Walking the Cathar trail in the Pyrénées to Montsegur

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Home             walking in South of France         Cathar trail Part 2: H79 stnd** or Plus**/***

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Cathar Trail: Carcassonne - Quillan - Montsegur - Foix    (H79 standard or plus packages).

6 or 7 days  (5 to 6 overnights  and 4 or 5 days of walking).

Selfguided hiking holidays in the Pyrénées in South of France.

Walking holiday in Cathar Country

For walking the whole trail (from the Med in the East to Foix in the West) you go to the H80-webpage.

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Cathar Castles of the Pyrenees : From Carcassonne or Quillan to Montségur.

From the Mediterranean to the Pyrenees Ariégeoises in the heart of the sun blessed Corbières region, or between Montségur is where you can find the secret trails and Cathar castles. Imposing stone castles built high up in rocky crags of pogs. These fortresses are the symbol of a tragic, political intrigue and drama that shook the South of France. This walking holiday combines a historical interest that stirs the imagination as well as some memorable walking through lush unspoilt mountains and valleys.
We offer the Cathar trail as a week itinerary from Quillan to Montségur or you can book a 7 to 12 days walk along the trail from East (at the Med) to the West.

We offer the Sentier Cathare between Quillan and Montségur or Foix as

Standard ** package (H79-stnd) or a **Plus package (H79-plus) . Click on the links for all details and prices.

Interesting discounts for small groups (3 tot 8 personen).

See terms and conditions of group discounts

Prices can be a bit higher due to the costs of transfers on Sundays and holidays. There are some long transfers. These transfers cost us 50% more than during the week. So we will inform you of the supplement. For Parties van 3 and more personen the supplement will be shared by all members, so the discount gets higher.

The price includes: the moving on of baggage between hotels, the dossier containing your maps, route notes and all necessary details needed for your holiday.

The price does not : Drinks, entrance fees, additional transfers and holiday insurance.

Bus/train from Carcassonne to Quillan.
Supplement taxi transfer from Carcassonne to Quillan on first day : € 144 per pax up to 4 personen.

Transfers at the end:
In Montségur you need a transfer back to Quillan (and bus to Carcassonne) or to Foix.
Supplement taxi transfer from Montségur to Quillan on last day : € 96 per pax up to 4 personen.
Supplement taxi transfer from Montségur to Carcassonne on last day : € 154 per pax up to 4 personen.
Supplement taxi transfer from Montségur to Foix on last day : € 64 per pax up to 4 personen.

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Walk H79 Cathar walk.

Standard** or **plus
Carcassonne  Day 1  Day 1 Carcassonne ** BnB or
Carcassonne *** BnB
Quillan. After visit of Carcassonne,
train/bus at the end of the day to Quillan.
Day 1 Day 2 Day 1 Day 2 Quillan ** BnB or

Quillan *** dinner+BnB

Walk Quillan to Puivert
(overnight in Camurac, 1 transfer)
20,5 km. 5h45. Elevation gains: 200m.
Day 2 Day 3
Day 2 Day 3 Camurac **
From Puivert to Belvis.
(overnight in Camurac, 2 transfers)
15,8 km. 4h15 Elevation gains: 400m.
Day 3
Day 4
Day 3 Day 4
Camurac **
Walk from Belvis to Camurac.
(overnight in Camurac, 1 transfer)
20 km.5h15. Elevation gains: 270m.
Day 4
Day 5
Day 4 Day 5
Camurac **
Walk from Camurac to Montségur.
14,5 km. 3h30. Elevation gains: -400m +200.
Day 5 Day 6 Day 5
Day 6
Montségur **
Walk from Montségur to Roquefixade.
17,0 km. 4h15. Elevation gains: -160m.
  Day 6
Day 7 Roquefixade **
Walk from Roquefixade to Foix.
18 km. 4h50. Elevation gains: -300m.
  Day 7 Day 8 Foix **
Foix ***
End of the package after breakfast Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9  


You will carry a small backpack only with a water bottle, camera, picnic and wind jacket.
The main luggage will be transported by taxis between the different hotels.

LODGING: In **hotels and chambres d’hotes in double or twin rooms

STARTING POINT: Carcassonne or Narbonne or the Med at Port la Nouvelle.

END: At the hotel in Quillan or Carcassonne. Transfers to airport or Carcassonne are not included, but we can arrange for that.

SELF-GUIDED: We propose a independent walking formula without a guide. You choose your departure date and we will take care of all the rest. We transport your bags between the hotels, provide the maps and good walking notes.

DATES: Departs day 1: every day all year round.


- From Toulouse it is 105 km by motorway to Carcassonne. - By Train :
- There are regular trains from Toulouse or Montpellier to Carcassonne, Narbonne or Port-la-Nouvelle.
- by Air: - Toulouse, Montpellier or Carcassonne.


Day 1: From Quillan to Puivert

Start at your hotel in Quillan. (If you want a transfer to shorten this first walk you can get one from Quillan to Nébias. Suppl. €5,-Please let us know in advance). Nebias is a small Pyrenean village, the walking trail known as the Sentier Cathare leads all the way to Puivert castle. In its time this castle was far more festive than military a castle of troubadours. The surrounding terrain is scrubby, there is a pleasant vegetation of box tree, and juniper which gives a subtle fragrance to the air, to be enjoyed in the shade of the oaks. From undulating valleys and hillsides the castle comes suddenly into view, the imposing site gets ever nearer. A ridge walk will lead you towards the castle doors, it’s possible explore the towers, dungeons and the famous hall of the musicians. This feudal castle was a hive of activity in the XII century, a meeting and performance place for the most famous troubadours of the era. The village of Puivert itself also represents an interest and vestige to the past, the museum of Quercorb is a superb exhibition that really evokes the life of the area at the end of the last century. There is a model of Puivert castle showing how it would have been in the XIV century. (Please note it is also possible for clients to be transferred directly to Puivert from Quillan and from their chambre d’hote walk in the village and visit the castle.) Night and evening meal in chambre d’Hôtes at Camurac.
5h45 effective walking, +115m altitude, -210m, 20,5km

Day 2: From Puivert to Belvis

Today’s trail is for the most part in the forest, the Cathare footpath traverses the forest of Lescale and Picaussel in the direction of the Pays de Sault. A vast, airy wide open plateau situated high up between 950 et 1300m, the plateau is the gateway towards the high mountain summits. Does, stags, roe deer are at home in these thick fir tree forests, if you don’t have the chance to observe them you will surely see their tracks and hear them nearby. The forest is also home to foxes, squirrels and fouines, just thirty years ago lynx, wolves and bears would also have been present.
During this day’s walking you will be surprised by the diversity of the vegetation, different species of trees such as oak, fir, silver birch and ash. On the outskirts of the forest the land is covered with the box tree, heather and juniper. The village of Belvis has a traditional architecture typical of the style to be found in mountain villages between 900 and 1000m, slate roofs, houses huddled closely together and concentrated around the church interwoven with small alley ways. Night and evening meal in Chambres d'Hôtes at Camurac.
4h15 effective walking, +583m altitude, -25m, 15,8 km

Day 3: From Belvis to Comus

Today we have a section of the walk that offers a wonderful transition of scenery. The walk will lead you into the county of Ariègeand the ‘Pays d’Olmes‘ by a footpath that was once used at the beginning of the century by the local inhabitants whether for simple means of communication and travelling or for commercial exchanges. It was the main route between the ‘Pays de Sault’ and the ‘Pays d’Olmes’ regions. Night and evening meal in Chambre d'Hôtes at Camurac
5h15 effective walking, +660m altitude, -772m, 20 km.

Day 4: From Camurac/Comus to Montségur

The lay of the land dictated the route and the natural route of access between the villages of Comus and Montségur was by the gorge of the Frau. For one kilometer the gorge is notched out of high chalk walls, the path passes between cliffs soaring impressionably straight up, vertically, towards the sky. The name itself Frau means fear or apprehension.
Before penetrating into the gorges, you will pass through the picturesque, rural villages of Camurac and Comus. It is here in these out of the way corners that the phenomena of the ‘inquisition’ hit particularly hard across the Pays de Sault and the lands of Ariègein the XII and XIII centuries, the views are captivating. The castle of Montségur balancing high on the pog, a high mountain pinnacle is a very emblematic symbol. Built between 1204 and 1211 at the request of the local Cathare clergy, this site was to become during the first part of the XIII century the religious capital of the Cathare church. You will find here, a place and atmosphere out of the ordinary. Night and evening meal in Chambre d'Hôtes at Montségur
3h15 effective walking, +660m altitude, -772m, 13 km.

Day X: Walk Around Montségur

The site of Montségur, the very bastion of the Cathare resistance certainly requires an additional day for exploring. The village itself is quite unique, the houses and buildings are in long curved lines one after another. They flank the mountainside in a well defined pattern and are linked by small streets and pedestrian walkways. There is a museum and some art and craft shops. From the museum a pathway leads to the foot of the pog, a high rocky buttress, it takes about 30 min to walk up to the summit where you arrive at a sumptuous belvedere. The panoramic view extends for miles around over the Massif de Tabe, with the Pic de Soularac and further East the mountain of the Frau. Having visited the castle a circular walk in the direction of the ridge of Taulat will allow you to discover high altitude mountain plains, still used to graze the local cattle. Night and evening meal in Chambre d'Hôtes in Montségur.
6h30 effective walking, +774m altitude,-580m, 12km.

Day 5: From Montségur to Roquefixade

The ‘Sentier Cathare’ or Cathare footpath progresses through the heart of the region known as the ‘Pays d’Olmes’, in past times a land renown for the weaving of cloth, wool, fabrics and certainly specialised in the production of combs made from cows corns.
Still in the county of Ariège, traversing lush, green countryside, undulating between valleys and mountainsides the trail will lead you towards the medieval castle of Roquefixade. Crossing through the village of Montferrier and the hamlet of Coulzonne you may well run in to some locals and experience a warm exchange or interesting insight into the life here. Night and evening meal in chambre de hote at 8 km from Roquefixade.
4h30 effective walking +400m altitude, -760m, 17km.

Day 6: From Roquefixade to Foix

The last section of the sentier Cathare presents the double particularity of visiting a medieval castle at the beginning and at the end of the day. The route itself follows for most of the time a ridge walk between the small village of Roquefixade and the county, country town of Foix. The town of Foix was a counts town and its castle linked to Gaston Febus is characteristic by its three towers and high, unusual rocky base. Foix is the principal town of Ariègeand in during the Summer months it is a centre of music and animation, a season of festivities and merriment as well as the colourful Friday morning market. Night and evening meal in a hotel at Foix.
5h00 effective walking +350m altitude, -720m, 18.5km.

Day 7 Last visit of Foix

This morning, the last possibility to visit the centre of the old town and to wander through the old streets and to visit the castle . 2h00 effective walking.
The program is an example of the itinerary we aim to adhere. If due to situations beyond our control the itinerary may be modified.


You walk on walking trails with good footpaths and tracks. You need to be used to walking and taking regular exercise to enjoy this holiday. There is between 4h30 and 6h00 effective walking each day. The ascents and descents are constant. There will be between 350m and 750m ascension per day.

walking and cycling holidays in the south of France
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Walking holiday in Cathar Land

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