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A self-guided walking holiday that takes you along the historic Cathar footpath through the rolling hills of southern France. This itinerary takes on the first section of the trail, from the medieval city of Carcassonne to Quillan.

  • Explore villages & castles
  • Walk in the High Pyrenees mountain plains
  • Discover local foods & wines
  • Spot wildlife in the forests

Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, in the heart of the Corbières region, discover the mystical stone castles of the Chaux Cathares. 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, together with secret trails and castles of the chateaux Cathars.

We also offer an itinerary to follow the next part of the Cathar footpath from Quillan to Foix, or you may wish to combine both sections to make a 2-week walking holiday.

Typical Itinerary

  1. Day 1: Travel to Carcassonne

    Fly to Carcassonne, a charming medieval city with a fascinating history, where you spend your first night.

  2. Day 2: Explore Carcassonne & 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 the 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.

  3. Day 3: Circular walk from Chateau de Padern

    Take a morning transfer from Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse to Padern, from where the trail leads through the fragrant garrigue vegetation and past rolling vineyards to arrive at the very prestigious castle of Queribus.

  4. Day 4: Walk to Bouchard

    Today is 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.

  5. Day 5: Walk to Sougraigne

    Leave the Domaine du Bouchard to walk to the village of Sougraigne, set in the prettiest of country spots.

  6. Day 6: Walk to Pailhères

    Depart 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Day 8: Circular walk in Quillan area, return to the UK

    Depending on the time of your flights, you may have time for a circular walk from Quillan before making your way back by train to Carcassonne for your return flight to the UK.

    Alternatively, you may wish to join the second week of our Cathars Trail from Quillan to Foix.

Price and Other Information

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Dates & Prices

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Self-Guided Dates and Prices
Year Daily Departures Price From (Exc. Flights) Options
All prices are per person. Daily departures subject to availability.
2019 From 1 Jun to 30 Sep £829 Book or Enquire

If you can’t see the holiday or departure date that you are looking for please contact us. We may be in the process of finalising further departures and are often able to arrange a holiday for you according to your own requirements.