mirepoix cathedralA Week of Walking for Wellbeing

This holiday offers guided and self-guided walks based @ the Razès Gîtes in the sleepy village of Escueillens, buried in the heart of the rolling Razès countryside, just 25 minutes south of Carcassonne. 

Walkers have a choice from 25 circuits and 10 linear trails (ranging from 5 to 40 km) covering the length and breadth of the gently rolling Razès countryside. A Walking for Wellbeing holiday is about you choosing your own routes (for distance and difficulty) and walking at your own pace so you can be sure to find your natural rhythm and inner harmony.

JBFrom €250 per person / 8 days (based on 2 people sharing)

Best suited for individuals, couples or small groups (max. 6), Walking for Wellbeing holidays are about making the walking choices that suit you and your ideas of wellness and wellbeing.

For walkers seeking to find greater balance of mind, body and soul, you may choose to complement your walks with sessions designed to help you re-connect with nature, explore the symbology of nature, or even try out some walking meditations. 

Curious? Check out our Walking for Wellbeing and Exclusives pages.

vineyardsWalking in the Razès

The Razès is a canton (rural area) in the Aude département of the Occitanie region and is about 90 km inland of the French Mediterranean coast and 90 km north of the Pyrenees. Rich in its Occitan heritage, the clocher-mur style churches centred in many rural villages can be seen from the surrounding hill and vantage points. 

The Razès is famed for its birds of prey and wild orchids as well as its beautiful, rolling landscape decorated with hills and dales, valleys and peaks, rivers and streams. The Razès generally offers easy to moderate terrain.

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Depending on the time of year, walkers will typically pass alongside vineyards and fields of sunflower, poppies or barley and over rocky garrigue (scrub) outcrops, through country lanes and woods, past farms and crop fields, hamlets and villages.

Each Walking for Wellbeing holiday affords its own spectacular views of the Malepère Massif and the Corbières region to the East, the spectacular Pyrenees to the South and the Montagne Noire in the Minervois to the North. 

Jo will give a full briefing prior to each walking day and answer any questions you may have about your chosen route, its distance and difficulty. If you wish to include some walking meditations and/or re-connecting with nature trails, simply ask for more details at the time of booking.

The majority of the walks (excepting the Cathare Castle walks) start from your very doorstep at the Razès Gîtes. Jo leads all the guided walks but should you wish to self-guide, detailed maps and route guides are available.

The number of walks you do is entirely up to you. If you want to walk every day, simply choose your circuits and you will be guided by Jo or self-guided if you prefer. If you want to walk every other day and have a rest day in between, the tranquil gardens offer you a beautiful space within which to relax and unwind. The neighbouring town of Mirepoix is a beautiful medieval town to visit with its own cathedral and it also hosts the best market day around! There are plenty of options for wine-tasting for those who enjoy a drop of French wine on a relaxing afternoon off.butterfly 1

Holiday Itinerary

Day One - Arrival, welcome, drinks and dinner. An afternoon stroll around the local Razès countryside if flight schedules permit.

Day Two - Day Seven - Example Walks (from over 30 to choose from)

girlsLe Lac de la Pène & le Bois d’en Bas (5, 7 or 12 kms) – Starting from your Razès gîte, this is a short and easy ramble over gently rolling terrain, down country lanes, old railway tracks and through scarcely trodden woodland trails of pine and oak to emerge at the local lake of la Pène – a great stopping place for a picnic, meditation or a leisurely wander through the surrounding woods. You can be sure of the sweet singing of the birds and insects to accompany you along the way. Extended versions take you deeper into the heart of the pine-scented whispering woods closer to the deer and wild boar.

Le Sentier des Crêtes d’Hounoux (5, 12 or 17.5 kms) – This walk takes you across country lanes, past vineyards climbing up to a ridge for breath-taking views of the snow-clad Pyrenees followed by gently rolling trails up and down through garrigue (scrub land), past a myriad of wild lavender, thyme and juniper, fields of horses and farm yards. This walk also offers great views of the Montagne Noire, the whole of the Razès domain, the Malepère Massif and Corbières off into the east.

La Pene 1La GR7 (Grande Randonnée) to Mirepoix (15 km 1-way or 36 kms circuit) – The trail leads you to the GR7, walking parallel to the Pyrenees, following part of the age-old pilgrim’s route, the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. We are not suggesting you go quite that far, but just enjoy the diversity of flora surrounding the peaceful GR7 track as you pass ponds and hamlets, farmyards and garrigue with rolling plains stretching up to the Pyrenees on your left. The medieval town of Mirepoix offers plenty of places for a drink or lunch or to the cathedral.

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Cathare Trails to Montségur & Roquefixade (8 or 20 kms) – You may want to follow the Sentier des Tisserands (20 km) which is a circuitous loop leading up and down the Cols surrounding Montségur, following the soul-filling Cathar trails through centuries-old forests which simply ooze with tranquility and well-being. Including the ascent of the château of Montségur itself, a tough and physically demanding trail but very rewarding in terms of opportunity to see, hear and smell the ever-changing flora and fauna in beautiful and vibrant valleys and mountains, richly imbued with both history and intrigue.

Day Eight – Breakfast and departure. A possible short walk around the Razès if flight schedules permit.

crestsDates and Availability

Walking for Wellbeing guided (and self-guided) walking holidays @ the Razès Gîtes are available all-year round - come in the season you want and arrive/depart on the days that best suit your travel plans.

If you want to walk every day, simply choose your preferred distances and you will be guided by Jo or can self-guide if you prefer. If you want to walk every other day and have a rest day in between, the tranquil gardens, meditation room and Grange offer you beautiful spaces within which to relax and unwind.

 Details of this Walking Holiday  (prices based on 2 people sharing)

  • Includes: guided walks, breakfast and daily refreshments in-gîte, welcome aperitif and dinner on arrival day.
  • B&B from €250 per person for 8 days

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  • Discounts for solo walkers
  • Airport/train station transfers to and from Carcassonne, Bram or Toulouse
  • Self-catering from €195 per person for 8 days
  • Half board from €355 per person for 8 days (incl. 3 course meal with wine)
  • Full board from €455 per person for 8 days (also incl. picnic or buffet lunches)

Not included

  • All other costs (such as dining out) and travel costs to the starting-point of this holiday

  • Get in Touch for more details.