Distance: 12,4 km
Duration (average) : 05 p.m.
Level: Medium
Elevation: 506 D +
2 reviews

Departure: PALAIRAC
Yellow PR
The village of Palairac and its surroundings have experienced an activity that no longer exists, but of which many testimonies remain: mining. It began in the ancient period and continued until the 20th century. This little-known past of the Corbières is revealed to you thanks to the thematic panels on the extraction and processing of iron placed on the loop that crosses the territory of the municipalities of Palairac, Villerouge-Termenès and Talairan. Short option: possibility of arriving by car to the Col de l'Estagnol (parking Departure 2) and only doing the thematic loop. From Palairac, follow the D123 for 1.1 km towards Quintillan. At the Col de la Gineste, leave the road and take the dirt track on the left for 3.8 km to the Col de l'Estagnol where it is possible to park. Small circuit, Departure 2 col de l'Estagnol: 5km 200 - D + 276m - duration 3h (reading the signs) Herds are sometimes present, follow the recommendations.


Your itinerary


IGN map reference (s): IGN 2447 West


Step 1

Facing the departure panel, go up the street to the left (Camin de la Trincada) following the red and white markings (GR). Just after the last house, take the path to the left. It leads 800 m further on to a track. Take it to the right towards the Col de la Croix de Pierre. Continue opposite, north, pass the col d'en Couloum. You are at the entrance to the Prat de Labat plateau, also called Lacamp. Arrival at the Col de l'Homme Mort (High Voltage Line).

Step 2

Leave the GR36A and follow the yellow markings PR by taking the track to the right then small paths to the right avoiding portions of the track. If there is an enclosure (the shepherd sometimes sets up his sheep here), follow the detour signs to bypass it. Arrival at the Col de l'Estagnol.

Step 3

Col de l'Estagnol: departure of the thematic loop (Departure 2) - car park. 700m after the sign "Départ 2", climb to the right in the meadow to the top of Pech de Galhoumet (630m). If there is an enclosure (the shepherd sometimes sets up his sheep here), follow the recommendations on the signs so as not to disturb the flock and reach the top of the hill. At the top, a panoramic table allows you to locate the main Pyrenean massifs, the highest point of the Corbières (Bugarach) and on a clear day to see the Mediterranean.

Step 4

Go straight down the wide path to the north. The rest of the course being in a breeding area, close the fences well after your passage. Take the path on the right in the meadow to the south-eastern path which descends into the undergrowth of holm oaks and emerges on a track. You are now in the Saint Rome Fenouillères Departmental Natural Area. Take the track on the left. At 170m, on the right, a small path provides access to the entrance to the lower part of the Trou de l'Aygue (round trip 30m).

Step 5

Take a path on the left which first climbs obliquely into the woods. It walks along the edge of several mineholes closed by nets (access prohibited). They communicate with the Aygue hole seen previously. Follow the path that goes up through the undergrowth. We find the meadow which ends the small loop of the Aygue hole. Join the wide path.

Step 6

Leave the track to the right going north towards St Rome and Albas and continue to the left then immediately to the right (north-west) on the path that descends, crossing a cattle pen (breeding). We can see, after a few hundred meters below, the roofs of the “Baraques de Marmairane”, old mining buildings.

Step 7

Leave the track in a bend, before the masonry ford of Baraques. Go down the slope to the left and follow the stream, sometimes in its bed, sometimes on the edge. Beautiful shaded area. In front of the ore calcination furnace, cross the stream on the left for a return trip to the Galerie des Miniers. After the ruin of the Maison des Miniers, we arrive at a confluence of several streams. Cross and pass on the other side. On the left, a 50m round trip allows you to see another mine gallery (Las Coupes). To the right, the route continues, first along the stream then on the side of the southern slope. Many back and forth trips allow you to see galleries throughout this sector. Carefully follow the markings in the undergrowth.

Step 8

By climbing on this side, we soon take a foot on a path built on a retaining wall, the old access road to this area of ​​small mining deposits. The path leads to a meadow.

Step 9

Take the climb to the left, stony at the start, which leads to numerous slag deposits, at a place called “le Caraillet” (slag), a Roman metallurgical site. Go back down to the meadow, cross it to the south (many trees delimiting shaded areas, a paradise for herds), you can still see a few filled-in mines and on the right, a calcination furnace. Soon find the track at the Col de l'Estagnol (car park - departure 2). From the Col de l'Estagnol, return to the Col de l'Homme Mort where we find the GR36A. Continue by the same route as on the way to the village (white and red markings).

Be careful, the fire risk is often high, especially in summer, and can lead to flower bed closures. Find out before you go consulting the fire risk map for outdoor activities.
Fires strictly prohibited. Do not smoke and never throw cigarette butts in nature. Fires are numerous and catastrophic in our region. In the event of a fire or accident: give alert 18 or 112 from a cell phone.
Protect yourself from the sun and take enough water with you.
Avoid picking flowers and plants. Take all your trash. Close fences and keep dogs on a leash in pasture areas, villages and protected areas.

Mountain bike routes: the routes are often shared with hikers or other users (cars, tractors, etc.). Be careful and always anticipate that a pedestrian may be present around a bend to have time to brake if necessary. Pedestrians have priority in principle, slow down at crossings or stop if the configuration of the terrain requires you to do so.
Thank you and happy hiking!


April 2st June 2022

Beautiful hike starting from the pretty village of Palairac. The panels are very interesting and evoke the mining past and the life of yesteryear in the Hautes Corbières. Superb panoramic view at the top of a hill at the level of the orientation table.
Montiel Catherine The 29 July 2021
Very nice hike. We discovered the beautiful village of Palairac. The landscapes are magnificent and the history interesting. To do rather in spring or in autumn.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *