The Ariege
Foix Castle (Chateau de Foix) - In the town of Foix, visit a 1,000 year old castle, high on the rock promontory above the Ariege and Arget rivers. The castle, with three different shaped towers, is beautifully preserved, but it was besieged over and over in the 13th century, and later used as a prison. Kids can walk the crenellated ramparts and climb up inside the towers. Also in the castle is a museum with arms and armor, and exhibits of traditional life in Ariege. The castle is closed between noon and 2pm daily, except in July and August.
Prehistoric Park (Parc de la Prehistoire) (Tarascon) - Early on, 15,000 to 10,000 BC, prehistoric people lived in this area. At the Prehistoric Park, take a self-guided walk through a replica of Niaux cave, decorated with prehistoric drawings and paintings (headsets are in multiple languages). Kids can try their hand at cave painting, and there are demonstrations of tool and fire making. Picnic area and children's playground.
Grotte de Lombrives (Ussat les Bains, near Tarascon) - Check out the biggest cave in Europe. On the 1+ hour tour, you'll see massive formations with names such as the Mammoth (it really does look like a dripping mammoth), Hall of Chaos, Tomb of Hercules. The temperature is cool in the cave, and wear closed toed shoes. Tours are daily in the summer, on weekends only Easter - November.
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