This part of the Pyrenees is the least polluted. There is an abundance of flora and fauna, including rare species of orchids and animals like the 'Euprocte' and the 'Desman of the Pyrenees', which make it a very special place. There is only a little tourist development and the valleys are peopled with small, traditional, village communities where you can walk for hours in the mountains in total tranquillity.

This is a quiet area, without passing traffic. There is nothing to interrupt the peace of the countryside and this safeguards its authenticity.

The seasons

Autumn is a picture full of colours which change with the leaves of the trees. Chestnuts, nuts and a variety of mushrooms are there to be gathered; The winter months can be very mild and it is often warm enough to eat on the balcony at midday. Mornings may also bring a surprise with the sight of overnight snow transforming the landscape.

Historical interest

There are many places to visit to suit all interests. The region is rich in prehistoric sites (Niaux, Mas d'Azil, Tarascon). The religious conflicts against the Cathars in the middle ages, which ended in turbulent battles, can be seen in the ruins of Roquefixade, Monségur and the restored château at Foix. More recent events include the 'War of the Demoiselles' in which the villages revolted against new laws which restricted their rights to use the forests. The Bellongue Valley provides many fine examples of Romanesque churches.

Only a half hours drive from the farm is the ancient, picturesque town of St. Lizier with its cathedral and Bishop's Palace.

Within two hours drive are the city of Toulouse and the towns of Carcassonne and Lourdes.

Toulouse, the beautiful 'ville rose' is a typical southern French town with its delightful buildings and the tranquillity of the Garonne River. Aerospace Centre for aviation enthusiasts.

Lourdes is an important site for Roman Catholic pilgrims because of its famous grotte where the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared to the peasant girl, Bernadette.

Carcassonne is one of the best preserved medieval cities, with its small cobbled streets, enclosed by the city walls. The silhouette of the fortress is visible for miles.

On the route to Carcassonne visitors will be captivated by the imposing castle at Foix. It is impossible to resist a walk along the picturesque streets below the castle.

Also on the route to Carcassonne lies the delightful town of Mirepoix with its well-preserved medieval town centre.

Other places of interest may be found on

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