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Couserans gite details


The Gîte de Pénélope is a traditional detached house located on the edge of the mountain village of Aleu (750m altitude), about 20 kms from St Girons in the Couserans area of the Ariege Pyrenees. Very private, with a large garden and orchard, it faces south away from the road and towards the mountains. A play area with a sandbox, slide, swing and basketball net will occupy children while their parents relax in the sun on the terrace. Pictures of the house are available on the Couserans gite page.

The house comprises:

Ground floor: large living room with fireplace, TV and CD player, fitted eat-in kitchen with with dishwasher, electric hob, electric oven, microwave, fridge/freezer; wc; utility room with clothes washer and tumble dryer.

First floor: 3 bedrooms, each with double bed and one with ensuite bathroom with shower; one bathroom with bathtub; wc

Attic contains 3 single beds and a wc. Note: attic has a low ceiling and and the stairs up to it are steep.

Gas central heating.

Leisure ACTIVITIES: Skiing, cycling, walking, relaxation in thermal spas, climbing, golf, caving, fishing, kayaking, horse riding...

A network of picturesque walks and cycling routes are mapped out around Aleu and beyond. For cycling routes in the Couserans, click on Bike Pyrenees in Massat and Port d'Aula route and Steephill TV and Cols [search 'Pyrenees A' link within site]. For good local walking maps contact our Ariege canton tourism office in Massat village, Tel: (33) 05 61 96 92 76; email : otmassat@wanadoo.fr

General walking routes in the Couserans, Ariege are available from Hiking page in ariege.com and Way of Saint James and Couserans walkers and 09 Rando - very polished trekers site and Ariege climbers site.

There's alpine skiing in Guzet ski resort [40 mins away], and cross-country skiing at Etang de Lers [30 mins]. A total of 18 ski resorts are accessible within two hours of the gite. Details are on  Pyrénées-online

Thermal baths at Les Thermes d'Aulus-les-Bains in nearby Aulus [a mile from Guzet] are open from May 2 to October 19.

There's an adventure park near Moulis [40 mins] called Horizon Vertical with courses in canyoning, caving, rock climbing. It's for adults and kids.

An 18-hole course at Golf de l'Ariège in La Bastide de Serou [45 mins] is open all year, weather permitting. Fees are reasonable and the club has its own restaurant.

Two horse riding centres in the Couserans, Cavalus and Cheval'Rit, catering for complete beginners and experienced riders, offer mountain treks from centres in Biert and Massat [25 mins].

And there's a lively - and occasionally raucous - market every Saturday morning in St Girons [25 mins]. Full details about leisure activities in the Couserans, Ariege are on the Things-to-do page.

Shops & services: Our nearest shop is Rogalles, 2 kms away in Castet d'Aleu, the last village before Aleu; there's a quaint semi-offical bar with a big open fireplace next door to the shop. Essential shops and services are in the villages of Oust and Seix (20 mins); you'll find a wider choice in St Girons. More details are on the link for practical local information.

Restaurants: There's an excellent restaurant service during summer months at Auberge de L'Arac which may be open for business. It's in Castet d'Aleu, just a mile from our gite. Otherwise, we recommend: L'auberge d'Antan, Avenue de la Résistance, St Girons, Tel: 05 61 66 66 64; La Clairière, Avenue de la Résistance, St Girons, Tel: 05 61 66 66 66; La Gourmandine, Seix, Tel: 05 61 66 71 19. A full list of places is available on the restaurants page.

Markets: St Girons - highly recommended, lively day-out: assorted artisans, mountain folk and farmers selling food, drink, clothes and books every Saturday morning; Massat - every second and fourth Thursday morning of the month; Samatan - 60 kms away in Gers - the best foie gras market in the south west: starts at 10am - and over at 10.45am!

Gîte PRICE: €500 per week

Includes sheets, duvets, electricity, heating.
No pets allowed


For reservations: Tel us at - (353) [Ireland] 1 4913881. email: hwatchorn@yahoo.com

Directions :

From Toulouse, take the A64 motorway towards Tarbes, exit at sortie 20 for the N117 to St Girons.

At St Girons, follow signs for Massat to Castet d'Aleu (17 kms on the D618).

At Castet d'Aleu turn right after the Auberge de l'Arac, carry on 4 kms to Aleu. Continue up through the village, the gîte is the last house on the right.

From Carcassonne : Follow signs to Foix, cross the river at the second bridge (largest) and keep in the right lane. At the roundabout bear right for St Girons. At St Girons carry on as above.


The Gîte de Pénélope is in a village called Aleu, the post code is 09320, the department is the Ariège-Pyrénées, and the region is the Midi-Pyrénées. Now click on Mappy road guide


Last updated on 01-04-2008