Vacations in Ariege
The Ariège seduces by its geographical situation, astonishes by its relief and marvels by its landscapes. This small corner of paradise of the Occitan region, nestled at the foot of the central Pyrenees and next to Spain, consists of three main geographical areas that contain landscapes as diverse as they are fabulous: the plain of Ariège with its green hills, the Pyrenean foothills and the high country of Ariège with peaks rising to more than 3,000 meters (pique d’Estats, peak of Montcalm, peak of the port of Sullo).
Visit the Midi-Pyrénées region.
The departement 09 has three main cities perfectly integrated in nature and which shelter a well-preserved cultural heritage, unavoidable during vacations in campsite Ariège : Foix (capital, about 10 000 inhabitants), Pamiers (26 000 inhabitants) and Saint-Girons (6 300 inhabitants).
Some monuments remind us that the department was formerly in the heart of the Cathar country. Nearly 40% of the territory is located within the regional natural park of the Pyrénées ariégeoises, a protected area created in 2009 which contains an exceptional fauna and flora.
What to see in the Ariege region?
Privileged destination of the nature lovers, Ariège is a land suitable for sports vacations and outdoor activities.
If you like hiking, take the long hiking trails (GR 10, GR 107) and those that cross the superb natural areas (Mont Valier reserve, Orlu reserve, Cagateille cirque).
From the old railroads converted into greenways to the mythical passes of the Tour de France, the Ariège attracts cyclotourists and cyclists eager to ride with their hair in the wind or to move mountains.
You prefer the white water sports ? Venture out in a kayak or canoe on the 2,500 km of waterways.
You can also do activities at strong sensations such as climbing, caving or canyoning, fly over the Pyrenees in a microlight or helicopter.
Without forgetting the winter sports when the region puts on its white coat.
If you are staying with children at Le Sédour campsite, offer them a ride on horseback, pony or donkey.
Visiting Ariège is also discovering its cathar castles (Montségur castle, Usson castle, Foix castle), its bastides (Mirepoix, Saint-Lizier), its famous caves (Lombrives, Niaux, Bédeilhac), the prehistory park of Tarascon and its unusual sites such as the underground river of Labouiche and the dolmens of Mas d’Azil.
Take advantage of a day of relaxation to visit the main museums of the department (Puppetry in Laroque d’Olmes, Pyrenean museum in Niaux) and get lost in the magnificent villages of Saint-Martin-d’Oydes and Seix.
Visit the department of Ariege during your vacations
The Ariège offers holidaymakers a wide choice of leisure and activities and many discoveries. Prehistoric caves, castles and famous cities like Foix are among the must-see. Not to mention the hiking trails and mythical routes that wind through the territory.
Take advantage of your holidays in Ariège to visit the cave of Niaux, the cave of the Cow, the cave of Bédeilhac and that of Lombrives but also the Park of the Prehistory. It is more than 14000 years of history, from prehistory to the Cathar period which will be told to you. You won’t be able to miss the Bastide of Mirepoix, the fortified castles such as Foix, Montségur or even cities such as the City of Saint Lizier. They are part of the big tourist sites in Ariège.
The hiking trails are also part of the excursions not to be missed during your vacations in Ariège.
Starting with the Route des Cols and their impressive landscapes, the Sentier Cathare, the Chemin des Bonshommes and the Routes of Catharism and the Middle Ages.
Other routes such as the Way to Santiago de Compostela and the famous GR10 also cross the Pyrenean foothills and the Ariege Pyrenees before finishing in the Mediterranean Sea.
On foot, by bike, by motorcycle, on horseback or by car, everyone will choose the best way to better appreciate the most spectacular panoramas of the Ariège.
Discover also Andorra.