Ariege Things To Do and Local Area

Sightseeing and Activities

Local Ariege Area

Things to Do and See from the unique historical sites to cultural attractions, hiking to sports to painting, explore and discover Ariege.

ariege department

Ariege Department

One of the least populated and most unspoiled regions of France, keeping old traditions alive using older farming techniques. The flora and fauna of the area is rich in both diversity where butterflies are common and in particular birds of prey such as the Griffon vultures.


Foix is the Départment town and more attractive than modern Pamiers. It is a very historic town in the middle of which the castle dominates.


Beautiful medieval town with thriving artisan and traditional French markets.
carla b'ayle

Carla B'ayle

Wacky Artisan town perched on a hill top, a must see for any visitor.


The town is famous for its three bell towers, restaurants, bars, supermarkets and a large outdoor 50m swimming pool. Also a flea market every Sunday morning.


Small town with an abundance of older architecture and culture. A good local market on Fridays.
le fossat

Le Fossat

Le Fossat is the closest small town to Lissac, about 10 minutes drive, with all the amenities that you might need.


One of the main cities of France. Possesses unique architecture due to pinkish terracotta bricks. Has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the "Canal du Midi" and the "Basilica of St. Sernin".


general help and advice

General Help and Advice

Sites Touristiques Ariège is a fantatsic website full of attraction ideas, local events, maps and helpful forums for visitors to the area.

More to be added in the future...
canoeing, climbing etc

Canoeing, Climbing etc

Canoeing and White Water Rafting are very popular holiday activities in France.

With the nearest place to do it from (Le Vernet d'Ariege) being only 20 minutes by car, Lissac is the perfect place to stay for beginners and entusiasts alike.

At St Girons, about 60 minutes by car, you can do Rock Climbing, Canyoning, Caving and explore the the dizzy heights of the Adventure Park.


You will frequently see cyclists going past Lissac as it's very good terrain for cyclists to train. The Tour de France stops at a local village and causes a lot of excitement.

Downhill Free Ride Mountain Biking, Couserans - Set up by Alternative VTT, extreme mountain biking enthusiasts are courses that take you through the forest and down the various ramps from 50cm to 3m high, tables, double's, wall rides, step downs, road gaps etc.

Also the Ronde de L'Isard for the under 23's is worth a view if you're around in May.


There are lots of very popular golf courses in the area - see Ligue de Golf Occitanie for details.
horse riding

Horse Riding

We have had some real adventures on horseback in the Pyrenees.

You can go out for as little as an hours ride (for any level) to five days doing the annual drive of horses, goats, sheep and cows up to the mountains, to take advantage of the summer pastures.  Known as Transhumance this is not for beginners, but an unbeatable experience!

Centre Equestre Boutou - Massat


The nearest slopes (Ax Les Thermes, with 75km of pistes) are about a 40 minute drive from Lissac, well worth the trip and a lot of fun!
Ax-Bonascre, Guzet Neige, Plateau de Beille, Chioula, Ascou Pailhères and Les Mont d'Olmes are smaller family ski resorts and are perfect for a day on the mountains with ski slopes for all levels and skiers on a budget.

Andorra is only a short distance and has extensive slopes.


Obviously the 40' x 20' pool at Lissac (with underwater lighting!) itself takes some beating...but for those more adventurous types there's a 1/2 mile swimming lake at St Y'bars, 5 minutes away by car.  There is a bar/glacerie for rewards when you've swum the length and back!

A bit further away (10 mins by car) is the Lac de Carla Bayle, which in addition to swimming has sailboarding, fishing, canoeing and a picnic area.

Pamiers has a great municipal pool with very high diving boards for the fearless.

Saverdun has a lovely picnic area by the river and is also a popular place to swim.
walking / hiking

Walking / Hiking

There are endless possibilities for walking around Lissac.

You can either stroll out from Lissac and simply enjoy unspoilt French countryside, or you can be more specific and below are just some of the more obvious attractions for those who like walking;
  • Roquefort
  • Montsegur
  • Grotte de Mas d'Azil - great drive-through caves, with picnic site and restaurants in the village.
wine tasting / vineyards

Wine Tasting / Vineyards

Plenty of the local vineyards open their doors (and their barrels) for visitors far and wide...

Other Activities

Wolf Park (La Maison des Loupes, Orlu)

Wolf reserve with goats, donkeys and pigs as well. Look out for feeding times (mourrissage) as you see the wolves at their best then.

Riviere Souterraine de Labouiche

Series of underground caves that you travel through on barge-like boats. Nice on a hot day - you may even need a sweater.

Foix Castle

Worth combining with a trip on market day.

Lac de Mondeley, Gabre

A good picnic site with adventure-type playground and snack bar, and you can walk around the lake.

Parc Animalier

5 minutes from Lissac, a small animal farm near Saint Ybars.

450 Year Old Forge de Montgailhard

A village which recreates 125 trades and crafts of rural French life. Guided tours available

Prehistoric Parc

Experience a day from 14,000 years ago in the Ariege Pyrennes. Discover the lakes, waterfalls, landscapes and sculpted herd of bison in 13 hectare park at Parc de la Préhistoire.

Bison Farm

A farm with Bison, Deer, Goats and other species. Near Lapenne, north of Mirepoix

Butterfly Farm

All types of butterfly imaginable. Based in Col del Teil near Lavelanet.

Grotte & Musée Du Mas-D'azil

Grotte & Musée Du Mas-D'azil, a true ancient geological curiosity. Its archaeological fame makes it a major attraction in the Midi-Pyrenees region. Explore the immensity caves of Mas d'Azil.

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