Walking Holidays in Spain - Mainland - Catalonia - Coast and Mountains


Holiday Highlights
  • A walk specially designed to reveal many aspects of this beautiful part of Catalonia
  • Journey along the wild coast of cliffs, solitary beaches and coves of crystal clear water
  • Visit Romanesque Gothic buildings and the famous museum of Salvador Dali’s house


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Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays          

 
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This hotel to hotel trek has been specifically deigned to reveal many aspects of this beautiful part of Catalonia; you will walk along the "wild coast" with its miles of coastal cliffs, solitary beaches and coves with crystal clear water. You will walk inland through the Aiguamolls Nature Reserve where innumerable seabirds and songbirds have settled. You will walk up mountain trails offering spectacular views sweeping far into the Pyrenees.

From the coast to the mountains, from sea to crag, from sandy beach to shady Mediterranean forest – the diverse and changing natural landscapes exert a powerful attraction to walkers. To walk here is a revelation.

You will have the chance to discover Romanesque gothic buildings, the region's acclaimed gastronomy and the wines produced by the vineyards you pass on your route.

You can visit Salvador Dali's house in Cadaques on the second day there if you wish to take a day off walking, or combine this with a short half day walk (please enquire about opening times at booking stage). 

You will  follow an interesting mix of coastal path, farm tracks and mountain trails without technical difficulty. 


Day 1: You will be transferred from Girona airport or Figueres Vilafant Train Station (if travelling from Barcelona) to your accommodation in L’Escala. The old centre of the town still retains the character of a typical Spanish working town with its bustling narrow streets and good selection of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. There are two small popular beaches in the old town that add to the overall charm and atmosphere of the area.

Day 2: Leaving L’Escala behind you will make your way onto the beautiful coastal trail. You will pass the walled settlement of Sant Martí d'Empúries which is well worth a visit. The real highlight however are the fascinating Greek and Roman ruins at nearby Empúries (pay locally). The ancient city was used by the Romans as their base for the invasion and dominance of the Iberian Peninsula. There are some excellent mosaics and other remains most dating from 218BC onwards. From Empúries you walk along the southernmost part of the Bay of Roses past several beaches where you could pause for a swim.

You will finally arrive at Sant Pere Pescador. Surrounded by natural spaces of wonderful landscape and natural interest and crossed by the River Fluvià St. Pere dates back to the year 974 when it was still a possession of the monastery of St. Pere de Rodes. (ascent and descent negligible)

Ascent/descent nil,Distance: 9 miles. Time: 3 ½ hours.

Day 3: Today's walk takes you along the banks of the River Fluviá along the beach at its mouth and then through the Aiguamolls Natural Park dotted with hides. At any time of the year you are likely to spot birds such as ibis, herons, tufted ducks, pochards, snipes, redshanks, marsh harrier.

You will eventually arrive at Castello D’Empuries. Castello is a beautiful medieval village steeped in history. There are many historical buildings to visit; however the landmark of the village, visible from afar, is the parish church of Santa Maria which is often called the "Cathedral of the Empordà" because of its size and gothic influenced architecture. (ascent & descent negligible)

Ascent/descent nil, Distance:6 ¾ miles. Time: 4 hours.

Day 4: You will be transferred to Platja Canyelles. You will head east along the coast following a spectacular coastal trail that is destined to fulfill every walker’s hopes and dreams. You will pass many secluded beaches and coves with ample opportunities for a dip in the crystal clear sea. Eventually you will cut inland through hillsides packed with tiers of old olive groves, and finally onto Cadaques, a favourite of both Picasso and Salvador Dalí.

Ascent: 950m. Descent: 950m. Distance: 10 ½ miles. Time: 6 hours.

Day 5: On your free day in Cadaques you could spend the day exploring the numerous small winding alleyways, a visit to the parish church from the 17th century should not be missed. Perhaps a walk to Port Lligat and Salvador Dalí's house (closed Mondays until mid-April and from mid-September; pay locally) would be in order. (2 miles, ¾ hour)

You may want to walk to the Cap de Creus lighthouse. The most easterly point of the Iberian Peninsula is spectacular. You could also have some lunch at the wonderful restaurant there. (7 miles, 3¾hours)

Day 6: Leaving Cadaques you make your way north through the heart of the famous Cap de Creus National Park. You will follow a deeply rural path with beautiful views of the Catalan countryside before arriving at El Port de la Selva.

El Port de la Selva is outstanding for its varied landscapes, its beaches and its mountains. The first historic references to the settlement go back to 974, although it did not become a fully-fledged village until the 18th century, with the construction of its first church. The village retains the charm of a small fishing village and a great many monuments and historical buildings remain, such as the Taballera Dolmen, the Serra de Rodes medieval site (made up of Sant Pere de Rodes Monastery, Sant Salvado Castle (13th century), Santa Elena Shrine and the village of Santa Creu), and Sant Fruitós Church. The village has some of Catalonia's best beaches. 

Ascent: 310m. Descent: 310m. Distance: 8 ½ miles. Time: 4 hours.

Day 7: Leaving El Port de la Selva behind you, travel South West ascending up to the Sant Pere de Rodes cloister (Open October 1st to May 31st 10am – 5.30pm, June 1st to September 30th from 10am to 8pm, closed on Mondays). Its origins date back to the first century A.D. Christian doctrine understands Sant Pere de Rodes as one of the most important monasteries in Spain. You will then make your way up to the ruins of Castell de Sant Salvador, from here you will have a breathtaking view of the Alt Emporda, across to the Albera Mountains and far into the Pyrenees. You also have stunning views over the Bay of Roses and the entire Cap de Creus. You will then make your way down past the little white chapel of Sant Onofre into the village of Palau Saverdera and finally the end of your journey.

Ascent: 500m. Descent: 375m. Distance: 7 ½ miles. Time: 4 hours.

Palau Saverdera is a small medieval village with a beautiful little church in the centre, there are a few local bars in the village in which to enjoy a well deserved drink at the end of the day.

Day 8: Pick up and transfer to Girona airport for your flight home, or to Figueres station if flying from Barcelona.

Extend your trek by a further two nights to walk into France and end at the delightful artists' village of Collioure.

Days 1-6 As above.

Day 7: Leaving El Port de la Selva behind you, travel South West ascending up to the Sant Pere de Rodes cloister (Open October 1st to May 31st 10am – 5.30pm, June 1st to September 30th from 10am to 8pm, closed on Mondays). Its origins date back to the first century A.D. Christian doctrine understands Sant Pere de Rodes as one of the most important monasteries in Spain. You will then make your way up to the ruins of Castell de Sant Salvador, from here you will have a breathtaking view of the Alt Emporda, across to the Albera Mountains and far into the Pyrenees. You also have stunning views over the Bay of Roses and the entire Cap de Creus. Then instead of descending to Palau, an alternative route descends to the pleasant port of Llanca for your overnight stay.

Originally Llançà was divided between the original tenth-century settlement — built inland as a defense against pirates — and the harbour of Llançà, however with tourism brought lots of growth to the town, and the village and harbour soon joined together to create one beautiful resort.

Ascent: 730m. Descent: 605m. Distance: 8 ¾ miles. Time: 5 hours.


Day 8: Taking the train to the start of today’s walk at Portbou, you will then continue northwards enjoying wonderful views over the Pyrenees, the famous Canigou peak, the Cap de Creu and the Mediterranean Sea. As you climb up into the beautiful Catalan hills, you will cross the border into France and continue to the French seaside town of Banyules Sur Mer

Nestled in the heart of the Côte Vermeille (Vermilion Coast), Banyuls is a preserved jewel that combines the authentic character of a town steeped in traditions with the dynamism of a modern city. Originally a fishing village that turned to wine-making and developed essentially with tourism, Banyuls owes its world reputation to its exceptional wines and its spectacular vineyards that plunge down to the sea.  (9 miles, 4.5 hours, ascent 670m, descent 580m)

Ascent: 670m. Descent: 670m. Distance: 9 miles. Time: 4.5 hours. 

Day 9: Your final day still goes north following quiet lanes and cliff-top paths around the rugged Cap Béar headland and spectacular views! Pause for a swim before winding your way through the vineyards that produce the region’s wines until reaching the end of your journey, the beautiful French coastal town of Collioure.

Of the four little salmon-pink towns along the Vermillion Coast, Collioure is the indisputable star, a sensationally picturesque ensemble of old town, beaches, waterfront castle and church, all set around a beautiful bay. The resort’s good looks have attracted artists since the early 1900s, when Matisse and Derain started painting here, and the streets are full of galleries to reflect this. The small Catalan port is sheltered by a creek where the waters of the Mediterranean meet the rocks of the Pyrenees mountain chain and with several sandy and pebble beaches, creeks and clear waters you have a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a swim.

Ascent: 550m. Descent: 550m. Distance: 10 ½ miles. Time: 4 ½ hours.


Please be aware that some of these paths are high with steep cliff drops which may be an issue for people who suffer from vertigo. The rock surface can also become very slippy when wet, so please be cautious. 

Day 10: Take the train from Collioure to Barcelona or Girona via Perpignan.


Baggage transfer
Your baggage is transported for you from hotel to hotel so you can then travel with day rucksacks. Some days you are taken to the start of a walk and/or collected at the end. These transfers are included in the price.

Extension options
This trek can be extended by a further two nights so you can continue north along this beautiful coastline, cross over into France and spend a final night in the pinkwashed seaside village of Collioure.  You can stay at the last hotel in Palau Saverdera renowned for its food for an extra night and take a taxi to the nearby Dali Museum and/or visit a winery (please check opening times with us at booking stage), all arranged by the hotel.  You could also stay a night or two in the historic city of Girona - we can arrange a hotel. Or if flying from Barcelona why not spend a night or two in this exciting and historic city, view the famous Gaudi architecture, walk the Ramblas explore the Picasso museum? 

Walk Grading
Self-guided – Easy, with one Moderate day. Ascents & Descents as per itinerary.

This map is for illustration purposes only and we cannot be held responsible for its accuracy.

Catalonia - Hotel to hotel Trek

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The hotels we have chosen are all family run hotels. They all have individual character and most are central in the villages they are located in. All rooms have their own bath or shower and English is widely spoken.

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Availability Information

This walk is possible year round as far as the weather is concerned. However July and August are very hot and the hotels are full at this time of year so we do not offer these months. June and September can also be hot, and January and December a little cold, so the best time to go is February to May and October.

Please note our best to go information is generally referring to the walking which may fall in the early or late season in some places. This may mean that not all tourist facilities will be open at the time you visit. 

When to book your walking holiday in Spain - Mainland - Catalonia - Coast and Mountains

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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