in accommodation for walkers, cyclists, climbers and other outdoor pursuits. We have plenty of space for outdoor clothing, helmets and boots, etc. We are really bicycle friendly and can do a lot to accommodate your needs including advice with routes, safe storage, facilities for cleaning and servicing/repairs, including a workshop stand. We carry a few essential spares items should you require them. Motorbikes are also very welcome.
Whether you are doing one of the Grand Randonnees that pass close to Fougax, or if you would like to base yourself locally and do day walks, the area offers a huge range. From easy low-level strolls, through moderate and very scenic half-day walks, to high mountain traverses. We can offer route suggestions (based on our own walking experience in the area) as well as maps, guidebooks and leaflets and other services to make your trip more fun.
There are several excellent gorge walks where wildlife abound including - in the Gorge de Pereille - Egyptian vultures, but everywhere you’ll see red kites, eagles, merlins and various hawks. The Gorge de la Frau, which starts just above Fougax, is a wonderful 3 hour walk where 400m (1250ft) cliffs soar above you and the river races down beside you alongside golden poppies and wild strawberries.
If you are interested in history, there are several walks nearby that relate to ‘Les Maquis’ or Resistance fighters of the Second World War, industrial archaeology and of course, the Cathars and their stunning castles.
May and June provide the best times for fauna and flora in the alpine meadows. In June the transhumances occur, where the shepherds take the cattle and horses up to the high pastures. You can join them and share wonderful barbeques on the tops. In October, the cattle are brought down again - in Fougax, they run 200 cattle through the village; it's quite a sight! Also, with a bit of luck you will see isards, deer, marmots and other birds of prey.
We have laminated guides to many of the shorter walks to make it easier for guests who are unfamiliar with the area. These 2 to 5 hour walks are the best that we have found for views and other interests. We also have a full selection of guidebooks for guests’ use. You would be welcome to accompany us on any walks that we are planning.
With great access to the hills and mountains, the area is a haven for off-road cycling. In summer downhill cycling is available via piste lift at Monts d'Olmes - around 30 minutes from our house by car. We ourselves are very keen cyclists, so subject to availability, may be able to transport you to these centres or even join you for trips out if you are not sure of the best routes to take and would like some local knowledge for the best rides. Pyrénées Cathares MTB / VTT plan
The area is famous for its road cycling. The Tour de France route usually passes very close to the village. Routes from the house can be taken to suit all abilities. Once again, we can help you with route planning and are happy for you to join us on any planned rides. If you want to test yourself on the ride up to Montsegur or Croix des Morts, we are perfectly located. Click on the route plan buttons to see for yourself. Aude/Ariege cycle route map.
RAFTING & CANYONING
There are safe, well-organised facilities within 30 minutes drive of Fougax-et-Barrineuf on the river Aude, around Quillon and Axat.
There are too many pitches and possibilities to name for your rock climbing pursuits in the area. If you want a bit more practice, or perhaps if the weather is not right, there is an indoor wall at Belcaire - around 30 mins drive away.
There is skiing for every taste in the Ariège, all within easy driving distances from Fougax-et-Barrineuf. The closest ski station is Mont d’Olmes which is 30 minutes away. It caters for downhill skiing, sledging, snowshoeing and snowboarding and is an ideal family ski resort.
Ax-les-Thermes on the route to Andorra has 3 ski areas, 75km of pistes and 17 lifts including a telecabine from the town centre. Ax is about 50 mins drive from Fougax-et-Barrineuf. For more information, click on the links to the right. Once again - subject to our availability - we may be able to offer a drop-off and pick-up service to the above locations.
In summer, the Plateau de Beille is host to one of the most difficult climbs in the Tour de France. In winter, it is home to the largest cross-country ski station in the Pyrenees and is about an hour’s drive away. There are 65 km of pistes and the most amazing views of the Andorran Pyrenees. For more information, click on the link to the right. Even closer is the base at Chioula. Plateau de Beille Winter Sports Centre
Andorra has excellent and extensive skiing and of course, tax-free shopping! It is about 45 minutes from Foix and 90 minutes from Fougax-et-Barrineuf.