A Week of Walking for Well-being

Walking holiday with both guided and self-guided options in France

From € 195.- / 8 days

Price per person sharing a double room in a fully equipped gîte

  • Dogs welcome
  • GPS tracks available
  • One accommodation
  • Walking holiday with guided and self-guided options
  • Solitary old oaktree in rolling fields of yellow rapeseed flowsers
  • Pair of happy hikers
  • The ruins of Cathar castle, on a hill, seen from the air

Walking for Wellbeing holidays offer guided and self-guided walks based from Razès gîtes in the sleepy village of Escueillens, buried in the heart of the rolling Razès countryside, just 25 minutes south of Carcassonne.

This holiday offers walkers a choice from 35 circuits and 10 linear trails (ranging from 5 to 40 km) covering the length and breadth of the gently rolling Razès countryside. For us, the most important factors of a Walking for Wellbeing holiday are that you choose your own routes and thus distance and difficulty. Most importantly perhaps, you get to walk at your own pace so you can be sure to find your natural rhythm and inner harmony.

For walkers seeking to find greater balance of mind, body and soul, you may choose to complement your walks with sessions designed to help you re-connect with nature, explore the symbology of nature, or even try out some walking meditations.

3 optional on site extras which may also be included in your holiday are: wine-tasting in the barn – a choice from the local wine producers in the Razès; in gîte massage – for relaxation or therapy for problem areas; basic instruction in Hatha yoga – learn a daily 30 minute routine.

man in shorts and with camera walking on a track through a field Butterfly on a hand

Best suited for individuals, couples or small groups, Walking for Wellbeing holidays are about making the walking choices that suit you and your ideas of well-ness and well-being.

Accommodation in the Razès

There are three gîtes at the Razès – Soujeole, Corbières and La Cour du Blé. Soujeole and Corbières are suitable for singles or couples; La Cour du Blé can accommodate a further 2 to 4 people. Each has its own private entrance, parking, fully equipped kitchen, dining and lounge areas, double bedroom(s) and bath or shower room. Each gîte individually offers privacy and has its own place and space, and yet, all three can be booked together to accommodate for larger groups travelling together.

There are also several secluded gardens offering areas of shelter from or full exposure to the sun, perfect for your outdoor dining or relaxation; all conducive to quietly snoozing away your cares, keeping you tucked safely away from the outside world.

Bedroom Living room with stairway Gite seen from garden outside

You'll find a collection of books and music within each gîte, as well as an up-to-date supply of local information on events taking place in and around the Aude département. A large and continually expanding selection of films, and local books on Cathar castles are also available upon request. Our extensive range of detailed road and walking maps are kept in the grange. A meditation and yoga room is available for use.

A pair of women hiking walking track leading through a low mountain landscape

The grange is a great place to stop and stare at the great outdoors, finding cool respite from the summer sun or relaxing in snug comfort next to the wood burner in winter. There are more cooking & BBQ facilities here for outdoor dining in the gardens. The grange also houses a games area for table-tennis and darts. There are boules for use in the village boulodrome 50 metres down the road. You'll find a variety of board and card games in the bar area. A washing machine is also available in the grange.

Jo & Bob live in the adjoining property and are only too happy to help with any queries you may have.

Rural mountain landscape with trees and a lake Person walking over grass track

If you are hiring a car and wish to explore the local area, your hosts are very happy to give recommendations and make reservations on your behalf. If you've already made your own plans or simply don't want to make any, then you'll be left tranquil in your own peace and space. If you don’t want to hire a car, we can organise trips to the local shops and markets.

Most of the walks are day or half day circuits. This means that you can return to your own safe haven in a Razès Gîte each evening to relax and unwind in comfort.

Walking for Well-being in the Razès

The Razès is a canton (rural area) in the Aude département of the Languedoc Roussillon region and is about 90 km inland of the French Mediterranean coast and 90 km north of the Pyrenees. Rich in its Occitan heritage, the clocher-mur style churches centred in many rural villages can be seen from the surrounding hill and vantage points.

Calm river surrounded by green trees Small group of women walking downhill

The Razès is famed for its birds of prey and wild orchids as well as its beautiful, rolling landscape decorated with hills and dales, valleys and peaks, rivers and streams. There are occasional steep hills to climb on some trails but generally speaking the Razès offers walkers easy to moderate terrain with enormous variety.

You'll find vineyards, woods and old villages nestled throughout. Copses of oak and pine dot the area's landscape everywhere and contribute to an ever-changing annual show of deciduous versus evergreen. Depending on the time of year, walkers will typically pass alongside vineyards and fields of sunflower, poppies or barley and over rocky garrigue (scrub) outcrops, through country lanes and woods, past farms and crop fields, hamlets and villages.

Each Walking for Wellbeing holiday affords its own spectacular views of the Malepère Massif and the Corbières region to the East, the spectacular Pyrenees to the South and the Montagne Noire in the Minervois to the North.

Group of 4 friends on a walking holiday, resting and talking church seen over a field of sunflowers

Of the 45 walking routes available in the Razès, 35 are circuits and 10 are linear routes. There are a further 10 walking routes taking in the historic Cathar Castles and their environs should you wish to visit these. Jo will give a full briefing prior to each walking day and answer any questions you may have about your chosen route, its distance and difficulty. If you wish to include some walking meditations and/or re-connecting with nature trails, simply ask for more details at the time of booking.

Swallowtail butterfly on lavender flower Beautiful formation of thin clouds in a blue sky

The majority of the walks (excepting the Cathar Castle walks) start from your very doorstep at the Razès Gîtes. Jo leads all the guided walks but should you wish to self-guide, detailed maps and route guides are available.

Wherever you walk in the Razès or on the Cathar trails you cannot fail to absorb a calming sense of peace and stillness emanating from the tranquillity of the lands.

Walking for Wellbeing walking holiday itinerary

Below is a selection of example walks. Please contact the holiday provider for a personalised itinerary.

Example walks

Le Lac de la Pène & le Bois d'en Bas (7-12 km circuit) - Starting from your Razès gîte, this is a short and easy ramble over gently rolling terrain, down country lanes, old railway tracks and through scarcely trodden woodland trails of pine and oak to emerge at the local lake of la Pène - a great stopping place for a picnic, meditation or a leisurely wander through the surrounding woods. You can be sure of the sweet singing of the birds and insects to accompany you along the way. Extended versions take you deeper into the heart of the pine-scented whispering woods closer to the deer and wild boar.

Two walkers meet and have a chat Looking across a wide river landscape towards snowcapped mountains in the distance

Le Sentier des Crêtes d’Hounoux (12-17.5 km circuit) - This walk takes you across country lanes, past vineyards climbing up to a ridge for breath-taking views of the snow-clad Pyrenees followed by gently rolling trails up and down through garrigue (scrub land), past a myriad of wild lavender, thyme and juniper, fields of horses and farm yards. This walk also offers great views of the Montagne Noire, the whole of the Razès domain, the Malepère Massif and Corbières off into the east.

La GR7 (Grande Randonnée) to Mirepoix (18 km 1-way or 36 km full circuit) - The trail leads you to the GR7, walking parallel to the Pyrenees, following part of the age-old pilgrim's route, the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. We are not suggesting you go quite that far, but just enjoy the diversity of flora surrounding the peaceful GR7 track as you pass ponds and hamlets, farmyards and garrigue with rolling plains stretching up to the Pyrenees on your left. The medieval town of Mirepoix offers pplenty of places for a drink or lunch or to the cathedral.

Sunny road along an arable field Two female hikers

Cathar Trail to Montségur (20 km circuit) - You may want to follow the Sentier des Tisserands (20 km) which is a circuitous loop leading up and down the Cols surrounding Montségur, following the soul-filling Cathar trails through centuries-old forests which simply ooze with tranquility and well-being. Including the ascent of the château of Montségur itself, a tough and physically demanding trail but very rewarding in terms of opportunity to see, hear and smell the ever-changing flora and fauna in beautiful and vibrant valleys and mountains, richly imbued with both history and intrigue.

Landscape in the Razes region in France Red and pink sunrise behind mountains

Dates and availability

Walking for Well-being offers guided and self-guided walking holidays based from the Razès Gîtes are available all-year round - come in the season that best suits you!

You can choose whether you want to come for 7 or 10 days, a long weekend or 2 weeks, even a month if it suits! You choose how long you wish to stay for and on which days of the week you plan to arrive and depart.

Woman walking along cliffs Village on a low hill in a winter landscape with a light dusting of snow

You can come on your own, with a partner or friend, safe in the knowledge you have the privacy and space of your own gîte. You will be able to go for your guided walks at hours and times that suit you, assured that you will not be forced to participate in a larger group.

If you wish to come and walk as a small group, combining the resources of all 3 gîtes together, the Razès Gîtes can accommodate a maximum of 10 people.

Typically, for two people sharing a gîte n a self-catering basis for 8 days costs: €390 in Winter; €490 in Spring & Autumn; €545 in Summer.

The number of walks you do is entirely up to you. If you want to walk every day, simply choose your circuits and you will be guided by Jo or self-guided if you prefer. If you want to walk every other day and have a rest day in between, the tranquil gardens offer you a beautiful space within which to relax and unwind.

Three women hiking with backpacks and a heavy stick Village with church in a rural landscape seen from a low hill

Please contact the holiday provider, through the contact form, for more information.

Additional information

Price of this walking holiday

  • Self-catering from €195 per person for 8 days
  • B&B from €230 per person for 8 days

Extras

  • Discounts for single walkers apply!
  • Airport transfers to and from Carcassonne are available.
  • Walks around and visits to the Cathar castles are guided walk options.
  • Picnic lunch boxes can be arranged.

Please contact the holiday provider, through the contact form, for more information.


WALKING_HOLIDAY

Holiday type

One accommodationWalking holiday with guided and self-guided options
Walking holiday with both guided and self-guided options
Board basis: Self-catering prices are quoted. B&B is also available at €5 per person per day

Price

From € 195.- / 8 days

Price per person sharing a double room in a fully equipped gîte

  • Dogs by prior arrangement
  • GPS tracks available

Included

- 7 nights accommodation in a fully equipped gîte,
- morning & afternoon tea/coffee,
- welcome drink and introductory information session,
- wide range of walks & maps available, self-guided or guided options,
- unlimited guided local walks around the Razès countryside.

Optional extras

- Continental breakfast,
- Airport transfer,
- Guided walks and visits to the famous Cathar castles,
- Hatha yoga sessions,
- In gîte massage,
- On site wine-tasting.

Not included

All other costs, including travel costs to the starting-point of this holiday.

Walking holiday reference

WH-SGG-FRSJ01


Walking grade

Walking holiday in hills only
  • Hills
  • Easy walking
Walking holiday in hills to low mountains
  • Hills to low mountains
  • Easy to moderate walking

Remarks

  • Dogs by prior agreement. Tailor-made walking possible

Best time of the year

April - October


Walking Holiday by:

Walking for Well-being

Jo and Bob Norton

walkingforwellbeing.com

Contact details

Languages spoken

English, French

Getting there

  • Carcassonne Airport (22 mi)
  • Béziers Airport (63 mi)
  • Toulouse Airport (63 mi)
  • Perpignan Airport (75 mi)
  • Carcassonne Train station (23 mi)
  • Bram Train station (13 mi)
  • Castelnaudary Train station (16 mi)

Note: Hire car is best for those who want a self-catering option since the village is remote and the nearest shops/restaurant are 7km away.



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