Self catering cottage - gite in Foix, French Pyrenees

local area around our mountain gite

The Ariège is one of the few truly wild habitats remaining in France and the immediate area has a wealth of cultural and leisure activities to suit all ages, and ability ranges.


Walking

There are walks at all levels from the hamlet, and in the wider area where 10,000 ft mountains are quite accessible. A `via ferrata` has also been completed on Mont Valier, and there are a number of other via ferratas and Adventure Parks in the area. There are maps and suggested itineraries available at the gite. We are both mountaineers with an intimate knowledge of the mountains and forest tracks and would be only too pleased to share our knowledge.


Mountain Biking

Guests can go mountain biking from the cottage along forest and mountain pistes - a book is available in the gite on VTT pistes in the area. For the more passionate mountain bikers, why not take a long weekend break, bring your own bikes or hire good quality bikes in the area - fly in to Toulouse or Carcassonne, we can do the rest (airport pickup, B & B, packed lunches or full board - contact us for further details). Our 21 year old son is a keen advocate of mountain biking.


Hangliding/Paragliding

For the more adventurous there is paragliding on Prat d`Albis, the site just 10 mins from the cottage, with instruction and dual flights available at a reasonable price. For experienced paragliders the cottage is the nearest accommodation to the site and there are several more sites in the area.


Water Activities

With two large lakes only 45 mins drive away from Cumminges, guests can partake of fishing, boating/canoeing or simply have fun in the water. The Ariège river hosts kayaking and white water rafting as well as canyoning (www.pyrenevasion.com) and caving. The high mountain tarns boast wonderful trout fishing, and the valley lakes white fish. Water skiing is available at our local `base nautique` at Mercus, 20 minutes drive away in the valley.


Equestrian

Several equestrian centres are located around Foix that provide both for half day sorties and pony treking over the mountains or just visiting the centre for a day. We can also organise riding from Cumminges.


Skiing and Snow Shoeing.

The nearest ski station is 45 mins drive a way, and the immediate area is reknown for cross country skiing and ski de Fond There are two pairs of snow shoes that guests can borrow - we are quite willing to introduce guests to the pleasures of `raquetting`.


Pre - Historic Caves.

Three important caves lie in the area - Niaux, Labouiche and Lombrives with smaller accessible caves around Tarascon. The pre historic caves of Lombrives/Niaux are most impressive. These caves have pre-historic paintings, and access through one is by boat (children are most impressed!). There are guided tours in English most days of the year.


Foix

The market town of is only 15 mins drive down the mountain, and as the prefectural centre of Ariège boasts a wide variety of riverside cafés, restaurants, festivals and artisanal markets as well as a skatepark, an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, childrens playgrounds, a popular `centre cultural` with films, theatre and music, and `son et lumière` performances (July & August) in the outdoor theatre. A new  swimming pool complex was opened in Foix in 2015, with 3 pools (one outdoor in the summer) and hammam, sauna and jacuzzi.


`La Nature`

The Ariège is renown for it`s natural habitat, and some guests come simply to enjoy and partake of the peace, calmness and positive airs of the hamlet, but everyone, whatever their reason for coming here, delights in the pure fresh mountain air.


Mountaineering and Rock Climbing

This area  offers some of the most varied and interesting climbing in the French Pyrenees from bouldering to multi pitch bolted routes (secure or `terrain d`aventure`! ), on 10,000ft mountains, anything from PD to ED, limestone and granite.

There are no English language guidebooks but we have all the French ones for the area and can easily translate if you give us an idea of grades etc.

In winter (from end October to end April) there are innumerable couloirs and faces of all grades, F to TD+. Contact us for the current snow conditions.