A five day, self-guided adventure, walking the Costa Brava highlights along ancient trails that take you to both the coast and mountains. This carefully-crafted itinerary is an idyllic mix of Catalonia’s coast, castles and cuisine, with just enough challenges to push those muscles, such as among the glorious land and seascapes of Cap de Creus Natural Park, the easternmost peninsula on mainland Spain. Starting in the coastal town of Sant Pere Pescado and finishing in Palau-Saverdera in the foothills of the Pyrenees, you won’t feel short changed on this short break when it comes to luscious landscapes and sunshine-filled days. Stay in a mix of small hotels and guesthouses, with luggage transfers.
- Aiguamolls de l’Empordà Natural Park
- Cap de Creus Natural Park
- Monestir de Sant Pere de Rodes
- Sant Salvador de Verdera
Click to view map
Day 1: Arrival in Sant Pere Pescador
Take a private transfer from Girona Airport or Figueres-Vilafant railway station (if landing in Barcelona) to your accommodation in the ancient coastal town of Sant Pere Pescador. An English-speaking local guide provides a welcome briefing upon your arrival. If time allows, take a walk through the countryside and discover the surrounding landscapes of apple orchards and nature trails, along the banks of the El Fluvià.
- Accommodation: Hotel El Molí or similar in Sant Pere Pescador
Day 2: Sant Pere Pescador – Castelló d’Empúries | 12km
Today’s walk follows the banks of the El Fluvià, heading to the beach at the river’s mouth and then through Aiguamolls de l’Empordà Natural Park. Look out for birds such as ibis, herons, tufted ducks, pochards, snipes, redshanks, marsh harriers and sandpipers, which can be spotted at any time of the year. During the spring and autumn migrations there is also the chance to see grey herons, golden plovers, flamingos, black storks and spoonbills. Today’s walk ends in Castelló d’Empúries, a medieval village steeped in history. The landmark of the village and visible from afar, is the Basílica de Santa Maria.
- Walking for the day: 12km, 3h, ↑106m
- Accommodation: Hotel Canet or similar in Castelló d’Empúries
Day 3: Roses – Cadaqués | 16km
Take a transfer to Roses (15mins), where today’s walk starts. Walk east along the coast and pass many secluded beaches and coves, with ample opportunity for a dip in the sea. Head inland, passing hillsides with tiers of old olive groves, before eventually reaching Cadaqués. Cadaqués is a whitewashed coastal town surrounded by mountains, and a former favourite of Picasso and Salvador Dalí. The town is known for its fine seafood restaurants.
- Walking for the day: 16km, 5-6h, ↑550m
- Accommodation: Hotel Octavia or similar in Cadaqués
Day 4: Cadaqués – El Port de la Selva | 14km
Leaving Cadaqués behind, make your way north through the heart of the famous Cap de Creus Natural Park. Follow a rural trail with views of the Catalan countryside and the Pyrenees, before arriving at the fishing village of El Port de la Selva, where you spend the night. Spend the afternoon exploring the local sights, including the archaeological site of Dolmen de Taballera. Serra de Rodes is another interesting medieval site, which consists of Monestir de Sant Pere de Rodes, Sant Salvador de Verdera, Iglesia Santa Elena de Roda, as well as the the ruins of the village of Santa Creu de Rodes and the church, Sant Fruitós de la Vall de Santa Creu.
- Walking for the day: 14km, 3-4h, ↑369m
- Accommodation: Hotel Spa Porto Cristo or similar in El Port de la Selva
Day 5: El Port de la Selva – Palau-Saverdera | 15km
Leave El Port de la Selva and follow the route towards the north-west, before ascending to Monastir de Sant Pere de Rodes, which is considered one of the most important monasteries in Spain (check the opening times before your visit, closed on Mondays). Continue walking, making your way up to the ruins of the castle, Sant Salvador de Verdera, where the views extend over Alt Empordà, across to the Albera Massif mountain range and the Pyrenees, as well as to the Gulf of Roses and the entire Cap de Creus. Finally, walk down to Palau-Saverdera, an old farming village located in the foothills of the Pyrenees.
- Walking for the day: 15km, 4-5h, ↑723m
- Accommodation: Niu de Sol or similar in Palau-Saverdera
Day 6: Departure
Departure after breakfast, or extend your stay with an extra night in Palau-Saverdera.
What to expect
Accommodation on this tour includes a mix of small, locally-owned hotels, B&Bs and traditional guesthouses. They have been carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including their location, warm hospitality, fine local food or commitment to responsible tourism. All rooms have en-suite or private bathrooms.
Click to view default hotels
- Hotel El Molí (Sant Pere Pescador)
- Hotel Canet (Castelló d’Empúries)
- Hotel Octavia (Cadaqués)
- Hotel Spa Porto Cristo (El Port de la Selva)
- Niu de Sol (Palau-Saverdera)
Accommodation is subject to availability. In the event of a particular hotel being fully booked for your chosen 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.
Breakfast is included on all days. When no restaurant location is available en route, lunches and snacks can either be bought from local shops or packed lunches can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Dinner is available either at the accommodation or from restaurants in the local area.
Difficulty and terrain
This tour is rated easy to moderate and is suitable for moderately experienced walkers (although no high mountain experience is required), with daily walking distances ranging between 12-16km. A reasonable level of fitness is required to get the most out of this tour. Walks have a relaxed pace, with time to take in the views and surroundings. The walk on day three, from Roses to Cadaqués, is steep in places and so the walk is a little more strenuous than on other days. The trails are a mixture of GR routes and local paths (read more about difficulty grades).
We strongly advise you to only follow marked trails and never try to shorten the path through unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed route notes and maps and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed information on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to go
This trip is available from mid-February until the beginning of July and from the beginning of September until early November. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, meaning you can start your trip on any date during the season.
We do not offer this trip between the second week of July and September, as it is too hot for walking and hotel availability is too limited. On the coast, the climate is Mediterranean, with hot and sunny summers and mild and relatively rainy winters. For more information, see our blog post Best times to go to Spain.
FCO up-to-date travel advice for Spain.
Click to view travel options
By train or bus
If you are able to travel to Spain without flying, this holiday is reachable by rail, with railway stations in Girona and Figueres, where you will be met by our local partner. For more details, see the national rail operator Renfe or use the Omio planner above. The train journey from London to Girona takes approximately 10h, see Eurostar for more details or use the Omio planner above.
Arrival in Sant Pere Pescador:
- The private transfer from Figueres or Figueres-Vilafant to your first accommodation (included) takes approximately one hour
- The private transfer from Girona or Girona Airport to your first accommodation (included) takes approximately one hour
- If flying to Barcelona, take the shuttle train from the airport to Barcelona Sants (20mins), which leave every 30mins. From there, take a train to Figueres-Vilafant railway station (53mins) or Figueres (approximately two hours, depending on the service)
- There are also convenient bus connections, including direct lines from Girona and Barcelona. For more information, see Sagalés or Moventis Sarfa
Departure from Palau-Saverdera:
- A private transfer to Girona (railway station or airport) or Figueres-Vilafant railway station (if flying from Barcelona) is included. We can also offer a private transfer directly to Barcelona Airport, at an additional fee
- See Renfe for further information about trains, and for buses see Sagalés or Moventis Sarfa, or use the Omio planner above
- 5 nights accommodation
- 5 breakfasts
- Welcome briefing from our local representative
- Transfer on day three to the start of the walk
- Arrival transfer from Girona Airport/city centre or Figueres-Vilafant railway station (if travelling from Barcelona)
- Departure transfer to Girona Airport/city centre or Figueres-Vilafant railway station (if travelling to Barcelona)
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days
- Detailed tour materials, including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps (digital copy sent in advance and one printed copy provided locally)
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers, other than the complimentary arrival/departure private transfers on day one and six
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable locally)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a room of their own
- 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 are available upon request
- Optional upgrade to a hotel with an outdoor pool in Cadaqués in a sea-view room with balcony (Hotel Llané Petit or similar)