The Ferme du Rialet is an educational farm, situated in the middle of the mountainous surroundings of the French Pyrenees. This means that you can visit it, accompanied by the farm’s caretakers, to feed the animals and learn about their habits. After all the cuddles, you can fill up your bags at the farm shop. Once back home, their local products will fill you with memories of the Pyrenees.
The best way to visit La Ferme du Rialet is to join a guided tour. Don’t worry, this is a fun and engaging way to get to know the animals better. These visits take place in the afternoon on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and last from 4pm till 7pm. During this time, you can feed some of the animals, see how cows get milked, meet a llama and, if you are lucky, you can bottle-feed the calves. There also is a playground and bouncy castle- well, cow in this case- for the little ones. The entrance fee of 5 euros (free up to two years old) includes all these activities. You only have to pay extra for a ride on a poney.
My family and I had just finished the walk around the Lac des Bouillouses when I saw the sign to La Ferme du Rialet. Although the kids were slightly tired, I convinced them to join me for a quick visit to this farm. Only by promising them an ice cream, which they had definitely earned after our hike. It happened to be that we were right in time for the afternoon visit. And after the farm helper had handed out some old bread crusts to feed the animals, the children had all forgotten about their sore legs.
Via the sweet horses, gentle donkeys and cheeky goats, we entered the stable to see the cows getting milked. By this time, the kids were getting tired, so we didn’t stay to bottle-feed the calves. But if you want, you can extend your visit to the farm much longer, as there is much more to see and do. Whilst Chéri and the kids enjoyed a creamy farm ice cream, I hopped into the shop to buy some local cheese and yoghurt. The fromagerie is open every day, except on Tuesdays, from 9.30am to 12.30pm and from 4pm to 7pm. And when we left La Ferme du Rialet, we got a royal send-off from the peacock who waved at us with his beautiful feathers.