Aude-Corbières : Cycling Carcassonne and the Cathar Castles
The mild Mediterranean climate, fantastic landscapes of the Corbières, vineyards, castles perched upon rocky outcrops, this is just a preview of what you can expect to discover during this colourful tour.
In the Cathar Aude, some places steeped in history, such as Carcassonne, Lagrasse, or the Termes, Aguilar, Quéribus or Peyrepertuse Cathar castles, are still living testimonies of a recent past. A host of 7 exceptional Cathar castles and 2 abbeys will unveil their past history!
All of these ancient strongholds are linked by sumptuous backroads in the heart of the Corbières and Fitou vineyards. Being accommodated in lovely guesthouses and hotels, you will have the opportunity to experience the warmest welcome that characterizes this old land of heresy. It will leave you filled with unforgettable memories, not to mention the culinary specialties.
Every day from the beginning of April to the end of October.
For a departure on a different date, consult us.
Booking from 2 people (solo travelers : please contact us).
Price : From 01/04/2022 to 30/10/2022 :
Price per person for a group of 2 persons
Price per person for a group of 3 persons
Price per person for a group of 4 persons
Price per person for a group of 5 persons
Price per person for a group of 6 persons
- Single room option : 170€/pers.
- Extra bike hire + bicycle bags 7 days : 125€/pers.
- Extra E-bike hire + bicycle bags 7 days : 225€/pers.
- Extra bike hire + satchel 6 days : 130€/pers.
- Extra E-bike hire + satchel 6 days : 210€/pers.
- Extra night in Carcassonne: please, consult us
- Half board accommodation (except days 1, 6 : bedand breakfast)
- Luggage transfers
- Dossier containing maps, route notes
- GPS tracks if you ask us + access to the detailed itinerary on the Mhikes GPS mobile applicationPrice doesn't include:
- Holiday and travel insurance
- Transfers not included in the program
- Evening meals D1 in Carcassonne, and D6 in Limoux
- Entrance fees
- Bicycle hiring
- Drinks and picnics
- Booking fees : 15€
Day 1 : Start of your holiday in Carcassonne
Carcassonne : From the fortified town to the city
Settling in at the hotel, depending on the time you arrive, you can choose to visit the famous site of Carcassonne, taking as stroll through its streets and squares, following an urban route which links two monuments registered as UNESCO world heritage sites: the Canal du Midi and the medieval city of Carcassonne.
The canal du Midi
Starting from the Carcassonne harbor, this return itinerary will offer you the possibility to explore by bicycle a short section of the famous Canal, in a peaceful and bucolic environment.
Lake of la Cavayère
This itinerary starts from the « Porte Narbonnaise » of the medieval city and will lead you to the Lake de la Cavayère, real haven of peace and freshness, where you can even take a bath. A cycling path goes all around the lake so you can enjoy at the most these 18 hectares of water surrounded by woods and garrigue. Distance : 5,5km, duration : around 2h for the pedestrian city exploration. OR Distance : 23km, duration : around 2h15 for the canal du Midi. OR Distance : 16km, duration : around 1h45 for the Lake de la Cavayère.
Day 2 : From Carcassonne to Lagrasse
A cultural and sports section, which links Carcassonne to the medieval village of Lagrasse, following the towpaths along the canal du Midi to reach Trèbes, and then, heading to Lagrasse, one of the most beautiful French villages, well protected by its ramparts. The village faces one of the eldest European abbeys, which has its roots in the 13th century. Distance : 42 km, duration : around 4h, altitude gain : +300m, descent : -280m.
Day 3 : From Lagrasse to Tuchan
From Lagrasse, you will reach the village of Tuchan, capital of Fitou, appellation d’origine contrôlée vineyard. You will be cycling on scenic and rural backroads, and passing by Cathar castles called Durfort, Termes, Villerouge, Termenès, and Aguilar, depending on the option you choose. Distance : 42km, duration : around 4h30, altitude gain: +500m, descent : -450m (normal version). OR Distance : 63km, duration : around 6h30, altitude gain : +800m, descent : -570m (sporty version).
Day 4 : From Tuchan to Duilhac
During this stage, you will discover the Cathar castles of Padern, Quéribus and Peyrepertuse, not only famous for their majestic military buildings but also for the spectacular places where they were erected. In the valley, the villages of Cucugnan and Duilhac, are real haven of peace and exude a very special charm. A sportier itinerary gives you the opportunity to pass by the famous village of Tautavel, where our ancestors have left their marks in the Caune de l’Arago. You can visit the very interesting Museum of Prehistory. Distance : 25km, duration : around 2h30, altitude gain : +650m, descent : -450m (normal version). OR Distance : 48km, duration : around 5h, altitude gain : +850m, descent : - 650m (sporty version
Day 5 : From Duilhac to Rennes les Bains
Day 6 : From Rennes les Bains to Limoux
Day 7 : From Limoux to Carcassonne
The highlight of this section to rejoin Carcassonne will be the stopover in the village of Saint-Hilaire, considered a major site of the Aude Cathar country thanks to its cloister, built during the 14th century and its Roman abbey. You will make your way through the Limouxin vineyard, dominated by the Mauzac cépage, and the Malepère hillsides. A sportier version passing through a pass rewards you with wonderful views, before starting the descent to Carcassonne. Distance : 30km, duration : around 3h, altitude gain : +250m, descent : -300m (normal version). OR Distance : 40km, duration : around 4h, altitude gain : +500m, descent : -550m (sporty version).
This program was defined according to the last elements known during the writing. It may be necessary, if situations arise that are beyond our control, for the itinerary to be modified.
Day 1 at your accommodation in Carcassonne (11), according to your time of arrival.
Day 8 in Carcassonne (11), after your cycling day.
Fairly easy to moderate level with two levels of difficulty: stages staggered between 25km and 42km with ascents between 250m and 600m for the normal version; stages staggered between 42km and 63km with ascents between 300m and 850m for the sports version.
Half board except days 1, 6 in BB
- 2 nights in hotel** days 1, 5
- 1 night in hotel “Logis de France” day 2
- 2 nights in guesthouse days 3, 4
- 1 night in a hotel*** day 6
- Continental breakfast (tea, coffee, milk, butter, jam)
- Evening meals often based on local specialties, include a starter, a main course and a dessert
- Dinner D1, D6 not included. There is plenty of restaurants in Carcassonne and Limoux.
- Picnics not included. Possibility to do some groceries shopping on site
- Drinks not included
You need to carry a small day sack only with a water bottle, camera, picnic and wind jacket. The main luggage will be transported by vehicle between the different accommodations, it should be easily transportable (see our advices about what to bring and pack).
Self-guided cycling, without guide.