Set deep in the upper Ariège valley, the outstanding scenery and lush green mountain pastures that surround the town welcome you to the beautiful town of Foix.

Explore Foix

There are two parts to your visit to Foix: the historic town centre where you can still see various examples of medieval houses; and the castle that stands on a hill above the town and is visible from many places in the town centre.

Street in centre of historic Foix

Foix castle and Museum

The most dominating feature of Foix, the castle, is also the focal point of the town's history and the centre of your visit.

The original Chateau de Foix was built before the tenth century (it was mentioned in Roger 1st will when he bequeathed this amazing chateaux to his youngest son Bernard). Seated on top of a small hill this astounding piece of architecture is essential viewing on your visit here: the chateaux has undergone recent renovation and is the jewel of the town.

Unlike many castles, the tourist authority have also provided abundant information for visitors and offer self-guided recorded visits in many languages. Whether you’re a count, a knight a fair maiden, or a parent looking for activities for the kids, you’ll be sure to step back in time at a visit to this fortress.

Since 1930, the castle has housed the Ariège departmental museum. Sections on prehistory, Gallo-Roman and mediaeval archaeology that tell the history of the Ariège from ancient times have been created with amazing taste. The museum has organised exhibits to concentrate on the history of the castle site so as to recreate the life of Foix at the time of the Counts.

See chateau de Foix guide for more information.


Other sites in Foix

The town itself offers an interesting mix of architecture typical of an area that has incurred cross border fighting and enemy control over the centuries. There are pretty alleyways with patisseries, boulangeries and brocantes, one of which in particular you should visit: the brocante in the alley below the Chateaux de Foix.

Sooner or later all visits to Foix will reach the old market square with its quaint cafés and boutiques, and the perfect opportunity to take a coffee break.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays are the best time to visit Foix, which comes alive with it’s markets, held in the craft centre, and on Fridays at the Place Saint Colusien and the allee de Vilotte where you will discover the biggest selection of cheeses and honey ever in one place!

Castle seen from Foix historic centre

Attractions nearby

In the winter months, ski stations are about 40 minutes from Foix: not the best slopes in the world, but they do have great food and stunning scenery, perfect for beginners! In the summer, the mountains become a haven for walkers and hikers and there’s plenty of accommodation including from self-catering gites, hotels and camp sites.

Nearby you should also visit Montsegur to the south-east of Foix.

You can find more travel ideas in the Ariege guide and the Midi-Pyrenees guide.

See also Find Foix hotels

Photos of Foix

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Map of Foix and places nearby


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Chateau de Foix

Chateau de Foix

The chateau de Foix is an impressive medieval castle on a rocky spur in the Ariege valley

Chateau de Foix guide
Grotte de Lombrives

Grotte de Lombrives

Not the most famous caves perhaps but the Grotte de Lombrives is the largest cave system in France

Grotte de Lombrives guide


The largest town in Ariege, Pamiers has several notable monuments including the cathedral and the church

Pamiers guide


In Montsegur be sure to visit the cathar castle with its lovely far-reaching views

Montsegur guide


In Mirepoix it is the beautifully preserved centre of the bastide town that is the highlight for visitors

Mirepoix guide


The fortified village of Camon, listed as a 'most beautiful village of France' is one of our favourites in this region

Camon guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Ariege

Address: Foix, Midi-Pyrenees, 9000, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 42.9664, longitude 1.60777

Plan your visit to Foix, Ariege

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

The French version of this page is at Foix (Francais)