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The Ax Valley

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The Ax Valley The Ax Valley
The Ax Valley
Fact Box
Hottest Spa waters in the Pyrenees

Ideal base for
2007 Tour de France
The thermal spa waters
Lively weekly market at Ax
Andorra close by for duty fee shopping

Ski Ax 3 Domaines
Skiing from 1400m to 2400m
75km downhill slopes
5 green
8 blue
10 red
5 black

Ski Domaine de Chioula
60km cross country skiing at 1500m
10km marked snow shoe trails

Ski Ascou Pailhères
Skiing from 1500m to 2000m
20km downhill slopes
3 green
4 blue
6 red
2 black
Sledging area

Click links below for
Slope Info
Piste Map
Lift Pass Tariff

Summer pursuits
Hiking in the Ariège
Near the GR10 walking route
Numerous Mountain bike trails
Chair lifts equipped for mountain bikes
Ax-les-Thermes (from the latin "aquae") derives its name from the hottest waters in the Pyrenees (78°C) that spring up all over the city centre. In the centre of Ax you can find the "Basin des Ladres", a free outside hot bath where you can sit and soothe your feet after a long hike or ski. Medieval streets in the historic centre, thermal spas and a Casino confirm its thermal tradition. After walking through the centre why not climb up to the Rock of the Blessed Virgin which offers an exceptional view over Ax and the valley.

In winter the Vallee d’Ax is blessed with numerous ski destinations. The largest of which are the 3 ski areas accessible from Ax-Les-Thermes via the cable car. Bonascre has gentle pine covered slopes ranging from 1400 to 2000m and serves as a high altitude base with accommodation, child care, ski school, equipment centre, shops, bars and restaurants. Between 1800m and 2300m Saquet has a beginners slope and high altitude ski runs whilst Campels offers wide open ski bowls between 1700 and 2400m.

The best cross country skiing is found at the Domaine de Chioula. At 1500 meters altitude there are 60km of cross-country skiing pistes to explore across this natural, unspoilt area. There are also 10 km of marked snowshoe routes, 2 free beginner pistes and a toboggan area.

Ascou Pailhères is another family ski resort close by. At an altitude of between 1500m to 2000m there is a total of 15 downhill pistes 2 black, 6 red, 4 blue and 3 green totalling 20km. The wide, varied slopes are aimed mainly at beginners and intermediates and a sledging area where young children can safely slide down gentle slopes.

In summer the Ax valley becomes a haven for walkers and mountain bikers enjoying the spectacular scenery and challenging terrain. There are 8 marked walking routes graded from easy to difficult taking anything from 2hrs30mins up to 6 hours. The 4 manned mountain refuges in the area allow a stop over for a modest fee for those looking to tackle the longer hikes. The best mountain biking centres are at Ax and Chioulha. Further information on this and the walking in the area is available from the tourist office where a good level of English is spoken.

July 2007 brought the Tour de France to the area as they took on the Port de Pailhères climb before finishing the stage on the Plateau de Beille
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