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Ariège is full of unusual sites that are either naturally occurring or constructed by people – many of whom had a real passion for building with stone.

The talc quarry of Trimouns at Luzenac

The largest open air talc quarry in the world, located at 1800m altitude. Guided tours from May to October

The troglodyte church at Vals

Partially carved out of the rockface, it contains magnificent romanesque frescoes. Located near Mirepoix, it's worth a detour.

The Stone Garden (Jardin de pierres)

The inhabitant of a house backing onto a river near Castillon spent 25 years reinforcing the river bank with fantastical stone walls and sculptures.

Chapel of Notre Dame de la Goutte

A curious little chapel built stone by stone by a priest between 1968 and 2001

The tufa waterfall of Roquefort-les-Cascades

This type of waterfall, in which very calcareous water leaves deposits on the moss, is fairly rare. Located between Foix and Laroque d'Olmes, it's a pleasant spot for picnics and cooling off.

The dolmens of Le Mas d'Azil

Eleven dolmens from the neolithic age can be found in the hills above the town of Le Mas d'Azil. A walking trail takes you past three that are very well preserved.

The fountain of Fontestorbes

A unique natural curiosity, this intermittent fountain has been a listed site since 1921 and is located in the Hers river valley near Bélesta. Between July and October the flow of water stops and starts at regular intervals. According to legend, good fairies called "Las Encantadas" dwelt in the grotto.

The subterranean river of Labouiche

The longest navigable underground river in Europe. A guided visit in a small barge 60m below the surface along 1 km of the river is scheduled several times a day between April and November.

The hamlet of Goutets

Well-preserved stone huts on a high mountain pasture above the Massat valley. Whole families used to decamp there in the summer to graze their cows and make cheese.

Many thanks to these photographers

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From 2000 to the end of 2017 ariege.com was a site devoted to tourism in the department of Ariège. The small company that managed it closed on 31 December 2017 and 2018 will be a year of transition. Read more…