A unique women’s trail running holiday in the Ariège Pyrenees
|INCLUDED||7 nights accommodation
5 days guided trail running
Entrance to Cathar castles
|NOT INCLUDED||Travel to Toulouse||Holiday insurance|
83 kilometers, 5000m of ascent – that’s what you’ll cover on this laid back and easy going women’s trail running holiday in the Pyrenees mountains.
It’s all about the journey
This unique trail running holiday for women takes place in the beautiful Haute Ariège area of the French Pyrénées.
It’s an area that’s rich with history, dotted with thought-provoking Cathar castles and medieval villages and criss-crossed by ancient paths and trails that have been used for centuries.
If you’re looking for a trail running holiday that’s about the sheer pleasure of spending time on your feet in a small group of like-minded women, about great food and interesting accommodation then this trip is for you.
The distance and ascent you’ll cover each day is not huge and will enable you to take your time and actually enjoy your trail running experience. This isn’t a race!
Along the way, your professional trail running guide will give you tips on how to improve your running technique, how to manage your effort and even provide tips on nutrition and recovery too.
Your route will take you to the ruins of various Cathar castles at which your guide, Denis, will give you an insight into the history and events that happened there over 800 years ago.
Your accommodation will be in shared rooms in charming village accommodation. You can look forward to delicious home-cooked food prepared using home grown or local seasonal produce wherever possible. Special diets can be catered for.
This is a comprehensive trail running holiday on which everything is taken care of.
All meals from arrival to departure are covered although drinks with some meals may be payable. You will need to bring your own energy drinks and snacks.
Transfers to and from Toulouse airport or rail station along with all local transfers and luggage transfers are included.
Your trail running guide, Denis, will accompany you over the course of 5 days of running and give you top tips for improving your technique along the way.
Entrance to the various Cathar castles that you’ll visit is also included.
It’s time to head out on the former Cathar trails to the medieval village of Roquefixade.
As you reach the splendid ridge line you’ll see a rocky outcrop down below, nicknamed the sugar loaf, on which the Chateau de Mont-grenier once stood. On a break from running, Denis will explain the story behind its destruction.
Your accommodation for the night is a comfortable hostel below the Cathar castle of Roquefixade at 700-m alt. Enjoy the panoramic views of the Pyrenees chain from the sunny terrasse.
You’ll enjoy running in mixed environments today as you make your way from Roquefixade to the village of Montferrier.
In the evening you’ll enjoy a Medieval style meal with your fellow runners in a typical ‘troubadour’ setting, with Denis providing some of the entertainment on his traditional recorder!
You’ll spend the night in a dormitory style room at 830m altitude
Today you’ll enjoy some lovely running on the Cathar trail which includes some easy paths that wind through cool woodland. You emerge from the woodland to see the impressive Chateau de Montsegur in front of you, set on it’s imposing rocky spike.
The difficulty of access was a great deterrent to the enemy in Medieval times, making the castle a key site in the history of Catharism. You’ll enjoy hearing Denis recount the secrets of the chateau and of the Cathar religion.
Your accommodation for the night is a charming auberge in the hamlet of Montségur, a real Medieval setting where you’ll enjoy a traditional Occitan meal prepared with forgotten herbs and plants.
Take a last look at the castle of Montsegur before you head back out onto the trails.
Depending on weather conditions and how the group is feeling, you have the option this morning to bag the Pic du Soularac. This is an additional 300m climb to reach a summit that’s at 2300m altitude.
After your effort you’ve earned a break beside a beautiful mountain lake.
You then have a fabulous long descent towards the Château de Lordat to enjoy. On a guided visit, Denis will tell you all about why this site is also known as the graveyard of the Cathars.
From Lordat you’ll have a minibus transfer to your accommodation at Ax-les-Thermes where you will enjoy a great evening meal.
On this well earned rest day you’ll treat your weary muscles to a session at the fabulous thermal spa facility in the town, enjoy the local café culture and maybe do some shopping too.
You’ll be well rested this morning, ready for some ascent out on the trails as you climb up to the col which overlooks the pic de St Barthélémy.
Your route will take you close to the roc de Miglos which was a crossing point for escapees in the second world war as they fled the Nazi regime.
After a fun descent down to the château de Miglos, Denis will give you a guided visit of this fascinating structure.