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The Area

While the gite itself feels miles from anywhere, in fact it is just ten minutes from the market town of Pamiers with a market three times a week, supermarkets, boulangeries, pharmacies etc.


There are also several excellent and very reasonably-priced restuarnts - it is perfectly possible to have a three-course gourmet lunch for well under 20 euros.


Toulouse, France's fourth city, is also within easy reach. As well as its pretty squares and numerous museums and galleries, other attractions include the Cite d'Espace and the Airbus/Concorde tours.

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The Ariege is also well know for its golf courses and fishing and both are within easy reach as well as being a great place for enjoying nature on foot or by bike, or swimming at one of the nearby lakes. You may choose to take a day trip to the Mediterranean beaches - 1.5 hours' drive away - or one of the local ski resorts for mountain biking and hiking in the summer or skiing, snowshoeing and sledging in the winter - under one hour away.

Nearby you can take part in kayaking, canoeing, horse or pony riding or a "parcours dans les arbres" (zip wires, rope ladders etc) suitable for children as young as three, visit the dinosaur park or the Parc de la Prehistoire. Alternatively you might like to take it easy the excellent spa at Ax-les-Thermes with both indoor and outdoor thermal pools.

Other local attractions include the mediaeval towns of Mirepoix and Carcassonne, some of Europe's largest caves, several beautiful, supervised swimming lakes, animal parks where you can see eagles, wolves, bison and reptiles - there is also a safari park in Toulouse.

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