The Cathar Castle of Puilaurens, Pyrenees, Languedoc-Roussillon
Hiking with a donkey
Castle Aguilar

Hiking with donkeys in the Cathar country

7 day family adventure exploring castles, relaxing & swimming

  • Discover the Cathar castles with your family!
  • Easy hikes adapted to children 10 years and above
  • Swimming opportunities along the way
  • Licensed local guide
  • Accommodation in gîtes d'étape, full-board with local cuisine

Embark on a unique family adventure following in the footsteps of the medieval Cathars in the Pyrenees! Easy, child-friendly hikes will take you through the beautiful landscapes between Quéribus and the famous Gorges of Galamus, allowing you to explore its majestic peaks, wild canyons and ancient castles. A donkey will lead the way, relieving you of your luggage and turning your kids into happy wanderers. Take a refreshing dip in the clear mountain creeks and lakes and enjoy an unforgettable culture and nature trip in Southern France!

Price from 799,- €

Family hike in the Cathar Country

Guided tour, 7 days

Difficulty level


Enquire now


Day 1: Puilaurens
Your family adventure begins at 9am at Perpignan train station. After loading your donkey, you will embark on your first hike through the Cathar Country. Along the way, be sure to visit Puilaurens Castle overlooking two beautiful valleys. Accommodation at Colette's inn in Ayguebonnes.
Duration: 3-4hrs + castle visit – elevation gain: 250m – elevation loss: 250m

Day 2: Saint Jaume Canyon
Having climbed the mountain pass of Péchines, enjoy a fantastic panorama of the Pyrenees. Follow the path down to the village of Caudies de Fenouilledes and up to the beautiful canyon of Saint-Jaume, taking advantage of the swimming opportunities along the way. Accommodation at Benjamin's inn in Pruganes.
Duration: 4hrs – 4hrs 30min – elevation gain: 250m – elevation loss: 350m

Day 3: La Bastide
A pleasant hike will take you to Richard's and Nelly's organic farm in the hamlet of La Bastide. Your hosts will be happy to share tales of rural life in Southern France and historical facts and legends revolving around the hamlet. A short walk from the guest house, you may enjoy a dip in the nearby lake.
Duration: 5hrs – elevation gain: 500m – elevation loss: 400m

Day 4 : Gorges of Galamus
Enjoy another day hiking and swimming while your donkey takes the day off, relaxing and feeding in the pastures of La Bastide. A minibus will take you to the famous Gorges of Galamus. Explore the impressive canyon running through the limestone rocks by the river Agly before heading back to your guest house in La Bastide.
Duration: 3-4hrs – elevation gain: 200m – elevation loss: 200m

Day 5: Peyrepertuse
Today's hike will take you up to Peyrepertuse Castle, the largest and most impressive castle in the area, taking you back to the Middle Ages and making you relive the lives of the Cathar warriors. Accommodation in Duilhac.
Duration: 5hrs – elevation gain: 350m – elevation loss: 550m

Day 6: Quéribus
Your hosts will take you to Quéribus Castle, located on a tall peak and offering a glimpse of the Cathar's way of building and defending their fortresses. Heading on, you will reach the historical village and theatre of Cucugnan. The last stage of your hike will take you to the beautiful gorges and waterfall of Verdouble, where you may take another refreshing dip in the pristine waters. Accommodation in Duilhac
Duration: 4hrs + visits – elevation gain: 450m – elevation loss: 150m

Day 7: Departure
After breakfast, it's time to say farewell to your donkey and have your hosts take you back to Perpignan train station where your trip ends around noon.

Travel dates

  • Jul 01st, 18 – Aug 25th, 18
  • From 799,- €
  • Please contact us for further information.
  • Enquire now

Our hike begins and ends at Perpignan train station.
Please feel free to arrange your trip to and from Perpignan by the means of transportation of your choice and extend your trip according to your preferences.

For parties of 7 or more, we're happy to arrange for additional travel dates and/or guided tours in English.

Please fill out our enquiry form indicating the number of your party and your preferred travel dates.

Prices from €655 per child between 10 and 13 years of age

From €745 per adult

Depending on travel dates.

Terms of payment:

  • 20% of the total price within 7 days after receipt of the invoice
  • Full payment 21 days prior to departure without further request to pay

Payment via SEPA direct debit (Single Euro Payment Area) only.


Price includes:
6 nights in stopover gîtes, full board (lunch picnic and regional cuisine), transfers as per the itinerary, donkey rental & food, luggage transfer, licensed local guide, entrance fees to the Cathar castles

Price excludes:
Train or airfares to/from destination, drinks, travel cancellation insurance.

Number of participants

We accept bookings from groups as well as individual travellers!
Guaranteed departure: 7 participants (max. 16 persons)
The tour operator reserves the right to cancel this trip up to 21 days prior to departure.


6 nights in 4 to 6 bed dormitories with shared bathrooms and delicious local cuisine.
No single rooms available.

Level: easy

Suitable for children 10 years and older.
Daily hiking times vary from 3.5 to 5 hours at a leisurely pace with maximum elevation gains of 350m per day.
Walking with French people, an authentic experience
French speaking licenced guide
A local, licensed mountain guide will lead your way. Your donkey will carry your supplies for the day while your remaining luggage will be transferred from one accommodation to the next by your hosts.

Your donkey

Please keep in mind that the donkeys are not meant to serve as your luggage carriers but as your children’s friends and companions, making their hike more enjoyable and encouraging them to explore the many treasures along the way. While they will gladly carry your supplies for the day, please avoid burdening them with heavy bags. Children are not supposed to ride on the donkeys' backs but may do so for short periods of time with parents assuming full liability, in case they get too tired to walk. Your guide will be responsible for the donkeys, but participants are encouraged to take turns feeding, caressing and tending to the animals.

How to get there

We recommend an overnight TGV (high-speed train) ride to Perpignan via Paris.

If you're traveling by car, follow the motorway to Perpignan. Guarded parking spaces are available on site.

Closest airports: Montpellier or Toulouse. Train connections to Perpignan.

If you're travelling by plane, please consider offsetting your carbon emissions, for example through the atmosfair programme.

For detailed travel information, please request our info sheet by filling out the enquiry form.

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