The Ariège is a department but also a river which offers many possibilities of practice of water sports. A gentle current, many rapids, a preserved fauna and flora... Good tips around your campsite Les Grottes in the Pyrenees!
A river in the mountains
The Ariège river has its source in the mountains between Andorra and the Pyrenees Orientales. It is precisely at an altitude of 2400 metres, in the Fond-Nègre cirque, that it begins its 163 kilometre long journey. It will land in Toulouse to flow into the Garonne. But before that, the river will have to go through some major changes in altitude, rush through narrow gorges and receive various torrents.
White water sports in the Ariège
In total, out of 500 kilometres of rivers, 400 are accessible for white water sports. They are classified from 1 to 6 according to the difficulty of the course. For those who love the thrill of the water, there is plenty to do: canyoning, rafting, hydrospeed, sport fishing... Other more stable water activities are possible in the valley: canoeing, paddling, sailing, pedal-boating or other water sports in the countryside. Wakeboarding and water-skiing are also available on some of the lakes.
The most beautiful rafting descents in Ariège
Are you a thrill-seeker or a beginner? Rafting is a sport that brings you closer to nature. This small inflatable, unsinkable boat can be practised with the whole family and from the age of 10. The only requirement is that you know how to swim! The ideal spots for rafting are located around your campsite Les Grottes, between Ax-les-Thermes, Tarascon-sur-Ariège, Foix and Pamiers. Of course, other activities can be discovered on our website and at the reception of your campsite!
Where to swim in Ariège?
There are many lakes and leisure centres in the region. Here are some examples of the most beautiful sites, all close to your Les Grottes campsite: * The Mercus water sports centre in Tarascon-sur-Ariège (10 min drive). This is a unique site of 45 hectares. Located on the banks of the Mercus lake, it is open from the end of June to the end of August for water sports activities: kneeboard, wakeboard, pedal boat, paddle, canoe-kayak. But also: supervised beach, beach volleyball, picnic tables and games for children! * The Rebech white water stadium in Foix (20 min drive). Enjoy the thrill of the white water stadium in Foix. Kayaking, inflatable rafting and white water swimming are activities that will stretch your wrists! * The nautical base of the Lake of Montbel (1h of road). Out of 600 hectares of nature, 70 are reserved for tourist activity. Created in 1984, this lake allows the inhabitants and the farmers to have a water reserve. But the migratory birds are not mistaken and now nest on its banks. In addition to water sports (sailing, canoeing, paddling, etc.), you can also go hiking and mountain biking.
Photo: Rafting (credit: Bureau des guides des Pyrénées ariegoises)