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Ariège - Pays de Foix

The Pays de Foix is in the heart of the Ariège, just at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains displaying in front of you all its beauties and wonders. Foix is an attractive town, with a fascinating medieval history.

In the distance, the three towers of its castle invite you to discover this urban land in the heart of nature. Here, menbuilt their life around nature, to enjoy themany activities offered. There is a rich cultural programme in Foixand for each season, some quality entertainment to enjoy. It is a perfect base to explore each part of the department, at your convenience and giving you the time to appreciate each treasure of the Ariège. 

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The prefecture town (administrative centre) is located at the foot of its feudal castle, built on a rocky promontory during the 10th century and symbolising the power of the counts of Foix. These lords noblemen supported the Cathar cause during the 13th century. Its three imposing towersand its wall-walk offer an exceptional panorama of the surrounding landscapes. The building hosts the medieval collections of the Ariège Departmental Museum. The Southern Gothic style Saint-Volusien Church built in the 12th century and transformed during the 17th century is located at the foot of the castle. In the historical centre, discover “pontils” (covered passage linking houses above the streets), fountains and half-timbered houses.

The weekly market of Foixtakes place in the Allées de Villote, every Friday. 

Guide Toulouse Pyrénées’ Best Tips:

  • In the surrounding of Foix, do not miss the Labouiche underground rivers. A listed site, 60 metres below the earth level! Galleries, siphons, stalactites and stalagmites created by the river, the longest European underground river, discovered in 1908.
  • Enjoy a family day at the Forges de Pyrène, exhibiting on 5 hectares, 120 ancient trades around a forge. Workshops, shows, tools exhibition…
  • To recharge your batteries, go to the Pays de Foix Aquatic Centre: pools, sauna, steam roomsare waiting for you in a brand new building. 
  • For a walk, go to Parc des Bouychères with its sport and health trail and its games for children.

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The town is located half way between Foix and Pamiers. It is a town that offers beautitul Middle Ages buildings to admire (such as La maison Aynié, the oldest of the town) as well as master houses, half-timbered houses, wash-houses and stone fountains. A lovely stone bridge built in 1873 crosses the Ariège River. The market takes place on Place de la Libération, on Tuesday mornings.

Guide Toulouse Pyrénées’ Best Tips:

  • Lovely walks on the Ariège River banks, with little wooden pontoons.
  • 4km from the town, in Verniolle, you can find a lovely bridge in the heart of nature nicknamed "le pontromain" (the Roman Bridge), even if it does not date from that period!
  • A Resistance and Deportation Historic Centre can be found inVarilhes, with a permanent exhibition to this time in History,in thiscommune which was deeply affected by the deportation. 

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Other wondersin the Pays de Foix...

  • Pays de FoixFancy a little walk to see a lovely waterfall? At approximately 15 km to the East of Foix, is the commune of Roquefort-les-Cascades. A 30 metres waterfall (visible during Spring, dry in summer), with very calcareous water produces "tufa", calcium deposits, deposited on moss or pieces of wood which are then petrified! Not far from here are there mains of the Roquefort-les-Cascades Castle. The hiking trail starts from the Church. 
  • A Few kilometres from Foix, in Montoulieu, is the Pont du Diable (The Devil’s Bridge), built in the 13th century. The legend says that the devil built it in one night, at the request of alocal to link to the town of Ginabat. In exchange for building the bridge, the devil had chosen to take the first soul to cross the bridge. Then the local opened his coat to let a black cat escape and run over the bridge! The devil was so cross that he fell from the bridge and was trapped in the whirlpool of the river.