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Saturday, January 26, 2008

The department is part of the current region of Midi-Pyrénées and is surrounded by the French departments of Haute-Garonne, Aude, and Pyrénées-Orientales, as well as Spain and Andorra on the south.
The geography is dominated by the Pyrenees mountains, which form the border between France and Spain. There are hundreds of miles of well marked paths which lead you to explore the magnificent Pyrenees mountains. The high mountains are easily accessible via good roads, cable cars or by foot. There are a number of lodges providing high level mountain accommodation that is comfortable, warm with good meals, at 2000m!
AriègeAriège There are also a number of fresh water lakes which provide a variety of activities including, walking, swimming, fishing, canoeing, sailboarding and also picnicing.
The Ariege has several of its own downhill ski resorts, the three largest being Ax-Bonascre, Les Monts D'Olmes and Guzet. There are many cross country ski-ing resorts, one of the best being at Plateau de Beille, near Les Cabannes.
The Pyrenees mountain range forms a fantastic backdrop to the entire Ariege Department, rising some 10000 feet (3000m) along the border with Andorra and Spain. The highest peaks are clearly visible visible from Toulouse in the Haute Garonne. It is one of the least populated and most unspoiled regions of France. The locals enjoy keeping old traditions alive, especially farming techniques. Consequently, as less insecticides, for example, have been used, the flora and fauna of the area are rich in diversity and number. Butterflies are seen in huge numbers, birds are numerous, particularly noticeable are the large birds of prey, including the magnificent Griffon vultures.

The inhabitants of the department are called Ariégeois.
The Ariege department is a largely unknown department which is situated next to the Aude in the most southern part of the Midi-Pyrenees department and shares its borders with the Aude, Andorra, Haute Garonne and the Pyrenees Orientales. This is predominantly a farming area as the soil is rich and fertile abd yet more than 50% of the Ariège is mountainous, with 490 965 hectares is covered by forests.


Cantons of the Ariège department
Communes of the Ariège department
Arrondissements of the Ariège department

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