History & heritage / Fauna & Flora / Sports & Relaxation
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The Ariege has so many places to visit and so many activities that whatever your taste and however long you stay your ony dilemna will be the choice. Les Remparts has many leaflets and we can direct you to the tourist information offices in Lezat, Foix, Le Mas d'Azil and Pamiers.

Here is only a brief summary of available activities nearby!

History & heritage

If you decide to visite the caves of Niaux, du Mas d’Azil, de la Vache et de Lombrives, don't forget your sweater: it is only 12°C! The underground river of Labouiche is a spectacular boat trip through halls and illuminated galleries past waterfalls and huge stalactites and stalagmites. Walk among the dinosaurs or be part of an archeological dig activity in the Dinosaurs park. The prehistoric park is a good day out in all weather conditions and for all ages: experience making fire or throwing spears, see the wealth of the prehistoric paintings in the Pyrenees, and the recreations of Neanderthal life.

The region has a long and varied history. The knights Templar passed through and the fall of Catharism left a rich legacy of castles, abbeys and fortified villages. Some have been restored while others lie in ruins - but all give a deep mystique of the dark hours of the Kingdom of Occitania: Montségur, Roquefixade, Puilaurens, Quéribus, Peyrepertuse... The grand final is the medieval walled city of Carcassonne replete with turrets ramparts, battlements and a cathedral. The chateau de Foix plays host to many exhibitions and a "spectacle sons et lumieres", which is a series of evenings of performance art using sounds, lights and actors to represent the history of Foix and the region.

Apart from Saint-Ybars, there are so many villages to visit, all with their own eclectic charm. Carla Bayle is only 10 minutes away, and in summer, artists open their galleries to the public. People mill in the streets of this partly restored Huguenot stronghold. It also hosts a market on Sunday mornings. Les forges de Pyrene is a museum of the skills of yesteryear with a working watermill, set in over 12 acres of park. Mirepoix and Saint-Lizier are two other not to be missed gems of the region.


Fauna & Flora

In recent years the Pyrenees has become better known due to the controversial reintroduction of brown bears, but don’t let that obscure its incredible diversity. Marco and Nicole at the farm de Moulis will welcome you to see their Mohair goat farm and show their wool shop. The bison farm is fun to see bison, yaks, highland cattle and many different members of the deer family. Why not finish with a home cooked bison steak at the restaurant? If you like things that slither, a giant boa over the shoulder is a great family photo at the Reptile farm, which has over 200 reptiles and turtles to excite imagination.

La maison des loups may be just what you need to overcome your fear of wolves and fall in love with this spectacular predator in its natural habitat. Perhaps the butterfly reserve is more your cup of tea. The beautiful gardens are home to 65 different colourful species.

Ideal for children is the petting farm le parc animalier de Saint-Michel only 18 kilometers from Saint-Ybars. It is home to camels, exotic birds and all the usual children’s favourites.

Le jardin de Loubieres set in over 70 acres has a botanical garden, an arboretum and a particularly wide selection of medicinal plants. Les Epines de Lespinet is another interesting garden of succulents and cacti.


Sports & Relaxation

With 4000 kilometres of rivers and more than 340 mountain lakes, the Ariege is a fly fishing paradise. The Golf club de l’Ariege will delight beginners and professionals with a choice of 6 or 18 holes and a driving range.

Hill or mountain walking is an inexhaustable resource here and if you wish, you can be accompanied by donkeys or lamas, or ride horses. The Merens poney is the indigenous horse and is sure footed and perfect for endurance riding. Organize a ride at the Centre National du Merens!

The country roads, the farm tracks, the old railway lines and the challenging hills offer something to all levels of cyclists, whether it is Tour de France practice, aggressive mountain biking, organized descents or just an afternoon jolly. The lac de Mondely has a little something for everyone: fishing, sandy beach, swimming, a café and beautiful walks.

For the more adventurous, there is rock climbing, mountaineering, via ferrata, cave explorations, canyoning, rafting, kayaking, paragliding and ballooning… or simply the tree top adventure park Sequoia Vertigo just 10 minutes away from Les Remparts.

For the ultimate relaxation, les bains de Couloubret offer hammam, sauna, hydromassage, jaccuzzi and various face or body care packages. The observatory in Sabarat is open for the budding astronomers.


Find out more...

Tourist information website

Official site of the Regional Tourism Committee

Agence de développement touristique en Ariège Pyrénées (FR)

Site officiel des manifestations en Ariège (FR)