"Hilltop" hike on the Cathar Trail

Durban Corbières 2 days

Carte de localisation de Durban Corbières
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Experience recommended by
Anaïs, sport nut

Legendary Just its name whisks you away on an unforgettable adventure. Images, colours and aromas set your imagination on fire: the thought of châteaux standing on the cliffside, mountain sentinels guarding the Pyrenees.
Make your dream a reality: put on your hiking shoes and hit the Cathar Trail on a 2-day adventure!
Here are all the ingredients for a heavenly hike from Durban to Duilhac.

Day 1 :
étape 2 de Durban of Tuchan

Let's hit the trail

The landscapes flit before your eyes. The sun drenches the vineyards with light. The corners of your mouth lift into a smile.

Durban, deep in the Corbières hills. Here you are. Your Cathar Trail starts here! Now its time to pass through the “Citadelles du vertige”; Aguilar, Quéribus, Peyrepertuse and more “lofty citadels”!

A few steps lifts you above Durban and the town’s château. The village feels Mediterranean with its cobbled streets, stone cliffside houses and crisp waterfall. The sea air blows through. The scent of thyme and garrigue wafts from the mountains.

Did you know?

The Cathar Trail or GR®367 covers almost 200km between the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees from Port-la-Nouvelle to Foix.

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01 Highlight

Rocking Récaoufa

Ooo! It’s steep. It’s 4km of hard graft up to the top! At an altitude of 376m, it’s all worth it. First let us introduce you to the Sainte-Raphine statue and its fabulous views. Port-la-Nouvelle and the Mediterranean Sea on one side, the snow-capped Canigou on the other. And calm flat land all around. It’s time for a break… 

Snack stop in Embres-et-Castelmaure

The sun beats down as you step into the village. The trickling fountain beckons! Fill your flasks and take a break under an umbrella pine. The crickets are still singing. The aroma of over-ripe grapes washes over you. It’s nearly harvest time…

It’s a fairly long stage so you can stop in the hamlet if you like.

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 Hike info

The Durban-Tuchan stage is the second stage on the Cathar Trail. It takes around eight hours to walk the 26km route. 800m elevation.

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It's time for another château

A square tower looms in the distance. Is this your first château?! Quick, get to it. There are no knights, Cathars or killers here, just a fabulous winery in an incredible setting. The door opens and behind it there’s a beaming smile: the winemaker’s home! Enjoy your VIP tour washed down with a glass of Corbières.

02 Highlight

Aguilar, get up close with a citadel…

Here's your château, the real one!

Aguilar is just a few dozen metres away. Its two huge outer walls cover the entire spur. With its six towers glowing under the low sun, it feels like an animal ready to pounce.

Le Mont Tauch, à Tuchan ©Vincent Photographie

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The majestic Mont Tauch looms in the distance. The mountain has some of the best views of the Corbières hills and Mediterranean Sea. It’s also a prime spot for seeing golden eagles in flight! It takes 2 hours to get to the top from the Glacière Ravine!

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No pain, no gain; the landmark’s show-stopping appeal makes your backpack and sore legs feel light as a feather. The sun starts to go down.
The reward appears at the foot of the keep: Mother Nature treats you to her best sunset…

03 Highlight

Night in a yurt in Tuchan

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Night in a yurt in Tuchan gîte d’étape Saint Roch

What a place to sleep! A Mongolian yurt on Mont Tauch. What a change of scene. Dinner is the garrigue and region served on a plate. Give your feet a well-earned break after a 27km hike. It’s time for a card game and local beer. The crickets are starting their concert outside. It’s time to unwind. It’s going to be a good night.

Top tip: the gîte also provides picnics (8€/person).

Day 2 :
stage 3 de Tuchan to Duilhac

Padern, a grau, village and château

The Grau de Padern inlet basks in the glittering sun. What a sight for sore eyes. The Verdouble carves staggering gorges through Mont Tauch’s limestone cliffs where turquoise water leaps from streams into pools. You can’t help but take a dip. The water may be chilly but it’s simply irresistible.

Molhet Priory
All that the bygone church has to offer hikers is just a few magical ruins. Unwrap your picnic in the shade of the walls. The Cathar Trail stands out, crisp and sharp. Quéribus, Cucugnan and the legendary Pech de Bugarach loom in the distance. You can see your way… On the road again!

Hike info:
The Tuchan-Duilhac stage is the 3rd stage of the Cathar Trail. It takes around seven hours to walk the 23km route. 840m elevation.
It’s definitely the best Corbières stage.

04 Highlight

Let's tackle Château de Quéribus

It feels like you'll never get to the top

But you will, in the end.
It’s majestic, standing proud on the horizon. The figurehead of the western world: Quéribus. After a 30 minute walk, 3 outer walls and a few hundred steps in the Cers wind, you’re at the top of the keep.
With your head in the clouds and your feet on the narrow platform on the château tower, you get dizzy… But the castle is definitely there at the bottom.
The 360° views drink in everything from the Pyrenees to the Big Blue. The Grau de Maury carves its inlet through the cliffs at the bottom.
You’re on top of the world.

Certainly not run of the mill...

Before you even see the Moulin d’Omer windmill, you can smell the scent of baked bread. Just follow your nose.

Biscuits, brioche, dough, tarts and crispy bread jostle for space inside the bakery; which will you choose? You’re spoilt for choice. It would be daft not to try the rambler’s sablé biscuits packed with muesli and raisins! As soon as you tuck in, the dried fruit and sweet sugar make your mouth water. A taste of your childhood…

Commerces autour du Sentier Cathare ©Vincent Photographie-ADT de l'Aude

 Calling all foodies! 

Moulin d’Omer biscuits in Cucugnan village centre.

Randonner sur le Sentier Cathare à Cucugnan ©Vincent Photographie-ADT de l'Aude

 Hike info

The Tuchan-Duilhac stage is the 3rd stage of the Cathar Trail. It takes around seven hours to walk the 23km route. 840m elevation. It’s definitely the best Corbières stage.

Head to Théâtre Achille Mir to hear the legend of the Cucugnan vicar.

-
Ecole de kitesurf Glisse et Kite

Support the nomination

Château de Quéribus, the Cité de Carcassonne and 6 other châteaux are battling it out for UNESCO status!

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05 Highlight

Peyrepertuse, the royal flagship

The site is a feat of innovation

The hilltop fortress is almost invisible from a distance. You get the feel of its sheer size and influence as you go up the hill. 300m of fortifications at an altitude of 800m, two châteaux in one, crenellations, archways, machicolations, a jaw-dropping medieval staircase carved into the rock itself…

It’s an incredible place to visit. The climb up to Sant-Jordi keep is thrilling and mind-blowing. Now you see why they’re called “Citadelles du Vertige” (lofty citadels). You don’t realise just how big the landmark is until you reach the bottom. Neighbouring Quéribus stands out in the distance. Together they were sentinels watching over the landscape for centuries. Birds of prey circle in the burnishing Corbières sun overhead.
You’re caught in the spell, whip out your smartphone and capture the moment.

06 Highlight

Morning dip before heading home

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Splash!  

What fantastic weather! Head to Moulin de Ribaute at the bottom of the village. The path winds through green oaks before opening onto an enchanting sight. The Verdouble has worked its wonders here too. The water tumbles down in waterfalls and splashes against the crisp white limestone. Come on! Dive in!

The gorges are very busy in peak season. Lifeguards in July and August.

 

Il suffit d'un plongeon d'une gente dame Et si tu bois le bouillon, pars à vau-l'eau Noyé dans un baiser
Ce n'est pas un drame.

Claude Nougaro - Album : L’enfant phare.

It's time to go home. When you get back to the village, hop in a taxi with a happy heart and a few blisters on your feet...

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Experience it for yourself...

Have a carefree experience.
We’ve collected all the addresses you need to make your break unforgettable.

LES TERROIRS DU VERTIGE

Drinks, wines and spirits CUCUGNAN

MONSIEUR MARQUILLO LUCIEN

Walking activities TOULOUSE

GITE D'ETAPE L'EMBELLIE CATHARE

GÎTE D'ÉTAPE L'EMBELLIE CATHARE - LE GÎTE ET LE COUVERT

Group / holiday gîtes DUILHAC-SOUS-PEYREPERTUSE

LA PEIRIÈRE

Bar-restaurant TUCHAN

Plan your trip to perfection

Which is the best time to experience the hike?

The path is open all year. It’s best to hike it between May and June or September and October to avoid the hot weather.

Equipment

Everything you need to plan your hike is HERE: equipment, period, gear, tours…

Documents

How to get here ?

By car

From Narbonne or Carcassonne on Route des Corbères.

By bus

Bus 51: Narbonne, Tuchan

By train

You can reach Durban Corbières from Port la Nouvelle or Narbonne train station (regional or high-speed trains).

Calculate my itinerar :
 

Souvenirs?

Wine

The path covers the AOP Corbières and Fitou vineyards. Just choose the designation and colour you like best.

Sweet treats from Moulin d'Omer

A trip to the Moulin d'Omer bakery in Cucugnan is your chance to sample the miller/baker's specialities. Sweet or savoury, there's something for everyone.

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