Going for a walk on snowshoes makes you at one with the mountains, giving you a different perspective on your surroundings from close up, among the silver-frosted fir trees.
All the ski resorts of Occitania / Pyrenees-Mediterranean, including in the Aubrac and the Pyrenees, offer beautiful waymarked snowshoeing circuits. The extensive views and unspoilt countryside make Occitania a destination particularly well suited to this leisure activity, which is accessible to all.
You can also go snowshoeing with a mountain leader, getting off the beaten track to gain a better insight into the secrets of the mountains.
Two or three examples of lovely walks…
At Laguiole (Aveyron), leave the crowds behind and immerse yourself in the magical surroundings of the beech forests that cover the Aubrac and its landscapes resembling the swell of an ocean.
At Piau-Engaly (Hautes Pyrénées), slip on snowshoes to explore the Badet Valley on the edge of the prestigious Pyrenees National Park. At Beille (Ariège), follow the Piste de l’Ours, a trail that runs around this amazing vast plateau at an altitude of 1,800 metres, with a magnificent 360-degree panorama.
Whether for a pleasure ride or to learn how to drive a dog team, zooming across the snow on a dog sled is an exciting and exhilarating experience.
A joyride on a dog sled has become a great winter classic, a wonderful Christmas present that you can enjoy in several ski areas, including Beille, Le Mourtis, Guzet, Ascou-Pailhères, Ax-3 Domaines, Le Grand Tourmalet, Piau-Engaly and Val Louron, and also very near the resorts of Saint Lary Soulan and Peyragudes.
You sit on the sled and let the driver take you on a rapid journey over the snowy ground, pulled by an enthusiastic team of 8 to 10 dogs whose remarkable pulling power will put colour in your cheeks.
Another option is to learn to drive a team of dogs in a complete dog sledding experience. After your briefing, you set off on a short trip with your very own team of dogs. You don't have to become a hardened explorer in an instant to enjoy the experience; you are part of a group, each sled following the leading team driven by the professional looking after you.
Skijöring is not yet another new extreme skiing discipline; it's more of a return to the roots of the sport.
This form of skiing, pulled by a horse, is a mode of transport that has its origins in Sweden, 2,500 years before Christ.
The horse pulls you along on mini-skis through the silence of the mountains, with the only sound being the breathing of your equine companion. It's the perfect way to leave everything behind… You can try it at Guzet, Hautacam and Peyragudes. This activity is supervised by professionals.
Accompanied by high mountain guides and equipped with ice axes, ropes and crampons, this activity is a wonderful way to combine sporting achievement with the magical qualities of ice.
There are two main destinations in the Pyrenees where you can go ice climbing: the frozen waterfall at the Cirque de Gavarnie (the biggest in Europe!) and the frozen waterfalls very near the ski resort of Piau-Engaly, which you can easily walk to in 15 minutes. One of them is suitable for easy, safe climbs, perfect for beginners.
A unique experience for those who aren't afraid to take the plunge !
This is an activity you can do at Piau-Engaly in Hautes Pyrénées. Wearing a dry suit, mask and waterproof gloves and carefully supervised by professionals, you learn how to dive under the ice in the little lake situated right in the middle of the ski area.