A weekend in Ax-les-Thermes
Do not hesitate to visit my Instagram account , where I put in story to one of other photos
With winter having arrived, we wanted to go and take advantage of the snow and the Pyrenees to recharge our batteries, but also take superb photos of mountain landscapes!
From Toulouse, Ax-les-Thermes is a fairly close station and very easily accessible, especially by train. Several options are possible, including transport and ski pass. It is therefore possible to go back and forth during the day, or over two days (which we did).
By taking the train on the Toulouse / Latour de carol line, you can get off directly at Ax-les-Thermes. To get to the resort from Ax station, the journey is very simple: the first option is to walk to the ski cabins, or take a train that will take us there .
First day at Ax-les-Thermes resort
For this first day in the mountains, once arrived, we start by renting ski equipment (boots, skis, poles) at Poudre Blanche .
Then we head to the ski slopes of the area thanks to the eggs (the cabins) as they say on site!
The domain is very large, well rather the 3 domains are very large, with 37 slopes and 20 ski lifts. To find out more about the ski area, and view the different slopes, it’s here !
The weather is radiant and warm, so we have lunch on the terrace by the slopes, on the Bonascre plateau, and we go down to Ax-les-thermes to enjoy another tourist activity in the city: the baths!
The Couloubret baths are a place that I recommend without hesitation to relax after a day of skiing… or while your significant other is skiing. Soaking in the hot water with the snow falling is a real pleasure, and the baths are really spacious! The place also offers superb massages, of very good quality, between 25 and 50 min. Remember to book in advance if you want a treatment.
We end the day at the Couteaux Fourchettes restaurant with an improved raclette.
With this long day, and this good meal, we won’t be old bones tonight!
Second day at Ax-les-Thermes resort
Let’s go for the story of this second and last day of the weekend in Ax-les-Thermes! When we wake up, we have a nice surprise: You can see the mountain from the hotel room.
After a well-stocked breakfast at our hotel le chalet , we plan to take advantage of the morning to visit the town of Ax-les-Thermes. The hotel is really well located, in the city center and almost at the foot of the ski cabins.
Once outside, the mountain seems more snow-covered than the day before and the temperature lower. We can’t wait to go up the mountain to see if our intuitions are confirmed! We get a farmer’s picnic to go for lunch on the Bonascre plateau.
Arrived on the spot, the landscape has totally changed as we had anticipated. Indeed, the snow fell during the night, and the temperature dropped sharply (about 15 degrees less).
After renting snowshoes , we will hike for about 2.5 hours with a guide . The cabins being stopped, we take the ski lift (for the first time!) to go up to Saquet. We then begin a superb snowshoe hike. The snow continues to fall, so the visibility over the other valleys is unfortunately quite poor, but otherwise could see the Luzenac quarry in the distance. After a break to drink water halfway through a spring, we continue our descent to reach the guides’ hut.
Unfortunately, it is time for us to return to Toulouse by train.
And for the necessary cold equipment?
Having already cold equipment from my previous trips to the Nordic countries, I reused the clothes I already had.
The best is still to have clothes adapted to the cold and waterproof. To equip yourself at a low price, think of second-hand clothes! Excluding shoes, I managed to equip myself second-hand for 50€.
So I had taken for the second day (the coldest):
- Ski gloves & hat
- Ski socks, basic hiking shoes
- Tights and ski pants
- Merino t-shirt
- Windbreaker and winter coat
Do I need photo equipment for a ski weekend?
For a weekend in Ax-les-Thermes, I advise you to leave fairly light, especially if you intend to ski.
For this type of travel, I would choose a basic body, with a versatile focal length. At Nikon, we can choose the Z50 or the Z5 with the 18-50 focal length or the 24-50 focal length. These two boxes remain light and will allow you to be comfortable during the activities.