Attractions

Top Choice Wildlife Reserve in The Pyrenees

Parc Animalier des Pyrénées

Around 12km south of Lourdes, off the D821 near Argelès-Gazost, this fantastic animal park is home to many species that were once commonly sighted across the Pyrenees. The animals live on special ‘islands’ designed …
Top Choice Viewpoint in Vallée des Gaves

Pic du Midi

If the Pyrenees has a mustn’t-miss view, it’s the one from the Pic du Midi de Bigorre (2877m). Once accessible only to mountaineers, since 1878 the Pic du Midi has been home to an important observatory, and on a cle…
Top Choice Cave in Vallée de l’Ariège

Grotte de Niaux

Most people know about the prehistoric artworks of the Dordogne, but far fewer realise that ancient painters left their mark in caves all across the Pyrenees. Halfway up a mountainside about 12km south of Foix, the …
Top Choice Cave in Lourdes

Sanctuaires Notre Dame de Lourdes

The spiritual centre of Lourdes is the subterranean grotto where Bernadette Soubirous is believed to have experienced her visions in 1858. From the Porte St-Michel, a broad boulevard sweeps towards the gilded spires…
Cave in Vallée de l’Ariège

Grotte du Mas d’Azil

Twenty-five kilometres northwest of Foix, near Le Mas d’Azil, this rock shelter is famous for its rich finds of prehistoric tools. Visits are by guided tour, which take you through underground galleries and describe…
River in Vallée de l’Ariège

Rivière Souterraine de Labouiche

Deep beneath the village of Labouiche, 6km northwest of Foix, flows Europe’s longest navigable underground river. Discovered in 1908 by a local doctor, it’s been open to the public since 1938. Barge trips lasting 75…
Chateau in Pau

Château de Pau

Originally the residence of the monarchs of Navarre, Pau’s castle was transformed into a Renaissance château amid lavish gardens by Marguerite d’Angoulême in the 16th century. Marguerite’s grandson, Henri de Navarre…
Chateau in Vallée de l’Ariège

Château de Montségur

For the full Monty Python medieval vibe, tackle the steep 20-minute climb to the ruins of this hilltop fortress, 32km east of Foix (and don't forget to bring your own water). It’s the westernmost of the string of Ca…
Museum in Pau

Musée Bernadotte

This townhouse is the birthplace of one of Napoléon’s favourite generals, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte (nicknamed ‘Sergent belle-jambe’, on account of his shapely legs). Now a museum, the house explores the strange stor…
Museum in Vallée de l’Ariège

Parc de la Préhistoire

Eighteen kilometres south of Foix, near Tarascon-sur-Ariège, this excellent museum-park provides a useful primer on the area’s prehistoric past. The centrepiece is the Grand Atelier, which uses film, projections and…