Pyrenees Ski Areas
Pyrenees Ski Areas
The thrill of skiing and snowboarding in the Midi Pyrenees remains largely undiscovered, enjoyed by locals and those "in the know". You can ski or snowboard fresh pistes without the crowds you get in the Alps, or ski cross country whilst enjoying tree lined routes and spectacular panoramic views.
There are over 50 specialist ski resorts to choose from and huge investment over recent years has created fast, efficient lift systems to rival the best worldwide resorts. As the local "comit� du tourisme" says:
"Some are made up of several smaller resorts, for example the 'Domaine du Tourmalet' which is composed of two resorts, Bar�ges and La Mongie. This is the largest ski resort in the Pyrenees with 69 trails and 43 lifts. The resort has around 100 kilometres of slopes and peaks that go up to 2,500 meters. Other large and medium-sized resorts are those of Les Angles, Luz-Ardiden, Peyragudes, Piau-Engaly, Font-Romeu and Ax-3. For those specialist free riders, the Pic du Midi is a great place to 'shread', offering an exceptional and unique descent of the Pyrenees".
But activities in the Midi Pyrenees are more than just first class skiing. The previously mentioned Col du Tourmalet is one of the most famous climbs in the Tour de France and enthusiasts can be seen grinding their way up the mountain throughout the summer months. The western side is 19km's long with an average gradient of 7.4% and the efforts on the ascent are more than made up for by the views from the top and the breathtaking descent down the other side. The mountains offer easier (but still challenging) cycling and are also superb for rock climbing and caving.
There are also over 2,000 km's of waterways in the region for you to kayak, canoe, raft, tube or simply swim.
Golfers are well catered for with almost 40 courses to choose from ranging from the 18 holf "Golf de l'Ariege" with views over the mountains to the championship \"Golf de Lannemezan\" close to Toulouse which has narrow fairways and over 4,500 trees for your ball to nestle behind!