Doing It My Way

Crafting Your Personal Retreat Experience

From €180.- / 4 days
Price per person based on two people sharing

  • 1
  • Guided / Self-Guided
Two hikers encouraging a thirds one descending a rocky incline River gently streaming along a sandy bank with green trees Group of hikers resting by a river
This holiday is for those who simply love doing their own thing and don’t want to be part of an organised group with a schedule.

This flexible self-catering option allows you to manage your own time in your own space, walking and doing what you want in your own way. Come alone, with a partner or a few friends. Come for a 3-, 5- or 7-day walking option where you get to choose your how you spend your time. Longer stays are also available.

female hiker at the top of a mountain underneath a cross
detail of a castle tower under a clear blue sky

Best suited for individuals, couples or small groups (max 10), Reconnecting with Nature 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. 

bedroom
terrace
accommodation in the razes

Each gîte has a double bedroom, bath or shower room, well equipped kitchen, dining and lounge area with TV, DVD and CD player. Full linen and towels are provided at no extra charge. A wide library of books, music and films is also available. The gîtes have heating for those who prefer to sojourn outside the summer months.

Our extensive range of detailed road and walking maps are kept in the grange. A meditation and yoga room is available for use and instruction is optional. 

walking path consisting of planks and boards, going over part of a lake
Pair of male hikers posing in front of a low stone wall

The grange is a great place to meet, eat and get together, offering respite from the summer sun or snug comfort from the wood burner in winter. There are cooking & BBQ facilities here, table-tennis and darts, boules and board games and a washing machine. There are three secluded gardens perfect for outdoor dining or relaxation.

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

Pair of female hikers taking a photo in front of mountains
Hummingbird moth drinking from lavender flowers while flying

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, markets and castles.

Doing It My Way in the Razès

The Razès is a small rural area situated in the heart of the Aude département, Occitanie, about 90 km inland of the Mediterranean coast and 90 km north of the Pyrenees.
It is famed for its Cathare castles, birds of prey and wild orchids as well as its beautiful, rolling landscape decorated with hills and dales, valleys and peaks, rivers and streams. The Razès generally offers easy to moderate terrain with bigger hills and neighbouring mountains available to tackle.

Walking path through a forest
Bright yellow sunflowers in a field

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. The Razès generally offers easy to moderate terrain.

Depending on the time of year, walkers will typically pass alongside vineyards and fields of sunflower, poppies or barley and over garrigue (scrub) outcrops, through country lanes and woods, past farms and crop fields, hamlets and villages.
Each trail 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.

Ruins of a hilltop castle in evening light
Entrance to a cave in France

Jo is available to give briefings on your chosen walks and answer any questions you may have about your chosen route, its distance and difficulty. If you want her to guide you, she will, otherwise a plethora of walking maps and books are at your disposition. If you want to include some walking meditations and/or re-connecting with nature trails, simply ask for more details at the time of booking.

Small island in a calm lake under a blue sky
Hiker resting in the shade on the side of a track

The majority of the walks (excepting the Cathare Castle walks) start from your very doorstep at the Razès Gîtes.

Doing It My Way walking holiday itinerary

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

Example walks

Le Chemin des Vignerons (16 km circuit)
A magnificent circuit worth contemplating. Starting from the neighbouring village of Belvèze, the trail crosses through several of the Razès villages, offering opportunities to stop for refreshment and/or wine-tasting. The path winds across a variety of country roads, grassy trails and hard garrigue passing many of the Razès natural highlights inculding: the high-point of the Pech des Trois Seigneurs, the vineyards surrounding Alaigne, the Occitan village of Routier, and the Pech du Mu overlooking the Pyrenees. The trail has gently climbed uphill so far and the descent back to Belvèze is through vineyards and woodland. o another high-point of Fenouillet and the Pech du Mu overlooking the Pyrenees.

The Bastide to Medieval Carcassonne (5.5 km circuit)
A gentle but impressive walk from the Canal du Midi in Carcassonne, through the new town, up into and around the historic medieval town of Carcassonne, the largest fortified castle in Europe. The path takes you along new streets and ancient cobbled lanes, through a bustling market town centre, past austere churches and cathedrals, over old bridges and the Aude river itself. From atop the remparts of the castle, you have magnificent 360 degree views looking out to the Montagne Noire to the north, the Corbières mountains to the east, the Pyrenees to the south, and the expansive vine-clad valleys of the Aude to the west. There are many opportunities to stop for a coffee, lunch, afternoon crêpe or ice cream, all of which are always particularly welcome in the summer months. If you fancied staying for an evening meal, the sunsets over the western valleys are second to none.

Deer spotted while walking through nature in France
Hilltop castle with high tower and narrow hiking tracks leading up to it

The Canal du Midi
For some easy strollling down a tow path, this is the longest canal in Europe. Starting at Bram, a market town with a colourful Cathare past the Canal du Midi is no more and no less than a wonderfully pleasant stroll, stopping whenever you wish to observe life in and on the water, especially around the numerous locks. More of a day’s respite than a walking challenge but wonderfully re-energising by the water’s edge. Castelnaudary is 18 km west of Bram and worthy of a visit to sample its world-famous cassoulet. Carcassonne is 23 km to the east of Bram and home to the largest fortified castle in Europe, equally worthy of a visit. A lift back to your gîte may well be in order!

Old French castle on the top of a hill
red poppy flower at the "do it my way" walking holiday in France

Le Chemin de Dominique (15 km 1-way / 28 km full circuit)
A 28 km ramble of largely gentle up and downhills, passing through a few villages, two of which offer food and drink. Starting early at the high point of Montréal, through the circular village and past its Dominican Abbey, following the Cathare trail (GR78) past fields of sunflowers, poppies, vineyards or other crops depending on the time of year and two villages, Villeneuve-les-Montréal and Lasserre de Prouilhe. Follow the trail through the valley to Fanjeaux for a light lunch or beer before setting off on the return leg past the Monastère de Prouilhe – or wait for a lift back to your gîte! The trail leads you through a Jurassic era water-created basin now home to sparsely dotted farms, passing through copses and across open fields, the scenery is ever-replete with vineyards and wine-tasting is even possible en route if you have the time! Views of the Pyrenees are wonderful from the high points in Fanjeaux (this being the only real steep climb) and Montréal. The Montagne Noire looms large and ever-present following the walker on this east-west circuit. A demi-circuit is available should walkers wish to spend more time at Fanjeaux with its atmospheric Cathare-rich historic town, cathedral and excellent restaurant or even a visit to the Monastère de Prouilhe for wine-tasting and honey.

couple of hikers in front of a wide mountainscape in France
River gently streaming along a sandy bank with green trees

Dates and Availability

Doing It My Way holidays offer guided and self-guided walking holidays based from the Razès Gîtes and are available all-year round so you can come in the season that best suits you.

You can come for 3,-, 5-, 7- days or longer 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 according to your flight/train schedules.

female hiker at the top of a mountain underneath a cross
female hiker at the top of a mountain underneath a cross
female hiker at the top of a mountain underneath a cross
female hiker at the top of a mountain underneath a cross
female hiker at the top of a mountain underneath a cross
female hiker at the top of a mountain underneath a cross
female hiker at the top of a mountain underneath a cross
female hiker at the top of a mountain underneath a cross
female hiker at the top of a mountain underneath a cross
female hiker at the top of a mountain underneath a cross
female hiker at the top of a mountain underneath a cross
female hiker at the top of a mountain underneath a cross
female hiker at the top of a mountain underneath a cross
female hiker at the top of a mountain underneath a cross

Additional information

Extras

  • Continental breakfast (€10) and/or picnic lunch (€10) and/or 3-course evening meal with wine (€25).
  • Inclusion of wellbeing activities into your schedule (as listed under the Wellbeing Activities page).
  • Inclusion of Day or Half-Day Trips into your schedule (as listed under the Day Trip page).
  • Airport pick-up/drop-off from Toulouse, Béziers or Perpignan at an additional supplement of €100.

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

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    Map of France showing the location of the Doing It My Way Mixed walking holiday

    Holiday Type:

    Guided / Self-Guided
    Walking Holiday


    Board Basis:

    Bed & Breakfast

    Price:

    From €180.- / 4 days
    Price per person based on two people sharing

    Self-Guided price is advertised. Guided walks are available.

    Features:

    • Dogs welcome
    • GPS tracks available
    • 1 One accommodation

    Dogs by prior agreement


    What's included:

    • Accommodation at the Razès Gîtes (fully equipped apartments)
    • Airport/train station transfers from: Carcassonne, Bram, Foix or Castelnaudary
    • Transportation to and from local walks (not originating from the Razès Gîtes) and supermarkets
    • Optional welcome aperitif
    • Plenty of easy to moderate walks from your doorstep
    • Stunning countryside with diverse flora and fauna
    • A library of maps and walking routes

    NOT included:

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

    Walking Grade:

    hills and low mountains
    • Hills to low mountains
    • Easy to moderate walking
    low and high mountains
    • Low to high mountains
    • Moderate walking

    Remarks:

    Tailor-made walking possible

    Best time to go:

    April – October

    Contact Details:

    Doing It My Way, a Mixed walking holiday in France by Reconnecting with Nature

    Contact: Jo and Bob Norton
    Telephone: +33 468 698 136
    +33 782 719 588

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    Languages spoken:

    English, French

    Getting there:

    • Carcassonne Airport (35 km)
    • Béziers Airport (100 km)
    • Toulouse Airport (100 km)
    • Perpignan Airport (120 km)
    • Carcassonne Train Station (36 km)
    • Bram Train Station (20 km)
    • Castelnaudary Train Station (25 km)

    Location map

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