23 Properties for sale in Ariège, Occitanie (formerly Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc-Roussillon), France
Bordering Spain and Andorra in the south of France, Ariège is currently in the Midi-Pyrénées region. Nestled in the Pyrénées mountains, the department is sparsely populated and largely unspoilt, with more than 50% of the territory mountainous and 491,000 hectares of forest. There is the Orlu valley nature reserve and the Pyrénées-Ariégeoises regional park to explore. The department is home to a number of prehistoric caves, Cathar castle and pretty villages such as Mirepoix and Tourtouse.
CAPITAL: FOIX - With just over 9,000 inhabitants, Foix is the least populated departmental capital in France. It sits at the foot of the Pyrénées and at the confluence of the Rivers Ariège and Arget, close to the Spanish border. The castle sits above the town and during the course of history has protected Foix from many attacks. Since 1930 it has housed the collections of the departmental museum.
Average property prices
Ariège department: €104 500
Source: Notaires de France
Access from UK
By air: Toulouse
By train: Eurostar to Pairs and TGV to Toulouse then regional services
By road: Foix is 1,049km from Calais
Average annual temperature: (Saint-Girons): 7.0°C/17.7°C
Average annual rainfall: 952.2mm
Average annual sunshine hours: 1,936.3
There are a number of ski resorts in Ariège, including the spa town of Ax-les-Thermes, and opportunities for hiking, fishing and cycling. The department has a number of prehistoric caves, notably Niaux, Lombrives and Mas d'Azil. Ariège was a refuge for the Cathars in the 13th century and the ruins of several hilltop castles remain; Montségur and Roquefixade are both worth a visit and have spectacular views. While Foix is the capital, Pamiers is actually the largest city in the department and is famous for its three bell towers.