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The Castles of the Cathars
prices & travel
The Castles of the Cathars
Corbières - a secret land steeped in history
2-3, frequent ascents & descents
narrow paths and tracks along broad ridges and through forest and vineyards
two 2-star hotels; one 3-star chambres d’hôtes
6 dinners, 6 breakfasts, 3 picnics
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If you are flying via
, one of the world’s best-
preserved medieval towns, add on a break here for a real contrast.
Why not take the train?
You can leave London St Pancras or Ebbsfleet in the morning and be at your destination by the evening, making it an excellent (not to mention environmentally friendly) way to reach this holiday. You can relax right from the start of your journey as Eurostar services whisk you through the Channel Tunnel to connect with the world-famous French high-speed TGV trains in either Paris or Lille. We reserve seats for you, there is plenty of luggage space, and refreshments are available on board.
You may even break your journey in Paris if you are travelling via the capital. Sit back and enjoy a truly great rail journey! Look for the ‘by rail’ prices in the Prices & Travel section, where you will also find journey details.
self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking, luggage transported
great walking in astonishing scenery
visit the area’s three greatest châteaux
colourful and turbulent regional history
Deep in south-west France, between the plain of Carcassonne and the peaks of the Pyrenees, the Corbières hills have many secrets to tell, not least those relating to the persecution of the mysterious Cathar heretics who developed a more ascetic and less ritualised version of Christianity. Follow in their footsteps over panoramic passes and along green ridges and you will discover one of the last truly ‘secret’ regions of France, one little-known to the French themselves, despite it being the focal point of a very turbulent era of the country’s history.
On the ridge we spotted a golden eagle circling round its nest. In the next few minutes we saw two others, this time flying beneath the ridge. It was an amazing sight!
Staff travel diary
The region's rugged beauty is made all the more dramatic by the striking and seemingly inaccessible fortresses in which the doomed Cathars sought refuge. This is superb walking country, and our varied, very rewarding route affords inspirational views towards the ever-present Pyrenees, and gives you the opportunity to visit three of the most astonishing châteaux that witnessed the oppression of the Cathars (pay locally).
Mountains of the Auvergne
Thrilling routes lead from one friendly inn to the next.
Land of the Crusades
Walk from one fortified hill-top village to the next.
White Towns & Rugged Mountains
This is Andalucia at its wildest and most remote.
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