By Peter Roach
Mont Alaric is an important part of our view, and I love visiting it. It has lots of ancient ruins and strange legends. There are several ways to the top. It’s good for kids because they like to be able to say that they climbed a mountain (600m). The walk here takes about half a day.
Drive to Moux (postcode 11790), via Puicheric and St. Couat d’Aude. When you arrive in Moux, turn left on to the main street, then take very narrow right turn, quite hard to spot, near the post office, signposted to Cimetière and grave of Henri Bataille. Drive out of Moux, cross under the motorway then turn left and park on the gravel car park.
Walk back to the tarmac road, and set off uphill going away from Moux. When you come to a gravel road turning off right to an old farm, take that road and start climbing. Keep an eye out for waymarks, mainly red/white but also some yellow.
Quite early on there will be a fork where the left turn going downhill is marked with a painted cross – don’t take it. Later you must keep straight on over a bump (the remains of a barrier to stop motorbikes and 4×4’s using the track), don’t take the right fork.
Keep on climbing until you pass the ruins of the Abbey of Saint Pierre on your left (good place for a break) then further on the remains of an old farm, where the path bends left.
Shortly after this, turn right up into a woodland trail, marked with some arrows and waymarks. Continue up to the end where it joins another gravel track wide enough for cars.
Turn right on gravel track then immediately cross the track to the beginning of the steep path that is the start of the final climb. It might be a good idea to take a rest at this point.
Much of the next bit is very steep. Near the top you go over some exposed rock, and from the top of that you can usually see the Mediterranean shining at Narbonne Plage.
On top, you will see a tall aerial, a two-storey observation post and a stone cairn. It’s a bit bleak on top and people don’t generally linger there.
When you are ready to move on, follow the main trail going down on the right, heading south-west curving round to west. For about 1 km you will be following a major walking route that goes on to Carcassonne, passing the castle of Miramont, but at a fork you go right (towards north) and start descending the hill while the main walking trail keeps on heading down towards a distant hill that hides Carcassonne. Good views now out to the Montagne Noire. Note there is very little shade on this stretch.
Lower down there is a choice of path over rocky open space, straight ahead is rather steep and difficult, but going left is easier and longer. The two paths meet up lower down.
You will eventually come back to where the track you followed on the way up comes up through the woods. Turn down into the wooded path, then just follow the way you came up.
By Peter Roach
If you want to join the Facebook group Walks in the Languedoc, click here. It’s a group dedicated to walks in the region, and has some detailed maps, and great photos of walks. You can pick and choose the walks according to how much time you have, and how strenuous you are feeling!
As always, make sure that you have the right equipment for walking. At this time of year particularly, make sure that you take enough water, and protect yourself from direct sun with a hat and some suncream.