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Duration
7 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 6 Breakfasts

Price

$250USD

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Overview

Trip Code: JCC

Trip highlights


  • Walking along ancient trails in the stunning Corbières region
  • Exploring the ruins of Cathar castles and delving into the historical intrigue of the sect
  • Experiencing interesting villages and towns enroute
  • Enjoying excellent local cuisine and the warm hospitality of the guesthouses

On the borders of the Corbières region, where the Pyrenean chain begins, lies a network of secret trails leading to the mysterious Cathar castles. From the 12th to the 13th centuries, Catharism was entrenched in the region, a sect that shunned conventional Christianity and materialism. The Cathar crusade against the people of Languedoc (southern France) lasted for more than forty years and effectively ended the Cathar reign. Whilst many of the castles have since been destroyed or built over, there remains a few good examples including the castle at Puivert (green peak), Chateau de Troubadours. This week long walk follows ancient trails through forests, vineyards and orchards to the medieval castles. Whilst the intrigue of the region is the secrets of the Cathar sect, the stunning scenery and interesting villages makes this a richly rewarding experience for walkers and history buffs alike.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

You will be picked up from Perpignan airport or SNCF train station and transferred (included in the tour price) to Queribus Castle, probably the best preserved of the border castles. After spending some time exploring the castle you begin the hike to Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse or nearby Rouffiac through oak forest and past small villages. Ascend: + 300m, descend: - 500m - 10km Accommodation: At the foot of Peyrepertuse Castle, a comfortable 2*hotel built from the local stones. The rooms are en-suite.

Meals:  D

The day begins with a climb to the magnificent Peyrepertuse Castle, where the ruins are extensive and impressive. The route continues through the soft-leaved scrubland to the deep and spectacular Galamus gorges. Transfer to the small and pretty hamlet of La Bastide de Camps. Ascend: + 550m, descend: - 300m , 19km Accommodation : The guesthouse is part of a farm located right next to the famous Mount Bugarach. The rooms are simple and not en-suite,but the hostess prepares delicious dinners, mainly from the farm products. The lovely garden is her pride and joy.

Meals:  B,D

Leaving your hosts you make your way by the Corbieres ridges. From the Col de Pechines (915m) there is a panoramic view of the Pyrenees. Continue on to the imposing Puylaurens Castle. Following a visit to the castle you will be transferred to Quillan. Ascend: +1028m, descend: -956m, 18.2km Accommodation: A guesthouse with beautiful en-suite rooms. The host cooks superb meals.

Meals:  B,D

The route today takes you through farmland, ascending the Col de Brenac and village of Brenac where Petrus Amelius, a key religious figure in the 14th Century was born. Enroute to Puivert there is an option to extend your walk along a nature trail. Afternoon visit to the Puivert Castle, well known as the Troubadour castle. It was here that the 12th century poet-musicians sang the praises of new values and ideas to the villagers. Ascend: +1012m, descend: - 825m, 16-21km Accommodation: The guesthouse in Puyvert has a lovely garden, and you will be eating an excellent dinner, along with other guests. The rooms generally do not have toilets, but will have a basin and a shower.

Meals:  B,D

Morning transfer to Montsegur where you can visit the castle (fortress) which acted as the last stronghold of the Cathars. It also holds many myths and legends. The walking route today takes you through the Mondini forest before traversing to Roquefixade via a scenic ridge. Ascend: +1088m, descend: - 1246m, 17km Accommodation: The stonewall guesthouse in Roquefixade has got a bar and a shared lounge. The food is simple, but tasty.

Meals:  B,D

You start your morning with a beautiful ridge hike to the Roquefixade Castle. Whilst the original cliff-side castle dates back to 1109, the present-day ruins are much more modern. Continue across the limestone escarpment and along royal forest trails to the beautiful township of Foix with its imposing castle. Ascend: +765m, descend: -1150m, 18.5km Accommodation: A comfortable 3* hotel overlooking the Ariege river, and a 5-minute walk to the hilltop Castle of Foix. Rooms are en-suite.

Meals:  B,D

Trip concludes after breakfast.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 2 nights accommodation in 2-3 star hotels with private facilities, 4 nights in guesthouses (gîte) with shared facilities
  • 6 breakfasts & 6 dinners
  • Transfer from Perpignan to Queribus Castle on Day 1. Internal transfers.
  • Maps, route information and tourist information (1 set per room booked).
  • 7 day service hotline

  • Lunch and drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees

Grading

moderate  

MODERATE – GRADE 3 This is a self guided walk with average daily stages of around 5-6 hours (not including rests or visits to the castles enroute). The trip is graded moderate as the paths are well defined and generally clearly marked. There are many ups and downs as you would expect in a mountainous region, and walking poles are definitely a good idea. A good level of fitness is required and the trip is considered suitable for experienced walkers only. Map reading skills are essential and you will need to use a compass/GPS at times in order to navigate the route. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Apr to 15 Oct

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$250USD

Options & Supplements*
  • solo travellerUSD$570
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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