Charlene Pelut Pelut BouillonnementCharlene Pelut Pelut Bouillonnement
©Charlene Pelut Pelut Bouillonnement

Wellness day with friends

Thermal waters at Ax-les-Thermes

Ax-les-Thermes is all about health and well-being, thanks to the hottestthermal spring water in the Pyrenees. It’s my essential water, it’s So relAx!

The spa town of Ax is renowned for its sulfur waters. A year-round cure for your health, they also have relaxation benefits, which you can try out at the Bains du Couloubret.

This morning, the four of us get together: Céline, Sylvie, Emilie and me. On the agenda: getting up early for an early start. It’s a busy day, but fortunately we’ve planned to finish with a RelAx moment.

Shopping morning

Direction Andorra

Here we go: off to the Principality ofAndorra for a morning’s shopping. We should be able to pick up some bargains on tax-free brand-name products. We’re already in Ax-les-Thermes, which Céline knows well, as her mom comes every year for a spa treatment to relieve her rheumatism and avoid bronchitis before winter. Only 35 minutes to Pas de la Case.

After the Ax bypass, we take the RN20 through Mérens-les-Vals. I know this village, I’ve heard it has a beautiful Romanesque church, you should go there one day. We arrive at l’Hospitalet-près-l’Andorre, the last village before the border, as its name suggests. Arriving at the gates ofAndorra, we go from one store to another, the morning goes by at 100 miles an hour!

Ax, health resort

Winter or summer?

We’ve got to be quick, as we’re due for an early afternoon massage at the Bains du Couloubret. We can’t wait to get into “relaxation” mode, which is the aim of this getaway with our girlfriends. We hit the road again, our trunks well-stocked, and happy with our purchases.

Emilie tells us that she too knows Ax well: the Bains du Couloubret, the Bassin des Ladres, the Rocher de la Vierge. Céline says her mom chooses this town for her spa treatment because it’s one of the only spas open in winter. She has her morning treatments at the spa, and in the afternoons, she loves to go snowshoeing.

Ax-Les-Termes : la ville so relax des Pyrénées françaises #axlestermes
Ax-Les-Termes : la ville so relax des Pyrénées françaises #axlestermes
Ax-Les-Termes : la ville so relax des Pyrénées françaises #axlestermes

In relaxation mode

A natural break in Ax-les-Thermes

We’ve arrived in Ax and still have a little time before our appointment. A stop in the town center is in order. We walk down the little pedestrian shopping street and spot a small square with a fountain in the middle. We decide to sit on the terrace for a coffee at Le Comptoir, in the sunshine, which is perfect.

We take a breather – it’s been a busy morning. Little by little, we immerse ourselves in the relaxed atmosphere of the village. We take stock of the afternoon ahead. The waitress asks us about our visit to Ax-les-Thermes.

We explain to her that we’re expected to take part in the modelages: “I’ve chosen ‘détente du pied’ (foot relaxation), Sylvie ‘minceur métamorphose’ (slimming metamorphosis). Céline, for her part, has chosen the “Evasion Hanakasumi”, the most complete one-hour treatment. Emilie can’t remember, but it makes us smile. As for me, I spotted a sports massage, a great gift idea for Laurent!

Personalized modeling

Our moment of pleasure

Welcomed at the Bains du Couloubret, Sandrine is waiting for us and gives us each a bathrobe. I’m the first to go, and I head upstairs to the wellness area. The cabins are ready, and we’re off for our “papouille” moment!

I spend an hour pampering myself, it’s a real treat, I can breathe at last.

Hot or cold?

Thermal water bath

To complete this moment of relaxation, I plan to unwind in thethermal waters of the Bains du Couloubret. I start in the main pool, surrounded by red columns in a Roman-style thermal bath. I slip into one of the alcoves to sample the pleasures of the jacuzzi.

Upstairs, I choose the hammam, while the girls prefer the dry heat of the sauna. Our rendezvous point, the unmissable Irish-Roman baths.

We head back downstairs for a little “hot and cold” in the caldarium and frigidarium pools. It’s breathtaking! A passageway to the outside beckons. Our bodies are warm in the water, but the cold stings our faces. It’s getting dark, the lights are dimmed, the steam is dense… We can barely see each other, and a few unexpected flakes make the moment magical. We feel so relaxed!

Time flies, and we quietly return to our cabins. Big mirrors and blow-dryers, everything we need for a successful blow-dry. We’re all rosy-cheeked, our bodies have stored up heat and we’re feeling great.


Playing for pleasure

A trip to the casino!

We plan to round off the evening at the Casino with a drink. Restaurant and slot machines are on the agenda. Céline prefers poker… With a bit of luck, we might just hit the jackpot and have another girls’ weekend!

Ariège's little extras
The Ariege Pyrenees, your oxygen bubble!

Looking for unspoilt nature, the great outdoors and white water?
In winter, ski, snowboard, skating, snowshoeing, sledging, dog sledding, at Ax 3 Domaines, Beille, Ascou and le Chioula, Mijanés and Goulier...

In summer, hiking, mountain biking, paragliding or canyoning...

And all year round, enjoy the benefits of the thermal waters at Ax-les-Thermes, Ussat-les-Bains or the Bains du Couloubret.
And don't miss the Grotte de Niaux and the Parc de la Préhistoire.

Not forgetting the history of our mountains and their heritage, pastoralism and local produce!

Book your next mountain vacation!