Walking French & Spanish Catalonia Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
France, Spain
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TDZ
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.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

Discover the picturesque French and Spanish Catalonian coast on a week's walking trip commencing in the traditional Spanish Catalonian fishing village of Port de la Selva. From here we trek amongst the natural beauty of the Cap de Creus and enjoy an iconic walk to Cadaques, considered one of the most beautiful and unspoilt villages on the Mediterranean. We then move across the border to the charming French town of Collioure; where in recent years there has been a resurgence of locals reconnecting with their Catalan roots. From here we meander along beautiful coastal paths and discover pristine beaches, visit the mediaeval coastal town of Argeles sur Mer and have the chance to soak up Calatan culture from the lesser known French side of the border.

At a Glance

  • 7 nights in two 3-star hotels, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days walking; 1 free day
  • Group normally 4-15, plus leader. Min age. 16 yrs
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Travel by private minibus and train

Trip Highlights

  • Scenic coastal walking
  • Catalonian culture
  • Charming Collioure
  • Beautiful beaches

Is This Trip for You?

Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)

The terrain and type of path track will vary but most of the walking is on good quality coastal paths and gravel tracks. The walks are not technically difficult however you will need to cover distances of up to 13km so a basic level of fitness is required.

You will only need to take a daypack with you on the walks and luggage will be transferred between the two different hotels during the trip.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

The tour leader will accompany the group on all the activities from Day 1 to Day 7. For any further questions on departure day (day 8), your point of contact will be the staff at the hotel reception, who will also coordinate your transfer back to the airport.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
15

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Port de la Selva

    The trip starts afternoon in Port de la Selva.

    Port de la Selva is a traditional fishing village and seaside resort located in the natural maritime park Cap de Creus on the Costa Brava. The town is located in a bay which forms a natural harbour sheltered by the surrounding mountains.

    Dating back to the 17th Century, the centre of the town has remained untouched with cobbled streets and tiny white houses; a good network of shops, bars and restaurants are all within walking distance from the hotel.

    In the evening the leader will deliver a main briefing about the trip and what to expect throughout the week.

    Hotel Cap de Creus

  • Day 2

    A picturesque circular walk around Port de la Selva

    The first walk of the week will start straight from the doorstep of our hotel where we will go for a lovely coastal walk around Els Llaures peninsula. We will first walk inland on a gentle uphill path that will lead us to beautiful views of the Pyrenees and the Lleo Gulf. From there our walk leads us along the coastal path all the way back to Port de la Selva, where there will be the opportunity to go for a swim (weather dependent). This a perfect first day's walk to introduce us to the geography of the area.

    Hotel Cap de Creus

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 12 km / 7 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    250
    Altitude loss (m):
    250
  • Day 3

    After a short transfer; hike through the Cap de Creus to Pla de Tudela, a place of unique geological interest; continue along the coast to Cadaqués.

    After a short transfer to the end of the Cap de Creus peninsula, our trek starts by walking and exploring the Cap de Creus to Pla de Tudela; a place of unique geological interest (due to how the climate has uniquely shaped the landscape) over time that inspired Dali. We continue along a coastal path all the way to Cadaques, where our walk ends. Cadaques is considered to be one of the most beautiful and unspoiled villages on the Mediterranean. We then transfer back to our hotel in Port de la Selva.

    Hotel Cap de Creus

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    400
    Altitude loss (m):
    400
  • Day 4

    Transfer to the French Catalan region and begin today's walk inland from the Col of Mollo (221m) to the coastal town of Collioure.

    This morning after breakfast we bid farewell to Port de Selva and transfer (approximately 1 hour) to the French Catalan region. As we pass over to the French side of the coast we will discover a totally different, greener landscape filled with vineyards and more dramatic coastlines.

    Whilst our luggage will be transferred on to our next hotel in Collioure, we will begin to trek from the Col of Mollo (221m) where stunning views of the Mediterranean await us. Our walk initially follows an easy path to the Coll d'en Raixat and the military fort of Dugommier, that was established in 1840 and is now enlisted as a historical monument. The walk continues further and into Collioure, offering spectacular views of the bay and coast as we approach.

    Lovely Collioure is blessed with a privileged climate and a romantic setting. Located just 15 miles from the Spanish border, Collioure shares a common history, culture and independent attitude with Barcelona and its other Catalan cousins on the other side of the border. Sixty years ago, most of the villagers spoke Catalan, and today the language is enjoying a resurgence as Collioure rediscovers it roots.

    Our hotel in Collioure in located 6 minutes from the centre of town and is close to shops, bars, restaurants and all other necessary amenities.

    Hotel Madeloc

     

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 6 km / 4 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    150
    Altitude loss (m):
    150
  • Day 5

    Free day

    There are many possible options for your free day today in Collioure. Visit the Renaissance period museum of Fort Saint Elme, the royal Château dating from 13th-17th Century or the modern art museum. There is also the possibility to enjoy water sports like canyoning, sea kayaking, snorkelling or sailing.

    Your leader will be able to advise you further of all the details and possibilities.

    Hotel Madeloc

     
    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Take the train to Port Vendres and walk to Cap Bear, a lovely coastal path; onto Valenti beach and then return to Port Vendres by col Perdiguer.

    We take a short transfer by train this morning to Port Vendres, a charming port on the Catalan coast. Starting from the train station, we will walk along a beautiful coastal path with some short climbs and descents to Cap Bear, south of Port Vendres. The walk will take lead us on to Valenti Beach, a perfect place for a break before looping back to Port Vendres by the col Perdiguer (130m). Upon arrival into Port Vendres, we take the train back to Collioure.

    Hotel Madeloc

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 12 km / 7 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    350
    Altitude loss (m):
    350
  • Day 7

    Walk from Argeles sur Mer to Collioure

    Today we catch another train to the coastal town of Argeles sur Mer, which is home to the longest beach in the region. There will be time to walk around this small mediaeval town with its narrow streets and also visit the local market. We then walk to Argeles beach and port and begin a nice coastal walk back to Collioure.

    Hotel Madeloc

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
    Altitude gain (m):
    250
    Altitude loss (m):
    250
  • Day 8

    End Collioure

    The trip ends this morning after breakfast in Collioure.

    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

During the trip we stay in two 3-star hotels that have been chosen for comfort and location. Both hotel are located within a short walking distance from the town centres.

In Port de la Selva we spend 3 nights at Hotel Cap de Creus. All rooms offer en suite facilities and free Wi-Fi. 

In Collioure we spend 4 nights at Hotel Madeloc. All rooms offer en suite facilities and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also has a swimming pool (seasonal) and a spa & wellness centre.

 

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

Single supplement from £350.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts are included.

Both hotels serve a continental breakfast buffet consisting of breads, fruit, pastries, cheeses, cold cuts, juice, tea and coffee.

Lunches can be purchased from local bakeries, shops and mini-markets which will offer you the opportunity to try lots of local produce and delicacies.

Catalan cuisine is Mediterranean in nature, and the French & Spanish Catalan kitchens share many similarities. Popular ingredients consist of fresh vegetables (tomato, garlic, aubergine, peppers & mushrooms), bread, pasta, olives and olive oil,  as well as cheese. Different variations of pork dishes, poultry, lamb and fish all feature heavily.

Catalans are famous for their sweet tooth and desserts are plentiful. Crema Catalana (yellow cream) is stuffed into pastries, flans or with fruit and should not be missed!

Catalan wines are also very popular along the coast in both the Spanish and French regions.

Transportation

All transport mentioned in the itinerary is included, except for optional excursions or where a client may choose to curtail a group walk. Transfers will be by private minibus and throughout the week public trains will be used.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

The spring month of April and early summer in June are a wonderful time to see wild flowers in bloom and experience pleasant daytime temperatures of around 25 degrees celcius. The beaches are fantastic at this time of year although the water is quite chilly. We schedule departures late in the season as visiting in September and October is a pleasant time to experience the French and Spanish Catalonia region.

Weather Charts

Collioure

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of British Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 8 days starting in Port de la Selva and ending in Collioure

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Port de la Selva in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

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

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

You can pre-book private arrival and departure transfers through Exodus if you wish (payable in advance). Please ensure that you provide us with all relevant information at least 2 weeks before departure.

Location start:
Port de la Selva
Location end:
Collioure

What to Take

Essential Equipment

  • Walking boots or shoes with strong soles
  • Waterproof/windproof jacket and over trousers
  • A warm 2 season jacket or sweater/fleece (for cooler months)
  • Refillable water bottle (1-2 litre capacity at least)
  • Daypack of 25/30 litre capacity
  • Sun hat, sun screen and lip salve
  • Swimsuit
  • Sandals

We also advise using dry flow wicking clothing rather than cotton as it dries much quicker and is more comfortable when trekking.

Please note that tap water is safe to drink in the area which means all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill at the hotel. Please add this to your packing list as this will save on wasteful plastic bottles.

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles

Practical Information

Passport

France

Most nationalities, including British, 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 below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

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.

Certain European nationalities may be able to travel within Europe on their national identity card. Check carefully with the relevant authorities if you intend to do this.

Visa

France

Spain

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

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Vaccination

France

There are no specific health risks.

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.

The above information can change at short notice; 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.

If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance.

Local Time

France's Timezone:
Europe/Paris CET (GMT +01:00)
Spain's Timezone:
Europe/Madrid CET (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

France's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Spain's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Money

France's Currency

The national currency of France 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.

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 available in both Port de la Selva and Collioure, as well as most coastal towns visited during the week. Credit cards are widely accepted but in general it is easier to pay with cash.

We do not recommend taking travellers cheques as these are becoming increasingly harder to exchange.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

As lunches will usually be purchased from local bakeries and supermarkets, we recommend budgeting approximately EUR 8 per day.

We recommend budgeting approximately EUR 20-25 in Spain and EUR 25-30 in France for a 3 course meal. 

You will also need some Euros for any extra snacks, drinks and souvenirs bought during the week (about EUR 100-150 should be sufficient for this).

Optional Excursions

On the free day, you are welcome to relax in Collioure or consider one of the following optional activities:

Fort Saint Elme- approximately EUR 7

The Royal Castle (Chateau Royal)- approximately EUR 4

Water sport options include:

Canyoning, sea kayaking or snorkelling- approximately EUR 40 to 60 for half a day

Sailing excursions are available but price will depend on the type of boat and duration you choose. Your leader will provide more information whilst you are on the trip.

 

Tipping

Although optional, a tip for the leader at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. As a guideline we recommend a contribution of between EUR 15 and EUR 20 per client per week. It is also customary to leave a tip for any additional local staff who support your holiday – for example drivers, cooks and hotel staff. This can be handed in to your leader at the end of the week to distribute accordingly. In total for the leader to distribute to all relevant staff, we recommend to budget approx. EUR 10-EUR 15 per person per week.

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 16 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.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

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 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 www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, 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.