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En route to Cathar country, famous for its numerous castles: Aguilar, Quéribus, Peyrepertuse, Puivert… Riding in the country of the “Citadelles du vertige" (literally “Vertiginous citadels”), takes you from the lavender and thyme of the Corbières to the dense forests of the Ariège mountains, with the majestic chain of the Pyrenees as a backdrop.
Itinerary start: Rendezvous on the first day in Comus (11) at 9am. You will receive precise rendezvous details approximately 3 weeks before the departure date.
The beginning of our ride sees us climb up to the Plateau de Sault and the small village of Montaillou. The village, a stronghold during the period of the Cathars, was the subject of a remarkable book covering the period and the lives of the heretic "résistants" following the massacre at the fortress of Montségur. At the top of the village the ruins of a castle overlook the small village bell-tower. We then climb up to the Col de Balagues, then on to the Col de Jou, offering superb panoramic views of the nearby Pyrenean peaks. The next descent is on some unforgettable singletrack. Smiles all round! We then arrive in the small village of Mérens, which is famous for several reasons. First of all, it’s the home of the Mérens, a small saddle horse called the "Black Prince of the Pyrenees”, and secondly the village is home to some hot water springs that spout straight out of the ground. Perfect for a welcome dip! Night in a gite in Mérens – les Vals.
Distance covered: 45 km / Altitude gain: approx. 2000 m.
A day to discover the forests and plateaux of the Haute Ariège! We start with a descent to Ax les Thermes, charming thermal spa town at 720 metres above sea level. On a mix of wide tracks and singletrack trails, we join the Col de Marmare (1361 m). We then ride across the Plateau des 7 Cases, one of the highlights of the weekend. The plateau is a preserved area, void of all human settlement, giving the impression of being miles from anywhere… Our route then crosses the small mountain village of Prades, before joining the village of Comus (2 kilometres on the same trail as the day before).
Distance covered: approx. 45 km / Altitude gain: approx. 2000 m
An unforgettable day, with a serious downhill tendency: more than 1000 metres of descent on singletrack. Mmm! Our route takes us past the famous castles of Montségur and Roquefixade, before finishing on a technical and fun 400 metre descent to Foix. We finish the ride on the paving stones of the prefecture of the Ariège, ancient capital of the Comté de Foix.
Shuttle transfer to the starting point (Comus).
Distance covered: 50 km / Altitude gain: 1600 meters (and 2400m of cumulative descent).
Distances are an indication only and may vary.
Itinerary end: Separation on the last day is in Comus at around 3pm, after the shuttle transfer from Foix.
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