Discovery of the Cathar Trail
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Discovery of the Cathar Trail

Why not take a hike along the Cathar castle route, one of the most famous activities in the Aude, during your stay at camping Aude Domaine de La Palme in the Aude? Put your trekking shoes in your suitcase for an unusual hike: the Cathar Trail.

Where is the Cathar Trail?

The Cathar Trail is a long-distance hiking trail (GR 367) in Occitania that starts in Port-la-Nouvelle in the Aude (5 km from the campsite) and ends in Foix, in the Ariège. This 220 km circuit is accessible to mountain bikes and horses and is divided into several stages of between 13 and 28 km. The Cathar Trail starts between the Mediterranean and the Etang de Berre, crosses the Narbonnaise regional nature park and then the Aude department from east to west to reach Foix in the Ariège via Montségur.

The stages of the Cathar Trail

The northern variant of the Cathar Trail is divided into 12 stages:

Port-la-Nouvelle-Durban-Corbières (26 km): After the first stage, contemplate the stone castle of Durban-Corbières built in the 11th century.

Durban-Corbières-Padern (28 km): two remarkable castles on the same stage, Quéribus and Peyrepertuse.

Padern-Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse (14 km): The finishing commune, Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse, is crossed by a charming river, the Verdouble. A perfect place to sit in the shade of a large tree and have a family picnic.

Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse-Gorges de Galamus (14 km): On arrival, take time to swim in the river and observe the strange geological forms. Will you have enough energy for a rafting trip?

Gorges de Galamus-Bugarach (18 km): You will pass from the gorges to a sacred mountain, the Pech de Bugarach, fondly nicknamed the Bug by the locals.

Bugarach-Quillan (23 km): You will fall under the spell of Quillan, a village of 3,200 inhabitants in the Pre-Pyrenees, watered by the Aude.

Quillan-Puivert (18 km): A beautiful stage rewarded by the castle of Puivert at the finish.

Puivert-Espezel (16 km): After a few hours of walking, take the time to look for the amazing water mills of Espezel, the patillasses.

Espezel-Comus (20 km): The village of Comus is surrounded by exceptional sites such as the Gorges de la Frau, the Col de la Gargante and the Pas de l'Ours which offers a beautiful panoramic view of Montségur.

Comus-Montségur (13 km): Allow sufficient time on arrival to visit the castle of Montségur, one of the most historic Cathar castles.

Montségur-Roquefixade (15 km): A very beautiful stage with an arrival in the heart of the Lesponne valley, in the Plantaurel massif.

Roquefixade-Foix (13 km): The route ends with a visit to the castle of Foix.

Good to know: There is a southern variant of the Cathar Trail from Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse with stops at Prugnanes, Aigues-Bonnes, Axat and Quirbajou before reaching Nébias on the road to Puivert.