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The Pyrenees of the Cathars

Walking in the heart of the Pyrenees, among forests and mountains
  • Duration 5 days
  • Activity Walking holiday with a donkey
  • Holiday among adults, with family
  • Theme mountain
370€

Information : The Pyrenees of the Cathars

  • Comfort
  • Difficulty
  • Note No note
  • Roadbooks French

Presentation

In the heart of the Pyrenees, among the forests and mountains, there lies a land of wonderful countryside perfectly suited to recharging your batteries away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. From pass to pass in an unspoilt environment, you will love the calm of the green-hued mountains, symbols of serenity and well-being. The high plateaux are a perfect example of the wealth and variety of the French natural heritage. The holiday is crowned by a two-night stay at an altitude of 1600 metres, in a convivial and welcoming mountain refuge, where you and your family will stock up such memories of this special place so close to nature, as you will never forget!

You'll love

  • the peace and calm of a protected environment that remains unspoilt
  • walking over the plateaux with fabulous views over the Pyrenean peaks
  • unique mountain vegetation
  • two nights in a mountain hut at 1600 metres altitude

Program : The Pyrenees of the Cathars

  • D1 Arrival in Comus

    Arrival in the afternoon.

    Dinner, night and breakfast in a guest house.

  • D2 Car trip to Prades and walk from Prades back to Comus

    9 km stage, total uphill 150 metres, approximate time 3hrs.
    Transfer to Prades where you will park your vehicle for the entire holiday.
    First steps in handling a donkey.

    Your first outing will help you and your travelling companion to get to know each other.  You go through Montaillou, a tiny village of about 20 inhabitants.  Why not walk up to the Château ruins from where you get a terrific view over the upper valley of the river Hers. Then after a passage through the forest, you come in sight of  Belcaire whose little lake lends itself splendidly to a refreshing dip after the day’s walk!

    Dinner, night and breakfast in Comus.

  • D3 Circuit around Comus itself

    10.8km stage, total uphill 380 metres. Around 3hrs 30.

    Starting from Comus you gradually gain height overlooking the valley till you come to a pretty, open plateau typical of the Pyrenees, the Pla de Boum. The second part of the route leads you into the state-owned forest ('domaine') of La Plaine, then you come to a phenomenal panoramic view including the lofty Cathar Castle of Montségur and the plunging Gorges of La Frau. 

    Dinner, room and breakfast in the chambres d'hôtes in Comus.

  • D4 From Comus to the Mountain Hut at Le Chioula

    14.7 km stage with total uphill 845metres. Around 5hrs30.


    This is certainly the most challenging stage of your holiday, in terms of both distance and effort. After a fairly slender path climbing out of Comus, the view opens out and with the height gained you will tend to forget your efforts as you can now enjoy a series of superb viewpoints over the Pyrenean mountains. One last small push and you arrive finally at the 'refuge' (mountain hut) du Chioula, 1600 metres. Here you'll find an atmosphere that is at once inhabitual and restful.

    Dinner, night and breakfast in the Refuge du Chioula.

  • D5 From the Refuge du Chioula to Prades, then departure

    10km stage with total uphill 150m. Around 3hrs30.

    For this ultimate (mainly downhill) ramble, you follow the Chemin des Bonhommes (literally 'the path of good men'), which was taken by the last of the exiled Cathars hundreds of years ago. After you reach the highest point of your adventure, the Col de Balaguès - 1669 metres - you may like to take the time to look at the typical mountain flora at your feet: gispet (Festuca Eskia - tall fescue), gentiane ( gentian), aconit - wolfsbane to Harry Potter!, myrtillier (blueberry). Then, along a somewhat narrow path you descend progressively to Prades, 1250metres, a truly calm and authentic village, where you pick up your own vehicle.

    Departure late afternoon towards the Col du Chioula to get your luggage.
    Optional addition: extra night at Ax les Thermes.

Tariffs high season

From July to August, departure everyday

IN A FAMILY ROOM

Adult : 390  €
Junior (12 - 17) : 350 €
Child (2 - 11) : 330 €
Baby (0 - 1) : 60 €

IN A DOUBLE ROOM

Adult : 420 €
Junior (12 - 17) :  420 €
Child (2 - 11) : 390 €
Baby (0 - 1) : 60 €

IN A SINGLE ROOM

420 €

SOLO TRAVELLER

420 €

Tariffs low season

From April to June and from september to october, departure everyday

IN A FAMILY ROOM

Adult : 370  €
Junior (12 - 17) : 335 €
Child (2 - 11) : 315 €
Baby (0 - 1) : 60 €

IN A DOUBLE ROOM

Adult : 400 €
Junior (12 - 17) :  400 €
Child (2 - 11) : 370 €
Baby (0 - 1) : 60 €

IN A SINGLE ROOM

400 €

SOLO TRAVELLER

400 €

What's included?

  • 4 nights in full board accommodation (breakfast, packed lunch, evening meal)
  • Accommodation in B+B, and mountain refuge hut
  • Roadbook and waymarked maps provided
  • GPS traces on demand
  • Logistical and technical assistance
  • Baggage transfers

Optional

  • Donkey rental:  from 320 €

What's not included?

  • Beverage and extra
  • Round trip transfer from Home to the first accomodation
  • Facultative cancellation and repatriation insurance

Characteristics of circuits

  • Place-to-place self-governing walking trip with a pack donkey, suitable for families.
  • Daily stages between 4.5km and 15km, about 2hrs to 5hrs30 walking per day at your own rhythm, of course.
  • Average height above sea level: 1300metres, (around 4250 feet).
  • Route: over paths, cart and other tracks, and narrow roads with light traffic.

Organisation

  • These walks are much more about relaxed exploration than athletic performance. Your roadbook will guide you from beginning to end, and at each stage you'll find a place for the donkey to drink, eat and rest. We also provide the logistical and technical support necessary.
  • Leading a pack donkey: travelling with a donkey is a superb way of enjoying a family walking holiday at the slow rhythm of the animal. They are great company for children and adults alike.

The donkey's role is to carry your baggage for the day (or the whole trip in the case of short stays). It can also, under your supervision and at your own risk, carry children one-at-a time if they start to feel too tired, provided that you observe a few common-sense principles:

1) the child carried must be at least 4 years old and capable of holding Her/himself seated upright on the moving animal;

2) the terrain should be even, not bumpy or rocky, and

3) the donkey's total load must be under 40 kilograms.

Looking after a donkey requires some attention, which is why we only provide one donkey per family per holiday.

  • On longer holidays you change accommodation every other day, which gives you the chance to better explore your surroundings or simply take the time to rest and relax...
  • Accommodation has been chosen for its atmosphere, warm welcome and environmental and architectural excellence.

N.B: the accommodation described above is given as an indication and may vary according to availability at the moment your reservation is finalized.

Access

We recommend to access by car

By car

N20 direction Ax les Thermes

By air

Carcassonne Airport or Perpignan-Rivesaltes Airport

By train

TER railway station of  Quillan then bus line Comus - Belcaire - Quillan

Also Bus Line Quillan - Perpignan

Information

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The Pyrenees of the Cathars
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The General Data Protection Regulation - GDPR, or RGPD in French - is the new regulation that determines how businesses may handle customers’ computerised personal data. In accordance with the provisions of French legislation, namely Act No. 78-17 of 6th January 1978 as amended variously up to, we inform you that the personal data you provide will be computerized and treated with the utmost confidentiality. Only authorized persons may access your data and this for strictly internal purposes. You have the right to access, correct or delete information about yourself by simply contacting us at reservations@safrantours.com *