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  • Pyrénées 

The entire Cathar Trail on foot - From the sea to the mountains

From Port-la-Nouvelle to Foix

From
1120€/person

Presentation of your trip

The castles proudly stand on rocky peaks. You follow the path, carved out eight centuries ago, to reach the summit. Initially serving as military posts guarding the Spanish border, these majestic buildings served as refuges for the Cathars. These are true fortresses where one would live, train, defend and worship. From the summit, you’ll take in a wide panorama, all the better to spot the enemy arriving…Following in the footsteps of hundreds of faithful men and women, you walk along paths soaked in heritage. 
Visit the most remarkable Cathar chateaux, nestled in magnificent landscapes: the limestone foothills of Plantaurel, the mountainous Ariégoises forests and the Plateau de Sault, the garrigue, vineyards of the Corbières and the smells of the Mediterranean.
 

  • DestinationPyrénées
  • TypeFree
  • Length of trip14 days and 13 nights
  • ActivitiesHiking
  • Physical level

Possible periods for this trip

  • Jan.
  • Feb.
  • March
  • Apr.
  • May
  • June
  • Jul.
  • August
  • Sep.
  • Oct.
  • Nov.
  • Dec.
Description of the tripProgramTravel conditionsDates and price

Trip details

Highlights

  • A complete trail on foot.
  • Diverse landscapes: from the Ariege forests to the Mediterranean garrigue.
  • A string of châteaux from the Middle Ages, nestled in stunning scenery.

Complementary informations

  • Circuit in two parts : two sets of 7 days, 6 nights, including 6 days of hiking
  • Circuit in one go : 14 days, 13 nights, including 13 days of hiking

Program

  • Day 1

    From Port la Nouvelle to Durban-Corbières

    • Distance : 29 km
    • Duration : 7h15
    • Elevation gain : 600 m
    • Negative gradient : 450 m

    Setting off from Port la Nouvelle beach, we head west to the mountains. Through the garrigue and the limestone plateaus, this challenging stage takes us into the Corbières.
    Night in Durban
     

  • Day 2

    From Durban to Tuchan

    • Distance : 28 km
    • Duration : 7h
    • Elevation gain : 800 m
    • Negative gradient : 450 m

    In the morning, as the vines gradually take over the scrubland, we pass by the Château d’Aguilar and walk through the land of a thousand Mediterranean smells. Night in Tuchan.

  • Day 3

    From Tuchan to Duilhac sous Peyrepertuse

    • Distance : 23.5 km
    • Duration : 6h30
    • Elevation gain : 700 m
    • Negative gradient : 650 m

    Arrival at the Château de Quéribus, guardian of the form Spanish border. We then carry on, crossing through the garrigue and the village of Cucugnan, famous for its legendary parish priest, before finishing the hike in Duilhac sous Peyrepertuse, a beautiful village which stands in the shadow of the castle of the same name. Night in Duilhac.
     

  • Day 4

    From Peyrepertuse to Labastide

    • Distance : 22 km
    • Duration : 5h30
    • Elevation gain : 780 m
    • Negative gradient : 590 m

    After discovering the imposing Château de Peypertuse, you pass along the ridge of the Corbières. Walk to the start of the Gorges de Galamus. Then, passing between holm oak trees and juniper bushes, we arrive in Camps sur Agly, Labastide. Night stay on a farm.
     

  • Day 5

    From Labastide to Aigues Bonnes - Château de Puilaurens

    • Distance : 24 km
    • Duration : 6h
    • Elevation gain : 700 m
    • Negative gradient : 750 m

    Continue on towards Caudiès de Fenouillèdes  and cross the remarkable Gorges St Jaume. The smells of the garrigue follow us all the way to the hamlet of Aigues Bonnes. Night stay on a farm.

     

  • Day 6

    From Aigues Bonnes Château de Puilaurens to Quirbajou (or Labau)

    • Distance : 26.5 km
    • Duration : 6h30
    • Elevation gain : 550 m
    • Negative gradient : 400 m

    We stop at a real jewel of medieval architecture, the Château de Puilaurens  (optional), perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Vallée de la Boulzane. At the Gorges du Rébenty, we leave behind the Mediterranean climate for green meadows and mountains. Night in Quirbajou.
     

  • Day 7

    From Quirbajou to Quillan.

    • Distance : 20 km
    • Duration : 5h30
    • Elevation gain : 520 m
    • Negative gradient : 320 m

    Having crossed the forest of the Chalets de Carach, and following the River Aux, you arrive at your final destination, Quillan, capital of the Haute Vallée de l’Aude. 
    End of trip.
     

  • Day 8

    From Quillan to Puivert (D8 for those who follow the 2 circuits)

    • Distance : 23 km
    • Duration : 6h
    • Elevation gain : 950 m
    • Negative gradient : 700 m

    Leave the capital of the Haute Vallée de l’Aude: Quillan. We pass through a beautiful forest and the village of Nébias, nestled in the heart of the Audoises Pyrenees. Arrive in the remarkable village of Puivert and its famous castle which served as a refuge for poets and troubadours during the Middle Ages. Then, if you wish, take some time to discover the traditional music of the region in the village, at the Museum of Quercorb.
    Night in a gite. 
     

  • Day 9

    From Puivert to Belcaire (D9 pour ceux qui enchainent les 2 circuits)

    • Distance : 22 km
    • Duration : 6h
    • Elevation gain : 780 m
    • Negative gradient : 240 m

    Passing over the Puivert Plain and lake, you arrive on the Plateau de Sault, crossing the forests of  Lescal et Picaussel. The Pyrenees are beginning to reveal themselves. Night in Belcaire.

     

  • Day 10

    From Belcaire to Comus (D10 pour ceux qui enchainent les 2 circuits)

    • Distance : 23 km
    • Duration : 5h30
    • Elevation gain : 750 m
    • Negative gradient : 570 m

    Stroll through the beautiful royal forests of the Plateau de Languerail, enjoying a splendid panorama over the Gorges de la Frau. We then reach the small village of Comus where Anne will be waiting for you. Night in a village at the end of the Earth !
     

  • Day 11

    From Comus to Montségur (D11 for those who follow the 2 circuits)

    • Distance : 14.5 km
    • Duration : 4h
    • Elevation gain : 500 m
    • Negative gradient : 700 m

    A quiet transition stage during which you will travel from Aude to Ariège. After the forest, we cross the superb Gorges de la Frau to arrive in Montségur, one of the most historically significant Cathar sites. Night in the village at the foot of the castle.
     

  • Day 12

    From Pog de Montségur to Roquefixade (D12 for those who follow the 2 circuits)

    • Distance : 16.5 km
    • Duration : 4h30
    • Elevation gain : 550 m
    • Negative gradient : 750 m

    Starting at the Château de Montségur, we walk through the forests towards the Château de Roquefixade. Visit the castle (optional), take in the Massif de Tabe with the towering backdrop of the Pic St Barthélémy. Night in the village at the foot of the castle.
     

  • Day 13

    From Roquefixade to Foix (D13 for those who follow the 2 circuits)

    • Distance : 18.5 km
    • Duration : 5h
    • Elevation gain : 500 m
    • Negative gradient : 350 m

    Set off on the final stage of the Cathar Trail. From the limestone foothills, you enjoy magnificent panoramic views across the mountains of the Olmes countryside, the Massif de Tabe and the summit of St Barthélémy. After an ascent to the Pech de Foix, you re-descend via the GR footpath to Montgailhard.
    Transfer from Foix to Montgailhard by shuttle bus or by taxi, which will be organised by La Rébenne if the shuttle bus is not running.

    Night in Foix.
     

  • Day 14

    Foix (D14 for those who follow the 2 circuits)

      Breakfast and end of trip.  

    • End of trip

    Travel conditions

    • Food

      This is not the time to go on a diet! Instead, it is an opportunity to taste local cuisine and specialities. The quality of your food is paramount and we take great care to ensure a good dietary balance, sufficient calorie intake and that each meal includes local specialities.You will eat in the hotel.

      Picnics (for lunch) are not included.

    • Luggage

      Carrying is limited to business of the day and picnic. Luggage is carried by vehicle. Please allow 1 bag per person, maximum 15kg/bag.

    • Attendees

      From 2 people.

    • Formalities

      • Valid identity card.
      • Repatriation insurance recommended.
    • Key information and support

      On your own :

       

      You go on your own, as a couple, with family or friends. We take care of your accommodation, meals, luggage transfer and group.

      You have good hiking experience and can find your way with a map and compass. From one stage to the next, you'll follow our My LaRébenne app on your phone, where you'll find your complete file with maps, tracks, accommodation and transporters, as well as all the information you need for your stay. If you don't want the digital folder, but prefer the paper version with the classic navigation tools such as maps, map holder, topo-guide and printed information, please let us know.

       

      If you wish to receive both the digital and paper versions of your file, please allow for a supplement.


      Freedom means hiking lightly, at your own pace, and enjoying the pleasures of nature to the full, without worrying about the logistics of your stay. It also means being free to interpret and imagine what the Pyrenees have to say.

    • Accommodation

      As our accommodation is small, please book as early as possible.

      Half-board (dinner, overnight stay and breakfast included)

      Accommodation options to choose from :
      Gîte d'étape: selected for the quality of their welcome, these gîtes offer a friendly atmosphere. In most cases, you'll share 4/6-person dormitories. Sheets and towels are not provided.
      Double room option (subject to availability): you sleep in comfortable 2-person rooms in hotels, B&Bs and sometimes gîtes. Sheets and towels are provided.

    • Difficulty level

      4 to 7 hours of hiking per day. No technical Difficulties: 900m maximum positive altitude.
      You are in good physical condition and you are prepared to hike for several days.
       

    • DEPARTURE AND MEETING POINT

      DEPARTURE AND MEETING POINT for the first leg or the two weeks: Meet on Day 1 at Port la Nouvelle SNCF train station

      How to get there:
      By car : A9 motorway
      By train: Port-la-Nouvelle SNCF train station.
      By plane: Toulouse  or Perpignan Airports then bus to Port-la-Nouvelle SNCF train station

       


      DEPARTURE AND MEETING POINT for the second leg: Meet on Day 1 at Quillan SNCF train station.

      How to get there:
      By car: Motorway to Carcassonne then D118 to Quillan. 
      By train : Carcassonne SNCF train station, then TER bus to Quillan.
      By plane : Carcassonne then shuttle bus to Quillan bus station.

       

       

    • Options

      We've developed our digital navigation application for you to download onto your phone, where you'll find your complete file with maps, tracks, accommodation and transporters, as well as all the information you need for your stay. If you don't want the digital folder, but prefer the paper version with classic navigation tools such as maps, map holders, topo-guides and printed information, please let us know.

      If you would like both the digital and paper versions of your file, please allow for a supplement of 40€.

      • Accommodation in a gite or hotel for the night before departure.
      • Picnics for Day 2 to Day 13
      • Single bedroom.
      • Return transfer to departure point.
         

    Dates and price

    Information

    Free departure dates: you choose your own departure dates according to your availability.
    For groups, we adapt the level, duration, price and program on request.

    Free departure from

    Price TTC per person

    Freedom package with luggage carried by cabs - stopover gîte
    Registration at 2 people1320
    Registration at 3 people1260
    Registration at 4 people1180
    Registration at 6 people1120
    Freedom package with luggage transfer by cab - double room
    Registration at 2 people1395
    Registration at 3 people1370
    Registration at 4 people1290
    Registration at 6 people1220

    Options

    Single room option: +€240

    The price includes

    • Half-board accommodation
    • Luggage transportation
    • Return transfer to departure point. 
    • Digital roadbook
    • Maps with marked tracks
       

    The price does not include

    • Drinks.
    • Picnics.
    • Insurance.
    • Personal expenses and visits to monuments.
    • The return transfer.
       

    The destination

    • Pyrénées

      The Pyrenees! To summarize their beauty and diversity in a few lines would be vain ... From the green mountains of the Basque Country, to the wild lands of Ariège to the Catalan mountains with the scent of the Mediterranean, the Pyrenees are an invitation to travel.

      See more trips
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    See also

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