In the wilds of the Corbière hills, on a limestone ridge 800m high, magnificent Peyrepertuse is the impregnable medieval fortress where 1000 years ago fleeing Cathars sought shelter from persecution by the Catholic church. Accessible to all with reasonable mobility, sturdy shoes and 6 euros, you can drive much of the way then take the shady, uneven path to the ramparts. The Mediterranean shimmers on the horizon and there are good views of neighbouring Queribus chateau.
Calm in the valley among the vines, there was a strong, warm wind blowing around the ramparts – don’t visit if the wind is strong in the valley. About an hour from our holiday home in southern France, take a diversion through the dramatic Gorges de Galamus and visit l’Ermitage, the hermit’s house, and Le Grotte de St Antoine (a mini Lourdes) on the way.