Toulouse to Latour de Carol by train. The Pyrenees.
Ever since the closure of the western Transpyrénéen railway line in 1970, between Pau in France and Zaragoza in Spain, there has been growing economic pressure to fully reopen the line (I’d imagine that this economic pressure pretty much evaporated following the COVID-19 outbreak though).
So maybe one day the massive ghostly station at Canfranc will fully reopen too (it is still possible to reach the station by train, but from the Spanish side only).
In the meantime, there remains another way for rail passengers to cross the mountains of the Pyrenees, but further east. This involves a two-stage journey though, and a change of trains at Latour de Carol on the France-Spain border high in the Pyrenees.
It’s a truly magnificent journey. And this is the first of those two stages. The journey from Toulouse to Latour de Carol, through the stunning Ariège valley (and the towns of Foix and Ax-les-Thermes).
Web resources for this route:
Official Train Operator: www.sncf.com (English version)
Official Train Operator: www.ter.sncf.com/occitanie (French)
Visiting Foix in the Pyrenees (www.tripsavvy.com)
5 reasons to visit Ax-les-Thermes this ski season (www.frenchcrossroads.com)
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[photo credit: Time Out]