Sport to relax or extreme sport, here, all is a source of enchantment.

Between continental areas and its coast, the destination Occitanie, Pyrénées Méditerranée benefits from a rare diversity which makes it the ideal spot for active but also restful holidays. From kitesurfing to spa there is nothing but pleasure.

Kitesurf 

From Le Grau du Roi Port-Camargue to Canet, the two hundred and twenty kilometres of Mediterranean coast visited by the mistral and the tramontane offer waves as high as the desires of its adepts. Besides half the kiters in our region practise this sport. Nineteen spots to kitesurf are referenced by the Fédération Française du Vol Libre. Each spot has its own specificity, from the more accessible ones for beginners to the more challenging ones for experts and adrenalin junkies. Thanks to the tramontane the Audoise coast is also a paradise for lovers of windsurfing and funboarding. Opposite the wild cliffs of Port Leucate the beach of Conssoules at La Franqui counts among the best spots in Europe welcoming both experts and beginners. And the instructors of these seven schools of Kiting are snowed under during the summer season! Here it is that the best international riders in the world assemble, the Mondial du Vent. Gruissan, ideal for freestyle, slalom or speed, is set aside for professional adrenalin junkies and welcomes each spring the Wind Challenge. Saint-Pierre sur Mer, where the junior European Cup in Kitesurfing takes place is developing numerous activities for young sportspeople. In Gard the beach Sud du Grau du Roi- Port Camargue is also an ideal spot to ride the first waves. La Tamarissière in Agde will delight lovers of freestyle. If the wind is agreeable, long distance riders will prefer Villeneuve-les-Maguelone where in May for four days Festikite is celebrated.

Paddle

Easy, convivial for sailing, more sporting for surfing, the course or practice run in white water, the Stand-Up Paddle has the advantage of not needing wind… Some trails have already passed into legend: the boucle du Ponant in the Camargue, the canals of Palavas-les-Flots, the Canal du Midi, the creeks of Cap Béar or the mountain lake of Génos-Loudenvielle and, much more agitated, les Raspes du Tarn or the river Axat.

Sailing

Sailing remains the most practised water sport in the region which counts twenty sailing schools welcoming more than twenty-seven thousand trainees during the summer period.

Underwater adventure

Initiation to diving, exploration, there’s something for everyone in the Mediterranean on this “Mare Nostrum”. And you can also go diving in the lagoons...

Whitewater

Waterfalls, tumultuous rivers and mountain torrents offer all the ingredients for a dose of adrenalin in whitewater sports. Jump into the crystal-clear ponds of the Llech canyon, one of the most beautiful of the Pyrenees or follow the Agly River through the great gorges of Galamus, go down the waterslides of Chassezac, nicknamed “the Pearl of Cévennes”, at the bottom of a gorge 300-meters deep, try out unbeatable extreme sports in the torrents of the Gouffre d’Enfer sinkhole in Haute-Garonne, multiply water games and rappelling in the Vallée des Gaves, discover the wild setting and the excitement of the Vialais Canyon, in the Massif du Caroux, these are some of the pleasures to share…

Rock-climbing

With over 70 kilometres of routes, Ariège is ranked first among the departments of the Pyrenees in terms of equipment as well as climbing schools. From rock faces for learning the basics of rockclimbing, to the Dent d’Orlu, with its compact slabs and rope-lengths on a narrow ridge, there is something for everyone. However, the variety and beauty of the different landscapes attract climbers to the summit: the Targasonne boulder field near Font-Romeu, the Pic de Maupas where you need ice picks and crampons to cross the glacier, the limestone cliffs of the Gorges of the River Tarn and the River Jonte that are close to the vultures and their majestic flights, the cliffs of the Clape with a view of the sea or the Roc d’Anglars site which overlooks the village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val and the Valley of the Aveyron. Lands of adventure at dizzying heights, the diversity of the sites in the region will suit beginners as well as experienced climbers for all types of climbing - slabs, cracks, vertical walls and cambers.

Free Flight

Baptism by air in a two-seater, an initiation training course, many sites allow you to experiment with the sensations of free flight and, for those who are more experienced, to fly with their own wings. The site of the Louron Valley is considered to be the “Mecca” for free flight by paraglider in the Pyrenees, whereas Luchon-Superbagnères is the highest in the region. Other paraglider paradises are the ledges of Larzac at Millau, where all types of flying are authorised above the limestone plateaus of the Grands Causses. Dominating the Hérault ValleyLa Serrane, the flagship site between the sea and Cévennes, opens out onto the meanders of the River Hérault and the Pic Saint Loup. A flight from Ispagnac will give you an unusual view of the Gorges du Tarn. At Cerbère, paragliders take off from the Pic Joan cliff facing the sea…

Green routes

They go from beach to beach (Lido Green Route), cross entire departments (Aude), hug the towns (Toulouse-Blagnac), run along river
banks (Lez Green Route) stretch for more than 400 kilometres along the Canal des Deux Mers and follow old railway tracks (Gaves Green Route). The network of Green Routes is still expanding. The Green Route of Haut-Languedoc, the “Passa Païs”, forms part of the Regional Nature Park of Haut-Languedoc, while that of the Espiguette snakes around ponds and swamps to the sea.

The bike, another way to discover the region

Many loop bike tours criss-cross the territory for a ride of a few hours or a whole day, while others cut across the countryside for an adventure lasting several days. Certain itineraries follow legendary routes, such as the Santiago de Compostela Pilgrim’s Way, while others follow along the banks like that of the Canal des Deux Mers which links Sète to Valence d’Agen. Along the banks of the River Lot branching off near the Cahors vineyard, the Cycle Route through the Valley of the River Lot leads to the discovery of the famous medieval villages known as the bastides.

Hiking

Around forty-two thousand kilometres of marked trails enable you to discover, by stages of several weeks or several days, in loops that take from one hour to one day, the wide open spaces, the prettiest villages and the exceptional heritage of the Languedoc Roussillon and Midi Pyrénées.

Golf courses made for you

Walking six to eight kilometres, striding across the fairways, in an enchanting setting and under pleasant skies definitely makes a difference. The diverse golf courses, from beside the sea to the landscapes of the Mediterranean or the high altitudes of the Pyrenees, every year attract more fans from France as well as from abroad. A small course of six to nine holes, a landscaped course of 18 holes… sixty golf courses have been listed in the region.

Present throughout the region, the thermal resorts have succeeded in bringing about their transformation

From Lozère to Aude, from Gard to Gers, by way of Aveyron, from the Eastern Pyrenees to the High Pyrenees, every year 30 resorts welcome hundreds of thousands of guests seeking treatments in buildings that have not changed since the era of the Second Empire in the 19th century. Napoleon III and the industrial and cultural elite of the era lent an incomparable renown to all these villages which have in their areas an inexhaustible resource: their hot springs. Whether they were sulphur or salt, whether they treated rheumatism, ENT or skin problems, they stimulated the tastes of the wealthy who came to heal (a bit), to show off (a lot) and to have parties (crazy). 

The two wars put an end to these eccentricities. However, the often luxurious thermal baths remained standing with water still flowing from the vents. Everywhere, the thermal resorts have now become popular, offering ultra-modern medical infrastructures. Their geographic locations made it possible for them to open up to a new type of client by offering balneotherapy activities in an environment that promotes leisure, skiing (in the resorts of the Pyrenees and Lozère), hiking and even gastronomy. In adapting to this new demand for well-being, they have succeeded in their gamble of transforming an outdated practise into a young, dynamic activity. Barèges, Balaruc-les-BainsLamalou-les-Bains, Cauterets, LuchonAx-les-Thermes, Avène, La Chaldette, Bagnèresde- Bigorre or Lectoure are now associated with recognised medical treatments and a new way of “taking the waters”.

Whether they are in Amélie, Molitg-les-Bains, Prats-de-MolloLectoure, Barbotan-les-ThermesCransac-les-Thermes, Argelès-Gazost or Lamalou-les-Bains, many centres include the thermal spa in their services. It is now known as thermal recreation, which meets the demand for well-being and pleasure being developed at places like Ax-les-ThermesCauterets, Saint-Thomas-les-BainsLlo etc.