Arrival in Carcassonne. Go quickly to your hotel to check in. Then go for a walk through the old center, looking for the castle, the double walls surrounding the town, St. Nazaire Cathedral, the narrow streets with brick paving full of shops or one of the many museums.
The first part along the umbrageous Canal du Midi, the 17th cent masterpiece of architect Pierre Riquet, is flat. After Capendu there is a steep climb, but on top of the ‘col’ a magnificent view of the rough Corbières awaits you. Through the great Gorge d’Alsou you go on to the fantastic medieval abbey town Lagrasse. Be sure to visit here the Benedictine Abbey Sainte-Marie l’Orbieu, founded in 799.
Here in the hills of the Corbières you can choose between two routes. Either south along the Orbieu river and the Cathar Castle Termes with its spectacular views or via the charming Villerouge-Termenès where in 1321 the last ‘Bonhomme’ of the Cathars died at the stake. Both tours unite again and follow a route through a wonderful gorge with quiet villages.
There’s a lot to do in the neighbourhood of the pleasant wine village Cucugnan. You’re just a short distance away from Quéribus and Peyrepertuse, two of the most spectacular Cathar castles. And to make the choice more difficult: you can also make a more streneous, but sensational tour through the Gorge de Galamus, which is without any doubt the most beautiful gorge in this part of France.
Today are scheduled: wonderful views, charming villages and a river to swim in. Cycle in the shade from Peyrepertuse along the Pic de Bugarach: an impressive, monolithic rock formation. The last 10 kms to Sougraine, in the Sals valley, go down or are flat. Are you going to enjoy the pool or are you going on to the pleasant spa Rennes-les-Baines (6 km).
You cycle on, after a short climb, on quiet and flat roads. Visit, if possible, Rennes-le-Chateau to solve the mystery of Berenger Saunière. And don’t forget to visit the 16th cent Chateau de Ducs de Joyeuse in Couiza. Continue your trip along undulating vineyards and dreamy wine villages and taste on your way a ‘Blanquette’ or ‘Crémant’. You finish in Limoux, the home of the original champagne, where a ‘gastronomic’ table has been booked for you.
Today one more short, conclusive trip to Carcassonne, it’s the end of your journey.
6 nights included
2/3 Star Hotels
Breakfast included every morning & 3 dinners during the trip
Maps and tourist information on all the places of interest
The possibility of renting hybrid bikes (130 €) or E-bikes (210 €)
24/7 Bilingual Emergency hotline
Luggage transport to your next hotels
You can park your car in a parking garage ("Parking cité Porte Narbonnaise") in Carcassonne. Costs: ca. € 20,- per week.
GPS tracks are available on request