©ADT09_0009182_MD|Charles Ripon

Our most beautiful paths

Shine in the Cathar Pyrenees

Here are a few suggestions for wonderful walks and hikes in the Cathar Pyrenees!

To discover

Pic Saint Barthélémy

The Pic Saint-Barthélemy is undoubtedly one of the finest viewpoints in the Pyrenees. For the sheer pleasure of discovering an absolutely breathtaking 360° panorama, the peak is well worth the climb. Perched at 2348 m, it offers a breathtaking view of the entire eastern Pyrenees and the Ariège plain. The route takes in the heart of the regional nature reserve that bears its name. Although quite long, it is accessible to the slightly trained walker, with good shoes and in the absence of snow. In winter, this summit can only be discovered with a guide, and is reserved for very experienced, well-equipped hikers.

This long-distance hiking route takes you to the highest point of the Tabe Massif.

In addition to the incredible views, you’ll be able to enjoy superb stops at the lakes along the way:

  • Lac des Truites (angler friends!),
  • Lac du Diable (of course, there’s always one)
  • Lac Supérieur (the highest lake?).

An absolute must!


Mount Fourcat

Of all the routes leading to Mont Fourcat, this is perhaps one of themost beautiful. Particularly memorable is the ridge climb from Le Coulobre that ends the adventure.

Mont Fourcat culminates at an altitude of 2001 m. Of course, at this height, you can enjoy an extraordinary 360° panorama over the plains and the Ariege Pyrenees.

The summit is a vast, welcoming dome. You feel so at home here… that you never want to come down again. Here, you feel like the kings of the world!


L'Étang d'Appy

This walk, which takes you from the Monts d’Olmes resort to the Etang d’Appy, will introduce you to the flora and fauna of the Pyrenees. Nestling in a cirque dominated by the Saint-Barthélemy peak, this pond is renowned for its fish stocks, and offers stunning panoramic views of the Ariege mountains. Enjoying a moment’s rest on the banks of the pretty Etang d’Appy is a must.

There are many possible variations on this itinerary: the étang de Fage Belle, the Col de Cadène… A little extra for the clever or less athletic: they can take the chairlift up to the Monts d’Olmes resort!


The Cathar Trail

Here’s a hike that combines nature and history. With all the spice of the Cathar mystery as a common thread. From Lavelanet, you’ll be following in the footsteps of those who, for centuries, used theonly access route between the capital of the Pays d’Olmes and Montségur castle. This excursion offers a beautiful succession of landscapes and panoramas, with an unobstructed view of the castle.

This steep, wooded historic trail, with its breathtaking view of the castle, is partly on the route of the Chemin des Bonshommes, the GR107.



Perched on an impressive cliff, the Château de Roquefixade offers an exceptional view of the Ariege Pyrenees. The village of Roquefixade is an ancient bastide. A wonderful hike through boxwoods and dry-stone huts known as “Orris”.

Roquefixade is at the crossroads of several trails. From east to west, the sentier Cathare links Foix to Montségur and Catalonia. To the north, the Tour du Pays d’Olmes trail leads to Roquefort les Cascades. The Château de Roquefixade loop uses part of these trails.

It takes you around the ridges overlooking the Château de Roquefixade. Between verdant meadows, beech and chestnut forests, you’ll find yourself under magnificent boxwood arbors to the north. The magnificent holm oaks will guide your steps amidst wild orchids , while the orris will bring you back to civilization.

There are twelve hiking trails around the château.


Lac de montbel

Nestled in a pretty green valley, with the Cathar Pyrenees as a backdrop, Lac de Montbel is a real spot for nature lovers. It’s hard not to fall under the spell of this crystal-clear lagoon, an ideal spot for swimming, water sports, hiking and lounging. An invitation to travel, this oasis of freshness nestled in an ocean of greenery offers an escape for leisure and relaxation. Adventure and a change of scenery guaranteed!

A 16 km trail takes you all the way around, so you can go there bymountain bike or on foot, or even on horseback with the help of nearby riding schools.


La peyregade

La Peyregade is an unusual walk: here, time seems to stand still. With its troglodyte washhouse, this bewitching little Occitan hamlet piques the curiosity of walkers between paved paths and old walls.

It’s a real family stroll, punctuated by the sound of the Taychou’s rushing waters. Following the old barns, you’ll come across the old mountain school, then the sacrificial stone, before finishing with the lovely waterfall.

Here, your footsteps followancient Roman roads, frequented since antiquity, marked by history and mankind.


The Fountain Tour

The Roumengoux hike starts at the village well, then inevitably leads to the view from the grassy belvedere in the center of the village.

For a leisurely stroll, the hike around the village of Roumengoux is perfect.

This pleasant family walk takes you from fountain to fountain, offering a particularly refreshing escape in summer.

The route takes in a charming village and beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. There’s a sense of calm that pervades the whole trail, leaving you deeply refreshed. It promises to be a beautiful day.


Moulzoune pond

This superb hike, which can be enjoyed by the whole family, is ideally complemented by a picnic outing on the banks of the Moulzoune pond. This totally exotic site between beech and coniferous trees, and its pond, a salmon breeding reserve, exudes an air of Canada. At an altitude of 1,385 m, in summer and winter alike, you’ll find a pleasant combination of sunshine and coolness.

Above the pond, the old talc mines have left their mark: the impressive ruins of the miners’ barracks.

After a short climb, you’ll be rewarded on the ridgeline with an extraordinary 360° panorama of the Montségur pog, the high peaks of the Monts d’Olmes and Pic Saint Barthélémy.


Les Gorges de Péreille

These gorges form a small canyon that was once the site of a bauxite deposit. Today, this very pleasant circuit allows you to stroll along the interpretation trail on the biodiversity of the site, a nesting and breeding ground for a number of birds of prey and other birds of passage. Let yourself be charmed by the surrounding gorges and hills, where peregrine falcons and Egyptian vultures can sometimes be spotted.

It’s a lovely family walk along the gorges, dominated by the walls of the old castle of the Counts of Péreille, who defended the fortress of Montségur in 1244.


Gorges de la Frau

This round-trip itinerary takes you between conifers and beech trees, along the course of theHers vif, which marks the boundary between the departments of Ariège and Aude. This bucolic stroll takes you between two veritable stone walls. In some places, they are over 400 metres high. The Gorges de la Frau invite you to take a stroll in a setting wherelimestone rocks and greenery intermingle.

A cascading rhythm leads you along a well-marked itinerary beneath the 1925-meter-high Frau mountain.

For hikers in summer, it’s a lovely destination with a shady path along this steep trail that lets you discover this beautiful biological reserve. Good shoes are a must!