When to go

June is a good month for lower level walks. Many of the higher passes remain snow bound and the huts closed. Cyclists will find the roads still empty before the main tourist season begins, while horse riders should know that the spring grass makes the horses frisky and harder to control. The fishing season is open and this is the best time to go rafting.

July and August are prone to hot days and spectacular evening thunder storms. Sentein’s population more than doubles during the summer months as people flee their stifling bungalows on the plains for the cool evening breeze of the mountains; even with day time temperatures in the mid 30s it is never too hot to sleep at night.  Generally, walks at lower altitudes are tiring with the heat, however with the thawing of snow at higher altitudes, the frontier peaks become accessible.

The Tour de France passes through the area in July and the roads are busy with amateur cyclists doing their own étape. St. Girons market is at its fullest and almost all restaurants require reservations. Sentein has its village fete the middle weekend of August, by far the most lively day in the calendar.

Autumn in the Ariège is the connoisseur’s season. The deciduous slopes, almost unbroken, turn red and gold. Warm sunny days are much more comfortable for wandering the lower slopes. The local walking tour of the valley takes four days but can be shortened. The markets have a wider range of produce, the crowds are gone, the stags are rutting, the mountains are lit out by the lower sun and back in England by now it is cold.

Winter is long and cold and The Frog and Peach is closed between early November and early June.

The weather forecast for Sentein: