Tourisme en Ariège© Dominique VIET - CRT Midi-Pyrénées

Nature, History and Culture: the riches of Ariege

A wealth of discoveries await you in the mountains and valleys of the Ariege Pyrenees, with everything from prehistoric caves and Cathar castles to medieval cities, Romanesque churches, and more.
To savour all the riches of Ariege, follow the river and immerse yourself in its still-wild natural beauty!

Château Cathare en ruine - cathar castle ruins - Castillo cátaro en ruinas© Dominique VIET - CRT Midi-Pyrénées

Trekking in Cathar country: follow the ‘Chemin des Bonshommes’ trail

The Chemin de Bonshommes will take you through key sites in the epic history of the Cathars: along the path of their flight from the Spanish Inquisition, you will relive the storming of the Château de Foix, wander through the ruins of Roquefixade, and discover the legend of the Château de Montségur.
And if you’re in need of a little rest, take a break to contemplate nature at the reserve in the Orlu Valley or the Parc du Cadi Moxeiro.

L'ours des Pyrénées - the Pyrenean Bear - El oso de los Pirineos

On the tracks of the Bear: the Central Pyrenees

Hikers and nature lovers, keep your eyes peeled! You may see tracks of the Pyrenean Bear.
Along the way, you’ll find interpretive trails, guides, mountain inns and craftspeople who will divulge the secrets of the Vallée de l’Ours, and introduce you to the diverse plant and animals that inhabit this preserved natural habitat.

Grotte préhistorique du Mas d'Azil - Grotte du Le Mas d'Azil - La Cueva del Mas d'Azil© Dominique VIET - CRT Midi-Pyrénées

Grotte du Le Mas d’Azil: an encounter with prehistoric Man

A trip to the prehistoric cave in Mas d’Azil is a journey back in time: the homo sapiens of the Magdalenian Period who once inhabited Azil have left us surprising evidence of their ways of live and culture.
You are sure to be captivated by these fascinating discoveries, and surprised by the sheer size of this enormous cave, a classified Historic Monument and Grand Site of Midi-Pyrenees.

Ax les Thermes© JP Pomies

Ax les Thermes: the healing properties of thermal spring water

When you dip your feet in the spring-fed pools in the heart of the city, it is difficult to conceive the incredible journey this pleasant water has taken – an 8000-year journey, 4000 metres below the surface of the earth, at temperatures of more than 120°C (248°F) and involving a unique mineralisation process… This is what makes this thermal spring water unique to the Pyrenees!
If you want to fully experience the benefits of this special water, we recommend treating yourself to a long and relaxing soak at Les Bains du Couloubret.