Like an air of Tuscany… Perched on its rocky promontory, the medieval bastide du Carla-bayle offers visitors a dream panorama on the neighboring valleys with the Pyrenees as a backdrop, which is reminiscent of this famous Italian region. Stroll among the half-timbered houses of the village, admire a sunset by the lake, linger in one of the good restaurants in the area, the Carla-Bayle and its surroundings are one of those unique places that awaken this capacity in us. to marvel and fully feel the moment. Come and taste the time of a weekend at the country life !

Go on an adventure near home

Summer is here, the weather is fine, it's hot, but for us we will still have to wait 6 weeks before the holidays… So, why not treat yourself to a foretaste of the holidays by going for a weekend close by? from our home !

What is the point of choose a spot less than an hour from your home, will you tell me? Just because :

  • You don't waste time in transport to make the most of your weekend (good plan: take the “late check-out” option, i.e. the possibility of leaving the accommodation at 17 p.m. to make the most of the day on Sunday)
  • You will not hear any of your children ask you the "nightmare" question of all parents: "when are we coming?" "
  • You will for sure have the pleasure of find surprising places, little nuggets hidden away from the crowds whose GPS coordinates are exchanged whispering.
Panorama Carla Bayle
Panorama Carla Bayle © J. Guichard

How to go to Carla-Bayle?

Le Carla-bayle is only 40 minutes from Foix by car (via the D919), and 1 hour from Toulouse (via the A64, then the D919). Very close to the "city of the arts", unmissable sites are to be visited: the Mas d'Azil cave, Xploria ...

direction Tuscany ... Ariègeoise

Friday 17 p.m., we pick up the children and let's go for the Carla-bayle !

The road is very pleasant, the wheat fields succeed those of sunflowers. Windows wide open, you can smell the hay drying in the meadows. Forty minutes later, we have already arrived at the Oustal del Carlat residence, with only one idea in mind: to dive into the magnificent infinity pool. The view is simply magical: the Carla-Bayle lake just below, the surrounding hills and the Pyrenees as a horizon.

We then join the edges of the pond - a gate allows direct access from the residence. We decide to eat at Lake restaurant and enjoy together with our 1er sunset to the delight of young and old!

Carla-Bayle lake

Created in 1993, the lake covers an area of ​​11 hectares. It is in a perfectly bucolic setting that many activities are possible. Fishing is authorized, upon purchase of a card (€8 per day – points of sale: lake restaurant, Auberge Pierre Bayle and town hall). A beach is set up for swimming, supervised during the summer. Nearby, there is no shortage of possibilities: children's play area, tennis, mini-golf, skate park, multi-sport field, picnic tables, etc. The restaurant offers mountain bike, pedal boat or paddle rental.

lac du carla-bayle
Carla-bayle lake © J. Guichard

A Saturday strolling in the city of the arts

To start the day off right, I decide to go to the nearest bakery. As we are early risers (well not us, our children?), I can enjoy the beauty of the landscapes bathed in the soft morning light. Chance made me push the door of the De Oliveira bakery in Fossat. Bingo! The pastries are as crispy as can be and I find milk rolls in the shape of a man for the children.

After breakfast, take advantage of the freshness to go around the lake. Dad is in running mode. And we stroll quietly with our noses in the wind - the path is sufficiently rolling to be practiced in a stroller. Many fishermen are already installed and enjoy the serenity that emanates from the place.

After a well-deserved nap and a detour by the swimming pool, we go for a stroll in the alleys of one of the most surprising villages of Ariège. The Carla-Bayle, located on a rocky peak perched 400 meters away and surrounded by ramparts, has the discreet charm of these villages which have preserved their authenticity. Here, no tourist shops selling lavender soaps, but around thirty art galleries, exhibition venues and workshops scattered around the streets.

This is where its originality lies: for nearly 20 years, the village has indeed built its fame around the promotion of art in rural areas and facilitates the discovery of artistic heritage in all its forms.

Today, we are particularly lucky. It is the inauguration of the summer season. All the galleries and workshops have the doors wide open to showcase the creations of the artists present.

The essentials of the City of Arts:

  • Admire the breathtaking landscapes in the four corners of this medieval bastide
  • Learn more galleries and exhibitions, meet the artists as part of the “Rue des arts” festival from June to September.
  • Rester taped by the beautiful frescoes of the church, made by local artists
  • Push the door of the birthplace of Pierre Bayle, philosopher of lights
  • Have a drink at theAuberge Pierre Bayle with its panoramic view of the Pyrenees
The colorful streets of Carla Bayle © Ariège Pyrénées Tourisme / Guillaume Payen

A nice table and a concert, what do you think?

Good food for the stomach and the ears… Nothing like enjoying a nice concert while enjoying a little piece… or vice versa!

La Girouette


A contemplative Sunday!

Paysages Arize-Lèze

For my part, I went with my 18 month old son to discover the famous Montbrun-Bocage market. Since the time that I was told about it! After less than 20 minutes of driving, I arrive at my destination. On site, a small market that is unique in its kind: you can buy organic vegetables or a philosopher's stone, listen to a concert sitting in one of the small stalls that offer chai, have a massage or hair and enjoy all kinds of cuisine. . Open your chakras, this alternative market wants you well!

I pick up my men and we go to eat at Estanquet by Pailhes. On its pretty terrace, this country bistro offers cuisine based on fresh produce. Notice to amateurs, oysters are excellent !

And to finish, one last activity before leaving: lazing by the pool!

Outings that are out of the ordinary

More unusual activities that allow you to discover all the riches of this beautiful region in a different way!

Observatoire Astronomique

Astronomical Observatory




100% Ariègeoise, I know the destination (almost) like the back of my hand! Walks, guided tours, castles, picturesque villages, festivals ... I have traveled the roads of Ariège for years, looking for new things! I love living intense moments with my friends and my little family, which will leave me lasting memories!

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