In Ariege tourism, nature and activities of all kinds are waiting for you! Do not hesitate any longer and take the time to come and recharge your batteries in the heart of Occitania. Discover the authenticity of its inhabitants and their sense of welcome. Admire breathtaking landscapes and take time to live.
Relaxation and pleasure guaranteed at
camping Ariege
La Roucateille.

Ariege tourism : the complete guide of places and activities to discover

Ariège is a beautiful department of France, located on the Spanish border. Its nature and its past full of history make it an ideal destination for vacations, whatever the season. Whether you are with friends or family, this destination will capture your heart. History buffs will enjoy visiting the various castles and caves, while architecture lovers will enjoy strolling through the narrow streets of the old towns admiring the half-timbered houses. Finally, nature lovers will not be left out with original activities and breathtaking landscapes! Here is all the information you need to discover Ariege tourism as you have never seen it before!

Ariège tourism : practical information

You have decided to spend your vacations in our beautiful region of Ariege tourism? Here is the practical information you will need:

When? The advantage of the Ariège is that it is as beautiful in winter as in summer. The landscapes are different, but the pleasure is the same!

How do you do it? You can come to the Ariege by car, by train and even by plane.

  • By car, you can come by freeway from Toulouse, Bordeaux and Montpellier.
  • By train, you can arrive directly at the station of Foix or Tarascon-sur-Ariège.
  • By plane, the nearest airports are Toulouse and Carcassonne.

Tourism in Ariege : the must-see sites to discover

If you come to spend a few days of vacations in our beautiful Occitania, you will take pleasure in visiting some unmissable places that will certainly delight you. Here are the places of Ariege tourism that you should not miss under any pretext…

Visit of the castle of Foix, symbol of the Ariège

The castle of Foix is the emblem of the city that it protected for many years. Inhabited in turn by counts and lords of the region, it was for many years a strategic place to observe the valley and control the road leading from Toulouse to Barcelona. Its originality is to be perched on top of a rock measuring no less than 60 m high; its three towers giving it a grandiose appearance. After being completely renovated in 2019, the castle offers new spaces to its visitors. On the spot, the former courthouse has been replaced by an exceptional museum with a surface of 2,000 m².

You will relive the history of the counts of Foix, but also of their family. Don’t get me wrong! This museum is equipped with the latest technology and will offer you a real return to the past thanks to its immersive room. All this, not to mention the participatory workshops that take place throughout the visit of the castle! If you are lucky enough to come and visit Foix in August, you will be able to attend an exceptional sound and light show which will offer you a splendid return to the past. Finally, you will have the opportunity to participate in an escape game with family or friends. The opportunity for you to go in search of the Holy Grail!

Ariege historical tourism : castles to visit

The castle of Foix is not the only castle you can visit in our beautiful region. You can also discover :

The castle of Montsegur.
It is located at the height of the village of the same name. To get there, you will have to park at the foot of the trail and climb a path for a good thirty minutes. Once there, you can enjoy a guided tour, only during the period from May to September. Allow about an hour for the visit. This castle is open every day of the year. The rates are as follows: 5.50 € for adults over 16 years old and 3 € for children from 8 to 15 years old. There is no increase in price for guided tours.

The castle of Roquefixade.
Perched on top of a cliff, the remains of this castle are accessible free of charge all year round. This castle was a high place of resistance for the Cathars judged heretical by the Church. From up there, you will be able to observe the panorama which is offered to you in a majestic silence. It’s a show you can’t get enough of.

The castle of Lagarde
Even if this castle is now in ruins, you will take pleasure in strolling through this place. You will also be able to observe goats and llamas that roam freely in the park. This castle is open every day in July and August, as well as on weekends in low season. The rates are as follows: 4 € for adults over 18 years old and 1 € for children from 10 to 18 years old. The visit is free for children under 10 years old.
A show of equestrian chivalry is frequently organized during the summer.

There are still many other castles like Usson, Miglos, Mirabat, Lordat or Montaillou. Each of them will take you on a journey to the heart of our ancestors’ history.

Ariege tourism : the caves to visit

The Ariege has many caves, witnesses of our history and that of our ancestors. If you like this type of discovery that combines the pleasure of nature and history, here are some places that should please you:

Cave of Lombrives.
This cave is the largest in Europe. Indeed, its numerous rooms connected by its underground galleries will leave you with an indelible memory. You will be completely overwhelmed by the beauty of the place. We can only advise you to take a guided tour to immerse yourself in its history. Admission: 12 € for adults and 8 € for children from 6 to 12 years old.

Cave of Niaux.
This cave is impressive by its size. With a height of 55 m, for a width of 50 m, it impresses. The contrast with the reception building located at its entrance is striking. Indeed, this building dating from 1984 was deliberately created in a bold way. His objective is to provoke an electroshock in the visitor, pushing him to question his world and his origins. Inside the cave, no reproductions, but real paintings from the prehistoric period. In short, an incredible moment and a real return to the past! Admission: 14 € for adults and 10 € for children under 17.

Cave of Bedeilhac.
This cave has the particularity of having been used as a warehouse during the Second World War. Our ancestors lived, painted, decorated, engraved and even modeled clay, a technique that was absolutely rare at the time. On the spot, paintings and modelings of 16 000 years await you. This cave was classified as a historical monument in 1929. Admission: 9 € for adults and 5,50 € for children from 5 to 17 years old.

You can also discover the caves of Mas d’Azil, crossed from one side to the other by the departmental road, or that of Aguzou.
Do not hesitate to contact the tourist offices in Ariege for more details.

Ariege tourism : the most beautiful cities of Ariège

Our beautiful region has many beautiful cities where you will enjoy walking around. Discover Saint-Girons, Foix, Tarascon-sur-Ariège, Pamiers or Ax-les-Thermes. Today, we will linger on two splendid places which are Saint-Lizier and the bastide of Mirepoix.

Ariege tourism : discovering Mirepoix

Mirepoix is a charming town in Ariège with about 3,000 inhabitants. This city has a strong historical past since it became a Cathar stronghold at the end of the 12th century. In the 13th century, it was totally destroyed by the flood of the river Hers. Some time later, it was rebuilt identically on a high plateau on the other side of the river.

Today, you will take pleasure in strolling through its narrow streets, admiring its many wood-panelled houses or its famous Maison des Consuls decorated with carved wooden pieces. Every Monday, one of the largest markets in the region takes place in the city center square. Here’s to regional products and local crafts! On Thursday mornings, you can also access the farmers’ market at the Halles. On the other hand, history lovers can enjoy a one-hour guided tour of the city. Art lovers will be delighted. They will enjoy discovering the “Chantier du 47” gallery or admiring the exhibitions that are held all year round in the tourist office.

Tourism in Ariege : visit the city of Saint-Lizier

After discovering the city of Mirepoix, take the time to stroll through the streets of Saint-Lizier. This city full of history with a rich historical heritage will delight you. It is in this place that you will discover the sumptuous palace of the bishops. Recently renovated, you will enjoy rediscovering history. The visit takes place in several stages. You will start with the first floor with the vestiges of the Roman period, then as you climb the floors, you will advance in time to our era. An entire floor is dedicated to the Notre-Dame de la Sède cathedral. It is within it that you will be able to observe paintings that adorn its walls and ceilings.

Throughout your visit, you will be able to admire amphoras, ceramics and pottery. All this, without forgetting the old collections and the traditional costumes. This discovery will appeal to both adults and children. Indeed, during its renovation, the palace was modernized. Along the way, you will find tactile devices that will allow you to visualize the construction of the place or to learn more about the psychiatric past of this palace. Once your visit is over, take the time to go to the Gallo-Roman walls. They are part of the best preserved ancient ramparts of the South of France.

Tourism in Ariege : activities

The Ariège is above all greenery and breathtaking landscapes. The Ariegean Pyrenees Regional Nature Park is the proof! You can enjoy the wide open spaces, the walks with family or friends, the great breaths of oxygen and the exceptional panoramas that are offered to you. By coming to spend vacations in Ariège, you will discover nature, such as you have never seen it. Admire your surroundings and take time to listen to the birds singing and the bees foraging. Our era is an excessive one where everything has to go faster and faster. Take advantage of this space to recharge your batteries and finally take the time to appreciate every moment of life. Lakes, waterfalls, high plateaus and mountainous landscapes are yours. In this place, you will reconnect with nature. Are you afraid of being bored?

Whether you are a sports fan or simply want to discover new sensations, here are the many sports activities you can try in our beautiful region! Ariège tourism : are you ready ?

Bungee jumping in Surba. Throw yourself into the void from a height of 70 m. Sensations guaranteed!

Hike or trail through our mountain paths. You can benefit from training courses to bring you up to speed. We also invite you to discover the famous trail of Montgailhard!

Skydiving in Pamiers les Pujols or in Saint-Girons. Dive into the void at an altitude of over 3,000 m with an experienced instructor.

Introduction to caving at the Port de l’Hers chasm or in the Siech or Vicdessos caves.

Trout fishing At the fish farms of Surba and Montferrier, discover this activity with your family or friends!

Climbing in Vicdessos. This activity is accessible to beginners. Just bring a good pair of sneakers.

Canyoning in the canyon of Artigue, Marc or Argensou.

Paragliding in Surba. Is this your first time? Don’t hesitate to try tandem flying with an instructor. A unique opportunity to discover the Ariège from above.

By bike, the network of “green ways” allows to ride freely in the whole department of Ariège. You don’t have a bike? Rent some! Our campsite offers electric bikes for rent.

Nautical activities in Montbel with the discovery of the ornithological fauna.

Of course, add to this all the winter activities when the snow covers the Ariege with its white coat!

Ariege tourism : where to find the tourist offices ?

At the campsite reception, we are here to give you all the information you need to organize a vacation that suits you!
Also, you can find more information and documentation in the local tourist offices.
The closest to Montgailhard are those of Foix, Varilhes or Lavelanet. Do not hesitate to contact them to organize your visits and your various sports activities. We are proud and happy to welcome you to our beautiful land of Ariege tourism and hope to see you soon in our beautiful Occitan region.

What about you? Do you know the Ariège ? Feel free to tell us what your favorites were in comments on our Facebook & Instagram pages. See you soon!

Frequently Asked Questions


Au cœur de l’Occitanie aux portes de Toulouse et l’Andorre.

Météo ariege idéale qui permet d’offrir à notre belle Ariège de merveilleuses couleurs quelle que soit la saison ! Au printemps, en été, à l’automne et en hiver, venez découvrir notre beau département toute l’année grâce au Camping La Roucateille qui ouvre ses portes 365 jours / an.

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