Ariege, a department in the Midi-Pyrenees region of southern France, borders both Spain and Andorra to the south. It is especially interesting location for anyone with an interest in pre-history, as the department has the highest concentration of pre-historic caves in France. However, there is far more on offer from a self catering Ariege property, with extensive access to the Pyrenees, and all the sport and leisure opportunities that entails.
The great outdoors are of course the main attraction in Ariege, especially in the summer when walking, cycling, horse riding and fishing offer an unbeatable way to get into the unspoilt natural environment. Trout fishing in Ariege can be on a diverse range of waterways, from fast flowing streams to hidden mountain lakes.
Walking, cycling and riding under the snow capped peaks, through lush valleys and deep forests can not be beaten for enjoyment and relaxation. Longer hikes into the mountains are spectacular, as you stumble across long forgotten castles and villages which defy belief. Pack donkeys or guides can be hired to help with your exploration too.
In winter, the mountains of Ariege have 10 ski stations for skiers of every level and some magnificent cross-country skiing trails. Snowshoeing is a fast growing winter and there are extensive trails in Ariege.
Spring fills the rivers and streams with raging melt waters, and flocks of kayakers and white water rafters fill the self catering Ariege properties to tackle the waterways. There are over 400km of accessible and practicable stretches of white water.
Rock-climbing, cannoning, caving and the adventure parks of Acro’lus and Horizon Vertical are sure to get the adrenaline pumping from an Ariege holiday rental too.
For many, September and October represent the best times to visit the magnificent countryside of Ariege, as the walking, cycling and riding temperatures are warm, but not too hot. Every season brings visitors with different activities in mind. From March until early September sees self catering Ariege properties filled with fishermen, whilst from April onwards, the snowmelt filled rivers attract kayakers and white water rafters. Winter of course brings the skiers, snowboarders and winter hikers.
Ryanair operate a direct service from London Stansted (STN) to Carcassonne (CCF), about 30 minutes outside of Ariege. Alternatively, easyJet operate services from London Gatwick (LGW) to Toulouse Airport (TLS), roughly one and a half hours from the self catering holiday villas in Ariege.