The Ariège region, which is the birthplace of prehistoric culture and a former Cathar stronghold, still retains traces of the lives of these men and women – our ancestors – evidence that can be seen at numerous sites.

  • Lombrives cave (Grotte de Lombrives): Europe’s largest cave system that reveals a fascinating, spectacular underground universe.
  • The prehistoric park: explore, have fun, relax with family and friends and find out about prehistoric life as you follow in the footsteps of Paleolithic man.
  • Niaux caves (la grotte de Niaux): famous for the quality of its remarkably well-preserved, prehistoric drawings.
  • La Vache cave (grotte de la Vache): learn about the everyday life of Paleolithic hunters, including their tools, weapons, inventions and art.
  • Bédeilhac cave (la grotte de Bédeilhac): an unusual and little known prehistoric site with paintings, engravings, drawings and unique, clay, bas-relief sculptures.
  • Foix castle: this medieval castle, perched on a rocky outcrop, dominates the old village of Foix, with its high walls and three towers.
  • Montségur castle: a ruined citadel perched on a vertiginous ridge
  • Lordat castle: the remains of a Cathar castle with a commanding view of the valley

You’ll also encounter some remarkable tourist and cultural sites in our valleys which are sure to delight both adults and children:

  • Talc quarry: one of the world’s largest, open air quarries
  • Wolf sanctuary: wildlife park in an unspoilt, natural setting
  • The Mountain Observatory: A visit to the Mountain Observatory, on the edge of Orlu Nature Reserve in the Ariège region is an absolute must; it’s a great opportunity to learn about biodiversity in mountain environments and observe animals in their natural surroundings.
  • Les forges de Pyrène (The village of Les Forges): discover the Ariège of days gone by and find out about the traditions of our ancestors in this living history village
  • Rêve et magie du rail (The magic of railways): a collection of model railways offer an ideal way to explore the Ariège region’s historic monuments and sites .