France - Walking the Pyrenean Foothill Route from Carcassonne into Lourdes

France - Walking the Pyrenean Foothill Route from Carcassonne into Lourdes

Self-guided walk from Carcassonne to the Pyrenees 

the route follows the Pyrenean Foothill Route up to Lourdes.

15 days of walking with some challenging stages when you approach the Pyrenees passes.

Some of the stages can be adapted to be easier : ask for more information!

During this walk you may not meet many pilgrims as on the Puy Route or the Camino Frances but you will discover the walk off the beaten paths in France.

A few highlights on your way : Carcassonne on the Unesco List, Saint Lizier, Saint Bertrand de Comminges and of course Lourdes and the famous grotto and sanctuaries.

Day 1

The trip starts at the medieval city of Carcassonne. This fascinating walled town with its 2 circular walls and huge medieval fortress--the largest in Europe--was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1997.

Day 2

CARCASSONNE to MONTREAL - 23 km/15 mi – 5h30 of walking.
After the bustling city, you will enter a peaceful countryside area, with vineyards and crop fields. The way is well waymarked and you will easily find the village of Montreal perched on top of the Mont Royal.

Day 3

MONTREAL to FANJEAUX or HOUNOUX 21 km/13 mi – 5h15 of walking
Today you will cross the plain of Lauragais and go through circular villages as Cailhavel and the perched village of Fangeaux located in the Cathar Country.

Day 4

FANJEAUX or HOUNOUX to MIREPOIX 17 km/10 mi – 4h30 of walking
A short walking day which will give you the time to visit the medieval Mirepoix and admire the half timbered houses, the Consul House and even the imposing Cathedral.

Day 5

MIREPOIX to LUDIES 24 km/15 mi – 6h00 of walking -+ 400 m / - 300 m
Between woodland and fields you will enjoy the views on the Pyrenees in the distance, and from the rock painting Church of Vals

Day 6

LUDIES to PAMIERS 12 km/8 mi – 3h00 of walking
A short stage to reach the city of Pamiers (15000 inhabitants) along the river Ariège and the classified canal enclosing the city.

Day 7

PAMIERS to LE MAS D’AZIL 27 km/15 mi–7h00 of walking.
The region called « the Small Pyrenees » on small peaceful roads or footpaths links Pamiers to Le Mas d’Azil. Night in a hotel.

Day 8

LE MAS D’AZIL to SAINT GIRONS / ST LIZIER 26 km/15 mi – 7h00 of walking.
In Le Mas d’Azil there is a prehistoric cave that was inhabited 30,000 years ago, a highplace of Prehistory. You can also visit the Museum featuring all the tools and things found there. From hamlet to hamlet by the Cross Way called Raynaude and the ancient spa town of Audinac-les-Bains you will reach Saint Lizier the episcopal city and one of the main stages on the Pyrenean Foothills route, and Saint Girons. Night in Saint Lizier or Saint Girons

Day 9

ST LIZIER / ST GIRONS to ARGEIN 16 km/10 mi – 4h00 of walking.
This small stage leaves the time to visit the medieval treasures of Saint Lizier before heading to Argein.Night in a hotel

Day 10

ARGEIN to JUZET D’IZAUT 20 km/12 mi – 5h30 of walking
A short transfer up to saint Lary , the ski resort, you will cross the Aspet Pass and walk through “lauze” stone roof villages and have a break in Couserans before arriving at Juzet d’Isaut where you will send the night.

Day 11

JUZET D’IZAUT to ST BERTRAND DE COMMINGES 26 km/15 mi - 6h45 of walking
A mountainous stage with the crossing of a pass (Ares) before reaching Saint Pé d’Ardet and the 11th c church. Then the way continues toward Barbazan and Saint Bertrand de Comminges which is one of the Great Tourist Sites in Midi-Pyrénées; the Cathedral and Basilica of Saint Just de Valcabrère are UNESCO World Heritage Sites as part of the St James's Way pilgrimage routes. Night in a hotel

Day 12

ST BERTRAND DE COMMINGES to LA BARTHE DE NESTE 24 km /16 mi– 6h00 of walking.
The walk today will take you to Nestier at the foot of the Mont Arès. There is a remarkable calvary and a 16th century Church. The route continues by Montoussé and its 17th century Church and medieval castle. The stage ends in La Barthe de la Neste. Night in a hotel.

Day 13

LA BARTHE DE NESTE to BAGNERES DE BIGORRE 27 km/15 mi – 7h00 of walking
A long stage winding its way to the heart of the Baronnies and many typical hamlets and small villages nestled into the Pyrenean foothill. The stage ends in Bagnères de Bigorre a charming lively Spa town where you will spend the night. Night in a hotel.

Day 14

BAGNERES DE BIGORRE to LOURDES 29 km/16 mi – 7h15 of walking.
From the healthy waters of Bagnères to the miraculous waters of Lourdes, this stage is a long walk to reach the Pilgrimage City, the Grotto, the Sanctuary,the imposing castle and the 35 places of cults of the Holy City. Night in a hotel near the Sanctuary.

Day 15

LOURDES End of the walk after breakfast

titre 1

Self guided WALKING
Duration :
15 Days
From :
1850 €

Included : (see details in Dates and Prices section)

2  star hotels and guest houses- Half Board

Luggage transfer

A road book and a map.

English speaking email or phone assistance




Starts in : Carcassonne

Ends in : Lourdes

Access :  train station in Carcassonne (from Toulouse or Montpellier)

Train from Lourdes or airport



Information : click on "ask for more information"

Phone Cecile : +33 5 58 48 71 65


Customize your tour : add or remove one night or more,combine with another tour


See also :

The Pyrenean Foothill route from Lourdes to Saint Jean PP




Many "treasure"s on the Unesco List

Carcassonne, Mirepoix