Not far from Niaux prehistoric cave, the castle at Miglos in an eagle's-nest location still has its keep, and you can make out the very effective system of defences.
Between Tarascon and Ax-les-Thermes, Lordat took in many Cathars before being given up to the king of France and the Church. The same fate befell Roquefixade, halfway between Foix and Lavelanet, which became a royal fortress after the crusade against the Cathars.
We should also mention the Château d’Usson, which stands in splendid isolation at the edge of Ariège, on the border with the neighbouring département of Aude. Owned by a family closely involved with the Cathar movement, Usson remained in contact with Montségur even during the most difficult times.
You should also go and see Montaillou, a little village on the Ariège-Aude border world-famous for its Cathar past. The remains of the castle of the lords of Aillon stand on a site that dominates the village.
Lastly, you will enjoy a stroll around Mirepoix in the knowledge that this gorgeous 'bastide' town was proud to be regarded as 'heretical'. Until the extinction of the Cathar flame, the lords of Mirepoix were extremely belligerent, and were among the Château de Montségur's most ardent defenders during the siege of 1243-1244.
Note : Niaux cave and the 'bastide' of Mirepoix are Great Tourist Sites in Midi-Pyrénées as part of the 'Ariège, 14, 000 years of history' collection.