The "Inevitables" of the area


Observatory Sabarat: the head in the stars


The Astronomical Observatory Sabarat designed within the framework of the World Year of Astronomy 2009 (AMA 09), a permanent model of the solar system financed by the Community of Communes which the sun will be represented by the dome of the observatory painted yellow for the occasion.

At this scale the 8 planets are within a radius of 20km in the valley of Arize. The municipalities involved are: Sabarat, on Arize Les Bordes, Campaign Arize, Daumazan, La Bastide de Besplas, Montesquieu and more Volvestre the Mas d'Azil sites on the Forest Dinosaurs and Cave (2 structures Partners Observatory as part of Valley of Sciences). At each of these locations, a sign will be shown each of the planets with a few summary and invite you to discover the rest of the model.

Directly from the dome, a team of passionate leaders will guide you and help you unravel the mysteries of your universe. A set of activities for all public events, courses ... Every Friday in July and August tour of the dome, observation instruments, Slideshow...

Contact: Mr. KRETZ -

More on: The Astronomical Observatory Sabarat


The Mas d'Azil: prehistory with a few kilometers

The cave of Mas d'Azil:

Dug in the middle of the chain of Plantaurel, it offers a single underground complex in Europe. Accessible by a natural tunnel crossed today by a road which skirts the river Arize. It had very a long time a vocation of asylum for the animals: rhinoceros, bear, mammoths… and for the men (of the magdaléniens in Huguenots). In the cave a sound and light are presented to you as well as a scenography reconstituting a hearth magdalénien, spectacle single in the cavities.

Period of opening:
- Guided tours permanently.
- Mars: opening Sunday of 14h with 18h
- Holidays of spring: of 10h with 12h and 14h with 18h
- Of the 01/04 to the 30/05: in week of 14h with 18h and Sundays and public holidays of 10h with 12h and 14h with 18h
- Of the 01/06 to the 30/09: of 10h with 12h and 14h with 18h
- October and November: Sundays and public holidays of 14h with 18h.
- Twinned Tickets museum and cave.
- For the groups, possibility of visit during closing.



The museum of Mas d'Azil


Sanctuary of prehistory: Unique in France, the cave of the Mas d'Azil was used as refuge with the animals then to the men during thousands of years.

Artistic retrospective of the art of its prehistoric occupants, the small museum of the locality contains, in addition to impressive craniums of bear of the caves, some of the astonishing works of art that, for one century, the diggers have torn off with the archaeological layers. Most remarkable are sculptures on bone: a head of neighing horse and the engines. The engine with the fawn combines with a marvellous smoothness execution, an enormous humour scatologic (two birds are kissing, perched on droppings which exceed anus of a fawn). The significance of this scene, indecipherable for us, was to have a particular importance for the tribes of Pyrenean hunters, because one found the same topic on objects coming from Bédeilhac, Arudy and Isturitz, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques.

Period of opening:
- Mars, opening Sunday of 14H with 18H.
- Holidays of spring of the 10H with 12H and 14H with 18H.
- April at at the end of May: in week of 14H with 18H. Sunday and public holidays of 14H with 18H.
- October at November: Sundays and public holidays of 14H with 18H.
- All the year for the groups. To reserve in advance.


More information on the site: The Cave of Mas d'Azil


The forest of the Dinosaurs

A single museum in full nature:

Come to discover the dinosaurs of the Mas d'Azil and whole world in a single space museographic in full nature on more 1ha. A ludic and teaching visit to divide in family. You will see there more than 10 species of reptiles and 4 great families of dinosaurs, the fossil flora which is contemporary for them, the eggs shells of dinosaurs found with the Mas d'Azil, about thirty dinosaurs of the whole world, prints of step of dinosaurs and Amphibians, reconstitutions natural size, skeletons and craniums of dinosaurs, the house of forwardings passed, the laboratory and many other things. The children will be able to also initiate themselves with the paleontological excavation and to discover bones of dinosaurs.

Period of opening: all the year.
- January December November of 14h with 17h
- February at April of 14h with 18h, May June and September of 10h with 12h and 14h with 18h
- July and August of 10h with 19h
- Of the 1 at October 15 of 14 with 18h and of the 15 at October 30 of 14h with 17h
- Night Visits
- For the possible visits groups the morning.


More information on the site: The Forest of the Dinosaurs


Labouiche: Immediate loading

photosThe underground river

The longest navigable underground river of Europe.

One embarks here for a cruising of most strange: to 60 m under ground, comfortably sitted in a boat carried out by a guide, one follows the underground river of Labouiche nearly of 4 km. The course, exceptionally long and varied, carries out you rooms in galleries, while passing by the Salette cascade and the spectacular fall of the torrent.

Period of opening:
- April, May, June, September of 10h with 11h15 and 14h with 17h15
- October at November 11, the every day of 14h with 16h30
- July, day August continues 9h30 with 17h15, it is more careful to arise before 16h.
- Groups: on go.



Foix: At the time of the Lords

An impregnable fortress:

Top of its impressive rock, it dominates the city, controls the access towards the high valley of Ariège, supervises the low country, is protected behind impregnable walls.

The site of the castle was strategically quite selected bus as the hundred strong castles of Ariège (the majority are in ruins nowadays), it goes back to one time of great insecurity, armed robbery, competition of territory and in more it was to order the passage of the chains of the Pyrenees to fight against the invasions.

To the Middle Ages, the castle passed for impregnable:
“El castels es tant fortz qu’el mezis se defent ” (the castle is so strong that it defends by itself) known as the song.

More information on the site: The Castle of Foix


Carla-Bayle: art in ariège

photosA village “perched high”

Located in zone of Piedmont, in the middle of a country rich in history and traditions, Carla-Bayle, old citadel huguenote, perched with 400m, overhangs the valleys of Lèze and Arize.

Its illuminated ramparts the night, are a privileged place of walk for which can appreciate the green hills of this part of Ariège. On the southern rampart, a table of orientation makes it possible to identify the principal Pyrenean tops.

It is in this splendid village full with inspiration and plenitude that many artists decided to install their workshop there.

More information on the site: Carla-Bayle


Cave of Niaux:

Classified Historic building:

The cave of Niaux, which belongs to an enormous underground whole of approximately 14 km, is with it only long of almost 2 km. The gallery of entry walks on on 700 m, to lead to the large crossroads, from which the gallery the Falls and the famous gallery of the Black Living room leave .

Dated from Magdalenian, the drawings of animals combine sometimes with different signs: points, milked, claviformes, where the red dominates. These signs, many and varied, are also found in the deep galleries inaccessible to public, sometimes associated rare insulated figurative works. One finds also some engravings on the clay of the ground, and research gave only some movable vestiges of the time magdalenian, found in the Black Living room .

Period of opening :
- 11 visits per day - 45 minutes between each group
- 20 people per visit
- 45 minutes between each group.


More information on the site: Cave of Niaux


Pyrenean park of prehistoric art:

photosA voyage in time

Single park in its kind. At the same time ludic, cultural and scientific. It is addressed to all: the children will find there a large park entertaining, the adults will assoiront their culture as regards prehistory. You will discover paintings now inaccessible to the public .

Located at Tarascon-on-Ariège, it proposes a new approach of the prehistoric inheritance of Ariège, one of richest of Europe. It uses the last techniques of visit and setting in scene to create a universe of 15 hectares where the visitor evolves/moves freely. A giant facsimile restores thanks to the ultraviolet rays the integral work of the famous cave of Niaux. One will see such, as they were painted there are 12.000 years, the drawings of the “living room black”, the “Clastres network” and the “dune of the steps”, inaccessible in the cave of Niaux .

More information on the site: Pyrenean park of prehistoric art


Without forgetting all us small villages

We will be happy to speak to you about the many small villages close to your lodging which will make you discover the heart of Ariège.

Daumazan-sur-Arize, Campagne-sur-Arize, Les Bordes-sur-Arize, Sabarat,… are as many places where you will go and wher you will see how it is so nice to leave there only by meeting the inhabitants there.

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