"Do" the Cathar Trail GR®367is to dive into a poignant story. It is to discover the “Cathar castles”, these places where appalling battles took place, places of faith and resistance. This path leads from the Mediterranean to the Pyrenees and crosses two departments, Aude and Ariège, over 250km from Port la Nouvelle to Foix. 

The Cathar Trail is, as le path of the snowmen GR107, an essential and emblematic GR of the Pyrenees and Occitanie chain. It is on foot, on horseback or even by mountain bike that we discover the landscapes of the Corbières and the Pyrenees conducive to daydreaming.

The Cathar trail in a few words

  • Total distance: 250kms
  • Estimated time: 12 days
  • Departure: Port la Nouvelle / Arrival: Foix
  • Markings: red and white
  • Difficulty level: 3/5. You have a good physical condition and are prepared for the hike over several days (3h30 to 7h00 hours of walking per day with positive elevations of 500 to 1 m)
Sentier cathare en Ariège Pyrénées

Addresses and useful documents:

  • 1: 55 map The Cathar trail, RANDO editions
  • Topo-guide Guide to the Cathar trail from the Mediterranean to the Pyrenees, RANDO editions
  • The travel book edited by Aude Tourism

These editions contain all the information you need to make the hiking trail.

Favorable period

Practical all year round, the most favorable periods are May / June or September / October. In July and August, the heat makes progress more difficult on very little shaded trails. The path has few forests and many rocky ridges, scrubland, hills ...

A concentrate of history & a diversity of Landscapes:

The Cathar trail is above all a route which connects the famous "citadels of vertigo", occupied at the time by the Cathars. This path is also a discovery of a part of history as fascinating as it is terrifying: the catharisme.

Catharism, this current of thought totally rejected by the Catholic Church until it was eradicated, was very present in the South of France in the XNUMXth century. When the Church decreed that the Cathars were heretics, it launched the crusade against the albigensians to fight against this "scourge". The "perfect" then had two choices: conversion to the Catholic Church or death at the stake.

The thousands of Cathars then gathered, taking refuge in fortresses that they thought impregnable, to fight together. 

This is how, along the entire trail, 250km, unmissable sites - Aguilar, Quéribus, Peyrepertuse, Puilaurans, Puivert, Montsegur, Roquefixade et Foix - bear witness to the history of these men and women who lived, resisted, fought and perished for their faith

Our 5 favorites on the Cathar trail

  • Foix 
  • Montsegur
  • Roquefixade 
  • Quéribus 
  • Peyrepertuse

The 12 stages of the Cathar trail

In 9 Aude stages and 3 Ariège stages, the trail connects the Mediterranean to the Pyrenees. The route never climbs into the high mountains, which makes it accessible to all, while offering magnificent landscapes and panoramas. The trail progresses sometimes on a rocky ridge, sometimes in gorges, on hillsides planted with vineyards, in forests, in the fragrant scrubland… a real journey between the sea and the mountains. 

Stage 1: Port-la-Nouvelle - Durban-Corbières

Transition stage between the coast and the hinterland: hillsides covered with vineyards, scrubland and rocky ridges are on the program.

Walking time: 6h45
Distance: 29 km
Elevation +: 600m

Stage 2: Durban-Corbières - Tuchan

Here we discover the wine-growing Corbières through and through. The first castles make their appearance such as that of Aguilar.

Walking time: 7h
Distance: 28 km
Elevation +: 800m

Stage 3: Tuchan - Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse

Discovery Quéribus castle and landscapes made of large impressive limestone walls on which hang the sentinel castles. This stage also passes through a village known to all for its legendary ... parish priest of Cucugnan !

Walking time: 6h15
Distance: 23 km
Elevation +: 750m

From here, two routes are available to you:

North variant: from duilhac-sous-peyrepertuse to Puivert via Bugarach and Quillan
Coup de ❤️: The pech of Bugarach and the village of Quillan

South variant: from duilhac-sous-peyrepertuse to Puivert passing through Puilaurens
Coup de Le: Puilaurens castle

Stage 4: Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse> Cubières-sur-Cinoble or duilhac-sous-peyrepertuse> prugnanes

Certainly the most picturesque stage, it takes the hiker from the citadel of Peyrepertuse, 500m above the plain, Galamus Gorge and at the hermitage of Saint Antoine. Between Fenouillèdes and Corbières, this shorter stage allows you to visit the famous citadel of Péyrepertuse.

North variant: DUILHAC-SOUS-PEYREPERTUSE - CUBIÈRES-SUR-CINOBLE
Walking time: 4h
Distance: 13,2 km
Elevation +: 700m

South variant: DUILHAC-SOUS-PEYREPERTUSE - PRUGNANES
Walking time: 5h45
Distance: 20 km
Elevation +: 920m

Stage 5: Cubières-sur-Cinoble - Bugarach or prugnanes - puilaurens

North variant: CUBIÈRES-SUR-CINOBLE - BUGARACH
High plateaus and pastoral paths, in addition to the famous Pech de Bugarach, a steep peak that has been observed for this 5th stage ever since.

Walking time: 4h50
Distance: 16,8 km
Elevation +: 700m

South variant: PRUGNANES - PUILAURENS
Vines of Fenouillèdes, Occitan village of Caudiès, the gorges of Saint Jaume, Puilaurens make up this stage.

Walking time: 4h50
Distance: 18 km
Elevation +: 500m

Step 6: Bugarach - Quillan or Puilaurens - Quirbajou

North variant: BUGARACH - QUILLAN
Wooded hollows where you can see the last vineyards before the great cliffs and the Pyrenean mountains.

Walking time: 6h30
Distance: 24 km
Elevation +: 700m

South variant: PUILAURENS - QUIRBAJOU
The castle of Puilaurens, like all these "citadels of vertigo" served as a refuge for the Cathars on the run. This fortress with dismantled walls is typical of its battlements and melons still well preserved. We then continue along the Aude and Rébenty valley.

Walking time: 6h15
Distance: 23 km
Elevation +: 700m

Stage 7: Quillan - Puivert or Quibarjou-Puivert

North variant: QUILLAN - PUIVERT
The limit between the Mediterranean and Pyrenean zone has now been crossed, the hiker evolves in the middle of beech and fir groves. We discover during this stage the castle of Puivert.

Walking time: 5h45
Distance: 21 km
Elevation +: 700m

South variant: QUIRBAJOU PUIVERT
Passes (Clot de la Dourne, du Sarrat), Scots pines, spruces, boxwood, limestone blocks make up this wild stage with varied landscapes. We discover during this stage the castle of Puivert.

Walking time: 5h45
Distance: 22 km
Elevation +: 500m

Stage 8: Puivert - Espezel

This stage is mainly done in the forest, resting during hot weather and ideal for discovering wildlife.

Walking time: 4h30
Distance: 17 km
Elevation +: 600m

Stage 9: Espezel - Comus

Here we cross the Sault plateau, whose altitude varies between 1 m and 000m. Forestry and livestock are the main economic activities in the region. We pass very close to the village of Montaillou, whose archives describe the daily life of the inhabitants in the 1th century following the interrogations of the inquisitor Jacques Fournier.

Walking time: 5h15
Distance: 20 km
Elevation +: 500m

Stage 10: Comus - Montségur

Here we go from Aude to Ariège after the surprising gorges of the Frau. We arrive until Montségur castle, symbol of the Cathar resistance, whose site was taken over by the King of France after the stake in 1244.

Walking time: 3h30
Distance: 14,5 km
Elevation +: 500m

Stage 11: Montségur - Roquefixade

This penultimate stage of the trail crosses the Pays d'Olmes, country of textile and hornwork, to arrive at the village of Roquefixade dominated by its castle.

Walking time: 4h15
Distance: 17 km
Elevation +: 550m

Stage 12: Roquefixade - Foix


⚠️ At Montgailhard follow the deviation to join Foix.

Last stage of the path which leads to the town of Foix, the former capital of the county which stood up to Simon de Montfort. The Foix castle was later owned by Gaston Phébus.

Walking time: 4h50
Distance: 18 km
Elevation +: 500m


Good addresses and practical information

GITE D’ETAPE LE ROQUEFIXADE

GITE D'ETAPE LE ROQUEFIXADE

AUBERGE LE LÉO

AUBERGE LE LÉO

CHAMBRES D’HÔTES « LE PELERIN »

BED AND BREAKFAST "LE PELERIN"

HÔTEL RESTAURANT LONS

HOTEL RESTAURANT LONS

La Maison sous le Château

The House under the Castle

HOTEL PYRÈNE

HOTEL PYRENE

To find all the good addresses on the Audoise part of the trail: audetourisme.com

The Cathar trail in a few days

  • In 7 days from Quillan: Quillan-> Puivert -> Espezel -> Comus -> Montségur -> Roquefixade -> Foix  

    Possibility of arriving by Bus (line 402) from Carcassonne station where parking is both paid and free.
    Arrival in Foix: take the train (line Latour de carol -> Toulouse) direction Toulouse and change at Toulouse to take the direction of Carcassonne. 

    Occitanie region public transport website: https://lio.laregion.fr
  • In 9 days by the southern variant of the trail from Tuchan -> Duilhac sous Peyrepertuse -> Prugnanes-> Quirbajou -> Puivert-> Espezel -> Comus -> Montségur -> Roquefixade -> Foix

    Possibility of arriving by Bus (line 408) from Narbonne station.
    Arrival in Foix: take the train (line Latour de carol -> Toulouse) direction Toulouse and change at Toulouse to take the direction of Narbonne. 

    Occitanie region public transport website: https://lio.laregion.fr

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