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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.
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.
Day 1 :Arrive Quillan for overnight Hotel ***, B&B
Day 2 : Walking time 5h45 /21 kms/13 miles.
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. Overnight in a charming Chambre d’hôtes HB.
Day 3 : Walikng time 6h/ 21 kms/13 miles.
The route goes through a thick fir forest and along through the heart of 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. Overnight in Belcaire Hotel **HB.
Day 4 : Walking time 5h30/ 18 kms/11.25 miles.
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, the heart of Catharism. Stay for two nights at a welcoming and comfortable chambre d’hôtes in Montségur HB.
Day 5 : Walking time 4h30/ 12kms/7.5 miles.
An evocative walk past ancient terraces with panoramic views of the famous Pog de Montségur, the last Cathar strong hold – the ancient Château de Montségur perches high on the top, a hard climb but worth it for the views. Overnight Montsegur HB.
Day 6 : Walking time 5h30 /17 kms/10.6 miles.
From Montsegur the Cathare 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. Overnight in a traditional chamber d’hôtes in Roquefixade HB.
Day 7 : Walking tiome 5h/ 18.5 kms/11.6 miles.
Superb terrain with stunning views as the trail follows a high ridge to the small town of Foix nestling in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Foix is dominated by the three towers of its chateau. Overnight Hotel *** B&B.
Day 8 : End of the trip after breakfast