The Cathars Way

Nov 23, 2015 1025

“Near Barcelona, an exciting mountain trail through the Cathars history”

8 days / 7 nights - 4/6 hours x 6 days riding

The Pyrenees “Bons Homes” route was very useful for the Cathars in their exile from France during the XII, XIII and XIV century.

The route goes from the Castle of Montsegur near Foix in France to the Queralt Monastery in the Berguedá (Barcelona Province). We will appreciate in every corner the historical trace of this singular itinerary: farmhouses, hermitages, and castles ruins. The trail includes part of the “Bons Homes” route, riding through the Berguedà region where we will discover spectacular natural landscapes.

L’Espunyola - Cercs - Figols - Gósol - Gisclareny - Bagà
Schedule :18 - 25 June, 10 - 17 Sep, 15 - 22 Oct 

DAY 1 WELCOME  
The trail begins in the Baix Berguedà near the Catalan village of L’Espunyola (800 m altitude), spending the first night at the Hotel-Restaurant Cal Majoral. Before dinner, you will be told about the special characteristics of our Spanish trail horses. You will be given an introduction to the week´s program with an opportunity for a one-to-one conversation designed to find every rider their perfect horse. Then, you can enjoy a fantastic dinner!

DAY 2 THE JOURNEY BEGINS
Today we are entering in the rocky and craggy walls of the Alt Berguedà landscape, while our destination the magic mountain. After passing the first foothills, we arrive at Capolat, where we can have a break on the flat terrain. Then we leave the tunnel of Jouet to the right and we can have a pleasant gallop until arriving to Campllong, where we will have our daily picnic under one of the most emblematic icon of the Catalanism, “the three branches pine”. In the afternoon, the ride continues to the Corbera Monastery where we will discover in the horizon the Queralt sanctuary. At the end of the day, we arrive at the Casanova de Les Garrigues, the historical starting point of the “Bons Homes” route. We are now at 1.300 m altitude. 

DAY 3 UP TO THE DINOSAURS TRACE
Nice day on the saddle; after an excellent breakfast, the ride begins through the Baga de les Nou Comes, a spectacular beech forest. Then we have to dismount for 50 meters to cross an old mine tunnel, to arrive at the other side of the valley with more typical Pyrenees land aspect, red pine and fir trees. We ride up and up to the proximity of the village of Peguerà and its smooth pasture where we can enjoy our picnic at lunchtime. We continue our journey over the Vallcebre cliff, crossing Fumanya where we can observe the fossil tracks of the dinosaur’s age on its high grey stone walls. The altitude is now 1.700 m and the views are incredible over the Catlarás region. We finish the day going down through a narrow path to Cal Barbut where we will have a delicious dinner.

DAY 4 THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN
After a much needed copious breakfast, we saddle our horses and we are ready for the longest day of the week. We turn back up to the deserted village of Peguera, galloping into the green and nice valley. We turn around the Gallina Pelada summit with its impressive Ferrús wall and ride down slowly to the Gósol valley, our destination today. For first time, we discover the magic mountain, Pedraforca, imposing and majestic from the distance. During the next days we will ride around it, but for today we need a deserved rest. We spend the night at Hotel Cal Franciscó at Gósol, where the altitude is 1.400 m.

DAY 5 THE GREEN SUMMIT
Today it’s not necessary to prepare our luggage: we will turn back to spend night at Cal Franciscó. We will follow a slowly ascending route to the “Cim del Verd” mountain, where we will gallop on its Green hills. Here we will enjoy the magnificent views over Tuixent and the imposing Pedraforca, very close to the other side of the mountain, through which we will descend after having a picnic on the Summit at 2.150. If needed, you can today stay at the hotel for a rest.

DAY 6 THE BACK SIDE OF PEDRAFORCA MOUNTAIN
We leave from Gósol, abandoning the dense forest and we climb smoothly to the Pedraforca mountain pass where we can appreciate its most imposing side. The paths follow on the South slope of the long Serra de Cadi, without losing altitude and going round the edge of the mountain. We come closer to Gisclareny, a small mountain village, and we finally arrive at the Rústic Vilella guesthouse where we will spend the night, again at 1.400 m altitude.

 

DAY 7 GO DOWN TO THE FOREST
Our destination for today is Bagà. We go down through the forest full of wild flowers and aromatic smell, passing by the Dou fountain, where the Bastareny River begins. Coming back without hurry to the civilization. After a delicious picnic near the river, we will rest at the Hotel-restaurant El Moli del Casó, where the owner will serve us an excellent dinner.

DAY 8 ADIOS AMIGOS
Breakfast and departure and we hope to see you again soon!!

 

Accommodation
Hotel Cal Majoral www.calmajoral.com
La Casanova de les Garrigues www.vilaformiu.com
Cal Barbut www.calbarbut.com
Hostal Cal Franciscó www.hostalcalfrancisco.es
Hostal Cal Franciscó www.hostalcalfrancisco.es
Rústic Vilella www.rusticvilella.cat
Molí del Casó www.molidelcaso.es