Welcome to Chez Arran
Chez Arran lies on a sunny hillside in a deep and impressive mountain valley right in the heart of the Pyrenees.
We'd like to invite you here, to stay in one of our beautiful rooms or apartments, while indulging yourself in some of the most spectacular and diverse mountain terrain in Europe.
Our converted farmhouse is easy to reach, by plane, train and car, and easy to get around, by train, car, bike, on foot or even on skis. It's a fantastic base from which to explore some of Europe's best climbing, cycling or hiking, as well as plenty of other activities such as skiing, boarding, snowshoeing, kayaking, rafting, fishing, parapenting and caving. And you won't spend all your day driving either, since almost none of these top sites are more than 20 minutes drive away, most are within 5 or 10 minutes, and quite a few don't need a car at all. If you're keen you could easily do several activities on the same day! For relaxation there are plentiful show caves, historic Cathar monuments and chateaux, thermal baths and wildlife farms such as the Llamas of Ariège and the Wolves' House in Orlu. Alternatively you could just take it easy and relax in village cafes or catch some sun in our extensive gardens. Chez Arran lies at a height of 550 m so usually snow on the roads is not a problem, but the ski resorts remain easily accessible within 20 minutes drive.
The property itself is a fine old farmhouse with traditional features such as ancient stone walls and exposed wooden beams. It lies in the commune of Ornolac-Ussat-les-Bains, which comprises several historic hamlets, all now connected. One of these hamlets - "Ussat-les-Bains" - is home to a popular thermal spa, while a few minutes up the path the centre of the Ornolac commune is a square, often identified on maps as "Barry d'en Bas". The front of chez Arran looks onto this village square, while the gardens open onto unspoilt open country. We have extensive gardens with a pool, boulder wall, trampoline, table tennis, slack line, badminton, thai cushion relaxation area and barbecue facilities.
Come and join us. Find out - like we did - what a beautiful corner of Europe this really is.
*LATEST REVIEWS FROM UK CLIMBING FORUM IN JANUARY 2015 *
/ Ariège Summer
We've stayed several times at Chez Arran, http://www.chezarran.com/ which is brilliant, and should be able to accommodate you all across mutliple apartments. Anywhere near Tarascon makes a good base, but you will need cars to get to the crags. The standout crags for low-grade stuff (say F4 - F6a+) are Auzat and Calames, both with several days worth of climbing, but there's plenty other decent venues including Appy, Ax Piscine and Sinsat. Above F6a+ you have even more choice. The Rockfax guide is pretty good and comprehensive. If you need to give your fingers a rest, there are lots of lovely non-technical peaks in the area that can be done as day walks. Mark Bull
A second recommendation for Chez Arran, and the climbing nearby. There are some routes within walking distance, but having your own transport would massively expand your options. We found hitching an easy way to get round, but it probably wouldn't be practical if there were 15 of you all heading to the same crag! Sam W
And a third recommendation for Chez Arran.