The stand-out visit of our trip was to the château of Peyrepertuse, which lies at an altitude of about 800 metres in the foothills of the Pyrénées. Although in ruins, it covers an area as large as Carcassonne, and is today divided into two distinct areas, which I think are the main castle and the keep, which offers amazing views of the main fortress and the valley below. The walk up is not as steep as at Montségur, but you do face a second climb up the Saint Louis staircase (named after the French king who further reinforced the site after capturing it in the crusades) to get to the keep.
|Part of the climb up the St. Louis staircase|
|Looking down from the staircase to the main castle|
|There were spectacular views from the edge of the Keep area|
After we climbed back down from Peyrepertuse, we headed to nearby Quéribus. Quéribus was definitely the smallest and least impressive-looking of the castles we visited on this trip, but it also gave amazing views of its surroundings, particularly as it is perched on its rock in a very compact way, allowing you to see in all directions. Peyrepertuse is visible from Quéribus and vice-versa, although I'm not sure you can pick out either in the photos I've posted. Its exposed position also meant it was extremely windy up there - not really the place to be wearing a light summer dress. I had to hobble up the stairs trying to hold it down most of the time we were up there.