Walks Europe France In the Footsteps of the Cathars

In the Footsteps of the Cathars / Self-Guided

8 days from £879 | Or 15 days from £1,729 | Self-guided for 2 or more persons travelling together

A walking holiday that takes us along the historic Cathar footpath through the rolling hills of southern France. Choose between two routes or combine the two for a 15 day trip.


8 days from £879 | Or 15 days from £1,729 | Self-guided for 2 or more persons travelling together

  • Discover local foods and wines
  • Explore villages and castles as you walk
  • Spend time walking in the high Pyrenees mountain plains
  • Spot wildlife in the forests

Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, in the heart of the Corbi's region, discover the mystical stone castles of the Chaux Cathares. These walking holidays take you from Duilhac to Quillan, from Quillan to Foix or you can combine the two to create a fantastic 15-day walking holiday.

This trip is a mixture of historical interest that stirs the imagination, as well as memorable walking through landscapes of immense natural beauty - lush, rolling hills, unspoilt mountains and valleys. The trails pass through a whole variety of terrains, each day is different and the vegetation is fragrant and often full of colour. Discover good local food, robust Languedoc wines and a part of the Pyrenees that has a strong Mediterranean influence. Find secret trails and castles of the chateaux Cathars.

France Footsteps of the Cathars Map

Itinerary - Duilhac to Quillan

Day 1 Arrive Carcassonne
Arrive Carcassonne, a charming medieval city with a fascinating history, where you will spend the first night.
Day 2 Explore Carcassonne and travel to Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse
Today we recommend you explore Carcassone and follow the city walk between two UNESCO world heritage sites: The Canal du Midi and "La Citadel Carcassonne". In the City, don't miss the visit of the cathedral, and have a look at the wonderful "Chateau comtal", a well preserved medieval castle.
Day 3 Circular walk from Chateau de Padern
A morning transferfrom Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse to Padern. From the Chaux de Padern, the trail leads through the fragrant garrigue vegetation and past rolling vineyards to arrive at the very prestigious castle of Queribus.
Day 4 Walk to Bouchard
A particularly picturesque walk with the opportunity to visit Peyrepertuse castle and the Gorge of Galamus that has been carved out by the River Agly.
Day 5 Walk to Sougraigne
You leave the Domaine du Bouchard to walk to the village of Sougraigne, set in the prettiest of country spots.
Day 6 Walk to Pailheres
You leave Sougraigne this morning, crossing the salty river of the Sals. In the 17th Century the smuggling of salt was rife in this area and the village particularly popular.
Day 7 Walk to Quillan
Today the trail leads through varied terrain, often forested, and 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. As you arrive in the town you will pass the ruins of the castle dating from the 13th Century, offering an interesting panoramic view.
Day 8 Circular walk in Quillan area
Circular walk from Quillan. Depart Quillan. Arrive UK.

Itinerary - Quillan to Foix

Day 1 Arrive Quillan
Depart UK. Arrive Quillan.
Day 2 Walk to Puivert
Setting out from Quillan, the trail leads through olive groves and vineyards, shady oaks and juniper that give a subtle fragrance to the air. Across undulating valleys and hillsides a castle will come into view. The castle of Puivert in its time was far more festive than military, it was the castle of the troubadours.
Day 3 Walk to Comus
Through forests, discovering Plateau de Sault. The plateau is the gateway towards the high mountain summits. Does, stags and roe deer are at home in the thick fir tree forests and if you don't have the chance to observe them you will surely see their tracks and hear them nearby.
Day 4 Walk to Montsegur
Today's walk offers a wonderful transition of scenery. The trail will lead you into the county of Ariege and the Pays d'Olmes by a footpath that was used at the beginning of the century by the locals for simple means of communication and travelling, or commercial exchanges. It was also the main route between the Pays de Sault and the Pays d'Olmes regions.
Day 5 Circular Walk
The site of Montsegur, the very bastion of the Cathare resistance, certainly requires an additional day for exploring.
Day 6 Walk to Roquefixade
Today you traverse lush countryside undulating between valleys and mountains. The trail leads you towards the medieval castle of Roquefixade. Crossing through the village of Montferrier (stopping for a drink and cake at one of the patisseries!) and the hamlet of Coulzonne you may well run into some locals and experience a warm exchange and interesting insights into the life here.
Day 7 Walk to Foix
Today you can have the choice to explore Foix or do a circular walk around the area.
Day 8 Depart from Foix
Explore Foix and castle. Depart Foix. Arrive UK.
You can combine these two walking weeks. Great value for money at £1,549.
  • Trip grade: B to C - Moderate to demanding
  • Duration: 8 days or 15 days
  • Trip Code: TF1E
  • Max Altitude: 1,300m
  • Accommodation: Hotels and Guesthouses
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts and 6 evening meals incl. per week
  • Departs: June until September
  • OVERSEAS JOINING POINT : Carcassonne
  • IMPORTANT : Make sure your chosen holiday is guaranteed to run before you purchase your air tickets and make any other travel arrangements

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