Château de Puilaurens

Château de Puilaurens, Lapradelle-Puilaurens: Hours, Address, Château de Puilaurens Reviews: 4.5/5

Château de Puilaurens
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Strategically placed at 697m altitude on Mont Ardu, the Puilaurens castle rises up against the rocky overhang that dominates the village of Puilaurens, in the middle of an evergreen forest. During four centuries it was the southern-most fortress in France and locked access to the Fenouilledes. From the entrance, we can see the first stones! At the end of the road, the impressive chicane staircase rises up to the castle’s entrance doors. Impatient to discover the inside of the castle? Walk past the Murder Hole and the main court is unveiled. The surrounding walls and its crenels, the horseshoe towers are filled with history, marked by time… The adaptation of this fortress to its steep landscape show architectural prowess. It makes for an impressive reference point within the remarkable and preserved landscape.Puilauren's castle is a medieval fortress, mainly built in the middle of the XIIIth century, with some changes dating back to the XVIIth century.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Best nearby
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Attractions
2 within 3 miles
Popular mentions

4.5
213 reviews
Excellent
119
Very good
80
Average
12
Poor
1
Terrible
1

Hugo
Toulouse, France1 contribution
Magnificent ~ 5⭐️
Sep 2020
One of the most magnificent cathare castle of south of france, stunning view & stronghold and forest view surrounding it. Worth the drive and stop to visit !
Written September 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you very much for your comment!
Written October 30, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Archaeobuff
Sydney, Australia1,730 contributions
A walk through the forest to a rewarding castle atop the hill
Sep 2019
It rained all night and it was going to rain all this day. This makes climbing the Cathar castles somewhat treacherous when you are stepping on smooth and worn stone. So I decided to climb only one today very slowly. Another tortuous drive to a castle on a hill. Disappointingly there were no views from the road because of the thick forest that surrounds the castle.
That left me no option but the half hour slog up the hill through a wet, dark forest straight out of the movies. Finally I reached the top and the views were forever and the castle was intriguing. Every castle has something different and in this case it is the White Dame’s Tower where a slot in the wall allowed communication to upper levels. A precursor to the communication on the old ships between the top deck and the engine room.
The reception area at the start of the climb has parking, toilets and gifts and on a cold wet day - a nice hot cup of tea at the end of the walk.
Written October 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
We're glad you appreciate our castle in spite of the rainy weather!! Thank you for your poetic comment! See you!!
Written October 29, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Andrew
St. Albans, UK5,934 contributions
Well worth the walk up to see
Aug 2019
Upon arriving the small car park for the Chateau de Puilaurens, and paying our entrance fee, you are faced with what looks like quite an arduous path up to the chateau. The path is not as bad as it initially looks (but good footwear is needed) and did not take too long to reach the steps up into the Chateau. The castle was interesting and the views were good.

The Château de Puilaurens is one of the Cathar Castles of the Languedoc region for France that defending the former frontier with the kingdom of Aragon. It at an altitude of almost 700 metres and overlooks the village of Lapradelle. The first records of the castle date from 958.

Best views are from a distance
Written September 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you for your comment!
Written October 29, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

julschof
mossley206 contributions
Fantastic views!
Jul 2019
To get to the chateau is quite a long, hard walk. Make sure you have suitable footwear on and take plenty of water with you if it's hot. I took it quite slowly as the path can be a little difficult in parts, but it's worth it once you get there. The chateau itself is an interesting place to explore, especially if you are interested in the Cathars, and the view across the mountains is amazing. It also has a nice little gift shop.
Written August 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you for your comment on our castle, the view and our shop! You need indeed to walk between 15 and 20 minutes to access to the castle but as you say "it's worth it once you get there"! See you next time!
Written August 16, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kirkstead
Kibworth Beauchamp, UK285 contributions
Worth the effort to see the views
Jul 2019
This is a magnificent construction on the top of a significant hill. It takes 15-20 minutes to walk from the car park and entrance building up a rough and sometimes stoney track. Once inside the walls of the chateau [which are mostly still intact] one can marvel at the human effort required to construct such a building in times when there were no mechanical aids. The information posted within the walls is in French but is quite extensive and informative. The views from outside the wall [accessible from a small door way] are stupendous. This is not a location for anyone with mobility problems or difficulty exerting themselves during a climb.
Written August 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

bradziker1
Lake Mary, FL1,234 contributions
worth a tough hike
Jul 2019 • Friends
It was 7E entry for adult. It was a steep walk up the path. The first part was a nice wooded path with some signs showing various trees and bushes. Then it became rocky. It took about 15-20 minutes to climb, but well worth the effort. It is a ruined castle, but plenty to see in about 1-1.5 hours of walking around. The castle lavatories were rather interesting, and at one point could go outside the walls for a great view of the valley. Signs are mostly in French, so use a translator app. Not many tourists at the time. There is an entrance to pay, and some free toilets – both squat style and sit-down.
Written July 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you for your comment!
Written July 6, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

frenchi700
Derbyshire548 contributions
Stunning
May 2019 • Couples
The lady at the hotel we were staying at recommended we go to Puilaurens. From our first view in the car we both thought it looked stunning.
We parked up and bought some ice creams as well as entrance tickets. The climb to the top was brutal. It was super hot the day we were there and I guess we didn't realise how steep it would be but that wasn't going to stop us. It is certainly worth the climb to the top. The views are incredible. The ruins are super interesting to walk around, we loved it.
We even bought a book about the Cathars as we didn't know anything about them.
This castle is a must visit for sure. I cannot wait to go back and visit some more.
Written May 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you very much for your comment. We're happy you appreciate the castle despite the climb and the heat wave. Looking forward to seeing you.
Written July 6, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Albywon
Sydney, Australia11,557 contributions
Great Cathar Ruins
May 2018 • Couples
While not the best Cathar Castle it is pretty easily accessible with a good car part and not to onerous a walk to the ruins. Nicely lighted up at night. It has a good information brochure (available in English) and also signs on the ruins (mainly in French).
I have posted a few photos but honestly best to look for yourself.
Highly recommended.
Written April 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you for your feedback and your photos. Hope to welcome you again soon.
Written April 9, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Karen C
Derby, UK142 contributions
Worth the steep walk
Sep 2018 • Couples
A Cathar Castle with stunning views. This one is off the beaten track. Lovely drive up from village to car park. From the ticket office the walk is uphill over rough ground, firstly through trees then opens up as you climb zig zag up mountain side. Stop and take in views upwards to castle and downwards. Once at top a fairly small area inside walls compared to other Chateau in area. Plenty inside to explore though. At only €6 very good value. Wear good foot ware. No toilets at top.
Written November 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

CrisPini40
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain238 contributions
Enchanting cathar castle with great views
Sep 2018 • Couples
We stumbled upon the castle by accident on the way to Gincla. It is perching on a hilltop. You can park at the bottom of the entrance. It costs 6 Euros to visit the castle site. There are also some toilets at the entrance. From there it is a very steep walk uphill on stony ground. Make sure you wear good shoes! It takes about 15-20 minutes to the ruins of the castle. From the top you have wonderful views over the valley. The site itself has a special atmosphere transporting you back in time. We loved it.
Written September 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Château de Puilaurens

Château de Puilaurens is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM