Walks in the Cathar Region
Cathar Castles of south-west France
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Guide to over 30 walking routes around the Cathar castles of south-west France, reminders of religious turmoil from 1000 to 1250. Routes from 16 centres, including Béziers, Minerve, Lastours, Foix, Roquefixade, Lordat, Montailloe, Puivert, Montségur, Usson, Puilaurens, and Rennes.
SeasonsPossible year round, but the winter wind (tramontane) is blustery. Height of summer can be very hot lower down.
CentresBéziers, Narbonne, Perpignan, Carcassonne, Foix, Quillan, Ax les Thermes and many small towns associated with the Cathar Castles.
DifficultyFrom half- to full-day walks. Most are straightforward, but includes some longer and tougher routes and even a scramble.
Must SeeIt's all about the castles really, with Béziers, Minerve, Foix, Montségur, Roquefixade, Peyrepertruse, Puilaurens and many others.
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Alan Mattingly was director of the Ramblers' Association from 1974 to 1998. He has also held various other posts in the outdoor field, including that of chairman of the Council for National Parks. He is now based in a small town in the eastern Pyrenees which lies just below the 9,000ft Pic du Canigou. When not exploring the Pyrenees on foot, Alan writes and also teaches English. He is author of Walks in the Cathar Region published by Cicerone.View author profile
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