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Activities

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Mountain biking Col du Soulor

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Griffon vulture - Col du Soulor

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Skiing for all ages and abilities

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Cycling the Etape du Tour

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Cross-country skiing

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White water rafting

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The rope adventure course

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Paragliding

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Canyoning

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The hot tub after a long day out

 

Located in the heart of the Pyrénées, the area around Les Artigaux is pure paradise for walkers and cyclists of all abilities. Other activities available locally include horse riding, white-water rafting and paragliding during the summer months - and downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoe walking and husky sledge rides during the winter. Fishing and hunting are also possible. For nature lovers, the unspoilt natural environment is bursting with mountain flora and fauna, including marmots, eagles, vultures and chamois.

Walking

Throughout the surrounding countryside, there are numerous marked paths for walkers - some of which are accessible from the grounds of Les Artigaux. There are fairly gentle circuits suitable for families, or more challenging routes such as the GR10 which passes through Arrens (the GR10 runs along the Pyrénées from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean). Locally-based guides also offer escorted walks into the mountains.

Bird watching

The Val d'Azun and the surrounding area are excellent for bird watching. Large groups Griffon Vultures are often seen overhead Les Artigaux and many birds can be seen within the extensive grounds. The Pyrenees National Park is nearby, which provides a protected environment for wildlife. Sites such as the Cirque de Gavarnie and the Cirque de Troumouse are great places to seek out rare species such as the Lammergeier and the Wallcreeper.

Cycling

For two or three days in July each year, the Pyrénées are centre stage for the Tour de France. Climbs such as the Tourmalet or the Aubisque, and the mountain-top finishes at Lourdes-Hautacam or Luz-Ardiden, are some of the most challenging climbs in the entire race. The Tour passes nearby most years, but 2010 will be a special year with the race passing the front gate of Les Artigaux twice, as the Tour celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first Pyrenean stage. For cycling enthusiasts, following in the tyre tracks of the Tour is the ultimate challenge and there are many circuits, which incorporate the most famous climbs.

Mountain Biking

The stunning Val d'Azun has over 450km of marked trails for mountain bike enthusiasts. The lower trails wind through the woods and fields and as you climb through the tree line there are spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. The trails are graded according to technical difficulty and the level of fitness required, so there is something for everybody.

Cross-country skiing

Les Artigaux is just 10 minutes away from the largest cross-country skiing location in the Pyrénées - the Col-du-Soulor. This area links to the neighbouring Col-du-Couraduque, which gives skiers 110km of prepared marked pistes to choose from. There are also trails for snow shoe walking and both areas have tobogganing slopes.

Downhill skiing

The downhill resorts of Hautacam, Barèges, Luz-Ardiden, Cauterets and Gavarnie are all within easy striking distance of Les Artigaux. Barèges links to La Mongie to give access to 100km of pistes for all standards of skiers and snowboarders.

Paragliding (Parapente)

Val d’Azun is the ideal location for paragliding. There are two schools in Aucun which offer flights in a dual harness with an instructor. They also run courses (up to a week) to teach participants to fly solo. A number of our guests have tried paragliding and thoroughly recommend the experience.

White-water rafting

White-water rafting is available at several locations along the Gave-de-Pau (near Argelès-Gazost). Some of the routes are suitable for young children; others are more challenging and exciting.

Horse riding

There are several local stables where you can go riding. There are opportunities to ride through secluded valleys and woods where you will see no traffic and just the occasional walker and plenty of wildlife.

Canyoning

There are several local companies that run canyoning trips. This involves descending mountain streams and can include negotiating waterfalls and jumping in to pools. Wet suits and helmets are provided and the trips are run by qualified guides.

Ropes course

In Argeles-Gazost there is a very good ropes course with climbing nets, walkways and zip wires. Guaranteed to tire out even the most active teenagers.