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The Wonders of the Cathar Country

Hikes & walks in Verzeille

The Wonders of the Cathar Country - Hikes & walks in Verzeille
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Description sheet

DepartmentAude
Departure municipalityVerzeille
Outing typeCar itinerary
DifficultyEasy
Duration9h00
Recommended periodfrom april to october
EnvironmentCountryside
Kilometres130 km
Altitude upon departure149m
Change in altitude630m

Access

Depart from Verzeille and follow the Limoux road via Saint-Hilaire.

Itinerary

Pass through Limoux and continue towards Quillan.

At the entrance to Quillan (after Carrefour Market) turn left on the Laval road (D109) immediately after the small stone bridge towards St-Louis and Parahou. Continue along this road to the St-Louis Pass.

When you reach the Pass, continue straight ahead on the D9 and start descending to Caudiès-de-Fenouillèdes. Stop off at the viaduct which spans the road you are descending: the view is magnificent!

When you arrive in Caudiès, continue towards Saint-Paul-de-Fenouillet via the D117 where you should take the opportunity to stop off and taste the local gourmet speciality: "croquants", delicious biscuits...

At the entrance to Saint-Paul, after crossing the Agly river, take the sixth street on the left towards the Galamus Gorges (D7). On the way to the gorges, admire the landscapes on your left...

At the entrance to the gorges, park at the car park overlooking the river and the hermitage below: after a 15-minute walk (good shoes required), you will reach the hermitage built on the mountainside. Take time to freshen up or spend a quiet moment before starting the return journey either along the same route you arrived on, or via the tunnel which passes through the rock face, and then the stairs leading to the second car park along the D7.

Return to your vehicle and drive slowly and carefully along the single-track road through the gorges... the road has been hollowed out of the rock face and the river gradually reaches the level of the road on the way out of the gorges: it is an astonishing and vertiginous experience!

Continue your route along the D10.If you are starting to feel hungry, on the way out of the gorges, you will find a small inn (note that it is not open all year: contact them for information). Continue to Cubières-sur-Cinoble and, in the village, turn right towards Peyrepertuse Castle (via the D14). After a few kilometres and three passes (Enguilhem Pass, Grès Pass and Croix Dessus Pass), you will arrive in Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse. Do not forget to climb up to the castle on the way out of the village, you will not regret it... the higher you climb, the wider the views and the more breathtaking the experience...

Park at the top in the castle's visitors' car park and visit this Cathar wonder, an opportunity to take some amazing photos. On the way back, take your car and make your way back down to the entrance to Duilhac where you can turn right on to the D14 towards Quéribus Castle and Cucugnan.

After 6 km, you will arrive in the village of Cucugnan which is well worth a stopover. Set out on foot and visit its old streets and its famous mill. Once you have visited Cucugnan, it is time to continue to Quéribus Castle (D123): just before the Grau de Maury Pass, you will see the road to the castle on your left. Follow it to the car park and set out to visit this fortress. Make sure you do not forget your camera because if you make it to the top of the keep, after a steep climb, you will be rewarded with a 360° view over the Corbières, the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean, the vineyard and the valley you have just passed through: You will find yourself in a real-life film set!

Once you have recovered, return to your vehicle and start the descent to Maury via the D19. Be sure to stop in the village of Maury if you like wine... in the town centre, you will find a cooperative winery with the very best of what the region has to offer...

After this gourmet stopover, return to Saint-Paul-de-Fenouillet via the D117, and, if you have enough time and you are not too tired, continue to Lavagnac (after Caudiès). This is where, on your left, you will find the road to Puilaurens castle, just a few hundred metres away.

If it is already too late, return via St-Louis Pass, signposted in the village of Caudiès or along the D117 via Axat, Couiza, Quillan, and Limoux (D118) and, finally, Verzeilles via Pomas (D43).

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