Saint-Girons travel guide

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The quiet Ariege town of Saint-Girons is situated west of Foix and south of Cazeres in a region known as the Couserans.

It is an attractive region of wood covered hills where the plains of Gascony meet the mountains of the Pyrenees and close to the ruins of the ancient city (and current village) of Saint Lizier.

The setting of the town is enhanced by its position on the river Salat at the point where it is joined by a smaller tributary, the Lez.

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France This Way review: Saint-Girons is less a tourist destination and more a vibrant local town, and parts of the town are rather neglected, but a visit is still worthwhile. The heart of the old town is very characterful and a pleasure to explore, with a decent sprinkling of attractive buildings and shops to admire. 

Church in centre of Saint-Girons

Start your visit at Saint-Girons tourist information office, in the centre of the town next to the river, where you can get details of a suggested route to follow which ensures you see the highlights.

The most picturesque part of a visit is the walk along the riverside and quais, then across the old bridge to the park and the Palace of Justice (originally the Chateau of the Vicomtes of Couseran).

Saint-Girons church is close by and stands on the banks of the Salat River, with its 15th century belltower dominating the view along the riverbanks (although the main church is more recent, not built until the 19th century). The church was built on the site where Saint Girons was buried.

The surrounding streets leading to Place Pasteur contain several houses featuring open upstairs balconies, a traditional local design. Continuing into the Boulevard Frederik Arnaud, at number 28 you can see a part of the original fortifications of the town.


Cross the bridge here to see the unusual 'monument to the dead', a tribute to those who lost their lives in the war and an unusual design with a statue of a grieving widow.

From here you can follow the west bank of the river through Saint-Girons, through the Place des Capots, to reach the substantial Castle of the Viscounts and a garden area.

Cross the river again to reach the Champ des Mars, a tree filled area where the market is held each Saturday in Saint Girons. There is a popular cafe at one end of this large square.

At the top of the boulevard Noel Peyrevidal, on the Place du Mai 1945, Saint-Valiers church has a 12th century facade while the rest of the church is largely in the gothic style.

Turn left to follow Rue St Valier through the old town and to continue back to the river and your starting point.

Chateau des Vicomtes in Saint-Girons

Attractions nearby

The location of Saint-Girons and the surrounding valleys (it is known as the region of 18 valleys) make it very well placed for exploring the Couserans, ideally on foot or bike. to make the most of your visit to this picturesque part of the Ariege.

The village of Saint Lizier just two kilometres away was for a long time the home to an opposing family of lords in the Couserans - it is now a picturesque village classified as one of the 'most beautiful villages in France'.

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

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Visit near Saint-Girons with France This Way reviews



A small village in the Natural Regional Park of the Ariege Pyrenees, Saint-Lizier is very picturesque and also has a cathedral and other notable monuments

Saint-Lizier guide


The tiny village of Montjoie-en-Couserans is included because it is the start point of a picturesque driving tour of the surrounding villages

Montjoie-en-Couserans guide


Audressein is a very small village in a picturesque river valley, visited for the ancient frescoes in the porch of the church

Audressein guide


Although tiny, the castle (and picnic area) in the centre of Tourtouse make a detour recommended

Tourtouse guide


Cazeres is not a tourist town, but you might like to visit the Church of Notre Dame of the Assumption when in the region

Cazeres guide


The small village of Martres-Tolosane is known for its faiencerie workshops

Martres-Tolosane guide

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

Address: Saint-Girons, Midi-Pyrenees, 9200, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 42.985833, longitude 1.146667

Plan your visit to Saint-Girons, Ariege

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

Market days in Saint-Girons, France

Regular market(s) are held in Saint-Girons each Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Saint-Girons (Francais)