France's Midi-Pyrenees region is home to 12 Nordic areas where tranquil winter sports take center stage and offer an ideal opportunity for family holidays.

Far from the Alpine resorts where athletes fly down the pistes at breakneck speeds, the Nordic areas of the Midi-Pyrenees region give visitors the opportunity to enjoy winter sports on gentler, less crowded slopes. Most are found in the Pyrenees' mid-altitude resorts: Beille, Campan-Payolle, Cauterets-Pont d'Espagne, Étang de Lers, Hautacam, Le Chioula, Mijanès-Donezan, Nistos, Val d'Azun. In the Aveyron department, Aubrac, Brameloup, and Laguiole host these activities.

Cross-country skiing, Nordic walking, showshoeing, and sledging are all possible, but so are more unusual activities. At Beille and Val d'Azun, visitors can take part in the biathlon or igloo construction. Beille, Campan-Payolle, and La Chioula offer teams of sledging huskies or guests can try ski joering with a horse at Hautacam and Val d'Azun.

Since you aren't barreling down a piste or weaving between other holiday-makers, Nordic activities let you actually enjoy the snowy landscape. At Nistos, the panoramic view of the great Pyrenees peaks reminds us just how small we are compared to these giants. At Val d'Azun, trekkers can learn about and observe birds of prey on a discovery hike dedicated to the eagle-eyed hunters.

These resorts, with their frozen lakes, virgin forests, and fresh snow offer a veritable winter wonderland for nature lovers and families.

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