In Haute-Ariège in the Pyrenees, just a few kilometers from Ax les Thermes, we decide to go for a hike in the Orlu National Reserve, this time accompanied by the Mountain Observatory, specialists in the Pyrenees and its ecosystem.

We particularly like to go for a walk in Orlu valley as a family, there are always little wonders on our way. Children love it.

It is therefore early in the morning that we enter this magnificent wild and authentic valley, accompanied by the first colors of the day. Before arriving in the Orlu Reserve, we pass by superb small villages, Orgeix and Orlu, nestled along the “Oriège” river, it's soothing.

Go with a guide from the mountain observatory

Arnaud works as a guide for the mountain observatory and is waiting for us to take us for a walk. He takes care of observing the species on site throughout the year. He is used to making this beautiful playground known to children. Equipped with his telescope, we follow him until we call with the children “the meadow of the Marmots”. Passionate, we discuss with him many anecdotes about this territory.

To be fair, kids are so passionate about the mountains and Pyrenean animals (especially marmots) that we come here often. But not being equipped with a telescope, we sometimes miss the marmots in the valley.

Careful observation of groundhogs

When we come on the meadow of Gaudu, we are stationed in certain places to observe the marmots. It's a beautiful moment for us.

Observation of marmots © De beaux Lents demains

The children were delighted to be able to see the groundhogs so closely with the telescope.
Once again, we fall under the spell of this great valley, so muchhe diversity of flora and fauna is incredible.

And, the icing on the cake, in addition to the marmots, we also come to see Bearded Vultures (birds of prey) on the ridges (I feel that the children will discover a new passion …… ..)

Arnaud explains to us on the other hand that it is a little too hot for us to be able to see Isards. In the Orlu Reserve, there are many species such as the Capercaillie, otters and the “Desman des Pyrénées”, a very rare small endemic mammal nicknamed the Trumpet Rat. You have to be very patient to be able to observe it.

❤️ Perfectly suited for families, we can only recommend that you take this route. For us, to go on this walk accompanied was really a big plus 😊

To book :

It is very easy to book a mountain guide from the mountain observatory so it is not to be deprived of it 😊

Mountain Observatory
La Forge, 09110 - Phone: 05 61 03 06 06   

To do in the Orlu valley ...

Walk at the foot of the waterfalls

On our return, we take the opportunity to walk on the first part of the route "The Waterfalls Trail" (20min round trip) This is more than enough for children, and it allows for a superb break facing a magnificent waterfall, with your feet in the water.




Every day of the year, I am a big fan of outdoor sports in Ariège and throughout France: hiking, mountain biking, skiing, ski touring, rafting, canyoning ... I embark with me my companion, my son and my dog ​​Snow in (almost) all my adventures! What do I prefer in Ariège? The great outdoors and the spirit of freedom that reigns there.

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