Discovering the 'little France' on two wheels
Plains border the canal du Midi as far as the slopes of the Montagne Noire, via the hills in Malepère. On the winding, wild roads of Val de Dagne and Minervois, Greater Carcassonne has a wide range of different routes.
Riding on the roads of Greater Carcassonne is...
- Discovering a region rich in a variety of landscapes, historic heritage and gastronomy from a different point of view
- Taking the opportunity to ride on roads with a very different profile with a 40 km radius of Carcassonne. Many cyclo-tourists from all over the world have already been won over by the exceptional variety in just one area
- Riding safely and calmly, on little-used roads, far from pollution
- Venturing out onto signposted routes on one of the many MTB circuits. The ATAC club in Aragon has 530 kilometres on 12 routes in Cabardès and Minervois
- Finding skilled professionals for bike hire, repairs or as guides on these routes that are full of surprises
From Carcassonne to Carcassonne, via the Pic de Nore (106.6 km)
In the tyre tracks of the Tour de France
A real love affair exists between Carcassonne and the tour de France. The maillot jaune, or yellow jersey, has been here nine times. On 22nd July 2018, the peloton arrived in Carcassonne from Millau, having crossed the pic de Nore (known as the 'little Ventou'). Cyclists who want to follow in the footsteps of the champions can challenge themselves with this circuit from Carcassonne-Carcassonne, via the pic de Nore and Mazamet (106.6 km).
Leave the Cité, at the foot of the ramparts, heading for the châteaux de Lastours. Ride alongside the canal towards Conques-sur-Orbiel. Entering the Orbiel valley, you're sheltered from the wind. As you leave Mas-Cabardès (25th km) you have a choice; you can complete an additional loop of 40 km, going into the Montagne Noire (*). If you would rather not do the extra loop, set off towards Martys, for a 10 km climb, around 5.5%. You join the D118 again for 16 km of downhill, passing close to Hautpoul, an ancient, medieval cite.
From Mazamet, home of the champion Laurent Jalabert and famous for its leather, you start climbing the pic de Nore, via Les Yes, for 17 km, with an average of 5.71% and a maximum of 10%. The summit has wild, moorland scenery and its mast, as a landmark. Admire the view over the region.
Your return is via Pradelles-Cabardès, then Cabrespine with a 17.5 km technical descent. You ride through the pretty Gorges de la Clamoux, passing the Gouffre de Cabrespine, then Villeneuve-Minervois and the maison de la Truffe. The ride back into Carcassonne is 17.5 km on the flat, through vines.
(*) It is possible to do a 146 km route. From Mas-Cabardès head for La Tourette, then Cuxac-Cabardès, the La Prade lake and the Font-Bruno Resistance memorial. You climb into the montagne Noire through forests and by lakes. The descent towards Mazamet is long, 26.6 km.