What is the green lane?
La Greenway Cathar Pyrenees it is above all the history of the railway and the industrialization of Ariège. From 1903, this railway line is put into service to connect the Hers valley, industrialized, to Pamiers and Bram, which are connected to the main railway lines.
It was with the development of road transport that the use of railways fell, and finally died out in 1973 for this axis.
This greenway is magnificent because all along the route, we are constantly entitled to viewpoints on small architectural wonders: either we pass on an iron bridge reminiscent of the golden years of the train in Ariège, either we glimpse the Lagarde castle through a row of plane trees, or you can enjoy an unobstructed view of the Chalabre castle...
How to get bored with all this?
Departure from Léran
That day, we decided to discover part of the green way in soft mobility. Who says soft mobility says "bike". But for us, it will be an electric bike. The Greenway Cathar Pyrenees, it's a great opportunity to test this new trend, discovering the castles, forests, viewpoints and small towns scattered all along this route…
Where to rent a bike?
To do this route, we chose to rent it e-bikes at Velomondo in Léran. We liked their welcome, their responsiveness, and the quality of the bikes provided!
See also all bike rental companies of Ariège.
After having rented our bike, and received all the valuable advice from Vélomondo on e-bikes, let's go for an electric bike ride on the Greenway of the Cathar Pyrenees !
From Léran we took the D6 towards Labastide-sur-Lhers, where the greenway passes! And let's go for a nice walk.
Chateau de Lagarde
Besides, how does an electric bicycle work?
When you start pedaling, the pedaling sensor receives the information and sends an electrical signal to the controller. The latter then opens its valves between the battery, energy source, and the motor. The motor then draws its energy from the battery, and on the small console on the handlebars, you can choose the level of motor assistance: eco, medium or maximum.
Especially useful on the climbs, right? The bike being heavy, we had the assistance engaged at least over the entire length, and we went up the level when it climbed a little!
First point of view on Chalabre
Time to get used to the electric bike (yes it's still not as easy as you think), we are already at Chalabre ! It's not in Ariège, but it's still pretty! A beautiful castle, on the border between Aude and Ariège, from medieval times. From a distance, we can especially see the 2 towers which protrude from the forest!
stop in camon
We continue our bike ride to reach the Camon village. We had already had beautiful echoes of this medieval village and we were impatiently waiting to pass the ramparts!
Camon, is "the village of hundred roses", labeled "most beautiful village in France" and is dressed in colors and scents from May during the rose festival! We stroll in the well-preserved alleys of the village, then around the ramparts, surrounded by vineyards. It's really beautiful and soothing ...
Small cafe in Mirepoix
Mirepoix it is the perfect spot to have a coffee under the galleries of its well-preserved half-timbered houses. How pleasant it is to rest here, an eye on the medieval square, an eye on the vertiginous bell tower of the church. We take the opportunity to discover the house that makes this bastide famous: the House of Consuls.
Adorned with pieces carved in wood, gargoyles more astonishing than the others, it remains the best preserved house in the city and the most emblematic.
on the way back, take a short detour to the Château de Lagarde
We therefore set out again, to join Lagarde. After 15km of cycling without much difficulty, we stop in front of the astonishing remains of this Lagarde castle, which we did not know. The interior cannot be visited, but we can take a tour, and the visit is accompanied by a fascinating video on the history of this place. Over the centuries, it has been the object of numerous changes, going from a guard tower (from the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth century), to a pleasure palace.
It was even nicknamed the little Versailles… to find out why, you have to go there!
VÉLOCIDADE, BIKE LUGGAGE MADE IN ARIÈGE
It is in his workshop in Mirepoix that Velocidade designs responsible luggage to support everyone's small and big adventures on a daily basis. Convinced that the bicycle is the decarbonized solution par excellence for everyday commuting, Ricardo embarked on the design and conception of bags for artisanal way, From materials made in France. The shop offers saddlebags of different sizes to store sleeping bag, clothes, phone, mini-tent and other accessories useful in his excursions. Can also compose your own "bikepacking" kit according to his needs and his journeys!
Terminus, stop at Lac de Montbel for a picnic
We decide to draw on the edge of the Montbel lake make our final picnic break.
We arrive, at the end of our walk, on the shaded shores of the magnificent Lac de Montbel. What a surprise this lake! A dazzling blue, which would make all Mediterranean coves pale! We are delighted to take our gourmet break here! Montbel lake is an artificial lake, originally created for the irrigation of fields, going as far as Lauragais!
But over time it has become a great spot for swimming and nautical activities: boating, windsurfing, paddle boards, pedalo… sunbathing!
It's time to return the bikes to Vélomondo, the day is over. We did not only take the green route during this day, but the section we took really dazzled us! To be redone as soon as possible.
* We took 3 hours round trip (40km) to do this part of the greenway by e-bike (counting the stops)
* There are many bike rental companies ou e-bike in Ariège.
* If you like routes of this type, in Ariège, there are 2 other greenways : Foix> Saint-Girons & Saint-Lizier> Prat-Bonrepaux.