Ax summertime

Discover the Pyrenees from Ax-Les-Thermes and enjoy a region with countless facets !

Summer holidays and hiking in Ax

The grandiose and green landscapes of the mountains and rivers of the Ariège in the Pyrenees offer a setting conducive to relaxation and outdoor sports: accrobranche, canyoning, canoeing, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, caving, paragliding…

Do you like sporting holidays in the mountains? You will love the region!
But the Ariège is also a land of culture and hosts numerous festivals, concerts, theatres and street art shows throughout the region.

From spring and all summer long, you can enjoy a lot of culture!

Ax-Les-Thermes, thermal spa

All year round, the Domaine de la Vallée d’Ax welcomes you for your long stays in thermal cure or your relaxation and well-being weekends in Ax-Les-Thermes in the Pyrenees!

Welcome to the Curists!

The spa of Ax-Les-Thermes in Ariège is approved for the treatment of rheumatism and the after-effects of trauma as well as the treatment of the respiratory tract (ENT, pneumology). The waters that gush out of its springs are the hottest in the Pyrenees at 77° C! The Axéenne, the name of the thermal water, is sulphurous and sodic and has analgesic and decongestant properties.

Discover the benefits of the Ax-Les-Thermes thermal water during a traditional 18-day cure or in a short, non-contracted formula for discovering treatments. Two thermal establishments will allow you to follow a thermal cure in Ax-Les-Thermes, Les Thermes du Modèle and Les Thermes du Teich.

Contact us to book your 21-night stay in our 3-star tourist residence. Every year, we welcome the curists of Ax-les-Thermes at very competitive rates.

Thermalism and Wellness

Thermalism
Ax-Les-Thermes is a spa resort open all year round, renowned for the benefits of its water with its high thermal properties (72° to 77°), which is perfect for the treatment of rheumatological and ENT/respiratory ailments.

The Couloubret Baths
Treat yourself to a wellness interlude at the Couloubret Baths in Ax-Les-Thermes: 3000 m² of wellness and relaxation await you, and you can enjoy the warm and soothing thermal water, which flows at between 33 and 38°C depending on the different pools. This thermal relaxation centre in the town centre of Ax-Les-Thermes offers relaxation and wellbeing in a decor inspired by Roman antiquity! Relaxation guaranteed in the indoor/outdoor pools, under the jets, in the sauna or jacuzzi… 
Relax in the jacuzzis, enjoy the swan necks, hydromassage jets, bubbles… Taste the dry heat of the saunas, relax in the hammams… Outside, on 2 levels, the 2 pools will make you discover the pleasure of bathing in thermal water at 35° while the air is lively, fresh, with a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains.  

And to complete your relaxation, make an appointment for a massage or a scrub at the Espace Bien-Etre des Bains du Couloubret (extra charge).

Hiking

From walks to hikes

Whether you are a seasoned mountain dweller or a simple walker, hiking in Ariège will be a constant source of wonder. In the Vallées d’Ax, 460 km of paths run through our mountains, from 500 to 2900m in altitude. You will have the opportunity to admire breathtaking viewpoints, to observe a wild and varied fauna (marmots, wild boars, isards…) and an exceptional flora, and to discover at the bend of a path a Cathar castle, a Romanesque church or other surprising curiosity!

The reception of the Résidence le Domaine de la Vallée d’Ax offers a selection of hiking maps to help you find your way around the mountains of the Ariège. And we lend binoculars with HD camera (the micro card is on sale at the reception).

  • Find the complete guide of the 10 most beautiful hikes to do in Ariège in the article by Amélie Pansu on generationvoyages.fr.
  • Introduction to Trail running in the mountains with the Dahu Ariègeois: Between Endurance Sport and Mountain Space. A choice of technical routes adapted to your level and your expectations.
  • Well-being hikes, gentle walking and Nordic walking with Les Sentiers de Babeth, mountain guide and Nordic walking instructor.
  • Cani kart / Cani-rando with Amarok who offers you dog sled rides to the Col du Chioula or the Col de Jouels, in the heart of the magnificent Pyrenees. Every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • Hiking, accompanied mountain biking, fatbike, climbing, via ferrata, mountaineering, canyoning, caving, ski touring… You will find all the information on the website of the Bureau des Guides

Festivals in Ariege

Festivals, jazz concerts, classical music, world music or electro, dance, theatre, street art or circus… you name it!

  • For 20 years, Foix has been putting Jazz in the spotlight with an In and Off festival, a cutting edge programme in a warm atmosphere. Jazz à Foix 2021 is here.
  • The Manouch’ muzik festival features gypsy music: flamenco, gypsy and Balkan music, gypsy jazz, and gypsy rumba. As well as 35 free concerts at the Off festival.
  • Art’Cade renews the Eclektik Party in Ax-les-Thermes, the Mets les watts evening in Pamiers with the DAC, the family festival in Couserans Ti’Stival with the ADEC or the Urban Cult event in Pamiers.
  • The Foix’R de Rue Festival and the Paajip, in addition to numerous concerts, from Sainte-Croix-Volvestre, to La Bastide-de-Sérou via Foix and Pamiers.
  • Terre de Couleurs, the oldest festival in Ariège, attracts an average of 1500 festival-goers per evening! The event focuses on world music, street art and the local scene.
  • The national stage l’Estive de Foix, regularly programs events and shows of quality. The season’s programme on the Estive website.
  • MIMA Festival, international event dedicated to puppetry in the Mirepoix & Lavelanet area. 60 companies for surprising shows, exhibitions, artistic walks, an Off… Not to be missed!
  • Not forgetting the concerts organised in tribute to the composer Gabriel Fauré, a child of Pamiers and the pride of the whole of Ariège.

Mountain biking & cycling

A mountain of leisure!

We are welcoming more and more cyclists and mountain bikers, and that’s no coincidence! The range of routes available in the region is extremely varied, from flat family cycling to steep mountain biking.

The passes, which alternate between twists and turns, waterfalls, steep slopes and fir trees, are very popular with the organisers of cycle races and spice up the sporting tours of all those who dare to try them.

Mountain bikers can take advantage of 450 km of marked trails, forest tracks and prepared circuits, with entire areas reserved for bikers. The famous bumps of the Ax valleys are certified by the French Cycling Federation.  You can take the gondola up to the resort, even in summer!

  • Cycling: IGN’s Cycloguide 09, the Ariège Pyrenees by bike with a choice of 24 circuits
  • Mountain biking: VTT-FFC area of labelled mountain bike circuits starting from Ax-Les-Thermes, Prades, Montaillou, Larnat, on the Plateau de Beille or at the Col du Chioula. Short and not very technical circuits for beginners and circuits with a difference in altitude for the more experienced.
  • Ax ville/Ax 3 Domaines cable cars and Bonascre/au Saquet plateaus.
  • Free-Reed mountain biking, Bikepark: at the Ax 3 Domaines resort, circuits from the ski lifts, 1300m of negative gradient and an Evolution area
  • Maxi Avalanche: Enduro mountain bike competitions in Ax 3 Domaines around mid-September
 

Cultural tours

 

The Ariège will surprise you with the richness of its history and culture: prehistoric caves with marvellous paintings, Romanesque chapels, the Cathar epic, feudal castles, Catalan-style forges, high mountain dams, talc quarries….

The historical heritage of the Ariège is immensely rich, as evidenced by the numerous citadels, Cathar castles, abbeys and Romanesque churches, many of which are listed as historical monuments! 

The castle of Foix is the only one perfectly preserved, and Foix also has some magnificent half-timbered houses! The famous castle of Montségur, a high place in the history of Catharism and perched at 1207m, is partially destroyed.

Don’t miss the carved wooden roofs of Mirepoix dating from the 12th century, the cathedral of Saint-Lizier, Notre-Dame de Vals and Saint-Martin d’Unac… And so many other equally magical sites to discover…

  • Discovery tour with a naturalist guide to discover the fauna & flora
  • The Niaux cave, a giant of prehistory, and the Lombrives cave in Ussat, one of the largest caves in Europe, the Mas-D’Azil cave, Bedeilhac, La Vache…
  • The Park and Museum of Prehistory for an unforgettable journey into the past.
  • Visit the Trimouns talc quarry in Luzenac, one of the largest in the world, at an altitude of 1800m.
  • On the Route de la Corniche, which links small villages with churches, jewels of the Ariège Romanesque style.

There is something for everyone! These tours are recommended during the summer months as they are outdoors.

White water sports

Dare to be adventurous…. Canoeing, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, canyoning… swim, jump, slide in an aquatic, acrobatic and playful world. 

In Ariège, the lakes are a delight for windsurfers, campers, drifters and swimmers… not forgetting the countless mountain lakes which can be reached after a little or a lot of walking and which are pure jewels set in a green and blue setting, sometimes enhanced by immaculate white snow.

Descending waterfalls, abseiling, diving, jumping and sliding. From Orlu or Auzat near Ax-Les-Thermes, you can enjoy breathtaking scenery and white water sports.

For more information, see the tourist office website at www.pyrenees-ariegeoises.com 

With children

From spring, visit the Ariège with your tribe:

  • The National Wildlife Reserve of Orlu, known for the beauty of its landscapes and for its mountain fauna that can be easily observed by the little ones (marmots, isards, birds of prey…).
  • Akrobranch d’Orlu, the largest adventure leisure park in Ariège with 14 courses
  • Climbing in the trees with “Haut Perché” every Tuesday and Wednesday, a unique and sensory activity to move from branch to branch to discover the canopy. Tree climbing, initiations, courses, unusual nights…
  • La maison des Loups : Come and discover in the middle of the forest, an animal park entirely dedicated to the wolf, to observe packs of wolves from Europe, North America and the Arctic.
  • Pony rides with “Aventure sans frontières”, every day and on reservation.
  • Donkey rides with “la ferme aux ânes”, to discover the Chioula peacefully, from the village of Prades to the Signal du Chioula.
  • Le Parc Aux Bambous – In a spirit of discovery, calm and serenity, this little corner of paradise ensures a total change of scenery by immersing yourself in nature.
  • Roquefort les cascades and its tuffière, a real natural geological curiosity!
  • And all the other activities suggested in the “Cultural Visits” section above.

Fishing

The Ariège is a delight for fishermen to practice their passion in a setting where nature is king! 

In the area around Ax-Les-Thermes, you can try your luck in the mountain streams, the high altitude lakes, the rivers of the plain or the ponds where trout abound, the queen of the Ariège waters, but also fountain salmon, pike, gudgeon, American crayfish, Arctic char, barbel, carp, roach, bream, chub and tench. The list is not exhaustive! 

Be careful, as it is forbidden to fish for the following fish all year round: Atlantic salmon, sea trout, common grayling and crayfish other than the American crayfish. Whip fishing on the Vicdessos, downstream from Auzat, either with the “yellow-bodied grey” or the “nymph”, which is very effective in these waters.

Fishing cards are available at the tourist office and the team at the reception will be happy to help you.

Climbing

Let’s go for an exceptional adventure at the end of a rope and a carabiner! 
The Ariege is so rich in great climbing sites and sports in altitude such as the Dent d’Orlu, Genat, the Quié de Sinsat, the Pic de la Madelon, Turguilla, the Port de Lers… and the list is far from being exhaustive… 
The less adventurous can discover the Laramade de Vicdessos boulders, in a beautiful forest setting, for an affordable and not very dangerous route.  
Also the Boulders of Orly for all levels, in an exceptional setting near the river Oriège.
Ask the Bureau des Guides d’Ariège or the CAF des Montagnards Ariégeois for information.

Paragliding

Take advantage of your stay in Ax les Thermes to go paragliding and enjoy the serenity of the air.
Suitable for all ages, this sport is fabulous and offers incomparable sensations in the heart of the Ariège mountains, in the Pyrenees.

Underground

The caves in Ariège are among the most beautiful in France and offer an ideal setting for the discovery of a whole natural underground world!
Both fun and fascinating, this excursion can be done with the whole family.

Caving sites: caves in Saurat, Ornolac and Auzat…