Take time out from the busy to reawaken your senses in rural France: walking and breathing in the fresh air, spending time writing your own story, reconnecting with the natural world around you, practising gentle yogic stretching, meditating or simply switching off in your own peace and tranquillity.
Whether you want to discover more about your inner world, heal old or fresh wounds or expand your soul self, you can participate in a small group event or come alone on a One-on-One, whatever works best for you to help deepen a long-lasting sense of peace and harmony from a number of wellness activities.
On retreat at the Razès Gîtes, you choose whether you want to practice the arts of walking and writing, yoga and meditation on your own or with expert guidance, alone or in a group.
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 options are also available.
We generally include airport shuttle and general transportation in the price of your retreat so that you don’t have to worry (unless otherwise stated). 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 and Nature Symbology activities: 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. These retreat elements help you deepen your core re-connection with your innate inner peace and harmony, develop your relationship with nature and help find the natural within you.
Our Core Creative Writing Events
Creative Writing: Everyone has their own story to tell. This retreat is 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 a series of games, workshops and feedback. Step away from the everyday and take the time to tap into your inner creative to bring characters, settings and stories to life in your unique and inimitable way.
This retreat offers you the time and space to work alone, and/or with others, as well as take time out to enjoy the living Razès countryside where we live and a few day trips to the nearby medieval towns and villages.
Exploring Cathare Castles: Definitely for the historian and truth-seeker. Walking in the footsteps of these legendary martyrs around their medieval towns and mysterious castles, learning of their plight that folklore has woven with the Knights Templar and Mary Magdalene through the centuries. The lands in these parts are steeped in mystery and intrigue made popular by the likes of Dan Brown and Kate Mosse.
For the inquisitive walker-explorer, there are short to medium length walks around all of the Cathare castles which can be incorporated as part of the experience. Definitely a week of exploring the stunning and diverse countryside of the Pays Cathare with an historical twist.
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 and 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; music 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
Optional gentle yoga stretching before 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 a local wine-tasting session or 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.
Stand out from the crowd, retreat alone
Not everyone wants to be part of a group. Sometimes you need to retreat alone, take time out to reflect and reconnect with the inner you. So many of our customers prefer to come alone so that they can choose what they want to do and when they want to do it, either alone or with guidance.
Aside from offering reassuring support, we’re delighted to be able to share daily yoga, walking and meditation sessions, even soul writing sessions should you wish to try.
On this retreat, the choices are all yours. You decide when you want to come and how long for. Catering and transport options are available. Get in touch to have a chat about what you want to see on your own One-on-One retreat.
Finding that elusive inner peace and anchoring it into your daily lifestyle
Rewilding the soul is about taking you out of your ego-driven thinking mind into awareness of and relaxed presence in your Soul Self. It's about freeing yourself of invasive mind-chatter and learning to live your life anchored in the true joy and happiness that are already residing in the depths of your being.
What do you take away from the retreat?
• an understanding and assimilation of key questions and mindful techniques that work for you;
• the knowledge of which are your best routes to mindfulness, self-healing and rewilding;
• how to listen to your inner voice, your Soul Self, and know how to get to there whenever you want;
• the chance to start a new life living from the grounded Soul Self instead of the unfulfilling Mind Self.
Take time back to relax your mind, body and soul
Nurture yourself on a 4-day soul-feeding, wellbeing retreat in rural France on a programme that offers you a choice of wellbeing activities to ensure you leave feeling de-stressed and enriched.
A combination of well-deserved massage, facial or foot reflexology, mindful walks through the Razès countryside, gentle yoga and a variety of meditation techniques will have you leaving here refreshed in mind and body and ready for the outside world again.
The retreat has been designed by author and guide Jo who specialises in guided walks for health and spiritual re-connection, meditation and yoga experiences and award-winning holistic therapist Deborah who uses reflexology, aromatherapy massage and reiki to provide healing treatments that give her clients improved health and wellbeing benefits.
Walking pilgrimage to reconnect your inner & outer worlds for lasting peace
If you are searching for something more meaningful in your life then walking the pilgrim's path can show you how to shed a life-time of fears, foibles and fallacies, unearth your personal truths and shake off the dross of the material world.
A pilgrimage is about following an outer footpath in order to journey within, navigating a trail with the aim of finding the real you – your genuine essence and guiding light. When you commit to a pilgrimage, it’s as if you enter a contract with yourself to walk along healing and transformative pathways for yourself, the earth, and all living beings.
The proposal is for a 5 day (4 night) walking pilgrimage following part of the celebrated Sentier Cathare from Foix to Montségur through the Pays Cathare region. Get in touch for more details.
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.
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.
Retreat Features and Activities
Walking / HikingYogaWritingHealth & WellnessMindfulnessMeditationSacred JourneysSelf DiscoverySpiritual AwarenessDIY RetreatsNatureOutdoorsB&BSelf CateringDigital Detox