Whether you want to walk for one hour or five hours, hike along the coast or in the hills, ramble on the flat or climb a hill for great views, wind you way up a narrow winding gully or stay out in the open along a ridge line - there really is everything here to provide a great walking holiday for all ages and levels of fitness!
With an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, walking is a year-round activity.
The scrubby vegetation typical of this mediterranean limestone countryside is known as "garrigue", and is made up mostly of aromatic shrubs including juniper, rosemary, thyme, cistus and holly oak. As you walk, you are surrounded by the wonderful aromas of thyme and rosemary, a feature of all the best Mediterranean walking holidays.
W1Discover the Plateau de Leucate
1-2 hours easy walking
Classified as a nature conservation area under the Natura 2000 scheme, the plateau above Leucate was once mostly cultivated.
Still scattered with a few vineyards, it is home to a wide variety of interesting birds and plants at various times of year, and offers a grandstand view of birds migrating north in the spring as they fly up the narrow spit of land between the sea and the coastal lagoons. I have seen great spotted cuckoo, various members of the shrike family, dwarf iris, wild narcissi, various orchids and other limestone loving plants.
W2Coastal cliff walk from Leucate to La Franqui
1-2 hours easy walking
This walk takes you from the Lighthouse above the beach resort of Leucate Plage, along the coastal cliffs past the television relay tower and the coast guard station to the seaside resort of La Franqui.
On your way, if the wind is in the right direction you may well see people paragliding on the thermal currents that rise up from the cliffs. You also get great views as you arrive above La Franqui looking north along the Coussoules beach to Port La Nouvelle.
This walk can either be one-way, return or combined with W1 to make up a longer walk.
W3Périllos to Feuilla
2-3 hours easy walking
After a quick exploration around the abandoned, but now partially restored village of Périllos, you follow an old shepherd's track across a flattish plateau.
Then there is a gentle climb, at the top of which, you get spectacular views down into Feuilla and beyond to the deep blue of the Mediterranean. You then zig-zag down into the Gaumagne valley and follow a track back into the village. You can also take a small diversion to visit the ancient Tour des Hortoux - a square built stone tower with no windows and no apparent access!
W4Coastal Lagoon walk at Peyriac de Mer
short option = 1 hour easy walking
longer option = 2-3 hours easy walking
This walk has a shorter, lower option on the boardwalks around the old salt pans of Peyriac or a longer, higher option around the ridge above the Etang de Doule.
The ridgeline walk offers great views north to the pretty village of Bages and back across the old salt pans to Peyriac itself. Flocks of coots congregate here in the spring, as do the flamingoes and other salt water birds. Plenty of woodcock orchids in the spring.
W5The Cathar Way from Roquefort des Corbières to Durban
4-5 hours moderate walking
An interesting and varied walk offering an interesting range of scenery. The flattish track that leads out of Roquefort (not the one of blue cheese fame!) gives you a good chance to warm up before the track starts winding its way up amongst the pine trees, and in and out of a series of small combs as you make your way up onto and across a large plateau with scrub oak and a few pines. Good eagle spotting country. The track then drops drop down an escarpment and you wend your way across the rolling hills to Durban.
There are also a number of walks (1 to 2 hours easy walking) around Feuilla.