Skiing and Snowshoeing in the Pyrenees

There are loads of places to ski and go snowshoeing in the Pyrenees on both sides of the French Spanish border as well as in Andorra. Here are a few of my favourites, easily accessible from Toulouse. 🎿 ⛷

France:

St Lary is a pretty, traditional resort with good equipment and accommodation on offer. St Lary is a charming village with lots of bars and restaurants, a spa and a cinema. The ski area is the largest skiable domain in the French Pyrenees. It links 4 resorts and five mountains from 1600m to 2515. It offers a good range of runs from beginner to advanced as well as a fair amount of off piste skiing.

Superbagnères

Superbagnères (148 kms from Toulouse) is my favourite local place to ski. It is only 8 minutes from town via the télécabine in the centre of Luchon. A thermal spa town with lots of restaurants and bars, Luchon also has a cinema and a casino.

Peyragudes is very near Superbagnères, about fifteen minutes by car, offering a fair amount of intermediate skiing. It is hugely popular and has a larger skiable domaine than Superbagnères.

time for some vegan power brownies!

You need a car though. You can also go out on snowshoes around Superbagnères and Peyragudes: this link offers a few suggestions

Le Cécire Superbagnères

https://www.wikiloc.com/trails/snowshoeing/france/midi-pyrenees/peyragudes

 Ax-les-Thermes  (les 3 domaines) in Ariège is about 125 kms from Toulouse, has 75kms of skiing and is the last major town before Andorra and Spain. Not far from Ax is a haven for Cross country skiers and snowshoers. The Plateau de Beille is the largest X Country ski resort in the Pyrenees. Nearby Chioula is also a great place to go snowshoeing. Snowshoes are called raquettes in French and it is all I can do to convince my French friends that “snowshoeing” is not the same as “racketeering”.  

Plateau de Beille 

One of the First Nordic domaines in France, located one hour and forty minutes from Toulouse at 1800 meters, Beille offers a 360 ° panorama of the Pyrenees.

snowshoes for the whole family at Chioula!

A little Scandinavia at the entrance to the Pyrenees, this espace nordic has well kept paths from beginner to advanced for snowshoers, and other trails for cross country skiers in a gorgeous natural setting not far from Toulouse.

Chioula 

If you haven’t tried it,  snowshoeing is another way to enjoy nature in the mountains. With few distractions and a lesser likelihood of falling on your ass, it has become super popular the last couple of years. When the ski stations were closed because of the pandemic a lot of people started snowshoeing and found it to be a great workout and a fun day out. It is a lot less expensive and accessible to a wider demographic. You need some level of fitness but you can always walk slowly and avoid steep slopes until you feel ready. With all the fresh air and beautiful scenery, it’s a good way to reduce stress and get your vitamin D fix. My last outing I burned 1600 calories just in the morning!

Andorra: (about 2 hours and 45 mins from Toulouse).

Grandvalira  is the largest ski area in the Pyrenees, connecting five major resorts: Pas de la Casa, Soldeu, El Tarter Canillo and Encamp with 200 km marked piste for skiers of all abilities.

Vallnord – Pal and Arinsal as well as Ordino-Arcalis also offer great skiing options with loads of places to stay with good value for money. There is a lot of shopping to be done with lower tax rates as well.

Spain : Baqueira Beret is the most well known Spanish resort in the Pyrenees, made popular (and posh) because the king of Spain has a chalet here. I have to be honest, it is the only station in Spain that I have been to. It is pretty chic as Pyrenean skiing goes. It is known for being a fairly easy resort to ski (as long as you can afford the lift pass). It is expensive for the Pyrenees but if you are used to the Alps I suppose 56 euros is not too dear. It is free if you are over 70 too, my father in law loves if for this reason.

 Even if you can’t enjoy winter sports, you can still bundle up and have lunch on one of the sun drenched terraces at midday. You can still get your vitamin D fix and appreciate the magical scenery. Go out and enjoy yourself, it’s been a hard couple of years and winter isn’t over yet!

I hope that you have enjoyed this post about skiing and snowshoeing in the Pyrenees.

Follow me to keep up with me on my travels around Occitanie…………à bientôt Christina

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