Pyrenees – Cathar Castles, Tuchan/Queribus to Quillan to Foix

Pyrenees, France

Holiday overview

Destination

France


Type

Self Guided


Difficulty

Moderate


Month

Apr - Oct


Price

£ 1250.00 pp


Duration

12 nights


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Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, in the heart of the sun baked Corbieres region of south-west France, this walk progresses from wild, lush countryside to mountains and sun-blessed vineyards, with a cultural heritage which derives from some of the most mysterious and dramatic pages of the history of France.

Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, in the heart of the sun baked Corbieres region of south-west France, this walk progresses from wild, lush countryside to mountains and sun-blessed vineyards, with a cultural heritage which derives from some of the most mysterious and dramatic pages of the history of France. Scenery is in abundance, from pine, oak and beech forests, to rivers and deep gorges and distant mountain peaks. Yet the walking is not especially difficult and the flowers and wildlife are substantial additional pleasures.

 

There are two walking trails. Both follow different sections of the famous ‘Sentier Cathare’ and can be combined to make a two-week holiday. Along these ancient paths you will discover Cathar castles, perched precariously on the cliff edges, and small rural Pyrenean villages.

 

This region full of charm also has its own culinary secrets, the Corbiere wines and typical dishes, like ‘cassoulet’, will leave a memorable reminder and a taste of a warm welcome.

 

Price:

Tuchan/Queribus to Quillan to Foix –  12 nights / 11 days walking

  •  £1250.00 per person based on two people sharing.
  • £1490.00 in a single room
  • £1690.00 solo walker in a single room
  • Extra nights can also be booked at extra cost.

 

Included:

  • 12 nights accommodation
  • 12 breakfasts
  • 10 dinners
  • Luggage transportation
  • Map and route instructions
  • Transfers as necessary for the programme.

 

Not Included:

  • Flights, train tickets,
  • drinks with meals,
  • lunches.

 

Departure Dates:

  • April to October.

Queribus / Quillan / Foix

 

Day 1:  Arrive for overnight and dinner in the pretty town of Tuchan.  Charmbre d’hotes La Remise

 

Day 2:  Short transfer to Padern. Today we walk from the Chateau of Padern through contrasting landscapes to the fortress of Queribus and from there we continue to Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse for overnight  at Auberge Vieux Moulin and dinner at Auberge La Batteuse.

16 kms. 5 hrs. Altitude gain/descent: +436m -260m

 

Day 3:  Duilhac to Cubieres.  Walk through the unforgettable Galamus Gorges up to the Chateau of Peyrepertuse.  Dinner and overnight Accueil au village.

16 kms. 5 hrs.  Altitude gain/descent:+250m -340m

 

Day 4:  Cubieres to Sougraigne.  The walk today is in the very heart of the Cathar country as the takes us between the Fenouilledes and the Corbieres.  Traverse the Bugarach massif and the Salso Col before arriving in the beautiful small village of Sougraigne for dinner and overnight at L’Ecluse au soleil.

15kms. 5hrs. Altitude gain/descent: +250m -605m

 

Day 5:  Sougraigne to Granes.  Pass the village of Rennes les Bains and on to Rennes le Chateau with its small castle dominating the surrounding hills.  Dinner and overnight at Chambre d’hotes Sue Bell in Granes.

19kms/11.9 miles. 5hrs 30.  Altitude gain/descent: +445m -450m

 

Day 6:   Granes to Quillan.  The route from Granes to Quillan follows the GR along a well known path that used to be an important link and means of communication between the small Pyreneen hamlets. Traverse the high saddle of the Col des Trois Quilles before arriving in Quillan for overnight Hotel Cartier (dinner not included).

18 kms/11.25 miles. 5hrs.   Altitude gain/descent: +350m -440m

 

Day 7:  From Quillan walk to the village of Nebias. From here the walk starts along the Cathar footpath to the 13th century Chateau of the Troubadours in Puivert.  Dinner and overnight Relais Marionnettes.

21 kms/13 miles. 5hrs 45.  Altitude gain/descent:+700m -495m

 

 Day 8:  Puivert to Belcaire.  The route goes through a thick fir forest and along through the heartof the Escale and Picaussel forests and onto the vast airy plateau of Sault using ancient paths to access the high valley of Aude and the Corbieres region.  Dinner and overnight Hotel Bayle, Belcaire

21 kms/13 miles. 6hrs. Altitude gain/descent: +583m -25m

 

Day 9:  Belcaire to Montsegur. We notice the difference between the Pays de Sault plateau and the county of Ariege as we walk along a pathway situated between high rock mountains that slip down through the impressive Gorge of the Frau before arriving in the village of Montsegur.  Dinner and overnight L’Oustal.

18 kms/11,25. 5hrs 30. Altitude gain/descent: +660m -772m

 

Day 10:  Circular Walk from Montsegur.  Walk from Montsegur, along a steep rocky trail, as the route leads onto the foothills of the mountain knowns as the Massif of Tabe.  Dinner and overnight L’Oustal.

12 kms/7.5 miles. 6hrs 30.  Altitude gain/descent:+774m -580m

 

Day 11:  Montsegur to Roquefixade.  From Montsegur the Cathar trail weaves its way to the village of Montferrier, traversing the Modini forest before reaching the Pyrenean village of Roquefixade, an ancient bastide of the 13th century.  Dinner and overnight ~Auberge des Troubadours.

17 kms/10.6 miles. 4hrs 30.  Altitude gain/descent: +400m -760m

 

Day 12:  Roquefixade to Foix.  The last section of the Cathar path follows a high ridge from Roquefixade castle to the small town of Foix. This walk combines superb terrain with stunning views.  Overnight Hotel Lons, Foix (dinner not included)

18.5 kms/11.6 miles. 5 hrs.  Altitude gain/descent: +350m -720m

 

Day 13; Departure after breakfast

 

Getting to Tuchan

From Perpignan: bus to Vingrau (4 buses per day – journey approx. 1h20).  Taxi from Vingrau to Tuchan (8 miles)

From Carcassonne: Bus or train to Quillan, then taxi to Tuchan

From Foix: 

SNCF train station – good train connections to Toulouse.

 

Hotels:

Chambres d’hotes La Remise – Tuchan

Auberge Vieux Moulin – Duilhac

Accueilo au village – Cubieres

L’Ecluse au Soleil – Sopugraigne

Chambres d’hotes Sue Bell – Granes

Hotel Cartier – Quillan

Relais Marionnettes Puivert

Hotel Bayle Belcaire

L’Oustal, Montsegur (2 nights)

Auberge des Troubadours, Roquefixade

Hotel Lons Foix

 

What to take:

  • Sturdy walking boots and walking socks (with a change of socks in rucksack),
  • rucksack/day pack,
  • 1 x water bottle with 1 litre capacity,
  • insect repellent,
  • sun glasses, sun hat, sunblock/cream,
  • compass, torch,
  • first-aid kit.

 

Insurance:

We recommend that you take out appropriate holiday insurance covering you against illness, injury, and loss or damage to luggage. This insurance should also cover the possibility of your having to cancel your holiday for any reason.