Villages nearby

Daumazan-sur-Arize is a small village 10 minutes' walk from the park. Everything is there, a bakery (delicious bread and pastries), a small supermarket, a Tabac, a pub, a bank and a good restaurant.

A nice walk to buy a sandwich or a newspaper. The Saint-Sernin church was built in the 12th century in Romanesque style and is definitely worth a visit

Within a 10-kilometre radius are the three characteristic villages of Carla-Bayle, Montbrun and Mas-d'Azil, which are not to be missed!


About five kilometres east of Château Cazalères, you'll find Montbrun. This tiny village was one of the most important towns in the area in the Middle Ages. Today, a few houses and the remains of the castle are reminders of this glorious past. This quiet village turns into a big meeting place for everyone from the area every Sunday, when there is a market. This is the nicest market in Ariège. With lots of merchants, various stalls with 'produits artisanaux' and food, drinks and music.  Even if you do not like markets, Montbrun is highly recommended. Partly thanks to its Sunday market, the town has a high hippie spirit. So feel free to come for a morning of people-watching and enjoy all the activity around you.

The village is easy to reach by bike or car.

Montbrun is also a good starting point for lovely walks through the hilly and wooded surroundings.


The tiny artists' town of Carla-Bayle is at walking distance from Château Cazalères. After a 15-minute drive, you reach the city walls of this 'bastide'. City walls? Yes really, Carla-Bayle is a real fortified town. Bastide means that the town used to be well defendable. With Carla-Bayle, that's not hard to imagine.

Friendship with Rotterdam

The town has always been a stronghold of dissenters. During the French religious wars, fought in the 16th century between the Catholics and the Huguenots, Carla-le-Comte (as the town was called at the time) was an important base for the Huguenots.

The famous Huguenot Pierre Bayle was born here. Thanks to the wars, he fled to Rotterdam, where he made a name for himself as an influential philosopher. Rotterdam and Carla-Bayle still have a Pact of Eternal Friendship for this reason.

Breeding ground for artists

You can still see that 'otherness' today. Today, the village is known as a pitch for artists. There are several galleries, small museums and shops where you can buy local art. There is also the Pierre Bayle Museum, where you can learn about the village's history through the philosopher's life story.

Carla-Bayle is a 10-minute drive from the park and is also the starting point of many walks.


How special is it to drive the car through a cave? Mas-d'Azil is the only place in Europe where this is possible! This cave is known for its impressive natural entrance: a huge gate 51 metres high and 48 metres wide.

You can book a guided tour that lets you discover the cave's many special elements. You will get explanations about the cave itself, prehistoric times and its inhabitants. With the same entrance ticket, you can also visit the museum in the village.

Mas-d'Azil is also known for its many restaurants, its pleasant Wednesday market and the many walks that start from the south entrance of the cave, or from the village square.

For children, there is a very nice adventure park: Xploria, in French: La forêt à explorer le temps. A forest to explore time in. It is about prehistory and the first life on earth, the first humans, dinosaurs and the archaeology of dinosaurs. Everything is offered very interactively, you get to feel, touch and do something with everything. You can discover dinosaurs and do excavations. Very worthwhile for the children.

Also want to spend the holidays here?