The Romanesque churches of Ariege, built mainly in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, were the inspiration of builders crossing the Pyrenees to Spain and a mountain people with slender means and access to only the most basic materials. These largely simply-built churches are decorated with amazing frescoes though some, like Saint-Jean de Verges, Foix, have more elegant architecture. Ask at local Tourist Offices for details of routes. Include the Rock Church of Vals - tel the Tourist Office of Pamiers (00 33) 5 61 67 52 52
Crafts, costumes and traditions in the Ariege. Tel: (00 33) 5 61 05 88 36.
See traditional costumes, and learn the bloodthirsty history of the long pointed wooden clogs of the Courserans region. Why do young men present them to their fiancées on Christmas night?
Make a trip to the Jusot wooden clog-making workshop in Aret, Arrien in Bethmale where the tradition of hand-making these unusual clogs continues. Tel: (00 33) 5 61 05 1010 for details of guided tours. Possibility to try and buy.
Mondays and Thursdays throughout the year
The market in this lovely thirteenth century Bastide town with beautiful Gothic cathedral is one of the largest in the region. Contact Tourist Office for more, tel: (00 33) 5 61 68 83 76
5 - 7 May
Free entry daily 10am - 7pm. See hundreds of these fragile blooms and other lovely floral displays. Tel Tarascon Tourist Office or (00 33) 4 90 91 47 95.
Enjoy your own Tour de France in a non-competitive cycle race. Routes for different abilities. See www.cyclosport-ariegeoise.com
Held annually since 1994. Takes place all day in Pamiers and is free of charge. Visitors are invited to come along and see the carnival, Flamenco and Tango dancing, folk music and Bandas bands. A firework display concludes the festival.
Please check precise details and dates with event organisers before making your holiday and travel arrangements.