/ UK to Ariege, tips and interesting stops?

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JayPee630 - on 08 Jun 2013
Hi,

Am planning a 3 week trip from the UK this August, driving to Ariege and then over into Spain, and then back again to the UK.

Am thinking one night somewhere in mid-France on the way down and back and then 2 or so weeks in Ariege and the Pyrenees with a few days excursion in Barcelona to see some friends.

Aim is a relaxing holiday, some easy sport climbing (6a+ max) maybe some long multi-pitch sport routes, lots of wine drinking and cheese eating and lying in the sun and swimming. Have a van that we can sleep in, but intend to maybe book a week at one of the places in Ariege that's friendly to climbers.

Any tips, suggestions, interesting places to stop and visit - either on the way down or when there?

Cheers, JP
john arran - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to JayPee630:

Unless you're Fontainebleauing en route I'd recommend keeping well west of Paris on a road past Dreux and Evreux. A lot less traffic and relatively few tolls on that route.
As for accommodation you'll need to book very soon as everywhere's pretty full up now. I think we have the odd week or so available in one place but we're mostly full now and I suspect the others to be similarly busy.
JayPee630 - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to john arran:

Thanks. Have no interest in bouldering so will steer clear of Paris. Will try and get some time booked in asap, although probably won't be able to for a couple of weeks yet as I'm out of the UK for work.
In reply to JayPee630:

We have tended to go Southampton > St Malo which is an overnight crossing, leaving St Malo at 08:30 and you can be in Ariège for Teatime!


Chris
JayPee630 - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:


Oh thanks, was thinking Dover/Calais as a default, but that sounds better.
JayPee630 - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to JayPee630:

Getting quoted £300 each way!? Is that about right? Seems bloody loads.
In reply to JayPee630:

Possibly - we tend to go at the back end of the year.


Chris
maisie on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to JayPee630:

In terms of stuff to do on the way down / back up, you could do worse than a stop in Poitiers for futuroscope; or perhaps Ceou (sp?) in the Dordogne. Fantastic little campsite right under the crag, with a swimming river, decent facilities and stella on tap.

In the Ariege, check out climbariege, just west of Foix.
JayPee630 - on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to maisie:

Ceou sounds lovely, where can I find details about that? Climb AAriege looks great too, will maybe plan a stay there! Thanks.
ads.ukclimbing.com
maisie on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to JayPee630:

There's an entry for Ceou on this site's crag directory. I *think* it was the old Rock Climbing in France guide that we used (not at home, and can't remember for sure), but you can get a topo at the campsite, and the short path to the crag literally goes from behind reception. It's near Castellnaud, and is pretty handy for a halfway stop that doesn't feel like a wasted couple of days. Be warned, it gets pretty hot there in the middle of summer, and the crag faces west - so morning cragging. It's also quite high in places and you need a 60m rope to get the best out of it, if not a 70m.

The only downside is that the surrounding areas are heavily infested with rich Brit holidaymakers in their Chelsea tractors; fortunately, none of them camp, so the site at Maisonneuve is very pleasant. Definitely worth a stop - the kids rated it as one of the highlights of our trip last year.

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