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From the Pyrenees to the Sea

Catalonia’s many faces
Holiday information
Nights: 6
Grade: 2, ascents & descents each day 
Terrain: hills, olive groves, cork-oak woods, coast
Hotels: one rural inn; two 3-star hotels; one 4-star hotel
Meals: 6 breakfasts, 3 dinners, 3 picnics
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Extend your stay
If you are flying via cosmopolitan Barcelona or beautiful Girona, add on a city break for a contrast to your walking holiday.
Two-week adventure
This holiday combines well with our Foothills of the Pyrenees walk.
  About Empordà >Empordà encompasses the Costa Brava and the rolling plain behind it in north-easternmost Catalonia. Costa Brava translates as ‘rugged coast’, a name that belies the presence of beautiful sandy beaches between the rocky headlands. Inland, medieval villages of honey-coloured stone stand amid vineyards, cork-oak woods and fields of sunflowers and rice. It was in Empordà that the sardana – the Catalan national dance, accompanied by a 3-holed flute – originated, and it is a common sight at fiestas. As in the rest of Catalonia, you will hear Catalan – one of Spain’s four official languages – spoken more commonly than Castilian. Catalonia is renowned throughout Spain for its gastronomy, and Empordà boasts some superb restaurants. The local rice features in both meat and fish dishes, while sauces made from tomato, pepper and aubergine are used in many recipes. Combinations of mar y muntanya (sea and mountain) are also common on menus, be it lobster with partridge or chicken with prawns.
 
This Holiday in a nutshell
  • self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking, luggage transported
  • contrasting scenery of hills and coast
  • real sense of journey
  • mix of friendly inns and stylish hotels

Framed by the Pyrenees and gloriously remote feeling, northern Catalonia has many different faces. Within a relatively short distance, the secret, volcanic hills of the Garrotxa give way to a more gently rolling landscape coated with olive groves, vineyards and woods of cork oak. Cross the final ridge before the coast, and you discover yet another scene – rocky coves, sandy bays and rugged headlands.
There is a real sense of journey on this holiday, particularly on the day you finally reach the coast. Like all the walks, this day is very varied, through olive groves, over the last hills before the sea – which are coated in wild herbs and dotted with bunkers from the civil war – and past a magnificent Romanesque monastery to the coast.
     
Beth Hancock, Inntravel
To walk here is a revelation and there is a real sense of discovery as you walk through the picturesque foothills of the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean and cross the beautiful and dramatic Cap de Creus Natural Park to reach Cadaqués, one of Catalonia’s prettiest fishing villages. The accommodation is as diverse as the walking, a mix of stylish hotels and welcoming inns.
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