©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 most beautiful belvederes in the Pyrenees. The sheer joy of discovering an absolutely breathtaking 360° panorama is worth the climb alone. 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 accompanied by a guide and remains reserved for very experienced and well-equipped hikers.

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

Besides the incredible views, you can enjoy superb stops around the lakes that line it:

  • Trout lake (fishing friends!),
  • Devil lake (of course, there’s always one )
  • Upper lake (the highest?).

A must do!


Mount Fourcat

Among the routes leading to Mont Fourcat, this is perhaps the one of the most beautiful. Particularly striking is the crest climb from Le Coulobre that ends the adventure.

Mont Fourcat culminates at 2001 m altitude. Obviously, at this height, you benefit from an extraordinary 360° panorama over the plains and the Ariege Pyrenees chain.

The summit is a vast, welcoming dome. You feel so at home here… that you don’t want to come back down. 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 magnificent panoramic views of the Ariege mountains. Enjoying a moment’s rest on the banks of the pretty Etang d’Appy is a must.

This itinerary has many possible variants: the Etang de Fage Belle, the Col de Cadène… A little extra for the clever or less athletic: they can get closer thanks to the chairlift to the Monts d’Olmes resort!


The Cathar Trail

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

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



Juxtaposed on a impressive cliff, the Château de Roquefixade offers an exceptional view of the Ariege Pyrenees. The village of Roquefixade is an ancient bastide. Wonderful hike through the buis and dry stone huts, the “Orris”.

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

This one takes you around the ridges overlooking the château de Roquefixade. Between verdant meadows, beech or chestnut forests, you’ll find yourself, towards the north, under magnificent boxwood arbors. The magnificent green oaks will guide your steps amidst the wild orchidswhile the orris will lead you back to civilization.

Twelve hiking loops exist around the castle.


Lac de montbel

Enconced in a pretty green valley, dominated by 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 lagune with its crystal-clear waters, a prime location for swimming,water sports, hiking or farniente. An invitation to travel, this oasis of freshness nestled in an ocean of greenery offers an escape under the sign of leisure and relaxation. Adventure and a change of scenery guaranteed!

A 16 km trail takes you all the way around, go byATV or on foot or even on horseback with the help of nearby equestrian centers.


La peyregade

The walk to La Peyregade is insolite: here time seems to have stood still. With its troglodyte dwelling, this bewitching little Occitan hamlet piques the curiosity of walkers between paved paths and old walls.

It’s a true family stroll punctuated by the sound of the lively waters of the Taychou. Walking along the old barns, you’ll come across the old mountain school, then the sacrificial stone before finishing at the very pretty waterfall.

Your steps here follow ancient Roman roads, frequented since antiquity, marked by history and men.


The Fountain Tour

At the start of the Roumengoux hike, first there’s the puits communal, then inevitably, you’ll be drawn to the view offered by the belvedere grassed area 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 and offers a particularly refreshing escape in summer.

The route reveals a charming village and beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. A feeling of quietness dominates the route, which will deeply recharge your batteries along the way. It promises to be a beautiful day.


Moulzoune pond

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

Above the pond, the former 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 featuring the pog de Montségur, the high peaks of the Monts d’Olmes and Pic Saint Barthélémy.


Les Gorges de Péreille

These gorges form a small canyon that was, in its time, the object of exploitation 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 some rapacious birds and other birds of passage. Let yourself be charmed by the surrounding gorges and hills, where peregrine falcon or Egyptian vulture can sometimes be spotted.

This is a nice family walk along gorges, dominated by the walls of the old château of the counts of Péreille, defenders, in 1244 of the fortress of Montségur.


Gorges de la Frau

This out-and-back itinerary allows you to progress between conifers and beech trees, upstream along the course of the lively Hers, which marks the boundary between the departments of Ariège and Aude. This bucolic stroll between two veritable stone walls. In places, they rise to over 400 metres in height. The Gorges de la Frau invite you to take a stroll in a setting where rchalky rocks and greenery intermingle.

It’s at a cascading pace that your footsteps lead you along a well-trodden route beneath the montagne de la Frau and its 1925-meter altitude.

In summer for hikers, it’s a beautiful destination with a shady route along this steep path that lets you discover this beautiful biological reserve. Good shoes are a must!