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.
Tuchan/Queribus to Quillan to Foix – 12 nights / 11 days walking
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
SNCF train station – good train connections to Toulouse.
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
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.