Things To Do and Places To Go

There is a wealth of information about the Ariege on this website

The Ariège stetches from just south of Toulouse right into the Pyrenées and the border with Spain and Andorra.
The scenery throughout the department is stunning - undulating hillsides dotted with small farms, fields of sunflowers
in summer months, lakes, unspoilt traditional villages, historic towns, all with a backdrop of the stunning Pyrenees
mountain range which can be seen from every hilltop. The mountains themselves are only an hours' drive away,
and Andorra is an easy day trip.

Walking and Cycling

cycle   walk

There are endless possibilities for walks along the lanes and footpaths both around La Maire
and further afield. Maps and books are available for use at La Maire.

The pilgrimage path, the ‘Chemin de St Jacques de Compostelle’ also passes the end of our lane:
For hiking enthusiasts the Pyrenées offer an enormous choice of both gentle and more strenuous walks.

The area is also wonderful for cycling, with quiet, well-surfaced roads, great views and little traffic. Those wishing to try a leisurely ride can cycle around the local lanes amongst the fields of maize and sunflowers or over the ridges for wonderful views of the Pyrenées. The mountain roads are also very popular with cyclists and are often part of the Tour de France race. Those wanting a more challenging ride can try the 16km climb to the Plateau de Beille which has often featured in the Tour.

Summer sports

Golf, kayaking, white water rafting, fishing and horse riding are all available nearby.
Please ask us for further details

Winter sports
In winter, the French and Andorran Pyreneen ski resorts are within a days' drive. The Plateau de Beille is a cross country ski area and there are endless possibilities for snow shoe walking.


such as Lac de Mondeley, Lac de Carla Bayle and Lac Montbel offer
picturesque walks and opportunities for swimming.

Ancient Caves
include Le Mas D’Azil, Lombrives, and Tarascon, where there are magnificent cave drawings to see.

Ancient Castles
abound in this part of France, and include Foix, Montsegur, Le Chateau d'Usson and
Le Roquefixade, which are all easily accessible from La Maire.

Towns and Villages

La Maire is 15 minutes drive away from Pamiers, a lively market town with several weekly markets.
Foix, the department capital with its striking castle high above the town is about 25 minutes away. Also
nearby is the medieval town of Mirepoix, with its famous ‘couverts’ and the fortified ‘cite’ of Carcassonne.

Traditional picturesque villages
Some of our favourites are Carla Bayle, Sabarat and St Martin D’Oydes.
Carla Bayle is situated on a hilltop with superb views in all directions.
It is full of artists studios and has an excellent restaurant:

tourdefrance   carlabayle   countryside

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