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Postcards from the Cathar Castles

Information on the Cathar Castles to be added to this guide
The Land of the Cathar's has a considerable number of interesting places to visit.
For those who like panoramic views, optional exercise, short drives between the sights and only an hour's drive out of Limoux then this is for you.

Important, take some food, water, shoes you can walk in and a warm top, it can be windy in places. A round trip takes about four hours if you don't walk up to the castles; otherwise it's a little longer.


The trip includes The Abbey at Rennes-le-Chateau, Rennes-les-Bains, Gorgus Galamus twice, Peyrepertuse, Queribus and Puilaurens castles.
From Limoux take the D118 to Couiza then follow signs on your left for Rennes-le-Chateau. Its only 3km from here to the Abbey which has connections with the Da Vinci Code and the book Labyrinth. Note; walk or drive past the car park right up to the library for the best views.

From here back down the hill to Couiza picking up the signs for the D613 to Rennes-les-Bains, a Roman spa town. (Bains is French for bath).
Through Rennes-les-Bains it's a pleasant 20km run to Cubieres-s-Cinoble. Turn right for Gorgus Galamus about 2km; there is a height restriction of 2.7mtr and a width restriction of 2.0mtr to go through the gorge, a car is OK.
At the other end spend a few moments in the car park, think about walking down to the Hermitage in the gorge below, and then go back the way you came so that you get the full benefit of the gorge in both directions.

Back at Cubieres turn right for Peyrepertuse Castle, it is clearly signposted from here. There are good toilets available near the car park and for a small charge you can walk up to the castle.

Back down the hill, now follow signs for Queribus Castle, possibly the most photographed of all the Cathar castles due to its seemingly impossible position. First take the D14 to Cugugnan then the D123 to Queribus.
Substantial portable toilets are available here and again the option to walk up to the castle for a small charge.
The best views available without walking up to the castle can be had from the very top end of the car park.
On a good day it's a great place to have a picnic, and a glass of wine if your not driving. From Queribus take the D19 and head for Maury. In Maury turn right onto the D117 for St Paul-de-Fenouille and ultimately Lapradelle where if you look up to your left as you enter the village you will see the Puilaurens Castle.
The castle is clearly signposted from within the village and only takes a few minutes to reach. Because of the forested area surrounding the castle and its lack of height compared to the other two castles the views from the car park are not so inspiring.
Walking up to the castle should therefore be considered before you arrive here. The view from the castle may be fantastic; unfortunately I am not in a position to say at the moment.

From Puilaurens take the D117 to road to Axat, turning off for Quillan just before Axat. The road from here is clearly signposted to Quillan, Couiza and then Limoux.
At this junction you will notice the signs for Sud Rafting a popular entertainment in summer with rides on the River Aude along the Defile de Pierre-Lys, the gorge on your right just after the roundabout. See Activities page for more details.

60 minute drive to furthest point from Limoux. All day trip if you do everything!

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