spain/catalunya/001102/Beach-area-at-Roses-g.jpg

Catalan Coastal Walk

from $2,049.00

Mainly coastal walking also taking in sweeping green valleys, pretty wine villages, hidden white hamlets and colourful fishing harbours. Highlights include artists’ favourite, Cadaques, and the spectacular bay at Roses, with C16 castle and ruined citadel.

  • Reviews 0 Reviews
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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
All about the Catalan Coastal Walk.

The peninsula of Cap de Creus, just 30 miles south of the French border constitutes the last buttress of the Pyrenees where the mountains meet the sea and the most easterly point of the Iberian Peninsula. This stunning cape, carved by the elements into sweeping valleys and towering cliffs makes the coastline a smuggler’s paradise of shimmering shallow coves and azure harbours. The Cap is the first Natural Park in Catalunya that encompasses both land and sea and, including all the islands and islets around it, it’s one of the largest protected reserves in Spain. It’s also the most uninhabited area in the Spanish Mediterranean, so on our walks you really will find complete tranquillity beyond the coastal villages.
This eight-night, self-guided walking holiday begins and ends in the pretty inland village of Garriguella. Once you commence walking around the peninsula, the sea is your constant companion, offering magical views from the high walking trails that lead you through the reserve. The Natural Park protects cork oak, pine woods, bright orange prickly pear, vineyards and terraces of olive groves, all surrounded by magnificent coastal cliffs where shearwaters and swifts wheel on the breeze.
Your family-run hotels are perfectly situated, with three out of four on the beach. The Vilamont Spa, with pool, sits on the church square in a pretty village and the Porto Cristo is set just back from the sea, with meals enjoyed in the hotel’s seafront restaurant. At the sea-front Hotel Playa Sol, in the chic and arty harbour of Cadaques, there are swimming opportunities aplenty and the Almadraba Park is a spectacular cliff-top hotel overlooking the Bay of Roses, with a panoramic swimming pool and steps to the beach.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 8 Nights Accommodations , Hotel-to-hotel
  • All continental breakfast and 6 evening meals
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers
  • Standard transfers at the start/end of the trip (at designated place and time)
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Delightful villages, bijou beaches, craggy coves and rocky bays
  • Rich history: Roman ruins, sun-kissed castles and prehistoric dolmens
  • Sea views almost all week from fabulous, high walking trails
  • Cobbled streets, Medieval archways, fishermen’s huts-turned-restaurants
  • Cap de Creus peninsula, one of the largest protected Natural Parks
  1. Day 1 Day 1 Arrive in Garriguella

    Explore the pretty streets of Garriguella before your evening meal. (Staying at Vilamont Spa Hotel, Breakfast at hotel and evening meal in local restaurant)

  2. Day 2 Day 2 Garriguella to El Port de la Selva 14km/9mi/5hr

    After a 10-minute transfer to Pau, enjoy panoramic coastal views south as you ascend to Sant Onofre, a rocky C14 chapel clinging to the hillside, then crest the peninsula at Castell de Sant Salvador, once a refuge from pirates and now a sunkissed crumbling ruin in a perfect spot for picnics! Descend past the C13 Sant Pere de Rodes abbey, before the Vall river leads to the sea. Dine on the waterfront overlooking the picturesque natural harbour. (Staying at Hotel Porto Cristo, Half Board)

  3. Day 3 Day 3 At El Port de la Selva

    Perhaps use the hotel spa today (payable locally) or stroll along the waterfront; this is the only working harbour on the peninsula, where fishermen still land their catch. We also include directions for a 10.5km or 12.5km walk to the peaceful mediaeval village of la Selva de Mar, where you can enjoy a shady lunch in one of the terrace cafes, and some lovely views over the vines. (Staying at Hotel Porto Cristo, Half Board)

  4. Day 4 Day 4 El Port de la Selva to Cadaques 14km/9mi/5hr

    Heading east, you walk through the heart of the Natural Park where neptune grass, shy orchids and bright yellow saxifrage cover the hillsides. Evidence of ancient settlements in the shape of dolmens appear at Cista dels Bufadors along the trail, before the white houses of Cadaques appear below you. it’s a short stroll along the harbour to your hotel, complete with pool and private beach. (Staying at Hotel Playa Sol, Breakfast only)

  5. Day 5 Day 5 At Cadaques

    Salvador Dali lived a short walk from Cadaques, and you can make an appointment to visit his quirky house if you wish. The pretty harbour, perfect light and relaxing atmosphere has made Cadaques popular with artists for decades; many art galleries and curio shops line the waterfront, and the narrow alleyways behind are packed with chic restaurants and bars. (Staying at Hotel Playa Sol, Breakfast only)

  6. Day 6 Day 6 Cadaques to Roses 16km/10mi/6hr

    Leaving Cadaques, you pass a rocky lighthouse outcrop and follow the southern edge of the peninsula, passing below Puig de sa Cruilla. The second half of the walk is all along the seashore, passing a plethora of pretty coves and bays, perfect for relaxing or swimming. (Staying at Hotel Almadraba Park, Half Board)

  7. Day 7 Day 7 At Roses

    It will be hard to leave the hotel today; its location is so perfect! Set just above a sheltered beach, with access via steps, it has tennis courts and landscaped gardens shaded by tall pines, not to mention a pool with 180ree; views and a tempting poolside bar. if you do explore, the centre of Roses has the remains of the C16 Trinitat Castle, a star-shaped redoubt, and the ruined ciutadela, an impressive fortress from Greek and Roman times embellished by Carlos V in the C16. (Staying at Hotel Almadraba Park, Half Board)

  8. Day 8 Day 8 Roses to Mas Palou/Garriguella 13km/8mi/4hr

    You ascend from Roses to a natural balcony, the Pla de les Gates, passing a clutch of dolmens in la Muntanyeta. After descending to the verdant plain below, your walk then takes you on country tracks through apple orchards and sunflower fields, with the high Muntanyes de Verdera as a backdrop, and ends in the wine village of Mas Palou. From here we transfer you (15 minutes) to your hotel in nearby Garriguella. (Staying at Vilamont Spa Hotel, Breakfast at hotel and evening meal in local restaurant)

  9. Day 9 Day 9 Leave Garriguella
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Where you stay
Vilamont Spa Hotel
The Hotel Spa Vilamont is in a very recently refurbished building in the church square in the centre of Garriguella. Run by Teresa Vila Ribera and her welcoming staff, the bedrooms are charming with exposed stone walls, all very modern and recently refurbished with en suite facilities. Particularly attractive is the basement indoor pool and spa area where you can relax after a good walk. (It is also possible to arrange spa treatments and massages on request). It is the perfect spot to stay in the heart of this typical Catalan village.
Hotel Porto Cristo
The Verges family own the 50 room Porto Cristo Hotel, which is set back from the beach by around 50m in the fishing port of Porto de la Selva. The standard comfort rooms are spacious and very comfortable with high ceilings, cedar wood furniture and marble floors, and masses of art work line the spot lit corridors. Evening meals are taken in a seafront restaurant also owned by the family just 150m away so you can have dinner with a view of the harbour, where brass cannons from the C18 point out to sea. The hotel also has a rooftop lounge with mountain views, and a state of the art Jacuzzi and spa.
Hotel Playa Sol
The Playa Sol, owned by the Llado family, could not be closer to the sea. In fact, it has a beach immediately opposite the front door so in the morning you can step out the front for a swim in the sea, or use the back door for a swim in the pool, set in landscaped gardens. The 48 rooms inside are comfortable without being showy, half facing the harbour and half facing the gardens. It is a lovely waterfront stroll to the centre of Cadaques (about 10 minutes), and there are many restaurants to choose from for dinner. The hotel also has a steam room, jacuzzi and tennis court.
Hotel Almadraba Park
Owned by the Subiros family, the Almadraba Park is in an enviable location. Set above the Bay of Roses with steps down to the beach, it has a fabulous panoramic swimming pool and the most perfect cocktail lawn for pre-dinner drinks with 180 degree views. The modern building has spacious rooms simply presented, each of them with a balcony. Great care is taken with customer service and Senor Subiros often greets his guests in the evening before dinner. There is also a tennis court if you feel energetic!
Vilamont Spa Hotel
The Hotel Spa Vilamont is in a very recently refurbished building in the church square in the centre of Garriguella. Run by Teresa Vila Ribera and her welcoming staff, the bedrooms are charming with exposed stone walls, all very modern and recently refurbished with en suite facilities. Particularly attractive is the basement indoor pool and spa area where you can relax after a good walk. (It is also possible to arrange spa treatments and massages on request). It is the perfect spot to stay in the heart of this typical Catalan village.
Eating and Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals.

Traditional Spanish food such as paella, chorizo and albondigas (meatballs) can be found on just about every menu in Catalunya, but do
not forget to try the regional specialities too. Local cuisine features plenty of fish, including world-renowned anchovies from L’Escala, and botifarras (black pudding) from the mountains. A good starter might be Pan Catalán (pa amb tomàquet), this is lightly toasted bread, drizzled with olive oil and topped with tomatoes and garlic. Thanks to its geography, the region has developed “Sea and Mountain” – mar y muntana cuisine, combining chicken with lobster, or rabbit with prawns. Fruits are used as well, such as roasted chicken and figs, or pheasant and grapes.

Dishes are rich and hearty, however, it is not just a meat-based cuisine, and there are plenty of vegetable options. Catalan dishes also rely heavily on sauces: Sofrito is an onion and tomato sauce, Picada is made from dried fruits, nuts and herbs, Sanfaina is a sauce of fried peppers, aubergines, onions and tomatoes and Romesco is made with tomatoes, peppers, nuts and garlic. Most menus are written in both Castilian and Catalan and sometimes in English too, but you may find a pocket
dictionary useful in the more remote places.

Activity level: Leisurely/Moderate

This is a self-guided tour, as such there will be no group or tour leader and you are free to complete the walks at your own pace. Please bear in mind that although this is a self-guided holiday, the atmosphere in the hotels tends to be quite social and they will sometimes place walkers together at breakfast and dinner. We have suggested that 8 yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you.

This holiday provides spectacular, yet relaxed walking and is perfect for people wanting to fit as much as possible into a short holiday. The route takes in the winding, sandy paths of mainland Spain’s loveliest coast experiencing frequent glimpses of dazzling aquamarine seas through the umbrella pines, as well as heading inland to discover the truly unspoiled landscape of the Catalan countryside. This is a wonderful region for bird and plant life. Over a third of the countryside is now protected under a government scheme to preserve natural habitats, which means a staggering variety of rare species: golden orioles, booted eagles, purple-shot copper butterflies and colorful wild flowers. Hidden deep in the forests are stunning natural curiosities, including the 5000 year old dolmens and sparkling freshwater springs which drew the first settlers to these parts thousands of years ago.

Overall Rating
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