The Ariège is a paradise for walkers of all standards. With over 500km of waymarked footpaths there’s plenty to go at! Those venturing up to higher altitudes will be rewarded with stunning mountain lakes and breathtaking panoramas. Or for something more leisurely there is a wealth to discover in the valleys and villages.
We are lucky enough to have the major regional walking tour the ‘GR du Pays de Trois Seigneurs’ passing our front door. The route is a substantial multi-day circuit of the region, taking in some of the highest peaks and best sights. Setting off in either direction from the house gives access to a number of other waymarked routes and we can provide itineraries for numerous circular walks, lasting from a couple of hours to all day.
Four ‘Topo’ guides for walking in our local area, ‘The mountains of Tarascon and Vicdessos’, are available. Most of the 80 itineraries can be tackled in a day, and start and finish at parking areas nearby. The guides cover the high mountains and lakes as well as more gentle village to village routes suitable for families. The guides are available at the house or can be purchased from the local tourist office and provide a great introduction to walking in the area.
Close to home, the thousand metre peaks on either side of us, ‘Calamès’ & ‘Sedour’ can be achieved in around an hour, and provide fabulous views. Alternatively, a short drive up to the Col du Port gives access to the ‘Forêt de Sauzet’ with its gently sloping tracks, soothing streams and awe inspiring mountain views.
Themed walks are popular and provide a fascinating insight to the history and culture of the area. Popular routes include ‘Le Chemin des Bonneshommes GR107’, an important trade route from the 11th century; and ‘Le Chemin de la Liberté’ used by British and American soldiers during the Second World War. The ‘Sentier Cathare’ tells the turbulent history of the Cathars, and leads from Foix to the site of their final defeat at Montségur and then onto the Mediterranean (see History & Culture for more on the Cathars).
Guided walks also occur regularly throughout the Ariège, discovering the heritage and rare flora and fauna of the area.