France - Cathar Castles trail from Port la Nouvelle to Foix

France - Cathar Castles trail from Port la Nouvelle to Foix

This self-guided hiking tour - the Cathar Castles Trail

From Port La Nouvelle to Foix, between the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees, the hike starts in the heart of the sun baked Corbieres region in the South of France, then progresses from the vineyards to wild, lush countryside and the foothills of the Pyrenees mountain range. A rich cultural heritage which derives from some of the most mysterious and dramatic pages of the history of France : the Catharism

Over 254 km, this hike is a discovery of the most impressive citadels (Aguilar, Peyrepertuse, Quéribus, Puilaurens, Puivert, Montségur, Foix...) 

 From one Cathar castle to another, the walks are an immersion in sceneries off the beaten tracks with comfortable and carefully chosen accommodation.

Day 1

Port la Nouvelle -
Arrive in Port la Nouvelle

Day 2

Warm up stage up to the pretty Roquefort des Corbières nestled among the vineyards. Elevation gain : + 120m.

Day 3

Today the Cathar Castles trail starts with a walk to Durban Corbières dominated by the Castle of Tuchan. The architectural heritage of Durban is a reflection of the great periods of history: ruins of the Visigoth chapel of Ste Ruphine castle and its chapel, St. Hippolyte chapel of the fourteenth century mill

Day 4

DURBAN - TUCHAN – 28 km – 8h30 - + 800m
A long walk in the Mediterranean landscape to reach Tuchan. The footpath past by the Castles of Domneuve and Aguilar.

Day 5

TUCHAN - DUILHAC S/PEYREPERTUSE 24 km – 6h00 - + 750 m
The walk leads your steps to the Castle of Padern, then to the impressive perched castle of Queribus which tower stands 728 m above the village of Cucugnan.
The walk contiinues to Duilhac where you will spend the night.

Day 6

DUILHAC - LA BASTIDE DES CAMPS – 20.3 km – 5h00 - +800 m
The imposing Castle of Peyrepertuse, «vessel in the sky» and the descent in the "garrigues" to the deep Galamus Gorge.
Night in a hamlet in Labastide de Camps

Day 7

LA BASTIDE - BUGARACH – 10 km 3h00 or 7h00 (ascent to Pech de Bugarach)
Short stage to the famous village of Bugarach. Possible ascent to the highest peak of the Corbières region, 1230 m, the Pech de Bugarach, this peak is also called the "upside down mountain" and has given birth to a range of esoteric beliefs. Night in Bugarach

Day 8

BUGARARCH - QUILLAN – 23 km – 6h15 - +700 m
We leave behind the Corbières area to enter the high valley of the River Aude and reach the lively Quillan : the high cliffs that stands beside the city remind us that the mountain is getting closer.

Day 9

QUILLAN - PUIVERT - 22 km – 6h00 - +700 m
From that stage the mediterranean influences fade away to make way to the Quercorb area, a region of small isolated mountains arising from the plain.The Nebias plateau and the Puivert Castle. In Puivert you will find a medieval museum.

Day 10

PUIVERT - ESPEZEL - 17.5 km – 5h30
Keep you eyes open : this stage is a transition from the olive-tree of the mediterranean vegetation to the fir and beech forest. Higher trees and green landscape.

Day 11

ESPEZEL - COMUS - 20.5 km – 5h30 - + 300m
The walk follows a footpath crossing the open pastures area and the beautiful beech forest to finally end in the mountain village of Comus which stands at 1200 m above the sea level.

Day 12

COMUS - MONTSEGUR 15 km – 4h00 -
Today the walk first crosses the bottonm of the Frau Gorges and then arrives at Montségur where the Castle is the terrible witness of the Cathar History.(+1200 m)

Day 13

MONTSEGUR - ROQUEFIXADE 17.5 km – 4h30 - +550 m
The Pays d'Olmes and its green landscape takes you to the Castle of Roque fixade that offers an icredible point of viex over the Ariège Pyrenees.

Day 14

ROQUEFIXADE - FOIX 18.4 km – 5h00 - +500 m
A beautiful walk on the ridges up to the Gaston Febus city of Foix, capital of the Ariege, proud of its medieval castle overlooking the city.

Day 15

End of the tour after breakfast. If you could not visit the castle yesterday, take the time to enjoy a guided visit.

titre 1

Self guided WALKING
Duration :
15 Days
From :
1590 €

Included : (see details in Dates and Prices section)

2 star hotels and guest houses-

Break fasts and dinners

Luggage transfer

An English road book and a map.

English speaking email or phone assistance




Starts in : Port la Nouvelle (near Narbonne)

Ends in : Foix (50 km from Toulouse)


Access :  train station.



Information : click on "ask for more information"

Phone Cecile : +33 5 58 48 71 65


Customize your tour : add or remove one night or more,combine with another tour


See also :

 Other walking tours in France





Changing landscape

Fascinating History

The Whole Cathar trail

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