Welcome to our selection of holiday homes to rent in Ariege, France.
The stunning departement of Ariege, located in the Midi-Pyrenees region on the Spanish border, is a tale of two areas; the area that can be seen above ground, with its huge Pyrenean mountains, beautiful open spaces and outdoor sports centres, along with the area that is hidden below ground in some of the biggest and most intriguing caves in all of France. While caving is a popular sport in Ariege, you don't need to be an expert to enter many of these interesting “grottes”, as most have at least had their entrances widened for visitors and have been fitted with paths and handrails so that as many people as possible can enjoy these geoloigcal wonders.
There are dozens of caves throughout the Ariege region, but some are more well known and more widely-visited than others. The Labouiche underground river, north of the region's medieval capital Foix, is the longest such waterway in Europe that is safe enough to open up to the public. Taking a path 60 metres below the surface, tourist guides then take groups of visitors up the river in a small boat, so they can marvel at the rock features as they pass. South of Foix is the Niaux cave, with its impressive prehistoric cave paintings. One of the few caves with paintings that are still open to the public, visitors can only enter with a guide and bookings are essential in the summer. The guide will not only point out the best examples of the cave paintings but will also give you some of the history behind the cave and its discovery. No doubt inspired by the paintings, there is a prehistoric theme park a few kilometres away which allows children to experience life in one of these caves, as well as offering workshops in some of the ancient crafts. If you haven't been able to get a ticket to the Niaux cave itself, you can always see reproductions at the park.
The biggest cave in Europe, the Lombrives cave, is close to the prehistoric theme park. Featuring some unusual and unique rock formations, the caves have been lit well too, in order to create a rather mystical and magical experience for visitors, especially when the cave hosts one of its summer concerts. Finally, the Mas d'Azil cave may not be as beautiful as the Lombrives cave or as important historically as the Niaux cave, but it is one of the few caves in the world that you can drive through! Kids especially will enjoy this unique experience, and you can also tour the cave on foot if you prefer.
Looking for self catering holiday accommodation in Ariege? Then below is a selection of gites in Ariege and villas in Ariege that can be rented direct from their owners. You can either click on each listing for further details or you can use our search engine on the left if you are looking for something in particular.