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 indeed leads the hikers for an incredible adventure discovering the citadels of vertigo. Through lagoons, vineyard hillsides, scrubland, forests, valleys, gorges and peaks, this route offers a sublime immersion in nature, coupled with an unforgettable leap in time. The trek of the Cathar trail is thus rich in discoveries in the heart of a territory in the south of France that has remained wild. Here there is no concrete, no mass tourism. Hikers looking for authenticity will be satisfied.

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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 leads hikers from the Mediterranean to Corbières, for a night in Durban-Corbières. From the second stage of the Cathar trail, the emblematic medieval castles can finally be discovered with majesty. At the end of the fourth stage, 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. Whichever variant is chosen, Puivert and Espezel are the last stages 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.