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Carcassonne City & Landscapes

Hiking route · France
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  • City Gate - and the start point for the walk
    City Gate - and the start point for the walk
    Photo: Anna Wren, Macs Adventure
A relaxing walk that first guides you around the ancient city walls, before taking you out in to the beautiful surrounding area to enjoy a spectacular view back over the city.
Distance 9 km
2:30 h
120 m
118 m
252 m
115 m
This pleasant walks allows you to explore the ancient city of Carcassonne, taking you on a complete circuit between the two formidable defence walls that have stood for centuries. Once you have returned to the city gates, the route then takes you through the surrounding countryside on quiet lanes, passing numerous vineyards before the short climb to the viewpoint that offers you spectacular views over the old city and beyond.

Author’s recommendation

While our route takes you on a circuit of the of the outer walls, it is highly recommended that you take the time to explore the warren of quaint streets inside the ancient city where you will discover many churches, curio shops, cafes and restaurants. It is also possible to explore the 13th century castle and its battlements for a small fee.
Profile picture of Anna Wren
Anna Wren
Update: October 31, 2018
Highest point
252 m
Lowest point
115 m
Best time of year

Track types

Road 0.57%Unknown 99.43%
0.1 km
8.9 km
Show elevation profile

Safety information

This relatively short walk takes you along some quiet country roads, and you must take care when traffic approaches. Please use the pavements where they are available.

You will be walking on a mixture of tarmac roads and good forest trails, as well as some cobbled streets on the old city.

We would ask that you take note of the many warning signs when exploring the city walls.

It can get hot in the summer months in this area, so please carry enough water and some snacks for you walk.

Tips and hints

While there are plenty of facilities in and around the old city (including toilets adjacent to the city gate), there are no facilities on the section of the walk up to the viewpoint and back. Its is essential that you have enough water and food to see you comfortably through the walk.

Numerous cafes, shops and restaurants are available in and around the old city, as well as on the streets down to the river. There is a pharmacy adjacent to the Pont Vieux



Points of Information:

Cité de Carcassonne 

The Cité de Carcassonne is the fortified core of the famous walled city of Gallo-Roman origin in southern France. It consists of double defensive walls punctuated by 52 watchtowers, a castle with a museum, a Gothic cathedral, and impressive historic buildings within the enclosure. It's also the inspiration for the beloved table game Carcassonne. It's been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.


You can purchase tickets in advance for the castle at this website:

Castle Tickets


This tour is available on the following itineraries: WFSCCT





The South entrance gates to the walled city, Carcassonne (140 m)
43.206546, 2.366014
43°12'23.6"N 2°21'57.7"E
31T 448498 4783946


Back to the entrance gates to the walled city, Carcassonne

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km – Facing the city gates go STRAIGHT ON over the bridge and into the old city.

0.05km – Before entering the impressive arch ahead TURN LEFT and walk along the cobbled way between the two sets of fortifications. Continue to follow this way as it swings to the right. Take time to enjoy the many fine views over the surrounding countryside.

0.80km – Continue STRAIGHT ON as the route takes you round to the north side. You should negotiate some steps through a gap in the wall to the right which will keep you on the main path ahead.

1.40km – You will now find yourself back at the city gate, where you can turn right into the city itself. To continue to follow our route, TURN LEFT and head back out across the bridge. Once out of the walled city, walk up to the road in front of you.

1.50km – BEAR RIGHT up the road beside the cemetery. Please use the footpath behind the poles on the left hand side.

1.80km – At the far end of the cemetery, BEAR LEFT along Chemin de Ste Croix. You are now on the official GR36 walking route and will see the red and white indicator of street signs and telegraphs poles (see the photograph section).

2.60km – Continue through the tunnel under the main road and then BEAR LEFT up the hill, following the GR36 signs. At the top of the slope follow the road round to the right.

3.70km – At the gates to a large house, TURN RIGHT and walk up the stony path ahead as it swings left. The sign on the swing gate (see photographs) translates as “Except Services” and the path is perfectly safe for walking.

4.40km – At the junction, TURN LEFT and follow the wide path ahead. Note, this is an easy turn to miss. You are leaving the GR36 route now and should see ad red and white X on the wooden post – this is the correct route (see photograph). Follow this path straight ahead until you reach a small car park area.

5.30km – At the car park, continue STRAIGHT ON and you will find yourself on a narrower path that leads to the viewpoint.

5.70km – At the viewpoint, take time to enjoy the scenery. Return the same way back to the car park area when you are ready.

6.30km – Once back at the car park area continue ahead until you see two rocks and a large sign that says Espaces de Vertes – here TURN RIGHT and follow the path down to the tarmac road.

6.60km – Once toy reach the tarmac road with the ate ahead of you, TURN RIGHT and follow the road ahead. Please be aware of any oncoming traffic.

7.20km – BEAR RIGHT at the house and continue on the tarmac road.

7.60km – when you see the main road, BEAR LEFT up the slope and continue along the minor road that runs parallel to the main road

8.10km – As the road swings left TURN RIGHT heading down to the tunnel under that main road that you used before. After the tunnel, follow the road back to Carcassonne – you will get some fine views of the city walls as you return.

8.80km – At the junction with the cemetery ahead, BEAR RIGHT and head back towards the city gates. Please use the pavement on the right-hand side.

9.00km – When it is safe to do so, cross the road and enter the small square in front of the city gates. Here you have completed today’s walk, and can reward yourself with a light refreshment on one of the many cars and cafés that can be found on the streets within the city walls

By road

This walk is easily accessible from anywhere in Carcassone. The easiest way to get to the start is by foot. Make you way to the Pont Vieux and from the South side of the river head along Rue Trivalle ahead. At Rue Gustav Nadauad, turn right and follow this road up and and round to the city gates. This is where our walk commences.


43.206546, 2.366014
43°12'23.6"N 2°21'57.7"E
31T 448498 4783946
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


As this is a short walk a pair of comfortable walking shoes and appropriate clothing for the weather are all that is required. There is a short climb up to the viewpoint, and some walkers may wish to use walking poles in this section.

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9 km
2:30 h
120 m
118 m
Highest point
252 m
Lowest point
115 m


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