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Trek: On the Cathar trail, go to meet the citadels of vertigo

From the Mediterranean to the balconies of the Pyrenees, the Cathar trail is a sublime hiking trail.

In Occitanie, from Port-la-Nouvelle in Aude to Foix in Ariège, the legendary Cathar trail GR 367 trains hikers for an incredible adventure discovering the citadels of vertigo. Through lagoons, wine-growing hillsides, scrubland, forests, valleys, gorges and summits, this route offers a sublime immersion in the heart of nature, coupled with an unforgettable leap back in time. The Cathar trail trek is rich in discoveries in the heart of a territory of southern France that has remained wild. Here no concrete, nor mass tourism. Hikers in search of authenticity will be delighted.

 
 
 
 
 
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A publication shared by Elise Joub 🌍✈🏊🧜‍♀️🥾🤿🏃‍♀️ (@elisejoub)

The route of the Cathar trail GR 367

To browse the 250 kilometers of the GR 367, 12 stages of 15 to 28 kilometers are necessary. The first takes hikers from the Mediterranean to Corbières, for a first night in Durban-Corbières. From the second stage of the Cathar trail, the emblematic medieval castles can be discovered with majesty. At the end of the fourth step, if you choose the northern variant, the mysterious gorges of Galamus offer a refreshing break.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The southern variant leads to Prugnanes, Puilaurens and Marsa. Whatever variant you choose, Puivert and Espezel are the last steps in Aude. Then place in Ariège, with Montsegur, Roquefixade, then finally Foix, and its famous castle.

The citadels of vertigo

All along the Cathar trail, the impressive castles of the Cathar country emerge from the steep reliefs. These citadels, mostly built by the Capetian royal power, bear witness to a rich and sometimes controversial history. Refuges of the Cathars during the Albigensian Crusade, the citadels were major defense posts. They resisted the assaults of the Aragonese army until the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659. The majestic Peyrepertuse castle but also the castles of Puilaurens, Quéribus, Aguilar and Montségur, are now candidates alongside the City of Carcassonne, the 4 châteaux of Lastours and the château de Termes, to be included on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage list.

The Cathar trail winds through the heart of a preserved territory

During this southern trek, you will cross unspoiled nature. Here, urbanization is limited. Between sea and mountain, Aude is in fact the third department in mainland France, the richest in plant biodiversity. 3 species constitute the cradle of more than 000 animal species of heritage interest. More mountainous, the Ariège is home to raptors, otters and even bears! Its forest is also home to rare plant species, such as Ariège orchids or even mistletoe, a sign of unspoiled nature.

As you will have understood, for lovers of hiking and trekking, the Cathar trail GR 367 is a route to discover as soon as possible. And for a different experience, know that some stages of the GR 367 can be covered on horseback.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A publication shared by the Official Account of ADT Aude (@audetourisme)