Property for holiday rental in Midi Pyrenees - MA004120

Oust (21km from Saint-Girons), Ariège, Midi Pyrenees Reference: MA004120 Advertiser since: 27 April 2015
Property Board Arrival Bedrooms Sleeps Bathrooms Additional info
Le Pichet Self Catering Flexible 2 7 1 Including 2 on a canape gigogne in the lounge

About this property

Charming House in Quiet Mountain Hamlet (TV Winner). This cottage/gite is in a rural setting.

Please note that while the arrival date is flexible throughout most of the year, throughout school holiday periods it remains as Saturday, although we can occasionally accept Sundays. However we can only state "flexible " or "Sat only" throughout the whole year on this advert , so if your required dates are not accepted by the system please do ask and we will do our best to accommodate your preferred dates.

Please also note that if you are a couple needing the use of one bedroom only there are lower rates available outside school holidays, but we cannot show all prices here so please do not hesitate to enquire and we will send you an individual quote.

With its majestic peaks soaring to the Spanish border, and the gentler beauty of its lower wooded valleys and slopes, the Haut-Couserans of the Ariege-Pyrenees remains arguably one of France's best kept secrets, a little discovered,  unspoilt gem tucked away from the stresses of modern-day life.
Here you will find Miramont, a tiny hamlet nestling on the slopes overlooking the beautiful Garbet Valley,  underneath the proud  ruins of Charlemagne's Chateau du Mirabat, with its commanding views  towards the valleys of the Spanish frontier.  And here a warm welcome at “le Pichet” awaits you. Lovingly restored and tastefully furnished, largely in oak, this lovely stone home and its beautiful garden offer wonderful views west with fabulous sunsets over the mountains. A winner in 2012 of ITVs "May the best house Win - vive la France!" and situated in a tranquil hamlet at 800m above sea level, it comfortably accommodates 5 people in a double and triple bedroom, with the possibility of sleeping a further 2 on the canapé gigigne in the living room. It is also a romantic setting for 2, and we are delighted that a number of our guests have chosen it for their honeymoon.

If you are artistic, (or feel you are not but dream of being so!) we also offer painting/sculpture tuition and  exclusive full board painting/sculpting holidays. Pottery classes can also be arranged onite by prior arangement with a local pottery teacher. Please ask for details of any of these.
The house itself 
"Le Pichet" is a traditional mountain house built, as are many in the region, partly into the hillside.  It adjoins "La Carrette", the former farmhouse which we are now also lucky enough to own. Over the past 20 years we have lovingly restored it to retain as many of the original features as possible - the "pas de oiseaux" originally built for thatching purposes, and the beams of the old roof structure. Tastefully and comfortably furnished, and now hung with paintings by Rodney and embroideries by Eleri, we are proud to welcome you into this part of our home. Rodney's sculptures provide a final personal touch.
The house benefits from superb light, particularly in the afternoons and evenings in the downstairs dining room and upstairs rooms. The ground floor  consists of a spacious dining room, bathroom and well equipped kitchen; a lovely oak staircase leads to the first floor consisting of  2 charming bedrooms and a light, high ceilinged and spacious living room which can also serve as a bedroom if you wish.
Le Pichet is ideally situated for all outdoor activities. Walking in the area is quite simply superb, whatever your level; canoe/kayak/rafting/fishing and horseriding in the beautiful Garbet, Salat and Ustou Valleys, and skiing at nearby Guzet Neige.
The Tour de France regularly passes through the area and we are in the middle of some of its most redoubtable cols. For its 100th anniversary, in a stage known as "110k 0f 100% Ariege" on July 14th, it went from our local town of St Girons to the departmental capital of Foix via our local villages of Oust and Seix, then the valleys of the Ustou and the Cols de la Trappe, d'Agnes and the challenging Mur de Peguere.

Despite its unspoilt nature, the area is nevertheless very accessible at 1hr30 from Toulouse, and 2hr from Lourdes and Carcassonne airports; and at 20km from St Girons it is within easy reach of the major road networks and the wealth of historic and cultural diversity of Ariege and Midi-Pyrenees in general. We hope this will tempt you to visit this region, and look forward to welcoming you!
Miramont and it's immediate surroundings.
Leaving the Garbet (Valley of the Montreurs d'Ours) between Oust and Ercé, you follow a lane which twists and turns, always climbing, to its end – and there is Miramont,  a little paradise on earth overlooking the Bassin d'Oust. Formerly devoted to agriculture, the hamlet consists today of eleven pretty, well-renovated barns and houses, where you will be sure of peace and quiet. As Miramont is situated at the end of the lane, there is no through traffic except for the occasional car going to a couple of houses further up the hamlet. Almost all of the houses are French-owned “maisons secondaires”; Miramont is an incredibly friendly community but this in no way impinges on the privacy of individual properties.

Miramont (mir- to look, amont- to the mountains)  means “look up”, and you do, from our garden your eye is irresistably drawn to the proud ruins of Charlemagnes Chateau de Mirabat (itself meaning look below, mir + abat/a bas)  as you would, from its heights to the valleys far below down which came the invading  Moors….

For further information about "lePichet", the area and everything it has to offer, our painting/sculpting courses,  please do contact us, we will be delighted to help.



Kitchen and dining

Downstairs, a sofa, bibliotheque and logburner combine with the dining furniture to give a homely ambience to the dining room; the kitchen is well-equipped and pretty at the same time, in addition to its oven, microwave and fridge-freezer, it has a food-mixer, juicer, slow-cooker, raclette and fondue (the region boasts an incredible number of wonderful cheeses and meats!)

Living rooms

In addition to the downstairs dining room, there is a beautifully light lounge upstairs which can also be used as a bedroom if you wish (the canapé gigogne converts to 2 comfortable single beds, please note this is not a clic-clac but a traditional piece of French furniture). This room also contains a sofa, armchair, and a well stocked bookcase, both English and French. A large number of maps, walking guides and local information is also at your disposal.


The 2 bedrooms are situated on either side of the upstairs lounge, on one side a delightful chalet style bedroom contains one double bed, cupboards and shelving; to the other a larger, beamed bedroom contains one double and one single bed, wardrobe and shelving. All rooms look beyond the garden to the valley between Miramont and the pretty hamlet of Arrous, the wooded ridge on whose cliffs stand the proud ruins of the Chateau du Mirabat (built by Charlegmagne) and beyond to the Col de la Core and the slopes of Mt.Valier - at dawn bathed pink in the early light of sunrise, with the smoke curling up from the chimneys of Arrous, and only the sound of birdsong, the stream gurgling below and cowbells. At night, the sky scattered with a million sparkling stars is pure enchantment.


The bathroom is a pleasant room for a relaxing bath -its attractive blue tiling is light and clear in summer, warm in winter. It is simple, with no frills, but perfectly adequate. The bath has a shower attachment, and there is plenty of hot water.


The house is heated principally by a wood burning stove in the dining room, extra (movable) radiators are provided if necessary. Heating (wood and electricity) is included in the rental price, and the wood burning stove is easy to use. Full instructions are given on arrival for those not familiar with their use.


There is a television in the downstairs dining room (French channels only) but most of our guests rarely use it, preferring to spend their time relaxing with a book or enjoying the garden and surroundings.

Garden and outside

The lovely west-facing garden is an idyllic place to relax and enjoy the view, with stunning sunsets over the mountains. Planted with roses, honeysuckle and clematis, it is a magical spot in all seasons; you are most welcome to use its abundant herbs in your cooking, and help yourselves to raspberries, rhubarb and salad when available. There is a shaded paved area ideal for preparing and enjoying your barbecue.(Barbecue/charcoal provided during the summer months). Miramont has communal parking.

Please note, if you are coming with children, that the garden is not enclosed, however the hamlet is remarkably untroubled by traffic and children can also play in security in the meadows, woods and lane nearby. Neither can we boast a manicured lawn, this is a mountain hamlet and the surface is, inevitably, a little uneven.

Sculpture- if not in an exhibition elsewhere, some of Rodney's works are on display in the garden.
Please treat them with care, especially if coming with children.

Parking and garages

Miramont has a small communal carpark. This is situated, conveniently, next to "le Pichet", but to the side of the house so does not interfere with the view. It is also an extremely quiet one.

Visitor suitability

Whilst being on several levels adds to the inherent charm of "le Pichet", it does mean that the house is not suitable for wheelchairs- in addition to the main staircase, there are gentle steps leading from the dining room to the kitchen on the ground floor, and upstairs between the lounge and the chalet bedroom.

It is however perfectly manageable for any older person with normal mobility.


  • Internet

  • No smoking



Distance: 5 km

Creative arts


Fishing nearby

Species of fish: Trout
Name of nearest fishing location: Garbet Valley
Distance: 4 km


Name and address of nearest golf course: Golf de l'Ariege
Distance: 40 km

Horse riding

Name and address of nearest stables: Centre Equestre de Coumariaou
Distance: 6 km

Mountain biking

Distance: 5 km


Name of nearest resort: Guzet Neige
Distance: 25 km


Name/number of nearest marked trail: GR10 and GR Pays

About the Owner/Advertiser, Mrs Eleri Munday

My love of mountains comes from my childhood in N Wales, and my love of France to Cambridge student holidays, spent largely cycling and getting increasingly further south. Rodney, an Oxford student, is a farmer and sculptor. We fell by chance on the Ariege during a walking holiday in 1993, and will never forget the day when picnicing in the Garbet valley, we believed ourselves in the most beautiful place in the world. Even now, it seems incredible that a year later, we would have a home here.

Year property purchased 1994
Why this location? We bought Le Pichet originally as a base for our own walking holidays and in our opinion, it chose us! By a series of happy coincidences, we arrived just as it was about to be resold. We immediately saw the possibilities of this barn (withno water or electricity) but had no idea that it could turn out to be such a gem. After several visits in the mist, our decision was made the day the clouds cleared to reveal the view, and we signed immediately. Renovating it has been a pure joy, (never hurrying because we never imagined buying the house nextdoor and renting out le Pichet), and we recall with nostalgia the days with oil lamps before we installed electricity. So the original straw floor is now prettily tiled, the roof replaced, and with the passage of the years "Le Pichet" has become the attractive house of today. In 2004 we bought the adjoining property allowing us to finish le Pichet- and it is now our pleasure to share this lovely area with others.
Unique benefits of property Situation- our location, at the end of a quiet lane is superb with lovely mountain views. At 800m we are often above the mists swathed in the valley below. Within easy reach of a multitude of outdoor activities, and not far from St Girons which connects to all the major road networks so exploring further afield is no problem.
The other occupants of Miramont (most of the 11 houses are maisons secondaires, so not occupied all the time) are incredibly friendly and welcoming.

The house we think speaks for itself (so do our former guests) and is both characterful and homely; from both house and garden you can see the view; and the log burner is a great favourite. Rodney's sculptures add a personal note.

Possibility of reduced price for couples and up to 4 people outside school holidays by choosing one bedroom only, which is ideal for couples (or up to 4 if you are happy to use the canapé gigogne as a pull out bed in the upstairs living room). See special offers or enquire.

The Owner Recommends


For keen cyclists we are right in the middle of some of the Tour de France's most exciting cols - the 100th anniversary in 2017 featured a stage "100% ARIEGE -100k St GIRONS- FOIX" through the nearby Vallée d'Ustou over the Cols de la Trappe, D'Agnes and the redoubtable Mur de Peguere before descending into Foix -all of which are within easy reach of Le Pichet.

These, plus the Cols de la Core, de Port, de Portet D’Aspet – are all names which thrill lovers of the Tour - with gruelling ascents and exhilerating descents. Not far away either are the lesser known Cols de Saraillé, Marrous and la Crouzette, and over the Col de Portet d’Aspet takes you into Haute Garonne with the Cols de Menté and d'Ares as variants on the way to the renowned Col de Tourmalet. St Girons often features in departs and finishes, and the Plateau de Beille near Foix is a famous finishing line.

This part of the Ariege Pyrenées is a favourite haunt, clubs and individuals come from miles away to train on our beautiful- and remarkably traffic-free roads- so why not use it, too, as a base for your cycling holiday. Numerous circuits over the Cols can be made from the Vallée du Garbet -and for cyclists of a less energetic nature, it is possible to find shorter, more leisurely routes along pretty lanes in and around the valley bottoms.

A little further afield to the north of St Girons you will find the gentler countryside of the “Petites Pyrenees” and the Volvestre, with less demanding routes, rolling countryside and again very little traffic through beautiful scenery- perfect for an afternoon or day long excursion.

La Voie Verte is a made up cycle track along 40k of a former railway between St Girons and Foix. It has only gentle gradients and along its way you will experience different aspects of the beautiful countryside running along the piedmont of the Pyrenees. Parking places along its length also enable you to cycle its length in leisurely stages.

Hiking and Walking

The Ariege-Couserans (the 18 valleys converging on St Girons) contains some of the wildest, most remote and most spectacular scenery in the Pyrenees, as well as the gentler beauty of its lower valleys and slopes. You can walk for miles even in high season with only the sound of birds, the rustling of leaves and the sound of running water to keep you company. Walking in the area is superb, whether you choose to go directly from Miramont, locally in the stunningly beautiful valleys of the Garbet, Ustou and Salat or to the more challenging peaks reachable from within an hour's drive. There are walks of all lengths to suit all abilities- from gentle afternoon family strolls to those requiring “Randonneur experimente” status. The area is extremely well served by waymarked trails- the GR(Grande Randonnée)10 which runs the full length of the Pyrenees, passes at several points within 10 miles of Le Pichet and is easily accessible. The Commune d’Oust has produced a comprehensive map/guidebook of at least 20 “GR Pays” walks in the locality, and a number of more strenuous walks lead to the Spanish border, such as the wartime escape route, “le chemin de la liberté”, and those to the Ports (passes or gateways) de Salau, Couillac and Marterat. You can also arrange longer walks involving staying in mountain refuges. Le Pichet has an extensive range of guide books and maps for your use. We are happy to help, should you wish, with any aspect of your walking holiday; to point you in the direction of suitable walks to help with transport for any walks which need the use of two cars, such as the descent (or ascent) of the GR10 from the Col de la Core into Seix, or from Guzet into Aulus. We make a nominal charge for petrol and time (we originally bought Le Pichet as a base for our own walking holidays, and consider it both a joy and a privilege to share this beautiful region with others). There is a "bureau de guides de montagne" in Seix for high- level guided walks.

History/Culture/Geology/Astronomy and Gastronomy

The Couserans, Ariege, and Midi Pyrenees in general is an area rich in culture, history, and Miramont is well placed for you to explore any of these. Beautiful Gallo-Roman St Lizier adjoining St Girons is a UNESCO site, while medieval Foix and its chateau is 1hr away. Numerous Cathar castles, the world famous Grottes de Lombrives/Niaux and Tarascons park of prehistoric art are all within a 2hr radius, as are Observatory of the Pic du Midi de Bigorre, Lourdes, Carcassonne and of course Toulouse, "La ville rose". It goes without saying that this spectacular region has no shortage of excellent restaurants specialising in local cuisine, and local products are readily available, the colourful Saturday market in St Girons is a must! Pease do contact us for further information on any of these.


The River Salat above Seix is a favourite haunt for lovers of watersports, the Haut Couserans Kayak Club based at Moulin Lauga offers kayak, rafting, hydrospeed and canorafting - a "base d'eaux vives avec des sensations garanties!" Also available at Engomer 20mins on the other side of St Girons, and in the Ariege Valley numerous possibilities exist between Foix and Tarascon.

Mountain and Downhill biking.

VTT and cross-country routes.

A number of routes have been opened up in the Couserans over the past couple of years, and are within very easy reach of here. They range from circuits of 3-13 km , and are well within the capabilities of any reasonably fit person.

Beyond St Girons once more, numerous circuits await you in the “Petits Pyrenees”- in the Volvetre Ariegeois, the Couserans Volvestre and the bas (lower)Couserans, 13 circuits covering 287k and 6000m of ascent-let yourself be lead along river banks and valleys, from sunbathed ridges to shaded leafy forests, through the valleys of the Salat, Volp and Lers…….

A downhill –bike park has recently opened during the summer months at our local ski resort of Guzet, and is proving extremely popular (7 downhill tracks, 1 "zone d’initiation", 2 endurance descents, and 3 k of “Marathon tracks”.) Specialist bike-hire and protective clothing is provided.
If you are coming without your own bicycles, we can put you in touch or arrange hire for you both locally in Seix and in St Girons. Please do ask in advance if you would like copies of the leaflets published about any of these circuits - we will be happy to help!

Painting holidays (April-June and Sept-early Nov)

If you have ever dreamed of painting soaring peaks,swirling skies, crystal-clear lakes and waterfalls and much, much more, all in the context of a welcome into a traditional French hamlet home, then this is the holiday for you. Located in the stunning mountain scenery of the Ariege- Couserans we take pride in offering exclusive painting and sketching holidays which are fully flexible and tailored to your individual requirements. Our aim is to welcome you to an inspirational, creative yet relaxing holiday, at the same time giving you a taste of the rich cultural, historic and gastronomic heritage of this beautiful region. Our full-board painting courses run from April to end June and September to early November. We can accommodate a maximum of 7 people, not all of whom need to be participating artists – non artists are most welcome too. At the other end of the spectrum you may prefer to rent the gite with other artist or non artist friends or family, do your own catering, and decide on a few hours’ or days’ tuition either here or on an excursion to one of the many painting locations. The choice is yours – this is your holiday and our aim is to make it a truly memorable one for you, whatever your aspirations. The options are many – please feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements for an individual quote.


The Centre Equestre of Coumariaou can be seen across the valley from our garden. Here, Lorenna Sala (BEES 2nd degré) , who trained with the Cadre Noire of Saumur, welcomes riders of all ages and all levels. It is a very friendly establishment, where you can take lessons in the indoor or outdoor schools (including jumping), or go for 2 or 4 hour balades (hacks) in the surrounding countryside. At intervals during the summer you can also watch a "Spectacle", usually involving folklore entwined with some aspect of the horse in the history of this beautiful region

Skiing at Guzet Neige

The small but wonderfully family orientated resort of Guzet Neige is 25 k away. Do not be taken in by the fact that it has only 40km of marked pistes- the variety contained within these is considerable, from the beginners slopes at Prat Matou to the blacks of the Freychet secteur ( the most difficult blacks in the Pyrenees). There is also some formidable off-piste and a good snow park. Being relatively little known, queues are rare at this resort,even in holiday periods; we have an excellent ESF. Prices are reasonable and class sizes small compared to the Alps, and we have the privelege of being classed the prettiest resort in the Pyrenees!

Summer Events for your Diary

Most attractions for children open at Easter, and summer is obviously the season for festivities: The transhumance (movement of animals to the high pastures) takes place on 3 consecutive weekends during late May/June in 3 separate valleys. You can follow on foot, by car, bike or on horseback, and will be warmly welcomed.You will experience a long-standing rural tradition which is part of the agricultural life of the area, and not a spectacle put on specifically for tourists. Le Tour de France passes by near here most years during mid-July, and St Girons is often chosen as a Ville de Depart/Arrivee. August is a wonderfully colourful month- "Autrefois le Couserans" - a display of traditional agricultural customs- is a particularly joyous weekend festival in St Girons; The town also hosts "Le Festival de la Musique et des Danses"; St Lizier its " Nuits Gallo-Romains" and Foix the week-long festival "Il y etait une fois...." Everywhere villages are "en fete" and "Marchés Nocturnes abound; even small communities such as Oust and Seix put on wonderful displays of fireworks. There is a superb series of concerts in the beautiful Cathedral of St Lizier; and for those willing to travel further, the Cathedral of St Bertrand de Comminges. More energetically,you can take part in the Punjada- an annual shared French/Spanish picnic at the Port de Salau on on the Spanish border - the views are worth the 4hour walk! In September St Lizier hosts "le Festival des metiers d'Art", a wonderful weekend of arts and crafts by artisans from all over France. Please do contact us if you would like information on these or other activities, we will be delighted to help.

Testamonials I - See what some of our recent visitors have said:

This is a selection only -please contact us for a copy of our "livre d'or".We do not ask for recommendations but have a 5* rating on tripadvisor.
Thank you for letting us spend time in such an idyllic setting- your hospitality and local knowledge really made the trip extra special. An antidote to modern living! Until the next time! SRH 8/6
Thank you for the wonderful stay in this lovely part of the Pyrenees. Our first time here, but we will definitely be back to explore more walks, cols, ports, grottes and cafés, and more! EG 14/7
(And.. Thank you! We have had a brilliant time. Thank you! the girls)
Thank you very much for all your kind attention to our comfort and for equipping “le Pichet”so well. We have very much enjoyed our week here discovering a part of France we haven’t visited before. It is beautiful countyside and this has been an excellent base. I am sure we will return to the area. We have appreciated your advice and recommendations. LW18/7.
Un tres grand merci pour votre accueil et votre chaleur. Nous avons passé de tres beau moments dans votre belle demeure et sommes un peu “recharges” pour recommencer nos vies trépidantes.
“Hear, Hear!" Many thanks for your warm welcome and memorable stay in your utterly charming mountain abode. JF 8/9
We had a very nice week at the Pichet.We went to the Niaux cave-it was fantastic to see the paintings. Our teenage son Rasmus, especially enjoyed white water rafting near Foix.Thank you and best wishes, RSD 22/7
Thank you for the warm welcome. We spent some beautiful days here. It is a gorgeous place of earth. MKLL 29/7
Thank you for letting us stay in your gite. Fantastic location, we managedsome great walks. Les Trois Seigneurs and Cirque de Cagataille recommended. Enjoyed the river swimming and kayaking in the Salat.
GC 12/8
A perfect spot for a week of rest and relaxationwith almost perfect weather. There must be a beautiful walk for every day of the year. Thank you! RC23/9

Restaurants and gastronomy

Ariege like many areas of France, has no shortage of excellent restaurants specialising in regional cuisine ,to suit most budgets. Vegetarian options are harder to find but they do exist ( eg Auberge des Deux rivieres) and most restaurants serve fish as the local rivers are renowned for their trout.
Our all-time local favourite is the Redtaurant-Bar du Garbet, in Oust. The Hotel de la Poste in Oust is also highly recommended by numerous clients, as is the Auberge des Deux Rivieres at Pont de la Taule beyond Seix. Seix has three - The Auberge du Haut Salat, The Gourmandine and the recently re-opened Hotel du Valier, - this last we we believe to be particularly good.

There are numerous others in our local valleys of the Ustou and Garbet, without mentioning those at Guzet.

In St Girons and around, we can particularly reccommend the Hotel de la Tour by the river in St Lizier, la Petite Maison at Lorp-Sentarail and the Hotel d'Eychenne in the town itself, the Chateau de Beauregard on the outskirts also come highly recommended by previous clients.
There arenumerous pizzarias, sandwiicheries and tearooms dooted around the backstreets of the town of which the Salon de The de Giles Simonet is noted for its wonderful patisseries and especially its hot chocolate.

The area is rightly proud of its multitude of cheeses ( which regularly win prizes in the PAris Salon d'Agriculture). Shelves- whether in markets, local fromageries, small groceries or larger supermarkets--abound with cow, sheep, and goat produce, and any combination of the three- for example the aptly named "trois laits". Add to these combinations the different strengths available, and you have an enormous choice., allwith enticing names (Bethmale, Rogallais, Massipou, Goulerou, name but a few.)You will find a raclette machine and a ffondue set if you would like to try these traditional ways of cooking cheese.


Ariege is home to some of the wildest and most remote scenery of the Pyrenees-including magnificent canyons and gorges often hidden away from the marked walking routes. You can discover these amazing environments by means of canyoning-whereby you descend the rivers and waterfalls by means of a mixture of swimming, sliding and absailing, and in complete security accompanied by the experienced specialised canyon guides of Ariege.
In the valley of the Vicdessos, just over an hour's drive away, The Parc d'Aventure de Montcalm invites you to discover the Artigue,Marc, Escales and Argenson canyons, and others in even wilder scenery.
Horizon Vertical at Moulis (also about an hour away) offers days and half day courses from beginner to advanced level.

If you love water, nature, and thrills ("sensations forts") then these activities are for you. A further plus is that the journey to either of these places is a stunning route in its own right.


Ariege is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the best rockclimbing areas of France, with some 2400 routes covering 50 crags. There is something for everyone -ranging from sport climbing and bouldering to ice, via ferrata,trad, and high mountain routes. The venues are spectacular and pretty accessible-the nearest in the Haut Couserans are the Port de L'Hers area and Gerac/Turgila above Guzet; others include Bedeilhac, Niaux, Sinsat, Vicdessos, Ariege/Aston Valleys, Ax les Thermes and the Haut Couserans.

Horizon Vertical and Montcalm adventure park cater for all levels.(se also adventure parks)

Via Ferrata

Montcalm Aventure and Horizon Vertical.


The Saturday market oin St Girons is a sheer delight- and an excellent opportunity to sample regional produge. It is a riot of colour, and draws folk from miles around. As well as fresh fruit, veg, cheese, and charcuterie and bread/cakes, you will find soaps, couturerie, kitchenware, flowers, fashion clothing and accessories, toys, watches, and much much more. Local musicians (often of a very high standard) add to the general joie de vivre.

Foix also has a lovely Friday market, with perhaps less emphasis on local produce and more on fashion. (and a wonderful accordian player) It is difficult to choose between the two!

A small local market takes place in Seix on Wednesdays and Sundays- but not all year round.

Activities for children and families

Most of the centres and activities detailed here specifically cater for or can be adapted to suit children and family days out- although there may be age limits for younger children. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like further information and we will do our best to contact the organisation concerned.

Adventure Parks

Offering a variety of activities and thrills for individuals or all the family, these centres are all situated in areas of great natural beauty and varying degrees of rugged/wildness.

They include:
Montcalm Aventure (Vicdessos)
Horizon Verticale (Moulis)
Accro'branch (Aulus - les-Bains)
Akro'branche D'Orlu (orlu)
Crapahut Aventure (Belesta) high level tree trails)
Seqouia Vertigo (Carla Bayle)
Arbre et Compagnie (Ascou).

Testimonials II

Thank you Eleri and Rodney for alovely stay at “ le Pichet”. We have loved this area, the majestic mountains and crystal clear waters. Explored some amazing places (though some mountain roads are “scary”)! Favourite routes: to Etang de Soulcem, up to Guzet, Col d'Agnes and Etang de L'Hers. Visited Foix Chateau and the TreeTrail at Belesta (Crapahut Adventure Park)well worth a visit.The thunderstorms were pretty spectacular too! Thank you for your kindess and amazing hospitality LAHR Reigate. 26/8

Well, what can I say! Our second visit to the Pichet and probably our last-because we love Miramont and the area so much that we have bought a house just up the road!!
Thank you so much Eleri and Rodney and William for your help, advice and encouragement, your translation skills, and, as ever, your kindness and generosity.
We will soon be neighbours! JV UK 15/9

Thank you so much for wandering the Pyrenees and settling here so we could come and visit. We have had a lovely week-your advice on walks was great-and on places to visit. We have really enjoyed your company too- a great bonus F&B UK 14/6

We've been here for a fortnight and I could easily stay for another. Such a beautiful, secret place high up in this forest. Walking superb, and there are more to explore! Thank you Eleri and William for your fantastic hospitality LTRR Australia 29/6

What a wonderful time we've had at “le Pichet”! Your hospitality is unparalleled- thank you for all the wonderful suggestions for cycling routes, walks, restaurants and markets.We feel as if we have still only seen a fraction of what your beautiful Ariege has to offer. Do come and visit us in Carmel And Will- come and sli in our Sierra-Nevada Fondly, W&T California 22/7
Dear Eleri,
We have had a wonderful time! Thank you so much for your warm and generous welcome. The week passed too quickly- you have a lovely place! Merci!

Luge at Guzet-a new summer activity

Newly opened in summer of 2018, this has already proved extremely popular. You take the Picou telesiege up to the top of the run, then whizz down on a sledge on a metal rail snaking throughout the ski resort. A fantastic opportunity to admire the views a well as experiencing the excitement of the sescent.


Situated at Aulus les Bains about 12 k away, this delightful adventure park is extremely popular with children, providing 3 levels of difficulty/height above ground depending on age and ability.

Pottery classes

Pottery classes can be arranged with a local pottery teacher. These can be either onsite or at her home, depending on your numbers and requirements.
Please ask for details.


This can be enjoyed in the valley of the Ariege both above and below Foix-in the lake at Mercus towards Andorra, and in the lake just north of the town.

Shopping (see also markets)

Apart from its tremendusly colourful local markets,the Haut Couserans of Ariege is not an area renowned for its great shopping opportunities although some charming and unusual shops as well as the usual supermarkets and a good supply of individual bakeries/butcheries/fomageries etc can be found in local villages and in St Girons, particularly in its wonderfully colourful Saturday market. However, Andorra is a scenic 3 hours drive away; Foix, and of course Carcassonne and Toulouse are excellent for those in search of a day in town and a special purchase or gift, and again the scenery on your journey there is lovely.