Walking and writing are effective cathartic methods we can employ to assist us in self-discovery, self-expression and healing or as tools to help us grow and evolve in our lives through to a new state of being. Whether you want to walk and talk, walk and write, or write and talk, the physical and emotional benefits of both these methods are much more than the sum of their individual parts.
On retreat, you can practice the arts of walking and writing in all their forms, on your own or with expert guidance, alone or in a group, as you prefer.
A Little Bit About Us & Our Retreat Ethos
Jo leads the outdoor experiences: guided walks, walking meditations, symbology of nature and inner world journeys. Jo always feels happiest when exploring both her inner and outer worlds and helping others do the same. “Outdoors in nature, I feel replete, at peace with myself and the living world around me.”
Bob leads the creative writing and Cathare castle retreats. Bob has authored, co-authored and contributed to over 20 books. “Simple techniques can break our everyday moulds, releasing flow and inspiration, breathing life into a book or poem. Living in the Pays Cathare brings its own inspiration.”
Your Accommodation at The Razès Gîtes (apartments)
25 minutes from Carcassonne, in a sleepy village in the heart of the Razès countryside, our quiet location enables guests to re-energise and re-discover a sense of natural peace and soulful calm.
There are four apartments at the Razès. Soujeole, Corbières and Malepère are suited to singles, couples or two friends sharing. La Cour du Blé offers accommodation for a further two singles or four people sharing. Each gîte has a fully equipped kitchen, dining and lounge area, double bed, single bed, bath/shower room. There are several secluded gardens and a barn perfect for outdoor dining and relaxation.
Catering & Transport Options
We aim to be flexible to suit your taste and budget and offer self-catering, B&B, half- and full-board options. You may prefer to cook for yourself in which case each apartment has full kitchen facilities. You may simply want to enjoy a break from it all and so we propose typically French cuisine. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available.
We include airport shuttle and general transportation in the price of your retreat so that you don’t have to worry. However, if you prefer to hire your own car, we are happy to deduct this cost from your retreat price.
Our Core Walking Events
Walking for Wellbeing: Perfect for re-engaging body and mind with the natural world, gently re-energising you while strolling through the Razès. Whether guided or exploring the local pathways by yourself, the rural nature of this largely untouched area will have you leave here with your sense of inner peace and outer harmony restored.
Walking Meditations, Inner World Journeys & Nature Symbology: Wonderful for focusing more deeply on: re-connecting with the natural world, learning the art of mindful walking, understanding and reading nature’s hidden communication signs. This retreat helps you develop your relationship with nature and find the natural within you.
Our Core Creative Writing & Cathare Castle Events
Creative Writing: Everyone has their own story to tell. Perfect for the creative expressive seeking guidance on how and where to start, finding inspiration, writing and publishing techniques. Learn to harness your musings and experiences in the written word through games, workshops and feedback. Step away from the everyday to bring characters, settings and stories to life in your unique way.
Exploring Cathare Castles: Definitely for the historian and truth-seeker. Walking in the footsteps of these legendary martyrs in their medieval towns and mysterious castles, learn of their plight that folklore has woven with the Knights Templar and Mary Magdalene.
An extra night’s accommodation if your flight schedules to Carcassonne or Toulouse airports do not tie in with the retreat start/finish dates.
Towels, bed linen & basic bathroom toiletries. A variety of teas and coffee available in your room.
Access to: games room (table tennis and darts), laundry room, communal kitchen and lounge areas in the barn, 3 secluded gardens BBQs and outdoor dining facilities. A library of over 300 films & CDs.
Walking kit: lunch boxes, poles, water bottles, backpacks, cagoules, local walking routes and maps.
Activities, restaurants and trips stipulated in the retreat.
Example Day on a Walking or Writing Retreat
Breakfast followed by a 1-2 hour guided walk in the rolling Razès (distance to suit you). After lunch, you might opt for a walking meditation (finding mindfulness and inner peace in nature) or symbology of nature session (learning nature’s hidden messages and signals). Alternatively, enjoy an afternoon trip to Carcassonne castle followed by aperitif and evening meal provided in-house or a local restaurant.
On creative writing workshops, morning/afternoon sessions would instead focus on elements including: finding purpose, plotting and passion; imagination and flow, using the 7s framework, making the time to write, marketing and publishing your book or poem.
Our eco-friendly retreat site is partially powered by solar panels and our wastewater management system feeds the gardens. Composting provides garden fertilizer and strictly no chemicals are used.
Food is sourced locally wherever possible with ingredients from our own garden, local farmers and organic shops. According to the season, herbs, fruits and vegetables are available from the organic garden. We recycle as far as is possible.
Opening Times and Prices
Open all year for themed group and DIY retreats.
A discount of €100 per person applies to those willing to share a room.
There is an additional early bird discount of €100 if booked 2 months in advance.
DIY retreats can cost as little as €50 per night.
Prices vary depending on catering and transport options.
Typical prices: €620 to €870 per person for a 5-day retreat, self-catering to full-board options. Includes: all core activities, wine-tasting event, restaurant evening, visit to Carcassonne castle, airport shuttle.
Check out more details on forthcoming retreats and prices on our website.
There are regular flights to Carcassonne and Toulouse airports and the cost of your airport shuttles are included in the retreat price. Should you wish to hire your own car, transportation costs will be deducted from the overall cost of your retreat. Train is also an option so please ask for more details.
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