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Pyrenees Coastal Trails: Cadaqués to Collioure 19

Pyrenees Coastal Trails: Cadaqués to Collioure

Overview

Bathed in warm Mediterranean sunshine and with the Pyrenees’ peaks providing a dramatic backdrop, the Spanish and French Catalan coast invites exploration on foot. Our Pyrenees Coastal Trails: Cadaqués to Collioure route takes you into one of the loveliest coastal areas of the Catalan Pyrenees on both sides of the French/Spanish border.

Unsurprisingly, the coast (in French the Côte Vermeille, in Spanish the Costa Brava) and its fishing villages have long attracted many artists, among them Dalí, Picasso and Matisse, who were drawn by the bright Mediterranean light. By walking from Cadaqués to Collioure along the coast, you will discover for yourself the lure and enchantment of this beautiful region.

  • Explore the landscapes which inspired Matisse and Dalí
  • Colourful fishing villages and delicious regional cuisine
  • Discover ancient historical sites like the dramatic Sant Pere de Rodes monastery
  • Follow coastal trails, with the Pyrenees as a backdrop

Click to view map


Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Cadaquès

Arrive at Girona Airport or Figueres Vilafant train station (if landing in Barcelona), from where you will be transferred to your accommodation in Cadaquès and you will have a welcome meeting with an English speaking local guide.

Cadaqués is a beautiful whitewashed coastal town surrounded by mountains and was a favourite of both Picasso and Salvador Dalí. It is a great place for eating out; it has a great selection of restaurants ranging from small Mediterranean family-run restaurants to fresh fish restaurants, pizza cafes and tapas bars. We recommend trying the seafood during your stay in Cadaqués, it’s always fresh and delicious when washed down with a bottle of chilled Catalan white wine.

  • Overnight in a Cadaqués 3-star hotel, located very close to the beach and the centre of Cadaqués (Hotel Octavia or similar). This family-run hotel is simple, clean and friendly.
  • Optional upgrade to a hotel with a sea-view room, balcony and outdoor pool possible (Hotel Llanes Petit or similar)

Day 2: Cap de Creus | 21 km

Today you embark on a beautiful walk out to the Cap de Creus, the most easterly point of mainland Spain with spectacular coastal views; the rock outcrops are one of the most significant features of the Parc Natural, with their complex and beautiful shapes. One sees images of real or mythical animals in the area (lions, dragons, camels, eagles, cats, rats…), despite the fact that it is the wind and the sea, not the Gods, which have shaped the landscape. You could also eat lunch at the wonderful restaurant on the peninsula.

  • Walking for the day: 21 km, 6-7 hours
  • Overnight in the same hotel

Day 3: El Port de la Selva | 13 km

Leaving Cadaqués behind, you make your way north through the heart of the famous Cap de Creus national park. You will follow a rural trail with beautiful views of the Catalan countryside, you’ll have some magnificent views of the Pyrenees and the French/Spanish border before arriving in El Port de la Selva.

El Port de la Selva is outstanding for its varied landscapes, its beaches and its mountains. The village retains the charm of a small fishing settlement, and there are many places to visit, including the Taballera Dolmen and the Serra de Rodes medieval site, made up of Sant Pere de Rodes Monastery, Sant Salvado Castle (13th century), Santa Elena Shrine, the village of Santa Creu and Sant Fruitós Church. The village offers some of Catalonia’s best beaches.

  • Walking for the day: 13 km, 4-5 hours
  • Overnight in a 4-star hotel at El Port de la Selva (Porto Cristo or similar)

Day 4: Llançà | 19 km

Leaving El Port de la Selva behind you, walk northwest, ascending to the Sant Pere de Rodes cloister (Open Oct 1st to May 31st 10 am – 5.30 pm, June 1st to Sept. 30th from 10 am to 8 pm, closed on Mondays), considered one of the most important monasteries in Spain. You will then make your way up to the ruins of the Castle of 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 of the Bay of Roses and the entire Cap de Creus. You will then go down to the seaside town of Llançà. 

  • Walking for the day: 19 km, 6 hours
  • Overnight in a 3-star hotel in Llançà (Grifeu or similar)

Day 5: Banyules Sur Mer | 15 km

Today you will take the train from Llanca to Portbou, you will then continue walking north and will enjoy wonderful views over the Pyrenees, the famous Canigou peak, the Cap de Creu and the Mediterranean Sea as you ascend into the beautiful Catalan hills.  You will cross the border into France and walk onwards until you reach the French seaside town of Banyules Sur Mer.

Nestled in the heart of the Côte Vermeille (Vermillion 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.

  • Walking for the day: 15 km, 5 hours
  • Overnight in a 3-star hotel in Banyules Sur Mer (Le Catalan or similar)

Day 6: Collioure | 17 km

Heading north, you follow quiet lanes and cliff-top paths around the rugged Cap Béar headland, the views are truly spectacular. There are a couple of spots where you can pause for a swim before winding your way through the vineyards that produce the region’s wines and finally 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 picturesque ensemble of an old town, beaches, waterfront castle and church, all set around a beautiful bay. The resort had attracted artists since the early 1900s when Matisse and Derain started painting here. With several sandy and pebble beaches, creeks and clear waters, you have a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a  swim.

  • Walking for the day: 17 km, 6 hours
  • Overnight in a 3-star hotel in Collioure (Princes de Catalogne or similar)

Day 7: Departure or Onward Travel

Return home or individual stay extension.

What to Expect

Accommodation

On this walking holiday, you will be staying in 3 and 4-star hotels. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

  • 3-star hotel, located very close to the beach and the centre of Cadaqués (Hotel Octavia). This family-run hotel is simple, clean and friendly. Optional upgrade to a hotel with a sea-view room, balcony and outdoor pool possible (Hotel Llanes Petit or similar).
  • 4-star hotel at El Port de la Selva (Porto Cristo). The hotel is an old manor house from 1864, made with stones from the Cap de Creus. It’s been a hotel since 1960, it was totally refurbished in 2005 and is just a few meters from the beach. It has two restaurants and a panoramic lounge.
  • 3-star hotel in Llançà (Grifeu). This family-run hotel enjoys an exceptional location, set right in front of the sea and with direct access to the beach. All the rooms are bathed in plenty of natural light, and from the hotel terrace, you can marvel at the view over the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.
  • 3-star hotel in Banyules Sur Mer (Le Catalan). Run by the welcoming Madame Rède, this well-equipped hotel perches on the slopes above Banyuls, with splendid views over the village and the Mediterranean Sea from the restaurant and the spacious bedrooms. There is an outdoor pool in which to cool off.
  • Overnight in a 3-star hotel in Collioure (Princes de Catalogne). Centrally located, just a short stroll from the harbour, this friendly hotel offers comfortable, relatively simple, air-conditioned rooms.

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included. When no restaurant location is available on route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your accommodation or restaurants in the village near your hotel.

Difficulty & terrain

This holiday is appropriate for experienced walkers (no high mountain experience required) and requires a good level of fitness (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain.

We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

This trip is available from mid-February till early July and from early September till mid-November. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date within the season. We do not offer this trip after the second week of July and in August as it is too hot for walking, the hotels become too expensive, and they are usually fully booked by the beach crowd. On the coast, the climate is Mediterranean, with mild and relatively rainy winters and hot and sunny summers, in which the air is humid but tempered by the breeze.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice on Spain and France.

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended arrival airports for this tour are Barcelona (BCN) and Girona (GRO).

By train or bus

  • The private transfer from Girona airport to your first accommodation (included) takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • If you fly to Barcelona, you need to take the shuttle train to Barcelona Sants from the airport; they leave every 30 mins and take approx. 20 mins. You then change trains at Sants and take a train to Figueres Vilafant (53 minutes) or Figueres (approx 2 hours) depending on the train you take. There are also convenient bus connections (including direct lines from Girona or Barcelona operated by Sarfa). The private transfer from Figueres or Figueres Vilafant (included) to your first accommodation takes approximately 30 minutes.
  • See up-to-date train schedules here and bus schedules here.
  • You can also consider Perpignan Airport (PGF) for your departure. There are trains every hour from Collioure to Perpignan (26 minutes). There are several trains a day from Collioure to Girona and Barcelona (2 to 3 hours 30 minutes depending on what train you take). See train times here: SNCF or use the Omio planner above.
  • An alternative to air travel is by rail – Cadaques is 10.5 hours from London.

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 nights in 3 and 4-star hotels with breakfast included
  • One evening meal (Day 5)
  • Private transfer from Girona Airport or Figueres Vilafant train station to the first hotel on Day 1
  • Welcome meet & greet
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days
  • Holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps (electronic copy + one printed copy per party)
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and airport transfers other than Girona Airport or Figueres Vilafant transfer on Day 1
  • Lunches and dinners (apart from the evening meal on Day 5), drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request
  • Optional upgrade to a hotel with outdoor pool in Cadaques – sea-view room with balcony (2 nights) – Hotel Llanes Petit or similar
  • Extra night in a 3-star hotel in Collioure after the holiday

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