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Mediterranean Trail from the Foothills to the Sea

Catalonia, from Garrotxa to the Costa Brava
 
Experience a sense of discovery and adventure as you explore ‘real’ Spain on this self-guided walking holiday, with luggage transported. This superb route leads from the hills to the coast, and features both authentic, welcoming inns and stylish hotels.
Mediterranean Trail from the Foothills to the Sea. 14 nights
Mediterranean Trail from the Foothills to the Sea. 14 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in northern Catalonia

The little-known region of La Garrotxa lies in the foothills of the Catalan Pyrenees, a land of crags and deep gullies, with ancient trails leading through an untamed wilderness past isolated farms and the ruins of ancient churches. As you head south on your first week, you walk through unspoiled villages and flower-filled meadows that are overlooked by long-dormant volcanoes covered in beech and oak woods.
With the mighty Pyrenees as a backdrop, your second week sees the secret, volcanic hills of the Garrotxa giving way to a more gentle landscape of rolling hills coated with olive groves, vineyards and cork oak woodland. As you cross the final ridge before the coast, you will be drawn on by the thought of discovering rocky coves, sandy bays and rugged headlands, most notably at the beautiful and dramatic Cap de Creus Natural Park. Throughout this adventure, the accommodation is as diverse as the walking, a mix of stylish hotels and welcoming inns all offering delicious Catalan cuisine.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 13 13 15 17 20 25 28 28 25 21 16 13
    mm 57 51 61 70 85 60 38 58 68 95 76 58
  • Arrival in Molló
    Night 1: at Hotel Calitxo (where you stay one night).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Molló to Beget: 14km, 4hrs
    Your first walk is a great introduction to the high Garrotxa, taking you up through lush pastureland with great views back to the Pyrenees, before descending through woodland into small valleys hiding abandoned and sometimes renovated mills. On the last stretch, follow a lovely wooded gorge, to reach the perfectly preserved, medieval village of Beget and the Hostal el Forn.
    Please note: it’s worth having a small towel with you if you are walking here in spring as there is a river crossing where you just might get your feet wet!
    Crossing an old packhorse bridge - Molló to Beget © Phil Crean Photography
  • Beget to Oix: 13km, 4.5hrs
    Take time to wander round Beget before following the River Beget down the valley. Climbing steeply up through shady woodland, you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the mountains behind you, as you reach the remains of an old farm with a grandstand view of the Vall d’Hortmoier – a good spot for lunch. You continue via another idyllic spot by the river at Coll Joell where there is an optional detour to visit the chapel of Sant Miquel d’Hortmoier, before walking along an old stone road through a limestone gorge to Can Pei in the tiny hamlet of Oix (If you make the short detour to Sant Miquel, yesterday's towel may come in useful again!)
    Beget to Oix - views of the mountain
  • Oix to Olot: 14.5km, 5hrs
    Leaving the Alta Garrotxa behind, you enter the Zona Volcánica, climbing out of the Oix valley to the drier uplands of wild woodland of holm oak and pines. Your route takes you south-east across the flanks of the Serra del Totx and down the valley of the Vall de Castellar. As you follow the river from Castellar, the views of the dramatic site of Castellfollit de la Roca, set on its great basaltic cliffs, simply get better and better, and you arrive into the old town by a bridge and cobbled way. From here, you either catch a bus or take a pre-ordered taxi for the 15-minute drive to the Hotel La Perla in nearby Olot.
  • Olot to Santa Pau: 17km, 5.5hrs
    Today, you walk amid volcanoes, shrouded in trees, until you find yourself staring down several hundred feet into the bottom of a crater. You pass two information centres (unfortunately, descriptions are mainly in Catalan), before ending the day by walking into one of the most picturesque villages in the area, Santa Pau, soon arriving at the Hotel Cal Sastre, where you spend two nights.
    On the route from Olot to Santa Pau © Phil Crean Photography
  • Circular walk from Santa Pau: 13km, 5hrs
    On your day here, we recommend a circuit into the surrounding wooded hills, the beech woodland giving way to Mediterranean trees as you reach the Sanctuary of Santa María de Finestres. There are good views from the nearby summit, once the site of a small castle, stretching as far as the sea and along the Pyrenees. Enjoy your picnic, before returning to the hotel – but keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of the spectacular red-capped black woodpecker as you walk.
    Circular route from Santa Pau via the Sanctuary of Santa María de Finestres © Phil Crean Photography
  • Santa Pau to Besalú: 15km, 5hrs
    Your next walk starts with a short taxi ride to the village of El Sallent, from where you initially follow quiet country lanes near the River Ser, with plenty of opportunity for a quick dip in the river and have your picnic. After crossing the river at El Torn, you head up into the hills, walking through woodland of rosemary, holm oaks and juniper to reach the Sant Fruitós Romanesque church. After admiring the views, you descend through woods and farmland to reach the historic town of Besalú, accessed by a medieval bridge. You spend the night in the Jardins de la Martana.
    Sant Fruitós church - on the route from Santa Pau to Besalú © Phil Crean Photography
  • Free day in Besalú & transfer to Cantallops
    You can spend much of the day exploring Besalú or perhaps take the bus to visit the fabulous Dalí Museum in Figueres, but be back by late afternoon when you will meet your transfer to Cantallops. Here, you stay two nights at the Hotel Can Xiquet, with plenty of time to wander round the village or to simply relax at the hotel.
  • Circular walk from Cantallops: 16km, 4.5hrs (ascent/descent 585m); longer option via Requesens: 18km, 5.5hrs
    Follow a good, wide track which ascends through forested hills to reach the spectacularly positioned castle of Requesens in the heart of the Albera Natural Park. From here, you can briefly detour to visit the hamlet of Requesens for lunch at a tiny bar (closed Wednesdays) before returning to Cantallops via a fascinating dolmen. There are fantastic views of the surrounding hills and also out to the distant coast and the towns of Roses and Empuriabrava.
    The spectacular castle of Requesens on a circular walk from Cantallops
  • Cantallops to Garriguella: 15km, 6hrs (ascent 260m/descent 320m)
    After a short included transfer, you cross wild landscapes dotted with granite boulders and clusters of prickly pear, passing through two small hamlets, after which the open, rugged landscapes give way to gentler rolling countryside characterised by vineyards and olive groves. Your destination is the sleepy village of Garriguella where you stay two nights at Can Coll, nestling among the vineyards.
    Cork oak woodlands on the route from Cantallops to Garriguella
  • Circular walk from Garriguella: 14.5km, 5hrs (ascent/descent 280m)
    Head up into the hills to crest a high ridge boasting great views down into a pretty, green valley and beyond to the sea on one side, and over the plain on the other. Having traversed the ridge, you return to Garriguella through cultivated terraces and olive groves.
  • Garriguella to Palau-Saverdera: 17km, 6hrs (ascent 660m/descent 605m)
    You begin by winding up through scented hills to reach a rocky ridge with fine views in all directions. Continue on to the chapel of San Onofre from where a steep, narrow path leads down to Palau-Saverdera and the Niu de Sol. You stay one night here.
  • Palau-Saverdera to Cadaqués: 15.5km, 6hrs (ascent 405m/descent 780m)
    Today is truly special: after a short transfer (included) you head down to the sea enjoying views across the Mediterranean as you approach a secluded bay of Jóncol. Here, you pick up the coastal path north across the wild rocky promontory of Cap Norfeu to reach the delightful fishing village of Cadaqués and the Hotel Playa Sol, where you spend your last two nights.
    Approaching Cadaqués after walking from Palau-Saverdera
  • Circular walk from Cadaqués: 15km, 5hrs (ascent/descent 515m); longer option: 18km, 6.5hrs (ascent/descent 570m)
    Explore the cobbled streets of Cadaqués (once described by Dalí as ‘the most beautiful village in the world’), and enjoy one final walk. Paths lead north via the village of Port Lligat to Dalí’s house. (The house is closed Mondays until mid-April and from mid-September. It is necessary to book in advance when you will be given an allotted time.) From Port Lligat, your route then hugs the coastline, passing numerous small, sandy coves to reach Cap de Creus itself. The dramatic, rocky landscape is particularly beautiful early in the season, when flowers carpet the ground. There is an excellent bar/restaurant at the lighthouse on the headland, where you could stop for lunch before continuing your discovery of the Cap de Creus Natural Park on your way back to the hotel. A longer option allows you to explore more of the Park.

     
    Cap de Creus - on a circular walk from Cadaqués
 

Accommodation

The first half of the walk sees you stay in a series of idyllic villages, namely Beget, Santa Pau and Besalú. On your second week, the accommodation is as diverse as the walking, a mix of stylish hotels and welcoming inns.
 

Options to extend or shorten your stay

 

Prices for 2020

We are in the process of updating our prices for 2020. If you’d like to book now, please contact us – we’ll be happy to provide a quotation.
Get in touch >
 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
Currency converter

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  • 14 nights: 06 April - 30 June 2019 & 01 September - 31 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    6 - 30 April £1795 £360
    1 - 17 May £1820 £360
    18 - 23 May £1845 £370
    24 May - 16 June £1915 £390
    1 - 17 September £1915 £390
    18 - 30 September £1875 £370
    1 - 17 October £1845 £370
    3rd & 4th person discount -£130
    Single traveller supplement £130

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel Calitxó, Molló
    Superior with balcony: 06 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £19
    Superior with balcony: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £19
    Can Xiquet, Cantallops
    Junior suite with panoramic terrace: 06 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £18
    Junior suite with panoramic terrace: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £18
    Hotel Playa Sol, Cadaqués
    Sea view & balcony: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £10

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Hotel Calitxó, Molló (with dinner) Double room Single room
    06 Apr - 31 May 2019 £100 £120
    01 Jun - 30 Jun 2019 £110 £134
    01 Sep - 15 Sep 2019 £120 £170
    16 Sep - 29 Sep 2019 £110 £134
    30 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £100 £120
    Jardins de la Martana, Besalú (B&B) Double room Single room
    06 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £65 £99
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £65 £99
    Hotel Playa Sol, Cadaqués (B&B) Double room Single room
    06 Apr - 17 Apr 2019 £95 £125
    18 Apr - 21 Apr 2019 £115 £153
    22 Apr - 31 May 2019 £95 £125
    01 Jun - 30 Jun 2019 £115 £153
    01 Sep - 30 Sep 2019 £115 £153
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2019 £95 £125
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Barcelona, Girona

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend fllying via Barcelona. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Belfast Intl. - Barcelona easyJet,  jet2 
    Belfast Intl. - Girona jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Barcelona Norwegian,  Ryanair,  Vueling 
    Birmingham - Girona jet2,  Ryanair,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Bournemouth - Girona Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Barcelona easyJet 
    Bristol - Girona Ryanair,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Cardiff - Barcelona Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Barcelona Ryanair,  Thomas Cook 
    Nottingham East Midlands - Girona jet2,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Barcelona Norwegian,  Ryanair,  Vueling 
    Edinburgh - Barcelona (via Paris) Air France 
    Edinburgh - Girona jet2,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Barcelona jet2 
    Glasgow - Girona jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow Prestwick - Barcelona Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Girona Ryanair 
    Leeds Bradford - Barcelona jet2,  Vueling 
    Leeds Bradford - Girona jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Barcelona easyJet,  Ryanair,  Vueling 
    Liverpool - Girona Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Barcelona British Airways,  easyJet,  Norwegian,  Vueling 
    Gatwick - Girona TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Barcelona British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Barcelona easyJet,  Vueling 
    Luton - Girona Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    London Southend - Barcelona easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Barcelona Ryanair 
    Stansted - Girona jet2,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Barcelona easyJet,  jet2,  Norwegian,  Ryanair,  Vueling 
    Manchester - Girona jet2,  Ryanair,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Barcelona easyJet,  Vueling 
    Newcastle - Girona jet2,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Southampton - Barcelona (via Paris) Air France 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend fllying via Barcelona. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Barcelona

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Barcelona Sants to Ripoll (2h10, pay locally), taxi Ripoll to hotel (0h30) £30 1830
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Figueres Vilafant (1h15), rail Figueres Vilafant to Barcelona Sants (1h) £65 1200 (1300 Sun)

    Connecting travel options - flying via Girona

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    bus Girona to Olot (1h30, pay locally), taxi Olot to hotel (0h45) £32 1715
    direct taxi Girona airport to hotel (1h30) £75 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    direct taxi hotel to Girona airport (1h15) £80 flexible
    bus Cadaques to Girona (1h45) pay locally 1200 (Mon-Fri only)
What is included
  • 14 nights
  • 8 dinners
    8 picnics
    14 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • transfer on days 7, 9 & 12
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact Abi to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Spain, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • (Castilian) Spanish is one of several official languages; in Catalonia, for example, Catalan has equal status. The currency is the Euro. Spanish time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 9/18/2019 7:18:31 AM