Experience over time
During your stay at La Marmotte campsite, treat yourself to a trip back in time by visiting some of the historical landmarks close to your vacation destination.
Some practical information before you go:
- Make sure you have good shoes, as the paths we’ll be taking will not always be smooth.
- Bring plenty of water, which will be appreciated in hot weather.
- To protect yourself from the heat and the sun, take caps, hats and sun cream, as we’ll be spending some time in the fresh air and in nature.
First stop: Château de Foix
Everyone downstairs, we’ve arrived for our first excursion to the Château de Foix, for our journey through time, starting with the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Built in the 11th century, this castle was strategically placed on a high rock overlooking the town of Foix. Erected by the Counts of Foix, it has also witnessed numerous battles. During the Renaissance, it was used as a prison. And today, you can admire both the interior and exterior to immerse yourself in life at that time. There’s a museum inside, as well as displays in the castle’s various rooms.
From the ramparts, admire this magnificent panoramic view of the mountains. The towers are also period features, although they have been renovated over the years.
During the summer, the castle’s history, the people who lived there, the trades of the time… And with a bit of luck, you’ll be able to help set the real catapult of yesteryear in motion!
Thanks to immersive shows, you can meet blacksmiths, stonemasons and other craftsmen, ready to explain their work to you, and offer you a unique experience.
Next stop: a lunch break in the heart of greenery
Just before your next excursion, take time out to recharge your batteries. There are plenty of picnic areas along the way.
So set up your tablecloth and enjoy your lunch, whether it’s sandwiches, salads, fruit, bread, juice… Don’t hesitate to add local products like Bethmale or Moulis cheese, or a local wine or juice.
Last stop, everyone heads down to Grotte de Niaux
For this sunny afternoon, we headed for the Grotte de Niaux. This walk takes us back to prehistory. It will take you half an hour to get there by car, from the Château de Foix.
The Niaux cave is located in the Pyrenees, near the village of Niaux, and is a real local wonder. It dates back some 14,000 years.
This archaeological treasure trove extends over almost 2 kilometers of underground galleries, although only a small part of it is open to the public for preservation reasons. During your visit, you’ll catch a glimpse of the highlight of the Niaux cave: the Salle du Grand Plafond. This large, dark “room” is adorned with impressive stalactites and stalagmites.
What’s the difference? Well, to remind you, remember that stalagTites fall, and stalagMites rise!
And if you open your eyes wide, you’ll see what this place is famous for: the rock paintings on the walls.
You’ll be able to appreciate its beauty, realism and quality. Bison, horses, goats, animals of all kinds blend together in a colorful symphony. The materials used to draw are none other than natural elements, the same ones found in nature today: charcoal and ochre.
Take a guided tour of the cave, which lasts an hour and a half.
Check opening times on this website: https: //www.sites-touristiques-ariege.fr/grotte-de-niaux/
Prices are €11 for children, €12 for students and €15 for adults.
Remember to book in advance to make sure you have room on the day.