Do you already love Ariège but want to discover more? Do you think L'Ariège has no more secrets for you? Ariège is home to little secret places, nuggets, anecdotes that will make you push the doors of the destination further ...
Discover intimate nature spots
We usually start with the best known, most accessible spots: the peak of Tarbesouwaterfall of Ars, the Bethmale lake, the Laurenti pondOrlu reserve, the Bassiès ponds... the most seasoned do Montcalm, the Valier, the Saint-Barthelemy… and after that ?
Then, the Ariège offers magnificent hiking trails to be traveled by roaming over several days. The Biros Tower for example is very authentic, in the heart of Couserans and the Regional Natural Park of the Ariège Pyrenees; the path of the Bonshommes GR107 leads to Spain in the footsteps of the Cathars fleeing the inquisition of the Catholic Church; the way to freedom was borrowed from it during the Second World War to join Spain, it ensures the memory of these men and women who worked for Freedom.
The Pyrenees are known for their incredible beauty spots. In Gavarnie, Cauterets, the Bouillouses Reserve, lakes, summits and forests are nestled in the heart of unspoiled mountains, bordering Spain. Ideal for hiking and trekking, whether at the […]
After having made your first descents in canyon or rafting, after having tested your endurance on the hiking trails of Ariège or having taken the plunge of a first flight in paragliding, discover all new outdoor activities, to practice in Ariège only (or almost!)
Shopping directly with local producers, visiting a farm is already a first step towards knowing a trade of which we only know the visible part. But live the experience of a transhumance in Ariège it is to have the impression of being part, for a moment, of this great adventure that is pastoralism.
In Ariège, the herds are "mounted" in summer at the beginning of June to spend the summer there in freedom, at the end of September they take the road in the opposite direction to return to the farm. Horses, ewes, sheep, cows each breeder accompanies his herds in the mountains and some offer the possibility of following them for a day of celebration (entertainment, meals, etc.). A real day of sharing and cultural richness.
For dating enthusiasts, sharing, many artisans have settled in Ariège to live off their passion and pass on their know-how. While strolling through a small mountain village, where the houses are made of stones and the roofs of slate, it is not uncommon to discover the workshop of a clog maker, a cutler, a glassmaker or a cheese maker! Strolling around and staying curious can sometimes lead to great encounters.
Explore the little-known Romanesque churches and CASTLES
Castles such as Foix et Montsegur are the most emblematic of Ariège but other castles are part of the history of Catharism. Roquefixade, Usson, Lordat, Miglos, Montreal from Sos, Montaillou are so many vestiges rich in history. What do they have in common? Dominant positions in height in remote valleys to both take refuge and watch the possible arrival of danger. Guided tours of the ruins of the past allow an immersion and a deeper understanding of these places.
To be complete on the understanding of the politico-social-religious environment at that time, it is interesting to complete your visit to the Romanesque churches. The great wave of construction of religious buildings shortly before the year XNUMX corresponds to the development of religious orders, the basis of the uncertain climate that followed with the Crusades.
dive to 1000 places under the earth
Ariège is one of the French departments richest in caves and caverns. The unmissable ornate cave is the Niaux cave, 2 km of gallery open to the public allow to discover signs, reproductions of bison, horses… scenes of life from prehistoric times. Bedeilhac, the cow and the Mas d'Azil allow to complete the visit with the discovery of tools and weapons made of bones and reindeer antlers but also the discovery of bones. All of these caves provide valuable information on the behavior of Magdalenians.
Other caves, highlighted more for their beauty and geological characteristics, are essential. Lombrives, magnificent spectacle of drapes of limestones, stalactites and stalagmites; Labouiche, discovery by boat of part of the underground river on a 1,5 km course punctuated by waterfalls and concretions.
The underground network holds many other riches that it is possible to explore in potholing ! In Ariège, several qualified guides offer outings at all levels.