Visit and discover
Explore the Ariege Pyrenees region on holiday rental
The spa town of Ax-les-Thermes is located in the department of Ariège in the Occitanie region, 42 km from Foix, 54 km from Font Romeu, 129 km from Toulouse and 29 km from Andorra.
Ax-les-Thermes is an authentic and charming town, which is at the same time a thermal spa, a summer resort, a winter sports resort and an excellent base for exploring the region.
In all seasons you can discover the tourist attractions of the region, which offers a wide range of outdoor activities, white water sports and relaxation.
Between thermal cures, skiing, hiking and leisure activities, Ax-Les-Thermes is the ideal destination for people taking the waters, couples and families looking for a wellness break and a stay in the mountains.
Nowadays, the spa treats rheumatism, the after-effects of trauma and ENT and respiratory ailments.
Suggestions for excursions or ideas for cultural outings can be found in our Ax l’été section
Find all our suggestions for activities in Ax-Les-Thermes to try in winter, as well as in summer.
History and Heritage
The Ariège has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The remains of this period can be seen in several caves:
Niaux: world famous for its exceptional Magdalenian drawings
La Vache: evidence of the life of prehistoric hunters (village of Alliat near Niaux)
Bedeilhac: a cave of vast proportions containing prehistoric paintings and bas-reliefs
Le Parc de la Préhistoire : located in Tarascon sur Ariège, this park offers a family trip back to the time of prehistory. Fun workshops (hunting, flint knapping, fire lighting, excavations) .
Romanesque churches :
Treasures of the first southern Romanesque art, moving of rusticity, a string of churches is to be discovered along the road of the cornices, balcony opened on the chain of the Pyrenees: Unac, Bestiac, Axiat, Ignaux, Vernaux, Verdun but also Mérens.
You will appreciate the charm and authentic simplicity of the villages during an excursion on the Corniche Road. Ask at the tourist office.
Castle of Lordat
Castle and village of Montaillou, world-famous since the publication of the Registres de l’Inquisition, by the historian Emmanuel Leroy-Ladurie (“Montaillou, village Occitan”). This reference work retraces the daily life of a village marked by heresy and subjected to the Inquisition.
Castle of Montségur: the last emblematic bastion of opposition to intolerance erected as a war machine. The funeral pyre erected there in 1244 sounded the death knell for this religious movement, which died out shortly afterwards.
Suggestions for excursions or ideas for cultural outings can be found in our Ax l’été section.
Ax-Les-Thermes in practice
The shops :
From general food, to clothes, souvenirs, sports, bookstore, beauty, hairdressing, optical, laundry, equipment rental, various shops…. all the shops are present in Ax-Les-Thermes and in the valley.
Numerous and varied, from traditional restaurants to brasseries, grills, pizzerias and fast-food restaurants, they offer a wide range of possibilities. You will find a detailed guide to activities and services in Ax and the surrounding area at the tourist office.
Thermal baths and spas :
Les Thermes du Teich : 2 Avenue Albert Durandeau, 09110 Ax-les-Thermes
Les Bains du Couloubret : Thermal play centre dedicated to well-being and water games : bubbling pool, jacuzzi, saunas, hammam. All the benefits of thermal water in a relaxation area open to all! Promenade Paul Salette, 09110 Ax-les-Thermes www.bains-couloubret.com
CASINO JOA d’Ax-Les-Thermes : Promenade Paul Salette, 09110 Ax-les-Thermes. Slot machines, boule, bar, restaurant, musical activities…
Office du Tourisme des Pyrénées Ariégeoises : 6 Avenue Théophile Delcassé, 09110 Ax-les-Thermes, open from 9am to 12.30pm and from 2.30pm to 6pm. www.pyrennes-ariegeoises.com.
Bureau des Guides Pyrénées Ariègeoises : Gare aval du Téléporté, Camp de Granou, 09110 Ax-les-Thermes www.guides-ariege.com
Climbing, Via ferrata, Speleology, ski touring…
What to see, what to do
Located between 500 and 1500 metres above sea level, some have no more than 10 permanent inhabitants. Life there is harsh, punctuated by the seasons. You will discover a small preserved rural heritage. The calm and beauty of the mountain environment will seduce you. The panoramas are breathtaking.
The pastoralism gives pride of place to sheep, cattle and horse breeding. The transhumance of the herds to the high altitude pastures (”the estives”) in spring and the return to the stables on the plain in autumn give rhythm to mountain life. In July and August you can take a walk with a farmer on the Beille mountain pastures.
The upper Ariège is the cradle of the Black Merens horse, present since prehistoric times. A hardy breed par excellence, you will see magnificent specimens in the mountain meadows. At the end of August, a national competition is dedicated to this superb animal. The livestock fair, where animals brought down from the mountain pastures are sold, is held in September in Ax.
Talc quarry in Trimouns
On giant steps, overlooking the Ariège valley, at an altitude of 1800m, men and huge machines extract talc. This soft rock is then reduced to powder and used as an industrial additive for many purposes. Take a tour of the quarry, one of the largest in the world.
Good to know: 2 footpaths leave directly from the residence. They will take you to the city centre in a few minutes.