Outdoor activities in the South West

Spring is here! Are you as crazy as me about spring? Whenever the days are getting longer, the fields are getting greener and the sun is shining again, I cannot wait to go out to the Toulouse countryside! Here is a selection of my favourite outdoor sports:

Hiking

There is a great app for hiking: Visorando. The app allows you to choose the difficulty, length, time and location. It’s therefore super easy to find a route that suits you and your hiking partners.

I absolutely loved the hike to the Etang d’Appy. You walk uphill for 1.5-2 hours and end at a beautiful mountain lake with nice fresh cold water. The perfect spot for a picnic and an afternoon swim. Don’t forget, it can get very hot in summer. So bring enough water and sunscreen.

There are of course many more! But hey, spring only starts now! So put on your hiking boots and share your experiences with us!

Kayaking

For kayaking you have several options. Either you go up North to St Antonin Noble Val, for example, or you go down South to the Ariège river, starting in the Pyrenees.

The closest to Toulouse is probably Grahota in Portet-sur-Garonne, a 20min drive from Toulouse. They drive you down South where you start your kayak trip and you end in Portet where you can park your car. It’s not too challenging, so nice for people who haven’t really done it before.

These are some kayak rental places I tried myself:

Nature Escapade – 5687A Chemin de Roumegous 82140 Saint Antonin Noble

Evasion Canoe – 82140 Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val

Granhota – La riverotte 31810 Clermont-le-Fort

Canyoning

Canyoning is a great way to discover the Pyrenees from a different angle. Fully equipped in a wetsuit, helmet and harness, you go down a canyon via rappel, slides, walks or jumps. It’s thrilling, challenging but not scary. Jumps are normally optional and you don’t need to do them if you don’t like.

At the time, I wanted to try the Llech which is the biggest canyon in the Pyrenees. However, it was still closed in May due to the high amount of water. My friends told me that it was an amazing experience and that they would definitely recommend it to everyone.

I personally tried Oxygen Aventure, which was my first canyoning experience ever and I absolutely loved it. The guides were amazing, I wasn’t scared at all and I definitely had a lot of fun.

If you don’t fancy cold water, it’s not that bad though, you can also try warm water canyoning which is possible at one place during the winter:

Oxygen Aventure (Pyrénnées Orientales): http://www.oxygen-aventure.com/

Here you can find a good overview of different other canyoning places: https://www.sport-decouverte.com/canyoning-midi-pyrenees.html

Wakeboarding

First of all, I am not a fan of wakeboarding on cable. Behind a boat gives you much more flexibility to try things, you have a teacher who explains you what to do and you progress much quicker.

In the South of Toulouse close to Muret, a former world champion has it’s wakeboarding school on a private lake. I’ve never done it before and I managed to stand up behind the boat and go around the lake. If you fancy it, try it out here. The spot is perfect – you can chill at the lake after your session and even try some stand up paddling.

Vincent Soubiron: http://loisirs.vincentsoubiron.com/

There are also other options in and around Toulouse:

Toulouse city centre: http://skiclubdelapeniche.com/

Blagnac: http://sportblagnac.e-monsite.com/

Mountain Biking

The Pyrenees are the perfect spot to go mountain biking for all levels. Wherever you can ski in winter, you can normally race down the hill in summer.

Here are two examples of great places to go for a bike ride:

Ax-les-Thermes: http://www.vallees-ax.com/en/do-and-see/summer#!/mtb-at-ax-3-domaines-850999

Andorra: http://mountain-bike.andorramania.com/

Have fun,

2 thoughts on “Outdoor activities in the South West

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.