Distance: 189,64 km.; cumulative altitude gain: 7.420 m.; cumulative altitude loss: 7.745 m.
The Route of the Last Cathar is a cross-border trek from Bagà (Catalonia) to Tarascon-sur-Ariège (France), almost parallel to the Route of the Cathars.
The trek crosses the Pyrenean area where most of the cathars that took refuge in Catalonia moved around. It specifically recreates the final journey of Guilhem Belibasta, the last known cathar elder or perfect.
It’s an idoneous trek for those who love nature, that will take you through wild and captivating landscapes, in the Cadí-Moixeró and the Alt Pirineu Natural Parks.
Stage 1: Bagà – Gósol
Distance: 23’52 km.
Long stage of continuous ascent, but without any hard slopes. From the start to Coll de Bauma, you will wander through extensive leafy woods. Then, you will turn westward, with magnificent views over Pedraforca’s E. and N. slopes, the Cadí mountain range and the deep valley of Cerneres, dominated by the characteristic silhouette of the Cadinell.
Stage 2: Gósol – Molí de Fórnols
Distance: 17’08 km.
Short stage that links the districts of Berguedà and Alt Urgell. To Tuixén, almost all the route runs through leafy forests that remain fresh even in the middle of summer. First, you have to walk over the easy Coll de Josa, with only 190 m. of difference in height, and then you go along the valley of Josa down to Tuixén. From Tuixén, you will walk downhill to Molí de Fórnols.
Stage 3: Molí de Fórnols – La Seu d’Urgell
Distance: 20’69 km.
Medium stage, but with considerable cumulative altitude; this is the only stage that allows us to visit a district capital city, La Seu d’Urgell, which has an important historical, architectural and cultural heritage.
Stage 4: La Seu d’Urgell – Castellbò
Distance: 20’18 km.
The main way from La Seu d’Urgell to Pallars went up the valley of Castellbò by Aravell, following the river’s course, but the area is nowadays taken up by roads; the route we suggest takes you to the same destination walking from Castellciutat to Sant Serni de Tavèrnoles, a notable romanesque monument. From there, you will walk along the route that went from this old monastery to Castellbò, passing by Santa Eugínia de la Torre and Mardiscla.
Stage 5: Castellbò – Montenartró
Distance: 23’96 km.
This stage has more than 1.000 m. of cumulative altitude. In spite of some stretches of hard ascent, almost all the slopes are relatively gentle. The notable difference in height between the start and the end of the stage, allows you to see a big diversity of vegetal environments, that range from mediterranean mountain flora in the valleys to subalpine mountain landscapes.
Stage 6: Montenartró – Llavorsí
Distance: 11’13 km.
From Montenartró, the route continues north-westerly down to the valley of Santa Magdalena, where it turns northward and goes up 440 m. along the Magaró ridge. Descending towards Biuse you still can see the remains of the medieval way. The rest of the route is downhill to Llavorsí.
Stage 7: Llavorsí – Alins
Distance: 13’28 km.
Short and quite flat stage. From Llavorsí, the route follows the Cardós valley to Tírvia, and continues to Alins, following the Noguera de Vallferrera north-easterly.
Stage 8: Alins – Vallferrera Mountain Hut
Distance: 15’29 km.
Relatively short uphill stage, with medium slopes. The route follows Vallferrera to arrive below Pla de Boet, where you will turn left to reach the mountain hut. If you get up early, you will walk in the shade and in the cool of the morning. The second half of the route runs through a leafy forest of oaks, ashes, birches, black pines and firs.
Stage 9: Vallferrera Mountain Hut – Mounicou
Distance: 18’45 km.
In this stage you will cross the border between Spain and France. After the mountain pass of Boet, you will enter the municipality of Auzat, district of Vicdessos, department of Ariège.
Stage 10: Mounicou – Tarascon-sur-Ariège
Distance: 26’06 km.
The final stage of the Route of the Last Cathar is long; however, except for a few short uphill stretches, the stage is a soft descent. From Mounicou to Tarascon-sur-Ariège the way runs through the valley, following the Vicdessos river to its confluence with the Ariège, where the city of Tarascon-sur-Ariège stands.
The package includes:
– 9 nights accommodation on half board basis.
– The “Route of the Last Cathar” route book.
– Trekking pack (T-shirt and cap).
The package does NOT include:
– Anything that is NOT DESCRIBED in the “the package includes” section.
– Insurance (available on request).
– Luggage transport (available on request).
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