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On horseback!

Horseback riding in Mérens country

The Cathar Pyrenees are the perfect land for horseback riding. In the land of the Merens horse, there’s no shortage of places to gallop and trails to trot. At horse pace, you’ll take the time to breathe and admire exceptional landscapes from a unique and singular point of view… And who’s to say you won’t come across a few knights lost from the time of the Templars…

Chemins cavaliers

From the Lac de Montbel tour to the Cathar trails (GR107 and GR 367) to the Chemin du piémont Pyrénéens (GR78)… you’ve got the choice to escape on horseback to wide-open spaces, beneath walls of history and mountain peaks!

The voies vertes, which follow the old, totally secure railroad lines between Mirepoix and Lavelanet and from Foix to Saint Girons, are also an alternative: on horseback or by carriage, they show you what’s behind the scenes, what you can’t see from the road while riding through our villages.


Land of horses

Long-established in our traditions, transhumance is a delight for riders who dream of being herdsmen, gauchos or cowboys, to accompany our herds as they climb to the summer pastures or descend to the plains…

In the Cathar Pyrenees, horses will take you on unforgettable mountain escapades in wide, unspoilt wilderness. Because horses are part of the history of the Cathar Pyrenees. This is where the Mérens horse was born and lives.

Of course, Mérens horses aren’t the only ones you can ride. Our equestrian centers will be able to suggest the ideal horse (or welcome your mount) for your fantastic ride.

Beginners or experienced riders, there’s bound to be a ride for you.

The Merens horse

Traditionally bred in Mérens-Les Vals, this is a small (1.45 to 1.55 m), light draft horse that can also be ridden. This gentle black horse will win you over with its pretty head and very sure footing. Calm and docile, it’s a reassuring horse,ideal for hiking.

This Ariège pony has been around for almost 15,000 years: it’s perfectly adapted to the climate and relief of our Cathar Pyrenees and is an integral part of the Cathar spirit and our landscapes. Although it almost became extinct in the 70s, it has since won over breeders and riders alike.

To each his own horse

Hiking on horseback or with a donkey

In the Cathar Pyrenees, several equestrian facilities offer activities and rides for beginners and advanced riders in a wild and verdant environment! Whether you’re looking for a full-day or half-day ride, a 1-hour or 2-hour stroll, or a multi-day accompanied trek along the great Pyrenean trails, we’ve got it all! Our guides guide riders along the equestrian trails, passing on their knowledge and expertise.


A different way to hike

On foot or by bike?