Serving as the capital of Ariege, Foix is a charming riverside town in the Occitanie region of south-west France. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Romans built a fortress where Foix’s centuries-old castle now stands, with the town believed to have grown around a small chapel founded by Charlemagne in the 9th century.
Things to do in Foix
Dominating the town is the 10th-century Château de Foix, an impressive Cathar landmark that is significant to the area’s medieval military history. Today, the castle houses a fascinating museum that explores its historic assaults by Simon de Montfort and its role in the Wars of Religion. Climb the steep spiral staircase that leads up its tower for magnificent views across the rooftops of Foix below.
Sweeping panoramas are also on offer from the Terrasses du Pech, which can be accessed along a short hiking trail from the east bank of L’Ariege River. It traverses a series of dry stone terraces that were created in the 19th century to support the cultivation of cereal crops and pastoral activity. Interpretation panels dotting the route detail the importance of the area to the cultural heritage of Foix.
In the heart of Foix is the Church of Saint-Volusien, which was originally constructed in the 12th century and has been rebuilt numerous times since. Now designated as a Monument Historique, it houses several noteworthy religious paintings and a semicircular wooden choir. Coincide your visit with a performance featuring the church’s famous organ, which was crafted by Leroy-Legendre & Fermis in 1869.
Getting around Foix
Foix is around an hour’s drive from Toulouse and Toulouse–Blagnac Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe and North Africa. Regular trains connect to the Foix railway station and buses travel throughout the town. The centre of Foix is ideally explored on foot.