This is a 6 night, self-guided walking holiday of ridges and coves that hug the shores of the Mediterranean. Every day you choose an easier coastal walk or a more challenging climb through the Pyrenean foothills to stunning vantage points, before descending through vineyards and fragrant maquis. Rich in culture and heritage, this region was home to the likes of Dali and Matisse. Your route traces the Albères with their 14th century signal towers and then meets a shoreline rife with exquisite coves. A fondly remembered aspect of your time here will be the region’s beauty and tranquillity, both on the trails and in the fishing ports.
We would recommend May, June and September as ideal months for this route, whilst April and October can also be sublime in good weather. July and August is generally too hot for walking, as well as more crowded, which is why this holiday is not available in those months.
On a Collett’s village to village holiday, you do the walking while we take care of the rest. Our comprehensive maps and route notes make for effortless navigation, while your baggage is transported daily to the next carefully selected overnight stop. Each evening you’ll be welcomed into the comfort of traditional accommodation in charming surroundings. You decide your dates, and we’ll ensure everything else is organised to perfection.
At a glance
01 March – 30 June 2024 &
01 September – 31 October 2024
(You can start any day)
Single Supplement – £325
Expect to walk for 4 to 7 hours each day, with 450 – 1110m ascent/descent each day.
6 Nights Half Board at handpicked 2, 3* & 4* hotels (comprising bed, breakfast and 3 course evening dinner – either in your hotel or at a local restaurant)
Holiday Pack with comprehensive route notes, maps & more
Daily Baggage Transfers from hotel to hotel
24/7 telephone support from our local partner
Private Transfers – at the start of your holiday (min 2 people)
– Perpignan to Collioure – £80pp
– Barcelona to Collioure – £240pp
Private Transfers – at the end of your holiday (min two people)
– Cadaqués to Figueres – £60pp
– Cadaqués to Collioure (via Dali Museum or direct) – £140pp
– Cadaqués to Perpignan (via Dali Museum or direct) – £160pp
– Cadaques to Barcelona (via Dali Museum or direct) – £225pp
For groups of 3 or more, please contact us for a price, as the cost per person will reduce the larger the group.
Perpignan is the best airport to fly into. From here you can either make your own way to Collioure (a short bus or taxi ride into Perpignan Station, followed by a direct train) or book a private transfer direct to your first hotel (2hrs, £80pp). Alternatively fly into Barcelona and either make your own way to Collioure by train, or book a private transfer.
Day 1 - Arrive in Collioure
Either make your own way to Collioure (from Perpignan airport it is a short bus or taxi ride into Perpignan Station, followed by a direct train) or book a private transfer direct to your first hotel (2hrs, £80pp). Collioure is a charming old fishing port with a remarkable heritage, beautiful facades and colorful boats. After checking in, take some time to explore this delightful village before dinner.
Accommodation: 3* Hotel Le Prince de Catalogne, Collioure
Meals : Dinner
Day 2 - Collioure to Banyuls
Route Statistics – 14km or 16km, 5 – 6 hours walking, 500 – 700m ascent/descent
After breakfast, the route commences with a walk up to the old windmill, then on up to the fort of St Elme where you can enjoy the panoramic views of the coast, both north and south. From there, you will have two options, along the coast or over the mountains:
The Coastal Walk : you walk down to the typically Catalan and very active Port Vendres, then follow the coast by Cap Bear with its numerous attractive coves and creeks, often featuring vines and delightfully colourful, fragrant flowers. Then Paulilles beach offers an almost irresistible opportunity for a swim and sunbathe before continuing to Banyuls by Cap d’Ullastret with its crystal clear waters and hidden coves.
The Foothills Walk : from the fort you will continue climbing up to the majestic Madeloc Tower through alternating “maquis” and vines, and when you see the breath-taking 360° view running from the Spanish border to the plains of Roussillon you will understand exactly why they built this watchtower here! From here you descend through vineyards and chestnut orchards until you reach Banyuls. A very satisfying walk.
Banyuls is an interesting and historic frontier town, which is also the end of the famous trans-Pyrenean GR10 from the Atlantic to here on the Mediterranean.
Accommodation: 3* Hotel Le Catalan, Banyuls
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 3 - Banyuls to Cerbere
Route Statistics – 9km or 13km, 3 – 5 hours walking, 500 – 700 ascent/descent
Today you can choose from two different walking options again. One option stays close to the coast while the other once again climbs up into the foothills.
The Coastal Walk : you begin by walking right by the sea, but soon up onto the cliffs that form Cap Cerbère with its marine nature reserve (marked by yellow buoys) stretching almost a mile out to sea to protect the consequently numerous fish and many other sea creatures. You pass beautiful coves popular with yachtsmen.
The Foothills Walk : from Banyuls small lanes with ancient stone walls enable you to climb comfortably up through vineyards then “maquis” to enjoy a series of panoramic views of the nearby coast and hills with the higher Pyrenees in the distance, including the nearly 8,500 feet Mount Canigou 30 miles away, which often has snow on its summit right into summer. You walk, however, up to the rather more manageable 2,000 feet close to the signal tower, Tour de Querroig, that marks the frontier before enjoying magnificent sea views as you descend to Cerbere.
Accommodation: 2* Hotel La Vigie, Cerbere
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 4 - Cerbere to Llança
Route Statistics – 13 km or 21km (options to shorten both), 4 – 7 hours walking, 350m – 1100m ascent/descent
Today it is possible to shorten each of the main routes by catching the train (pay locally).
The Coastal Walk : you begin by climbing the hill to the ridge with the border. A little after Port-Bou you’ll be walking right by the sea and by « calas », with the beautiful platja Garbet and the coves Cap Ras bordered by pine trees. Arrive in Llança with its white washed houses, which is the main town on the coast.
The Foothills Walk : After a start which is the same as the coastal walk you’ll climb the hills to Puig Tiffel for a wonderful view over Cap de Creus, Emporda, and the sunny Albères. Descend to Llança facing the sea.
Accommodation: 3* Hotel Hotel Gri-Mar, Llança
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 5 - Llança – Port de la Selva
Route Statistics – 12 km or 16km, 4 – 5 hours walking, 500-720m ascent/descent
The Coastal Walk : you walk past some impressive architect designed villas to arrive at the Sarnella lighthouse, and soon after the pretty, white village of Port de la Selva offering both vibrancy and tranquility. You can now explore the village, and enjoy all that your characterful, waterside hotel offers, or explore the lovely port of Fornells with its golden cliffs and tiny harbour.
The Foothills Walk : this option leads to the Monastery of San Père de Rodes with an incredible view which is worth the effort. This is a superb route through “maquis”, up hidden valleys and along pilgrim paths to the beautiful small chapel of St Helena, and the imposing monastery of San Père de Rodes from where there are magnificent coastal views including Cape Creus and the white coastal villages, but if you want to climb even higher to San Salvador castle from where you can see the bay of Rosas and the Pyrenees, including, of course, Mount Canigou. Either way, you descend with the blue of the Mediterranean shimmering constantly in front of you in order to arrive at Port de la Selva.
Accommodation: 4* Hotel Porto Cristo, Port de la Selva
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 6 - Port de la Selva – Cadaquès
Route Statistics – 20 km or 13km, 4 – 7 hours walking, 450-700m ascent/descent
Today, for the only time this week, the coastal walk is longer than the foothills walk!
The Coastal Walk : great classic, this long passage through the natural park provides a good view of the massif of Cap de Creus to its furthest reaches, where the Pyrenees fall into the sea with a last gasp. Varied, it starts in the middle of historic relics testifying to the remarkable work in dry-stone, before enjoying a feast of amazing geology that influenced Salvador Dali himself. After a deserved rest in a beautiful cove, the climax is reached when you arrive in Cadaques on the beautiful ancient coastal path, lined with stone walls, winding between terraces, with white houses tumbling down to the sea
The Foothills Walk : you climb up out of Port de la Selva, and cross the wild and unspoilt coastal foothills of Cap de Creus, but also visit the particularly beautiful and steep sided Cala Taballera cove. As you cross the cape you will see ancient dry stone shelters among the trees and other natural pleasures of this remarkable landscape. The walk ends with a panoramic descent through stone walls and olive trees to Cadaques, although we would recommend extending it by visiting the Cala Nans lighthouse, not least so as to enjoy the beautiful view of Cadaquès.
Accommodation: 3*Hotel Le Llane Petit
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 7 - Depart
After a leisurely breakfast either take your optional transfer to Figueres, Perpignan or Collioure via Figueres and the Dali Museum (1h30 visit) or make your own independent onward travel arrangements. For those looking to add extra nights, there is a short walk to Cala Nans facing Cadaquès (which is beautiful at sunrise), 2h30, +/-150m.
Need to Knows
Minimum Number – this holiday requires a minimum of two people.
Trusted Local Partner – please note that this holiday has been organised by us in association with a trusted local partner based in France.
Hotels – if any of the hotels are full or closed we will find the best solution with other hotels or extra transfers. In some cases we’ll have to charge extra. If there are any changes you’ll be informed before we confirm the booking.
Meals – you will eat well. Breakfast is included every morning, but lunches and picnics are not because there are plenty of options to make your own arrangements, although the night before you can ask the hotel for a picnic, which you can pay for locally. Dinners are based on set menus featuring regional specialities, fish etc usually with 3 or 4 choices for each of three courses.
Terrain – although the stages are not very long, in places the paths are quite stony underfoot, with some steep parts early in the trip. If you are not used to walking over this type of terrain you may need to add a little time to the itineraries.
Booking Conditions – be sure to read our full terms and conditions here before booking.
At Your Own Risk – please read the important notes here.
Travel Advice – check your government’s travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice here.
Passport & Visa – any questions should be directed to the relevant embassy of your destination country; find out more here. It is your responsibility to be in possession of a full passport, valid for your chosen destination.
Travel Insurance – having adequate and valid travel insurance is a condition of booking with us. Details of our insurance partner, Campbell Irvine, are here.
Health Information – You should carry either an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) Neither is an alternative to adequate travel insurance. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice and https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/
ABTA – Independent travel advice and help is always available from ABTA by calling 020 3117 0599 or visiting www.abta.com.