This route starts from Brousse et Villaret, where your campsite is located, and heads towards Mazamet (D103 then D118).
It’s a pleasant route between the mountain landscapes and the high plateaus of the Haut Languedoc Regional Nature Park. It offers cultural detours such as the Cathar town of Hautpoul, alternating between small roads in forested areas and larger ones with beautiful bends and surprises along the way, such as the Lac des Montagnès. The high point of this tour is the Pic de Nore, where you can enjoy an extraordinary panorama.
First stage MAZAMET
The town was originally founded by the inhabitants of the citadel of Hautpoul, which was devastated in 1212 during the Albigensian Crusade. The inhabitants who escaped the massacre took refuge on the banks of the Arnette – the mas d’Arnette became Mamazet. A Protestant town, it was destroyed several times during the Wars of Religion. In the 19th century, thanks to a technique developed locally, Mazamet became the world capital of délainage. Don’t miss the town’s many religious buildings, the façade of the former Banque de France, the town houses and the Prat Menhir (3.70 m).
Second stage HAUTPOUL
Just a stone’s throw from Mazamet, you’ll find the medieval town of Hautpoul, perched on a rocky outcrop that offers breathtaking views of the town and surrounding countryside from its belvederes. Visit the ancient château and Maison de le Rocque d’Hautpoul and its medieval garden. You’ll appreciate the charm of the narrow streets, with a chance to stop off at one of the many craft stores, including the Maison du Bois et du Jouet. After your visit, continue on the D87 towards the Pic du Nore.
LE PIC DE NORE
The highest point of the Black Mountain is 1211 metres high. Straddling the Aude and Tarn departments, it offers an exceptional view of the region, and an antenna has been installed at its summit.
Third stage PRADELLES-CABARDES
On the banks of the Arnette river, this small town is worth a visit to admire the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church, with its original octagonal bell tower. Another unusual visit to Pradelles-Cabardès: the semi-underground ice houses, which were in operation until 1927, used to store and sell ice cream.
Leave the D112 and take the small road to Le Mas (D9), where you’ll pass through a succession of villages: Lesjouys – Prat Viel – Labastide-Esparbairinque – Roquefer. Leave the D9 for Mas-Cabardès on the D101.
Fourth stage MAS – CABARDÈS
Originally founded in the 9th century. In the 19th century, the abbey of Saint-Étienne de Cabaret was replaced by the present-day church. In the 12th century, the farmhouse was an important ecclesiastical seigneury in the region. Today, the château is nothing but a ruin, although a few vestiges remain on the Orbiel loop. Worth seeing: Saint-Étienne church with spiral staircase and beautiful altarpiece (15th c.) – The finely-wrought weavers’ cross – Half-timbered houses – The town’s main square – The town’s main square – The town’s main square – The town’s main square – The town’s main square – The town’s main square.
Continue on the D101 to Saint-Pierre de Vals and take the D9, which will take you along the Tourette stream. Join the D73 before taking the D118 to CUXAC-CABARDÈS, a small village that was once home to the Royal Bonde cloth factory, with its dyeing and fulling facilities. The historic center shows some vestiges of this prosperous era.