The Couserans region of Ariège is a wild tumble of mountains, high meadows, lakes, streams and waterfalls. The Lac de Bethmale is especially beautiful because of the incredible blue-green colour of the water.
According to legend, a wicked witch lived by the lake and she caused endless mischief and misery for the local peasants. One day, they took their pitchforks and surrounded her. Seeing there was no escape, the witch jumped into the lake, shouting that she would never really vanish. It is her cloak, on the lake bottom, that gives the water its unusual colour.
The traditional costume of the people in the Vallée de Bethmale is completely different from anything else in the region. The wooden sabots with their enormous upturned toes have a special significance. The young man has to have the strength to pull two branches from a beech tree from which to make a pair of clogs. So - the longer the toes, the stronger the man and the better chance he has of getting a bride.