The complete Cathar Castles, from Quéribus to Foix

Cathar country
Self-guided walking
Self-guided Walking
12 Days
11 Nights
12 Activity Days
From 1.050,00 €

Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea, in the heart of the sunblessed region of the Corbières you will find the imposing, mystic stone castles of the châteaux cathares. These castles represent a tragic, political and religious intrigue that shook the South of France and marked the region.


During the week's walking you will discover landscapes of immense natural beauty, lush valleys and rolling hills. You will discover an interesting page of France's history along with some good local food and wines. The trails pass through a whole variety of terrain, each day is different, the vegetation, the ‘garrigue' is fragrant and often full of colour.


Your itinerary follows the ‘Cathar Trail', a footpath that stretches from Port La Nouvelle to Foix.


We can supply you with GPS tracks for the entire route, just ask us !


Dates and Prices


Every day from the beginning of March to the end of November. Depending availabilities and weather. Booking from 2 people.

Consult us for group discounts.


Prices :

Price per person based on a group of 2/3 people


Price per person based on a group of 4/5 people




Extras/Discounts :

- Extra single room : 250€/pers

- Extra 10 picnics : 105 €/pers

- Extra night in Quillan in halfboard : 59 €/pers

- Extra night in Quillan in halfboard in single room : 80 €/pers

- Extra night in Foix in halfboard in double room : 68 €/pers

- Extra night in Foix in halfboard in single room : 88 €/pers

Price includes

- Half board accommodation (11 nights)

- Transfers days 1, 2, 8 and 11

- Luggage transfers everyday

- Dossier containing maps, route notes (1 for 4 persons, given in 1st accommodation)

- GPS tracks if you ask us

Price doesn't include:

- Holiday and travel insurance

- Additional transfers

- Entrance fees, additional activities

- Drinks and picnics

- 10€ : booking fees

Day 1 : Start of holiday in Quillan

Your holiday starts in Quillan at 3 PM in front of the railway station, transfer by taxi to Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse. Check into your accommodation and investigate the village of Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse situated at the foot of Peyrepertuse castle.

Day 2 : From Padern to Duilhac via Queribus

From the Château of Padern, the trail leads through the fragrant garrigue vegetation and past rolling vineyards to arrive at the prestigious castle of Quéribus. This high citadel is a real eagle's nest, perched precariously on the rocky crags at 788m. This chateau was the last stronghold to remain secure during the crusade of the Albigensians in 1255. The surrounding scenery is grand, the views stretch to the Fenouillèdes, the plains of Roussillon and the Corbières. You take a trail that will lead you back to the village of Duilhac. Distance : 16km, duration : 5h00, altitude gain : +500m, descent : -500m.

Day 3 : From Duilhac to Cubières

A particularly picturesque walk with the opportunity to visit Peyrepertuse castle and the Galamus Gorge that has been carved out by the river Agly. Galamus gorge has become a favourite for those practising the sport of canyoning and you can sometimes hear the echoes below as they journey down, swimming and cascading over waterfalls, tumbling through the pools and chutes of the canyon. A narrow road passes through the gorge at mid level, half way up the cliffs, it was built in 1884. Your path leads directly past the Galamus hermitage, a humble home in a cave, now a small sanctuary, the entrance is found between small oaks and a shrubby box tree vegetation. Distance : 16km, duration : 5h00, altitude gain : +350m, descent : -340m.

Day 4 : From Cubières to Sougraigne village

You leave the Domaine du Bouchard to walk to the ravishing village of Sougraigne, set in the prettiest of country spots. You traverse the Col du Linas in the direction of the Pech de Bugarach (1230m), a dominating high mountain that occupies an important strategic position in the area and represents the gateway into the Corbières. The village of Bugarach, a few hundred metres off your trail, is certainly worth a short detour. Its castle ruins date from the XVI and XVII century, little narrow roads link houses that are one hundred years old. Once back on track you will cross over the Col de la Pourteille (694m), before dropping down to the village of Sougraigne. There is a whole mix of different trees that have been planted to combat soil erosion, such as the lariccio pine, austrian black pines, cedar, larch, spruce and many beach and chestnut trees. Low stone walls, fragrant scrubby bushes, the outline of buildings and a church tower, indicate you’re drawing near to the village. Distance : 15km, duration : 5h00, altitude gain : +600m, descent : -605m.

Day 5 : From Sougraigne to Pailhères

This morning you leave Sougraigne, traversing the salty river of the Sals. The source of this river is high up in one of the valleys. In the XVII century the smuggling of salt was rife in this area and the village was particularly coveted. After the passage over the Col de la Salso at app 462m you will head in the direction of the river La Blanque towards the strange landscapes of the Haut-Razès. The trail leads along footpaths that are often in the welcome shade of enormous oak and chestnut trees. There are various natural curiosities en route, such as the Roche tremblante and the natural springs rich in sulphur and iron. Arriving at Rennes le Château there is time to visit this site and learn about the mysteries of the priest and the huge sum of money that he found. The trail continues to the village of Pailhères. Distance : 19km, duration : 5h30, altitude gain : +445m, descent : -450m.

Day 6 : From Pailhères to Quillan

The trail leads through varied terrain, often in forests and through a succession of small villages. The local communities are welcoming and time seems to have stood still in the squares of sleepy villages, such as Saint Ferriol or Saint Julia de Bec. The Cathare footpath crosses from valley to valley before passing through a wooded area to the foot of the Col des Trois Quilles. Having traversed the col you drop down to 555m to Quillan the capital of the Audoise. As you arrive in the town you will pass the ruins of the castle that date from the XIII century and offer an interesting panoramic view. The walking finishes today in Quillan, situated on the banks of the river Aude. This traditionally industrial town has become an animated authentic centre and popular for tourism in recent years. Distance : 18km, duration : 5h00, altitude gain : +350m, descent : -440m

Day 7 : From Quillan to Puivert

From Quillan, the trail leads through olive groves and vineyards, then a pleasant scrubby vegetation of box trees, shady oaks and juniper that give a subtle fragrance to the air. Crossing undulating valleys and hillsides, a castle will eventually come into view, the castle of Puivert. In its time, the castle was far more festive than military, it was the castle of the troubadours. The imposing site gets ever nearer, a splendid ridge walk will lead you towards the castle doors. It is possible to explore the castle’s towers, dungeons and the famous hall of musicians. This feodal castle was a hive of activity in the XII century, a meeting and performance place for the most famous troubadours of the era. Distance : 21km, duration : 5h45, altitude gain : +700m, descent : -495m.

Day 8 : From Puivert to Comus

Transfer from Puivert to Espezel, beginning point of your walk. Through forests, discovering the Plateau de Sault, located between 950 and 1300 meters high. From the Plateau de languerail, you will discover Montsegur, Roquefixade, and the Gorges de la Frau, that will be crossed the day after. Arrival in Comus, small and typical village. Distance : 16km, duration : 6h, altitude gain : +300m, descent : -100m.

Day 9 : From Comus to Montsegur

This walk is a transition between Aude and Ariège. First the "Gorges de la Frau" show their magnificent cliffs diving into limestone during more than 1km. Then the path joins the village of Montségur, symbolizing resistance of the Cathar Church facing the Rome Church and the kingdom of France. The castle was taken in 1244, and all people died in a huge pyre. Distance : 14,5 km, duration : 3h30, altitude gain : +500m, descent : -700m.

Day 10 : Around Montsegur

The site of Montségur, the very bastion of the Cathare resistance, certainly requires an additional day for exploring. The layout of the village is surprising, 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 Cathare 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 mins to walk up to the summit where you arrive at a sumptuous belvedere. The panoramic view extends for miles around across the Massif de Tabe, with the Pic de Soularac and further East the Frau mountain. 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. Distance : 12km, duration : around 4h30, altitude gain : +775m, descent : -775m.

Day 11: From Montsegur to Foix

The last section of the sentier Cathare has the benefit of a medieval castle at the beginning and at the end of the day. The route follows, for the most part, a ridge walk between the small village of Roquefixade and the county town of Foix. The town of Foix was a count’s town and it’s castle, linked to Gaston Febu, is characterised by its three towers and high, unusual rocky base. Foix is Ariège’s principal town and during the Summer months it is a vibrant centre of music and animation, a season of festivities, merriment and colourful markets. Market day is on a Friday morning. Transfer at the end of your hike to your accommodation to Foix. Distance : 17km, duration : 4h30, altitude gain : +400m, descent : -760m.

Day 12 : End of holiday in Foix

The holiday comes to an end in Foix. You can choose to visit the old town centre, to wander through the streets and to visit the castle.

Walking loop around Foix

The itinerary offers splendid views on the valley and the surrounding mountains, leading to the Roc de Caralp. Distance : 11km, duration : 4h00, altitude gain : +460m, descent : -460m.


This programme is an example of the itinerary we aim to adhere to. It may be necessary, if situations arise that are beyond our control, for the itinerary to be modified.


Day 1 at Quillan train station (11), at 3 PM (15h00) for the transfer at your accommodation in Duilhac sous peyrepertuse (11).


Day 12 at your hotel in Foix after breakfast (09).


Nature of the walk

The walks are on good footpaths and trails, the terrain is varied but often rocky. 

Level 2/5

The walks are on good footpaths and trails, the terrain is varied but often rocky. You need to be used to walking and take regular exercise to enjoy this holiday. 


- Half board accommodation in double room in hotels or guesthouse.

- Exterior swimming pool the day 4.


- Continental breakfast (tea, coffee, milk, butter, jam)

- Evening meals in gites, often based on local specialities, include a starter, a main course and a dessert.

- Pic-nics and drinks are not included.

Luggage porterage

You will need to carry a day sack only, with your water bottle, camera, picnic and goretex jacket. Our bag-moving service means you can travel light during your walks. Your main luggage will be transported by vehicle between the different night stops. We ask you to please limit your main luggage to between 10-15kg to facilitate the transportation and carrying for the taxis


Self-guided walking, without guide.

Pyrenean travel agency specializing in your hikes and treks in the Pyrenees, the GR10 and more
ARIEGE: 20 chemin de la montagne, 09000 FOIX
+33 (0)5 34 14 51 50 - +33 (0)6 10 97 16 54
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