Catalan Coastal Walk Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Spain
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
W08CL
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

9 Days Flight Inclusive
9 Days Land only
Ages: 8+

Trip Overview

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. 

At a Glance

  • 8 Nights , Hotel-to-hotel
  • All continental breakfast and 4 evening meals
  • Route notes and maps provided 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 
  • Walking transfers

Trip 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

Is This Trip for You?

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 8yrs 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 unspoilt 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 colourful 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.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local agent is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. Please note: the walking and luggage transfers included in this tour are subject to a minimum of 2 people (in total) booked on the departure. A supplement (payable in advance) to cover these transfers and sole occupancy of a room will apply if only 1 person travelling on a departure date.

Adult min age:
18
Child min age:
8
Child max age:
17

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Garriguella
End City:
Garriguella

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Garriguella

    Explore the pretty streets of Garriguella before your evening meal. (Staying at Vilamont Spa Hotel)

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    Garriguella to El Port De La Selva

    After a 10-minute transfer to Pau, enjoy panoramic coastal views south as you ascend to Sant Onofre, a rocky 14th century 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 13th century 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)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 14 km / 9 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • 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)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    El Port De La Selva to Cadaques

    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)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 14 km / 9 miles
    Activity (hours):
    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)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Cadaques to Roses

    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)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 16 km / 10 miles
    Activity (hours):
    6
  • 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 180 degree views and a tempting poolside bar. if you do explore, the centre of Roses has the remains of the 16th century Trinitat Castle, a star-shaped redoubt, and the ruined ciutadela, an impressive fortress from Greek and Roman times embellished by Carlos V in the 16th century. (Staying at Hotel Almadraba Park)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 8

    Roses to Mas Palou/Garriguella

    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)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • Day 9

    Leave Garriguella

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Hotels

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.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from 480,06 €

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 4 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.

Transportation

Your luggage is transported from hotel to hotel for you. Transfers will be in a taxi or minibus. There is a private transfer after breakfast on day 2 to take you to your next hotel and on the afternoon of day 8.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

In April, May and September expect temperatures to average between 17ºC and 22ºC with high chance of rain showers though it could also be simply partly cloudy and more temperate. Temperatures between June and August tend to be higher, with averages between 25ºC and 29ºC, and highs reaching up to 33ºC. Expect a combination of sun, showers and clouds all year round.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

The tour itself normally begins at the start hotel in Garriguella on the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flight inclusive prices include our standard flights/transfers

British Airways Heathrow to Barcelona 09:35/12:45 then rail Barcelona Sants to Vilajuiga 15:16/17:35 and transfer to hotel 15 mins Return: Transfer to station 15 mins then rail Llanca to Barcelona Sants 13:35/15:39, then air Barcelona to Heathrow 18:15/19:35. Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Standard transfers
For flight inclusive bookings transfers are included from Vilajuiga train station at 17:35, and back to Llanca train station at 13:00.  For land only bookings transfers are available for a supplement.

Location start:
Garriguella
Location end:
Garriguella

What to Take

Essential Equipment

  • Walking boots or shoes with sturdy soles that have been broken in
  • Comfortable flip flops or strap walking sandals
  • Daypack
  • Water bottle
  • Wind/waterproof jacket
  • Wind/waterproof trousers
  • Woolly hat and gloves
  • Warm clothes/fleece
  • Sunglasses, sunhat and high factor sunscreen

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles
  • Camera

Practical Information

Passport

Spain

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Spain

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Spain

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Spain's Timezone:
Europe/Madrid CEST (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

Spain's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Money

Spain's Currency

The national currency of Spain is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (October 2017) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP,  0.84 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.66 to the AUD and 0.59 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, but we recommend taking some Euros cash with you in case you can't get to a bank at the start of the trip. Cards are widely accepted. 

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need spending money for meals not included in the itinerary and all drinks. We suggest €25 per day to cover a few drinks if not then €10 per day. On the days where lunch or dinner is not included expect to spend €10-€15 for lunch.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.