Four days on the Sentier Cathare (Cathar Way) – Day 4: Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse – Maury

I left Duilhac at 7.30, passing by the little shop on the way to pick up some bread and a big ripe peach. I climbed for a short while and could soon look back see the castle and village perched underneath.

Looking back at ...
Looking back at Duilhac and Peyrepertuse castle.

I passed through vineyards…

Grapes from the vineyard
Grapes from the vineyard

I was escorted into the nearby village of Cucugnan by a friendly dog.  I was looking forward to reaching Cucugnan, as I was longing for a decent coffee and hoped to find one there.

Escort into...
Escort into Cucugnan

A restaurant was open, did they have coffee?  Why of course they did!

I settled back and waited for the drink with some anticipation.  Would it be drinkable? Oh I so hoped it would be!

And, dear reader, the coffee was a delight, the location was a delight, all was good in the world in the lovely village of Cucugnan.

Coffee at...
Coffee in Cucugnan

Fortified by my coffee I left the village and started the ascent towards the Cathar fortress of Quéribus. The climb was was steep, the sun was out, the temperature was rising.

After 90 minutes or so I had my first full view of Quéribus .

Castle Quéribus

It was an impressive sight but so, unfortunately,  was the car park, shop and queue of tourists lined-up to visit the castle.  I was feeling a bit hot and bothered (again!) by this point and really couldn’t face the queue and final climb up to the top of the hill.

So instead I sat on the shop’s ‘customers-only’ bench, drank heavily from my water bottle and admired the castle from below.

The last section of my hike was a five mile descent to the town of Maury where I would catch a bus back to Quillan.

While planning the hike back at home I’d found some walking guides drawn up by a resident of Maury.  One of these detailed a footpath from the town to the castle, I had  translated this and printed it off for precisely this moment.

However, I looked around for a while but could find no trace of the path which meant I had to take the road down.

The first part of the descent was fine as I had some great views to keep me going.

Towards Maury
Towards Maury

But as I reached the valley the heat became oppressive and I longed for the town to appear around each corner.  I had finished my water by this time and only my hearty singing of marching songs kept me going.

I reached Maury in the baking early afternoon.  The bus came quickly.  I arrived in Qullian an hour later, took a seat at a bar and downed a delicously cold beer.  A perfect end to an excellent hike on the Sentier Cathare.

8 thoughts on “Four days on the Sentier Cathare (Cathar Way) – Day 4: Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse – Maury

    1. Always good to have itchy feet : ) Yes, I’m already planning for next year, I’d like to attempt some of the higher peaks in the Pyrenees, I’m feeling quite confident after this trip.

  1. Thank you Martin – delightful to read, and a soak in the atmosphere of it all, of the scenic and panoramic views.

  2. So enjoyed your adventures in Cathar country. Felt very envious for this period of history has always been one of my favourites. Sorry I have left it too late to do it myself – my poor arthritic bones just couldn’t cope. However, I have had a lot of pleasure from your blog and the pictures are enchanting. Such magnificent scenery.
    Love, Mum

  3. Hi Martin,
    I am curious to know why you picked this part of the 250 km Carhar trail?
    How many km did you walk per day?
    Do you think your path is too difficult for beginners?
    Do you know if there is a service that carries your luggage from one gite to the next everyday? We are not planning to camp. Could you find gites very night?
    We are planning to hike this September.

    1. Hi Mimi, thanks for stopping by. I chose this section as it is close to my mother-in-law’s house in Quillan. I walked a maximum of 20km a day, probably less. The path isn’t difficult and is generally well sign-posted. I don’t know if there is a service for carrying luggage, it could be worth asking on this Cathar Way Facebook page:, I expect there would be gites at the towns the path runs through, best check the guide books and there is plenty of info online. September sounds like a good time to walk, it is very hot in the summer, best to start really early in the morning. Have fun!

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