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49 - From Bugarach to Quillan

Start node info Bugarach
End node info Quillan
Total length 23.0 km
Signals

yellow-blue marks of the Sentier Cathare

Maps

Quillan 2347 OT, IGN, France

Hours of walk: 6
Altitude gain: 800 m
Altitude loss: 950 m
Difficulty level: demanding (quite difficult)Food and accommodation

-In Quillan

Centre international de sejour La Forge
At 1,5 km from the centre, south along the D 117, route de Perpignan, tel. 33 (0)4 68 20 23 79, www.laforgedequillan.fr . Open from 1 April to 15 September for individual stays; whilst for groups of 20 people or more it is open all year round. Accommodates 72 guests, meal service.

Other options for food and accommodation can be found in town. Office de Tourisme Aude-en-Pyrénées, Place André Tricoire , Quillan, tel. (0)4 68 20 07 78,  www.aude-pyrenees.fr

Itinerary

From the village, the walk goes on southbound along the Sentier Cathare and it then goes up to the Col du Vent (m 825) to follow forest tracks on the northern side of the Serre de Bec, where the spontaneous forest alternates with conifer areas. At the lower altitudes, there is a prevalence of Mediterranean vegetation, while beech trees can be found at higher altitudes. The track goes down to the valley floor, across enclosed pasturelands for cows and horses. Numerous hamlets are passed along the way: Le Bezu (m 616), then St-Just-et-le-Bezu, where the street names have been exclusively in Occitan language since 1985. Shortly after the village, the asphalted road is to be abandoned to go down on a path through the garrigue leading to the bridge over the stream Bec, near the mill of Balance; from there, you follow an asphalted road through a rural area to St-Julia-de-Bec. The route goes up, again through woods, to meet the D109, which is to be walked for a short while towards the north-west. You then walk along a forest track through hairpin bends, on the northern side of the Bac Grand. You reach the crest in Les Tois Quilles (which apparently gives the name to Quillan), with a panoramic view over the Aude valley and the Pyrenees. You leave the main track to go down along a sparse scrub covered ridge to the village of Quillan, next to the Pont Vieux on the Aude.

Map

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