Walking holiday in Cathar Country

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Walking the Cathar Castles trail in the Pyrénées

Cathar Castles of the Pyrénées

H80 from the Med to Montségur and Foix


Cathar Castles of the Pyrenees : From the Mediterranean to Montségur and Foix.
Start in Carcassonne, Narbonne or the the Mediterranean sea end in Montségur or Foix.  9 - 14 days.

walking in France H79

From the Mediterranean Aude to the Pyrenees Ariegeoises in the heart of the sun blessed Corbieres region to Montségur and Foix is where you can find the secret trails and castles of the chateaux Cathar. Imposing stone castles built high up in rocky crags or pogs.  These fortresses are the symbol of a tragic, political intrigue and drama that shook the South of France. This walking holiday combines a historical interest that stirs the imagination as well as some memorable walking through lush unspoilt mountains and valleys.
We offer this Cathar trail as a 9 to 14 days walk along the trail from East (the Med) to West (Foix).

For walks from the Med to Quillan and Carcassonne click here H78.
For a short  version From Quillan to Foix (option start in Carcassonne) 7 or 8 days  click here H79 .


Mystic Cathar Castles of the Pyrénées  H80

  9 to 14 days  
  Extra day/night possible in Carcassonne.This walk is available as  "plus"package (in ** and **/*** hotels and guesthouses)Selfguided trekking French Cathar trail in the Pyrénées
walking in France

We offer the whole of the Sentier Cathare as a

Standard ** package (H80-2) or as a **PLUS package (H80-3)Click on the links for details and prices.

Interesting discounts for small groups (3 tot 8 persons).

See terms and conditions of group discounts

Prices can be a bit higher due to the costs of transfers on Sundays and holidays. There are some long transfers. These transfers cost us 50% more than during the week. So we will inform you of the supplement. For parties of 3 and more persons the supplement will be shared by all members, so the discount will be higher too.

The price includes: the moving on of baggage between hotels, the dossier containing your maps, route notes and all necessary details needed for your holiday.

The price does not include: Drinks, entrance fees, additional transfers and holiday insurance.

Walk H80
Cathar walk Carcassonne-Quillan
Plus Package
First night in Carcassonne or Narbonne (13 and 14d). Day 1  Day 1 Day 1 Day 1  Day 1 Day 1 Day 1 Carcassonne** or *** Narbonne ***
hotel B&B
Transfer to Port-la-Nouvelle. Walk to Roquefort-des-Corbières (14 km).
Elevation gains: 200m.
Only possible as an extra option
            Day 2 Roquefort-les-Corbières
** Chambre d'Hôtes
 half board
Walk to Durban-les-Corbières (15 km).
Elevation gains: 200m.
            Day 3 Durban-les-Corbières
** Chambre d'Hôtes
half board
Transfer to Roquefort-des-Corbières and walk to Durban-les-Corbières (17 km).
Elevation gains: 400m.
Only possible as an extra option
Day 2  Day 2 Day 2 Day 2 Day 2 Day 2
** Chambre d'Hôtes
half board
Walk to Tuchan 13, 19, 25 or 29(without transfer) km
5h00 to 8h00.
Elevation gains: 800m.
            Day 4 Tuchan
** bungalowpark half board
Walk to Cucugnan/Duilhac, halfway the  castles of Queribus and Peyrepertuse
20 km:  7 hours
Elevation gains: 750m.
 Day 3  Day 3 Day 3 Day 3 Day 3
Day 4
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
** half board
Walk Camps-sur-l'Agly-Cubières-s-C.
Start with a short transfer to Peyrepertuse.
23 km. 6h.
Elevation gains: 950m.
   Day 4 Day 4 Day 4 Day 5 Day 5 Day 7 Cubières-sur-Cinoble
** le Bouchard
half board
Walk to Bugarach
15,8 km. 4h00
Elevation gains: 650m.
     Day 5  Day 5 Day 6 Day 6 Day 8 Bugarach
** Gîte d'étape
half board
Walk to Quillan
24,5 km. 7h.
levation gains: 700m.
      Day 6 Day 7 Day 7   Quillan
** B&B Casalys or ***
Walk Quillan to Puivert
20,5 km. 5h45.
Elevation gains: 700m.
 Day 4   Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 8 Day 9 Camurac
** Gîte d'étape
half board
From Puivert to Belvis.
17 km. 4h45 Elevation gains: 600m.
Day 5  Day 5 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 9
Day 10
** Chambre d'Hôtes
half board
Walk from Belvis to Camurac/Comus.
20 km. 5h30.
Elevation gains: 600m.
Day 6  Day 6 Day 8 Day 9
Day 10
Day 10
Day 11
** Chambre d'Hôtes
half board
Walk from Camurac to Montségur.
14,5 km. 3h30. 
Elevation gains: 500m.
Day 7  Day 7 Day 9 Day 10
Day 11
Day 11
Day 12
** Chambre d'Hôtes
half board
Transfer to Carcassonne + Night in Carcassonne  included in the package Day 8   Day 12 Day 13 Carcassonne
** hotel B&B or ***
End of the package after breakfast Day 8  Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 Leave after breakfast
Transfer to
Carcassonne or
Day 8

€155 Carc
€260 Narb

 n.a. Day 10

€155 Carc
€260 Narb

Day 11

€155 Carc
€260 Narb

Day 12

€155 Carc
€260 Narb

 n.a.  n.a. Transfer to
Carcassonne or
Transfer from Montségur to Carcassonne, Narbonne or Foix  possible. Day 8


 n.a. Day 10


Day 11


Day 12


 n.a.  n.a. Transfer to Foix (SNCF).

You only will have to carry a small backpack only with a water bottle, camera, picnic and wind jacket.
The main luggage will be transported by taxis between the different hotels.

In **hotels and chambres d’Hôtes in double or twin rooms

Carcassonne or Narbonne or  the Med  at Port la Nouvelle.

At the hotel in Quillan or Carcassonne.
Transfers to airport or Carcassonne are not included, but we can arrange for that.

We propose a  independent walking formula without a guide. You choose your departure date and we will take care of all the rest. We transport your bags between the hotels, provide the maps and good walking notes.

Departs day 1: every day all year round.


- From Toulouse it is 105 km by motorway to Carcassonne.

- By Train :
- There are regular trains from Toulouse or Montpellier to Carcassonne, Narbonne or Port-la-Nouvelle.

- by Air:
- Toulouse, Montpellier or Carcassonne.

PROGRAM walking stages


Narbonne is a town in the Languedoc-Roussillon région of France. It is less than an hours drive from Spain. It was once a busy port, but it is now about 9 miles from the Mediterranean Sea. The town is linked to the nearby Canal du Midi and the Aude River by the Canal de la Robine, which runs through the centre of town. If you want to visit the beach you go to Narbonne Plage. Which has a 3 mile beach and a marina with 600 mooring.

Not very special. Only if you want to start the Cathar walk at the med. First walk of 27 km.

Very old town In the centre of Corbières vineyards. 

Tuchan lies in a plain and bordered to the west by Mont Tauch which at 900 meters dominates the town. It has always been productive but whereas you might at one time have seen flocks of sheep or goats wandering around and cereals being cultivated you can now only see varieties of vines like syrah, carignan, grenache, muscat all growing in orderly rows. The town lives off the grape and its current relative prosperity is due to the success of Fitou wine and the successful marketing by the Mont Tauch Co-operative.

The village at the foot of one of the most beautiful Cathar-castles: Chateau de Peyrepertuse : in the mounts and hills of the Hautes Corbières, Peyrepertuse stands out and above at 800 m high above the the garrigues (brushwoods). From the castle you look at the other phenomenal Cathar castle of Quéribus, only 5 km ahead.

On a place with a fantastic view on the Canigou mountain and the Gorges de Galamus, you could stay easily for another day.

You'll walk to the top of it Pech de Bugarach.

From Quillan to Puivert
Start at your hotel in Quillan. (If you want a transfer to shorten this first walk you can get one from Quillan to Nébias. Suppl. €5,-Please let us know in advance). Nebias is a small Pyrenean village, the walking trail known as the Sentier Cathare leads all the way to Puivert castle. In its time this castle was far more festive than military a castle of troubadours. The surrounding terrain is scrubby, there is a pleasant vegetation of box tree, and juniper which gives a subtle fragrance to the air, to be enjoyed in the shade of the oaks. From undulating valleys and hillsides the castle comes suddenly into view, the imposing site gets ever nearer. A ridge walk will lead you towards the castle doors, it’s possible explore the towers, dungeons and the famous hall of the musicians. This feudal castle was a hive of activity in the XII century, a meeting and performance place for the most famous troubadours of the era. The village of Puivert itself also represents an interest and vestige to the past, the museum of Quercorb is a superb exhibition that really evokes the life of the area at the end of the last century. There is a model of Puivert castle showing how it would have been in the XIV century. (Please note it is also possible for clients to be transferred directly to Puivert from Quillan and from their chambre d’hote walk in the village and visit the castle.)

Night and evening meal in chambre d’Hôtes at Camurac.
5h45 effective walking, +115m altitude, -210m, 20,5kms

From Puivert to Belvis
Today’s trail is for the most part in the forest, the Cathare footpath traverses the forest of Lescale and Picaussel in the direction of the Pays de Sault. A vast, airy wide open plateau  situated high up between 950 et 1300m, the plateau is the gateway towards the high mountain summits. Does, stags, roe deer are at home in these thick fir tree forests, if you don’t have the chance to observe them you will surely see their tracks and hear them nearby. The forest is also home to foxes, squirrels and fouines, just thirty years ago lynx, wolves and bears would also have been present.
During this day’s walking you will be surprised by the diversity of the vegetation, different species of trees  such as oak, fir, silver birch and ash. On the outskirts of the forest the land is covered with the box tree, heather and juniper. The village of Belvis has a traditional architecture typical of the style to be found in mountain villages between 900 and 1000m, slate roofs, houses huddled closely together and concentrated around the church interwoven with small alley ways.

Night and evening meal in Chambres d'Hôtes at Camurac.
4h15 effective walking, +583m altitude, -25m, 15,8 kms

From Belvis to Comus
Today we have a section of the walk that offers a wonderful transition of scenery. The walk will lead you into the county of Ariègeand the ‘Pays d’Olmes‘ by a footpath that was once used at the beginning of the century by the local inhabitants whether for simple means of communication and travelling or for commercial exchanges. It was the main route between the ‘Pays de Sault’ and the ‘Pays d’Olmes’ regions.

Night and evening meal in Chambre d'Hôtes at Camurac.
5h15 effective walking, +660m altitude, -772m, 20 kms.

From Camurac/Comus to Montségur
The lay of the land dictated the route and the natural route of access between the villages of Comus and Montségur was by the gorge of the Frau. For one kilometre the gorge is notched out of high chalk walls, the path passes between  cliffs soaring impressionably straight up, vertically, towards the sky. The name itself Frau means fear or apprehension.
Before penetrating into the gorges, you will pass through the picturesque, rural villages of Camurac and Comus. It is here in these out of the way corners that the phenomena of the ‘inquisition’ hit particularly hard across the Pays de Sault and the lands of Ariègein the XII and XIII centuries, the views are captivating.

The castle of Montségur balancing high on the pog, a high mountain pinnacle is a very emblematic  symbol.  Built between  1204 and 1211 at the request of  the local Cathare clergy, this site was to become during the first part of the XIII century the religious capital of the Cathare church. You will find here, a place and atmosphere out of the ordinary.

Night and evening meal in Chambre d'Hôtes at Montségur
3h15 effective walking, +660m altitude, -772m, 13 kms.

Walk Around Montségur
The site of Montségur, the very bastion of the Cathare resistance certainly requires an additional day for exploring. The village itself is quite unique, the houses and buildings are in long curved lines one after another. They flank the mountainside in a well defined pattern and are linked by small streets and pedestrian walkways. There is a museum and some art and craft shops. From the museum a pathway leads to the foot of the pog, a high rocky buttress, it takes about 30 min to walk up to the summit where you arrive at a sumptuous belvedere. The panoramic view extends for miles around over the Massif de Tabe, with the Pic de Soularac and further East the mountain of the Frau. Having visited the castle a circular walk in the direction of the ridge of Taulat will allow you to discover high altitude mountain plains, still used to graze the local cattle.

Night and evening meal in Chambre d'Hôtes Montségur.
6h30 effective walking, +774m altitude,-580m, 12kms.

From Montségur to Roquefixade
The ‘Sentier Cathare’ or Cathare footpath progresses through the heart of the region known as the ‘Pays d’Olmes’, in past times a land renown for the weaving of cloth, wool, fabrics and certainly specialised in the production of combs made from cows corns.
Still in the county of Ariège, traversing lush, green countryside, undulating between valleys and mountainsides the trail will lead you towards the medieval castle of Roquefixade. Crossing through the village of Montferrier and the hamlet of Coulzonne you may well run in to some locals and experience a warm exchange or interesting insight into the life here.

Night and evening meal in chambre de hote at Roquefixade.
4h30 effective walking +400m altitude, -760m, 17kms.

The walks are on good footpaths and trails. You need to be used to walking and taking regular exercise to enjoy this holiday. There is between 4h30 and 6h00 effective walking each day.  The  ascents and descents are constant. There will be between 350m and 750m ascension per day.

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1075 GR Amsterdam. Netherlands.
Contact (mail)
Phone: +31 657 602 708

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