes and its airport, but does only possess 36km of marked pistes. These are largely for the less experienced, with little for advanced skiers. The skiing is above the town and only accessible by cable car. Crowds can build up, particularly at weekends.
However, Cauterets shares the many charms of a non-Alpine resort - people are friendlier and don't seem to see you simply as potential profit. There aren't many off-snow activities, beyond a visit to the spa to soothe weary limbs. The limited number of restaurants are cheap and serve primarily local fare. Nightlife is fairly quiet, with only a few bars and a couple of clubs.
The snow shouldn't be relied upon outside the midwinter period. Cauterets' biggest pull is probably its cross-country skiing, a bus-ride away at the excellent Pont d'Espagne. It is also a busy summer haunt for Pyrenean visitors.