Enjoy yourself with a good book, rocking gently in a hammock... or simply do absolutely nothing! However, for those who want more, nearby you'll find a diverse range of sporting and cultural opportunities! La ferme de Maurel is the perfect location from which to base yourself.
Westward are the Hautes-Pyrenees. To the east, the Mediterranean (2 hours), and Languedoc-Roussillon, the largest "wine cellar"of France. To the north you will find Toulouse (45 mins away) and the Canal du Midi. In the south, you'll find duty-free shopping in Andorra. And that's just for starters. Here are some of our suggestions for the nature lover, sportsperson, culture vulture or ... Burgundy fan.
Our village of Le Fossat is home to 1,000 souls, and is just three kilometers from Maurel. You'll find a bakery, a grocery store, two restaurants, two bars, a newspaper and tobacco shop, a pharmacy, a medical and dental practice and a post office. In short, all the (basic) needs are just a short distance away.
Four kilometers away is Carla-Bayle, a picturesque village and the birthplace of philosopher Pierre Bayle. Many artists call this village home. In the small, car-free streets you'll find numerous studios and galleries (seewww.rue-des-arts.fr). Other highlights in the immediate vicinity are the pre-historic caves and Niaux Le Mas d'Azil, the underground river of Labouiche, the departmental capital of Foix, Mirepoix place settings of the 14th century and the rich heritage of Saint Lizier.
Lovers of historical heritage are particularly well catered for here. The region is dotted with castles, fortresses and bastilles. Most of these buildings and fortified settlements bear witness to a turbulent period during the late Middle Ages. The southwest of France was at that time enduring the Hundred Years War, the plague and the Crusades. It's definitely worthwhile to visit the Cathar castles of Quéribus, Montsegur, Carcassonne and / or Termes. Even if you have no interest in history, the visit is worth it, if only for the magnificent views around these fortresses (for more, see www.katharen.be).
Another major advantage of the Ariège is most certainly the beauty of it's nature. One cannot ignore the beauty of its flora and fauna. In 2009, 40% of the total area was classified as Parc naturel régional des Pyrénées Ariegeoises. The Ariège is therefore the perfect paradise for any hiker, biker, trekker or pretty much any sportsman or adventurer!
We have all the details for hiking, mountain bike and cycling trails on site. Other sports which you can do here include mountain and rock climbing, kayaking, rafting, canyoning, paragliding and ... fishing. In winter there is skiing and snowboarding We also have special packages for sports clubs. More info on request.
"Mens sana in corpore sano" or "A healthy mind is a healthy body". Wise words of antiquity, where we will be happy to add: "on time and with good food and drink!" Indeed, for the inner man, the food and drink of the (South) Frenchman can be found right here. At pretty much any local restaurant, you are guaranteed to find a specialty with duck or goose, a cassoulet or a tender piece of meat in the Limousin beef. Or visit one of the many village markets, where local cheeses and sausages are on offer. Wine lovers can indulge at the regional wine or a little further east, an hour away by car, in the famous chateau's Languedoc-Roussillon ..
And on and on .... Again, it is not our intention to write an encyclopedia. Do you have specific questions or requests? Please let us know and we would be happy to help you!