From the 11th to the 16th century, the Camí dels Bons Homes, or Path of the Good Men, was an important link between the Ariège region in France and the county of Berguedà. The Cathars, fleeing Crusade and Inquisition, used this route to seek refuge in Catalonia and gave the itinerary its name, as the Cathars referred to themselves as ’Good Men’ and ’Good Women’.
Passing through the mountains, from friendly house to precarious refuge, they reached Catalan lands in the areas of Alt Urgell, Cerdanya and Berguedà. Following this Pyrenean route will reveal the same spectacular landscapes that these men and women of the Middle Ages will have seen in their flight from religious persecution by the Catholic Church.
The Camí dels Bons Homes is a trans-Pyrenean walking route of some 200 km that goes from the Queralt sanctuary (Berga) to the Château de Montségur (Ariège). Converted into a long-distance path (GR-107), the Camí dels Bons Homes can be done on foot, on horseback, or – in most sections – by mountain bike. By car, you can discover the villages the ’Good Men’ lived in and passed through in the counties of Berguedà, Cerdanya, Alt Urgell and Ariège. The different stages go through such municipalities as Berga, Peguera, Gósol, Bagà, Bellver de Cerdanya, Porta, Merenç, Orgeish, Comús, Montsegur, Roquefixada, Foix, Éller, Meranges, Guils de Cerdanya, Solsona, Odèn, Sant Llorenç de Moruny, and Tuixent.
The Camí dels Bons Homes consists of four stages in Catalan territory and four to five stages in Occitan territory, which are equivalent to about 10 days of walking. The accumulated difference in elevation is 5,530 metres and the difficulty is medium-high on foot and very high on a mountain bike. Along the entire route there are signs, with the white and red markings of the GR107 and vertical signs at intersections to allow you to choose the recommended path.
Whether individually or as part of an organised trip, those who do the itinerary are treated to some enchanting landscapes and a range of services, including an information office, accommodation, mountain guides, luggage transport, travel agencies and even taxis.
The city of Lleida is a highly recommended destination due to its architectural heritage. One of the most emblematic sites is La Seu Vella cathedral complex that presides over the city from a hill. The old cathedral was consecrated in 1278 and turned into a military citadel in 1707. The new cathedral, or Seu Nova, was completed in 1790. There are also Sant Llorenç church, a late Romanesque work (13th century) finished in Gothic style (14th century), and the 13th-century Paeria building.