The terrain in the Ariege region makes the area ideal for hang-gliding, and you can experience the thrill of gliding on the thermals above the foothills of the Pyrenees. The link below directs you to a company who have an office at the tourist centre in Foix, where you are more likely to find an English speaker.
To fly tandem, you have to be over 4 years old and it costs 50euros.
You can do 3 days for 230 euro or 4 days for 300 eurs but you have to be over 12 years of age.
Tel: Foix: 06.78.55.39.26
Séquoia Vertigo; Tree-top adventure playground
Fossat, Carla Bayle
This park is essentially an arboretum with attitude, and is perfect for those with a head for heights and a love of thrills. Situated approximately 20km. north -west of Pamiers, this park caters for all ages .The park has some lovely walks, a picnic area, and childrens' playground, bamboo and herb gardens and a butterfly area. The 'vertigo' in the name of the park refers to the course set high up in the huge trees. You need to be up for a challenge be fairly fit, and ready to be tested on your co-ordination and head for heights. There are flying foxes and rope bridges to platforms high in the sequoia . There is a junior version to test the younger members of the family. Lots and lots of fun.
Grotte de Mas d'Azil
If the adventure park is too tame, then perhaps throwing yourself off a cliff with an elastic rope tied to your ankles would satisfy your lust for real excitement. The scenery is spectacular, even upside-down. There is more information at the 2 sites below
Approximately 30km west of Pamiers.
The Ariege is perfect for those who enjoy kayaking, with purpose built venues ,catering for all levels of competence. The site just to the north of Foix, the Stade d’eau vive de Rebech is holding the junior world championship in July 2010 so it must be fairly magnificent. All the equipment is provided but you must be able to swim 25m. and provide proof of your ability. They suggest you bring swim-wear, a T-shirt, shoes that you do not mind getting wet and a waterproof lightweight jacket.
Quillan, which is situated south-east of Dun, has a 600m. national canoeing course, available all year round.
There is another site at Le Vernet, near Saverdun, north of Pamiers. By this point the river has lost most of its energy and therefore a much calmer ride. They have canoes and rafts for hire. The links below have maps and information. The price list may not be current.
Rock Climbing, Caving and Canyoning
More activities for the restless, or just curious to try new pursuits.
The beginners rock-climbing is near St. Girons, which is west of Foix. There are 1800 equipped natural and artificial routes with instructors, to help you build confidence and technique. For the experienced climbers, there are other areas at Dent d'Orlu and Sinsat. Half days, full days and weekends are available.
For lovers of cold dark places, perhaps a trip down into some caves might be of interest. If you have no experience, this company will guide you through the easier caves. For those of you who have done this kind of thing before, there are more difficult sites with narrower tunnels and something called vertical spelunking (cave-diving). There are half days, full days and bivouacs (where you spend 2 days and one night in the caves). So if you fancy being in total darkness for the night, this is the place for you.
Canyoning is a thrilling pastime where you will inevitably get soaked, but in a most exciting manner and surrounded by stunning scenery. The mode of transport is an inflatable raft or dinghy which careers down white-water rapids ending in a slightly calmer pool lower down the course. An exhilarating experience can be yours for half a day, or a full day.
Perhaps you are more interested in 4 wheels and if so, there is a go-karting site opposite the airport in Carcassonne where you can hurtle around a track to your heart's content.
Win kart, Route de Bram, 11000 on the D33 just north of Carcassonne airport.
Tel: 04.68.25.67.07 open 7 days per week from 10am to 9pm. You are advised to phone before arrival.
Stables at Ferme de la Barre at Engravies which 5 minutes from LesVergers, up the D12 before you come to Vira.