Pyrenees and Toulouse

Old Mar 11th, 2023, 05:23 AM
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Pyrenees and Toulouse

My friend and I (women in early 70s) are thinking of 7-10 days in the Pyrenees and ending in Toulouse in June or October. We love scenery and villages but will not be hiking or doing anything extreme. Would much appreciate suggested itineraries. Debating self-drive or taking a local guide for a few days. Not sure if that is necessary so would love to hear from someone who did it either way. As usual, many thanks in advance.
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Old Mar 11th, 2023, 07:48 AM
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If you drive you can base yourself down in the valley and take day trips up the mountain. It's possible to do this by public transportation, but it represents lost time. Argelès-Gazost is a good base
from which you can go to the Col du Tourmalet
or Gavarnie
or the col d'Aubisque and the nearby lake area
All of these areas have easy walking paths.

For a longer outing, check out the cable car and train of the Pic du Midi d'Ossau.

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Old Mar 11th, 2023, 03:00 PM
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We've vacationed for 4 weeks in the Pays Basque region of the Pyrenees, and 4 weeks in 3 other regions. We stay in Gites. I developed a short itinerary for the Pyrenees, and a tad longer one for the Pays Basque. If you would like a copy, e-mail me at my Fodors name at AOL & I'll attach them to the reply e-mail. I have sent my various itineraries (I have around 10) to over 6,000 folks on Fodors.

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 13th, 2023, 11:30 PM
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Thanks Michael. And thanks to Stu for your itineraries.
Anyone else?
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Old Mar 14th, 2023, 04:38 AM
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Spent a lovely week some years ago near Foix in Ariège. You’d need a car for these:

- stunning original prehistoric drawings at the Grotte de Niaux, near Tarascon-sur-Ariège, where tours are limited to a few per day. Must book online, and this past year tours were only offered in French. The Grotte de Lombrives on the other side of the mountain is worth a tour too.

- underground river at Labouiche, a fascinating cave

- Monday morning market at Mirepoix — then come back on a non-market day to admire its two galleried squares

You don’t want to hike, so I will be silent on the gorgeous views from various Cathar castle ruins. But work up just enough appetite for lunch at either Phoebus in Foix or Saveurs du Manoir in Tarascon-sur-Ariège.

Are you interested in folk festivals? June and October both see “transhumance” in many communities, where the sheep go up to or down from mountain pastures. Do a search on transhumance Pyrenees 2023 and see if any work for your dates. Here’s one example:

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Old Mar 14th, 2023, 06:25 AM
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I didn't need to hike to see the Cathar castle of Chateau de Peyrepertuse, one of the most magnificent sites of France. Though you do have to walk uphill from the car park.

My experience in the Pyrenees is limited to le Pays Catalan, so many beautiful villages, though not the closest part to Toulouse. Vernet les Bains, Villefranche le Conflent, Molitg les Bains, Prats de Mollo, Gorge de Galamus, Prades, and the vin doux naturel of Maury. Gorgeous. Self drive, no need for a driver/guide, but if you feel more comfortable with that arrangement then a guide can be very enlightening.
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Old Mar 14th, 2023, 09:22 AM
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Foix is a good place to stop.
And Lourdes does not at all appall me, unlike a lot of people. Visiting a place where so many people believe in something is refreshing for some of us with little or no faith.
The lowdown on Lourdes (by kerouac2) | Any Port in a Storm (
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