Commune of Ariège, Vicdessos is a small village of just over 600 inhabitants which lies between 652 and 1585 meters above sea level and covers nearly 600 hectares in the Regional Natural Park of Ariège Pyrenees. At the foot of the Montcalm massif, Vicdessos is an ideal place to enjoy breathtaking landscapes and the calm of the city in the mountains.
The village lies at the foot of the border with Spain and the Principality of Andorra, offering the opportunity to explore the wonders of neighboring countries. Visitors appreciate the beauty of the surrounding nature as well as the many outdoor activities possible in the village of Vicdessos and all its surroundings.
The village of Sem, in the Vicdessos Valley, is built at the foot of Ganchette Peak, about 1000 m above sea level. The history of the village merges with that of the Rancié mine. An iron mine, operated for nearly two millennia, a blast furnace discovered a few years ago shows that it worked in the third century. This mine of which the count of Foix had given the enjoyment of the ore extracted to the minors, worked until 1930.
Today the village has only about 25 permanent inhabitants but fills the summer on the occasion of the festivities organized by the various associations or the municipality.
Vicdessos is best known for the beauty of its natural heritage as well as for its many outdoor activities.
The Notre-Dame church, whose presence is attested since the end of the 11th century, was formerly called Saint-Martin-de-Sos. It has a beautiful Romanesque square bell tower and a Gothic portal. Inside, the organ dating from the seventeenth century has been classified as an historic monument.
The natural heritage of Vicdessos is most breathtaking, including the proximity of several ponds and other mountain lakes. The pond of Peyregrand, the ponds of Neych with a beautiful hut of shepherds and herds in season, the pond Redouneilles cows or ewes, or the pond of Brouquenat are ideal destinations for hikes.
Numerous landscaped trails make it possible to take advantage of the Montcalm massif and its many peaks, like that of Estats. From above, we have unique views of all the surroundings.
If you can always walk along the Chemin des mines, you can not enter the galleries that are closed to the curious. But the bravest can still see the "Trench" area of the first open-air mining at the summit of Ganchette peak accessible by the GR10. The less courageous can stop at the village where a small "museum" (at the town hall) keeps the memory of the mine.
Sem is also known for its "dolmen" which is only an erratic stone left by the glacier of Bassiès a little more than 10000 years ago.
Regularly throughout the year, Vicdessos is the scene of festive or cultural events that give life to the whole region.
The Vicdessos market is held every Thursday from 8am to 1pm.
A friendly beer festival is offered every year in March with entertainment, a meal and tastings.
In September, place at the Saint Mathieu fair with sheep competitions, rides and other activities of all kinds.
Every year in September, the Auzat and Vicdessos Valley offers its festival of Franco-Italian classical music, with the organization of concerts around the area.
Blues Festival, organized by Love Blues in Sem, early August: first evening in the Sem church (acoustic concert); second evening, big concert in Vicdessos (market hall).