Catalonia self guided walking holidays
Description of Catalonia self guided walking holidays
The ever-changing landscapes of northeast Spain provide an exceptional canvas from where to go walking in Catalonia with everything from shaded Mediterranean forests and rocky mountain crags to sandy beaches and glass clear bays adding to the natural attraction of being active outdoors.
There's just something wonderful about walking Catalonia that travellers often come back time and time again with rugged coastal trails providing some exquisite seascapes whist inland areas, such as the Aiguamolls Nature Reserve, offer untold chances to spot sea and song birds in their natural habitat.
Anyone intending to go walking in Catalonia should always incorporate the Pyrenees at some point or another with some spectacular views to be found after tackling mountain tracks that never fail to reward hikers who are prepared to put in the extra effort.
Aside from the beautiful coastal and forest landscapes of Catalonia, walking holidays will also feature numerous cultural aspects with Romanesque and Gothic architecture equally as captivating as picturesque vineyards and numerous chances to discover the region's gastronomic delights.
This seven or eight day walking Catalonia holiday is self-guided which gives walkers the chance to stroll at their own pace with all the freedom required to experience organic adventures whilst also benefiting from local knowledge, luggage transfers and 24hr back up and assistance.
If you'd prefer a shorter option there's also a three or five night itinerary available which starts at Sant Pere Pescador as opposed to L'Escala and misses out the free day option in Cadaques.
Finally, thanks to the new high-speed rail link, walkers will also find themselves under an hour from Barcelona. What's not to like?
|Day 1:||Welcome to either Girona Airport or the train station at Figueres (if coming from Barcelona) whereupon you’ll transfer to the town of L’Escala on the Costa Brava. L’Escala is renowned for its old town area and a couple of popular little beaches that add to the laid back ambience featuring narrow streets that will lead you to your first night guesthouse accommodation.|
|Day 2:||Today’s walking distance 11kms. This morning, after breakfast at the guesthouse, you’ll be invited to start your walking tour by following the coastal trail to Sant Pere Pescador by way of the walled village of Sant Martí d'Empúries, the Greco-Roman ruins and mosaics at Empúries and the southern section of the beautiful Bay of Roses. Sant Pere Pescador is a fantastic final destination with the banks of the Fluvià River and several local beaches adding to the salty sea air. Overnight accommodation in a four-star rural guesthouse.|
|Day 3:||Today’s walking distance 12kms. After breakfast this morning you’ll follow the course of the Fluvia River past the beach where it enters the ocean and through the bird watchers’ paradise of Parc Natural dels Aiguamolls. This protected nature reserve is renowned for its birdlife with all manner of migratory species appearing either side of the summer season including: herons, ducks, snipes, shanks, harriers, storks, plovers, flamingos and spoonbills. After spending time amongst the park’s hides and waterways you’ll finally make your way to the medieval village of Castello D’Empuries where the Gothic church of Santa Maria provides an inevitable highlight prior to checking into tonight’s bed and breakfast guesthouse.|
|Day 4:||Today’s walking distance 16kms. This morning, after breakfast, you’ll transfer to Platja Canyelles before walking the spectacular coastal trail eastwards to the town of Cadaques on the Cap de Creus Peninsula. An array of tapas bars, seafood restaurants and authentic Catalan charm awaits with small family-run bars and traditional taverns providing an excellent base to reward yourself after today’s walk. Overnight bed and breakfast pension or upgrade to a three-star hotel, if preferred.|
|Day 5:||Today is yours to relax, rest and explore as you discover what Cadaques meant to both Picasso and Dali as well as making the most of the town’s mysterious meandering alleyways and 17th century traditional parish church. Walks to Port Lligat, Dali’s former house and the lighthouse on Cap de Creus, are all recommended with the rocky outcrops and sea views from the Iberian Peninsula leaving you in no doubt as to the natural beauty of the surrounding area. Overnight bed and breakfast accommodation in Cadaques.|
|Day 6:||Today’s walking distance 12kms. This morning you’ll leave Cadaques after breakfast and follow the trail north to Cap de Creus National Park which features several rustic paths overlooking the rural landscapes of Catalonia prior to finally reaching the historic fishing village of El Port de la Selva. The village has kept its small fishing village atmosphere with several historic monuments and churches decorating the nearby area alongside some of the region’s finest beaches. Overnight bed and breakfast four-star hotel accommodation in El Port de la Selva.|
|Day 7:||Today’s walking distance 12kms. Your penultimate day in Catalonia finds you walking in a south-westerly direction as you make your way up to the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes and the ruined Castell de Sant Salvador before admiring the stunning vistas over the Bay of Roses and onwards to the far off Pyrenees. Whilst descending from the castle you’ll pass the white washed chapel of Sant Onofre in the medieval village of Palau Saverdera whereupon you’ll check into your four-star guesthouse accommodation and find a local bar or two from where to celebrate your week of walking in Catalonia.|
|Day 8:||This morning you’ll be picked up from your guesthouse after breakfast and transferred to either Girona Airport or Figueres train station in order to meet your scheduled onwards journey home or to elsewhere in Spain.|
|Extra Day:||Optional Extra. At the end of your holiday you will be transferred to your accommodation (4 Star Hotel) in Girona, a city rich in culture and history and the perfect place to relax and enjoy an extra day. Girona is a beautiful city where you get a real feeling for its history just by walking through its ancient streets. It’s a walled city which dates back to the Roman period; the old quarter is located within the city walls. There is a well known stretch of houses, built in the 19th century, which make up the part of the city wall destroyed by the French in 1807 while the city was under siege. The city's main historical attractions include its Roman ruins, the charming small streets of its Jewish quarter, the Arab Baths and the magnificent cathedral which dominates the whole city. Accommodation: 4 Star Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Girona.|
55 Reviews of Catalonia self guided walking holidays
Reviewed on 20 May 2022 by Marge SamsoeGreat!...It was actually more physically challenging than I expected even though I live in the US Rocky Mountains Read full review
Reviewed on 18 Nov 2021 by Fred DieckampThere were exciting highlights every day. For example, Walk 1 included Greek/Roman ruins as well as a beautiful beach all to myself! Read full review
Reviewed on 07 Nov 2021 by Janet HardingExcellent. Would do again in a heartbeat. Read full review
Reviewed on 17 Oct 2021 by Trevor MasonGreat holiday. Read full review
Reviewed on 16 Sep 2021 by Ian MorrisExcellent, well organised with some nice accomodation Read full review
Reviewed on 15 Mar 2020 by Linda KingWe enjoyed it and the weather was good for walking. Read full review
Reviewed on 28 Oct 2019 by Jenny RawlinsAll the walks were varied, interesting and each memorable Read full review
Reviewed on 22 Oct 2019 by Jenny HoffmannI think my favourite walk was the one which started from Rosas and took us along the coast through the pines for the first two thirds, so that we swam twice in two different bays before heading off up the mountains. Read full review
Reviewed on 07 Oct 2019 by Ellen TurnerThere's a great view round almost every corner Read full review
Reviewed on 06 Oct 2019 by Angela McFarlandAlthough the whole tour was a wonderfully positive experience, we really enjoyed staying in the towns of Cadaques and El Port de la Selva as well as the hiking between the towns. Read full review
Reviewed on 29 Sep 2019 by Ma. Josefina Paguirigan-KayabanVery exhilarating. Read full review
Reviewed on 26 Mar 2019 by Georgina AlsopIt was excellent. Would definitely recommend and would do another holiday like this with Steve and Maria. Read full review
Reviewed on 14 Sep 2018 by Margaret BoulterFantastic holiday, can’t recommend this operator highly enough, Maria and Steve were brilliant. Read full review
Reviewed on 19 Jul 2018 by Karen CoombsThe most memorable part was the coastal walk and the beaches. Cadaques was exciting and we wished we were able to stay longer. It was also exciting to have completed the whole walk and we felt a sense of achievement. Read full review
Reviewed on 26 Sep 2017 by Kate LongIt was all fantastic, but the bird sanctuary was my favorite. Beautifully management and interpretive signage. Peaceful stroll. Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Sep 2017 by Madeleine HolmanSeeing so many beautiful places along the Catalan coast and mountains, from gorgeous beaches to the mountain top monestary, to tiny villages. Read full review
Reviewed on 27 Jun 2017 by Sarah PajwaniExcellent...The notes on where to go are really good and we did not get lost at all. Read full review
Reviewed on 04 Oct 2017 by Maria CookThe most memorable moment was climbing up to the ruins from Sant Pere de Rodes monastery. The views were breathtaking and worth the extra time and effort to get to the top. Read full review
Reviewed on 01 Oct 2017 by Stephen AllenThe visit to Empuries on walk 1 was amazing! Very good; excellent walking routes which were very varied, and very good walking instructions. Read full review
Reviewed on 15 Jul 2017 by Mark SchaubAll the hiking was excellent and a variety of experiences. It was also exciting for the kids to interact with cows and other wildlife. Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Jun 2017 by Darlena BrightwellOverall, a great holiday. The walking was doable...sometimes a bit challenging for us pensioners...but we did it...and the views were often incredible...always lovely. Our dinners were the same, sometimes incredible, always lovely. Get restaurant suggestions from Maria if you are a foodie. Read full review
Reviewed on 06 Jun 2017 by Tim GrahamVery friendly people, good hotels and restaurants, a most interesting bird reserve, wonderful wild flowers and a fine walk, especially the last three sections in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Read full review
Reviewed on 09 Apr 2017 by Susan NobleThe walk from Cadaques to El Port de la Selva and after to Palau Salverdera was the best thing. Read full review
Reviewed on 07 Oct 2016 by Linda SimpsonSeptember was a perfect month to walk, even though it was exceptionally warm; places were not overcrowded and most of the restaurants were still open. Read full review
Reviewed on 06 Oct 2016 by Barbara Zoltick(The) scenery was beautiful. Got to see both touristy and not touristy parts of Catalonia (staying at) a good mix of accommodations. Read full review
Reviewed on 03 Oct 2016 by Jennifer Sharpe(The holiday was) fantastic. Read full review
Reviewed on 26 Sep 2016 by Regina HaertschGreat holiday - variety in walks and hotels. Read full review
Reviewed on 31 Jul 2016 by Anne WithersThe holiday was excellent. Everything was very well organised and we were delighted both with the walking trails and the accommodation booked for us. We would certainly book such a holiday again. Read full review
Reviewed on 17 Jun 2016 by Jane PattonIt was in fact one of the best holidays I've ever had, the walks were wonderful and we loved being there in early June when there were few people around! Read full review
Reviewed on 02 Jun 2016 by Mary MartinWe enjoyed the hike tremendously. We have been on a number of self guided hikes and this one rates highly. Read full review
Reviewed on 23 May 2016 by Martin GrahamEvery day was different, and we always looked forward to reaching our overnight stop, and to exploring a new place. The little places where we stopped were all very interesting and had lots of character. Read full review
Reviewed on 11 Apr 2016 by Daryl TingleyThe holiday more than lived up to our hopes. Read full review
Reviewed on 06 Apr 2016 by Andrew HollasExcellent walking, high standard accommodation. Very well organised by Steve and Maria. Very good route notes. Read full review
Reviewed on 26 Aug 2015 by Peter CheethamThe awesome coastal and inland scenery, the beautifully clear sea and the wildlife combined to make every day really interesting. Read full review
Reviewed on 10 Jun 2015 by Joy FieldThe variety and diversity of the scenery each day contributed greatly to making this a most memorable experience. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the wonderful scenery, you may not come this way again. Read full review
Reviewed on 24 Feb 2015 by Gabrielle LorenzI loved the walk along the rocky coast from secluded beach to secluded beach. Seeing nesting storks in the Aiguamolls national park was a highlight too! Read full review
Reviewed on 13 Jun 2014 by Karen BalterIt was the best holiday we have taken in many years. Cadacaue was the loveliest town I have ever seen and the hotel on the beach with the balcony views was equally exquisite. Read full review
Reviewed on 05 Nov 2014 by Debra EfroymsonThere were so many best bits it is hard to choose just one!! Perhaps one dramatic landscape after another, or was it the amazing food, or the super friendly people, or the lovely accommodations? Read full review
Reviewed on 20 Oct 2014 by jane cooperIt was an excellent trip. Though one doesn't cover as much ground as by other means, you do see things more closely, more intimately. We loved it. Read full review
Reviewed on 26 Sep 2014 by Carey KeltingA really well organised and above all flexible holiday. Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Apr 2014 by Maime Pearcey...for a short trip, this hol was ideal... excellently planned/supported by the tour operator...A feast for the senses. Read full review
Reviewed on 16 May 2013 by Pam DowlingWe were sorry when it ended. Steve is a friendly, down to earth operator who gave excellent advice. The instructions were very easy to follow. This certainly rates as an outstanding holiday experience. Read full review
Reviewed on 22 Oct 2013 by James GabbertThis holiday was very well organized, and it allowed me to explore towns and landscapes in Catalonia that I never would have discovered on my own...The most memorable part of this holiday was the little discoveries along the trail - secluded beaches, apple and olive orchards, vineyards, and old ruins. Read full review
Reviewed on 12 Aug 2013 by jamie sharkeyThe scenery, it was spectacular, beautiful trails, not many tourists, unspoilt. Food and wine superb. People at guest accomodation were very friendly and helpful and Steve the operator was excellent. His organisation for the trip was perfect, everything went to plan, he was a good communicator and dealt with any problems we had. Read full review
Reviewed on 26 May 2013 by Anh DoGreat way to connect with nature, travel light and eat very well at night. Steve and Maria are very friendly and explain everything properly to give us a good start. It's hard to get lost with their instruction. Read full review
Reviewed on 10 May 2013 by Judy CorbettWonderful - well organised, lovely accommodation, plenty of variety. Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Jul 2013 by Lily HsuIt was a very nice trip for our family. It is away from all the other tourist traps. We get to see something very few people have the opportunity to see. Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Jul 2013 by Alasdair KenwrightThe most memorable part was the walk from Cadaques to Selva. Lovely walking, great views. Read full review
Reviewed on 22 Apr 2012 by Dyana VukovichEvery single hike on this excursion was fabulous, but my personal favourite was the hike from Platja Canyelles to Cadaques - just the two of us for miles and miles, going from one gorgeous Mediterranean beach to the next, up and down the coastal cliffs...Superb - it absolutely exceeded my expectations on every level. Read full review
Reviewed on 24 May 2012 by Cristina CampbellWe love walking holidays, and this one exceeded any expectations...We loved the landscape, the wild native plants, the blue blue Mediterranean, the charming villages we stayed in or near...It was extra extra special and totally memorable. Read full review
Reviewed on 04 May 2012 by Mark RyanA great way to experience in some detail the varied scenery and villages of the area. We particularly enjoyed the challenge of getting up to the heights of the wonderful Monastery of St Pere and the ruined castle we appreciated the fact that Steve and Maria were always nearby to deal with any issues...Terrific! Read full review
Reviewed on 12 Apr 2012 by Alison SpiceArriving in an interesting new place at the end of a lovely walk each day. The anticipation of arriving somewhere on foot and the excitement of exploring somewhere new. The birds (especially the flamingoes) on the wetlands and the flowers on the hillsides were memorable too. Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Mar 2012 by Rona SmithThe most memorable part was the sense of being an explorer especially when coming upon the spectacular (and unexpected) bird refuge!...The holiday was great for clearing the mind and refreshing the spirit while enhancing the ability to focus. Read full review
Reviewed on 22 Mar 2012 by Anna FoxThe most memorable part of the holiday was dragging my puffing, panting, sweating, body up that mountain, sure in the belief I couldn't do it. Unsurpassable views from the top of the world, and a real sense of achievement...One of the best holidays I've ever had. I felt truly refreshed and relaxed by the end. Read full review
Reviewed on 09 Mar 2012 by Wendy BrodribbThanks for a wonderful walk. The combination of ancient roman ruins, spectacular coastal scenery with a backdrop of snow capped mountains, important medieval monasteries, working farming and fishing villages and an important ornithological site made this a unique walk for us. Read full review
Planet and peopleOur self guided walking holidays in Catalonia and tourism in general has benefited the local community here immensely, without tourism many of the local restaurants, hotels, guest houses and craft shops would not exist, all of which employ local staff. Many of the younger generation have also stayed due to the employment tourism brings to the community.
All of our accommodation apart from the last night in Girona is family owned and staffed by locals with their food being sourced locally. As our holidays run out of season they are particularly grateful of our custom.
We also believe our guests give a positive impact on the community. We encourage all our guests to interact with the local community, this gives both the guests and locals the change to interact and embrace each other’s cultural differences. In order to limit the social impact of tourism all are guests are sent information packs about the local customs, religion, politics and history. We encourage our guests to visit local craft shops and to buy any provisions locally.
With regards to the environmental impact, all our guests are encourage to respect the local flora, fauna and wildlife and to act responsibly. They walk on designated paths and make sure no litter is left behind. All of our business waste is recycled where possible through a local community initiative. All communication via fax is done electronically where possible, saving on paper. On arrival our guests are given information on recycling in this part of Spain. They are also given information in the form of a leaflet on how to minimize waste.
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