Travel from the foothills of the Pyrenees to the coast, enjoying medieval villages and friendly hotel owners.

Raise a cool glass of cava in lively seaside Cadaqués, the town that inspired Salvador Dalí to paint. Savor fresh olive oil, spectacular seafood, and tapas—the best of Catalan cuisine. In the foothills of the Pyrenees, trails lead through beech timberland past slumbering volcanoes, to the stone farmhouse you’ll call home. Visit the whitewashed villages and coastal vineyards of Cap de Creus Natural Park, where hidden coves and olive groves beckon. Stay in the beautiful walled city of Girona, with its remarkably preserved Jewish quarter and magnificent Gothic cathedral. With its varied landscapes, unique language, and vibrant culture, Catalonia might be seen as a nation unto itself within Spain. Join us on a journey through this fascinating region.

Highlights

  • Stay seaside in the village of Cadaqués, enjoying the same serene views of the Costa Brava that inspired artists like Salvador Dalí and Picasso.
  • Explore the dormant volcanoes of the Garrotxa region, a forgotten stretch of woodland in the foothills of the Pyrenees.
  • Wander a hidden-gem of a hotel – transformed from a historic farmhouse – with its charming, vintage décor of Terracotta floors, hand-restored furnishings, and Moroccan antiques.
  • Take in commanding views of the country and sea from the Benedictine Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes, built on the crest of a mountain.
On all Self-Guided Adventures you can count on...
Icon of person
A local representative available 24/7.
Icon of map
Detailed maps & route notes featuring turn-by-turn directions and places of interest.
Icon of cutlery
Delicious meals—many are included.
Icon of car
Scheduled taxi transfers to bring you to and from each day’s walks.
Icon of house
Gracious accommodations that are a clean, comfortable home away from home.
Icon of check-list
Experts to handle all the details, including moving your luggage between hotels while you’re out exploring.
Icon of airplane
Access to a Self-Guided Flight Concierge—ask our knowledgeable team to find flights that sync with your planned trip.

Itinerary

Sun, Apr 21 to Sun, Jun 23 - 2019

Show Itinerary:

You are met in the city of Girona, north of Barcelona, and transferred (approximately one hour) to your hotel, a peaceful rural retreat in the heart of the Garrotxa Natural Park, a protected area of ancient volcanoes transformed over millennia into a landscape of rolling low mountains, gorges, and lush forest.

Accommodation: Finca El Ventós, Sant Feliu de Pallerols

3.4 miles, easy to moderate, no significant elevation gain or loss or 5 miles, easy to moderate, 1,000-ft. elevation gain and loss

After a relaxed breakfast, you can leave directly from your hotel for a warm-up walk that provides a perfect introduction to the Garrotxa region. Unique in Europe, a collection of 30 conical volcanoes saw their last eruption only 11,000 years ago and, while dormant, they are not completely extinct. This underlying geology has resulted in soils of ochre and black lava, contrasting with beech forest and verdant meadows. An easy and well-marked path—entirely within the hotel’s estate—leads up through the forest to a lookout that provides stunning views of the rolling landscape, and an overview of the week ahead—below you is the volcanic valley of tomorrow’s walk, in front of you the bulk of the Pyrenees, and turning to the east, the Cape of Creus, nudging into the Mediterranean just below the French border. You enjoy a delightful picnic lunch from your hotel’s kitchen, either on the trail or on the hotel grounds. And, weather permitting, enjoy the hotel’s pool. A hot air balloon ride is a very early morning option (requires advance planning and is payable locally) that is also weather-dependent—the region’s topography makes it a favorite location in Spain for this activity.

Accommodation: Finca El Ventós, Sant Feliu de Pallerols

6.2 or 9.1* miles, easy to moderate, 1,000-ft. elevation gain and 1,300-ft. elevation loss or 7.5 or 10.4* miles, easy to moderate, 1,300-ft. elevation gain and 1,650-ft. elevation loss (* mileage depends on hotel location)

A transfer takes you to the bottom of the valley, where you begin the day’s walk. Skirting below high volcanic cliffs, you traverse fields belonging to small stone farmhouses before entering the thick beech forest of Jordá. After about an hour, you emerge near a small café where you can pause for a morning coffee before making a detour to the Santa Margarida volcano—at the center of the grassy crater lies a unique Romanesque chapel. The path continues through lush vegetation to arrive at the picturesque medieval village of Santa Pau. It is highly recommended that you stop for lunch in one of the restaurants under the arcades facing the castle. The Vila Vella (Old Town) of Santa Pau has been declared of “Cultural Interest” and more than 80 percent of the town has been conserved, including the Plaça de la Arqueria Square, the castle, and Santa María Church. It is also a destination known especially for its protected heirloom crop – the Santa Pau fesols – indigenous beans gaining distinction from their cultivation in the volcanic soil. Other delicious local specialties include cured meats, honey, yogurt, and the farinetes de fajol dessert. After lunch, continue to your hotel where dinner is later served on site.

Accommodation: Mas Can Batlle, Santa Pau

This morning you leave the Garrotxa region. A drive of about an hour takes you to Girona, one of Catalonia’s major cities, with an intriguing historical center that’s easy to explore on foot. Leaving your luggage in your Old Town hotel, you step out onto cobbled streets, leading up to its Romanesque and Gothic cathedral with its striking approach of 86 steps. Heading down from the cathedral, you find the Jewish museum and neighborhood, one of the few places in Spain with traces of its flourishing medieval Jewish culture before the expulsion of the Jews in 1492. The narrow streets wind down to the river Onyar that separates the old and new cities and is lined with vibrant painted “hanging houses” and crossed by pedestrian bridges. A walk along the entire length of city’s ancient defensive walls offers wonderful panoramic views of Girona and the surrounding countryside. Bursting with shops and galleries (closed on Sundays), and cafés, Girona boasts plenty of places to browse and stop for lunch and tapas, and later dinner. You may choose to make an entire meal of tapas paired with a glass of the region’s crisp sparkling cava.

Accommodation: Nord 1901 Hotel, Girona

6.5 miles, easy to moderate, 500-ft. elevation gain and 1,200-ft. elevation loss

This morning there is time to stroll down to the shops and bakeries along the river to buy a picnic lunch before transferring to the Cape of Creus, about 30 minutes northeast of the city in the easternmost part of Spain. The Pyrenees form the border with France just a few miles north of this protected area of windswept hills contrasting with protected fishing villages and coves, backed by the deep azure of the Mediterranean. Your walk starts at the Perafita winery, located in a 14th-century farmhouse. Martín Faixó’s family has run this enterprise for several generations, and currently produce eight different wines especially adapted to the unique topography and climate. You leave the winery on a winding path dotted with Mediterranean herbs and shrubs, with scenic views of the sea in the distance. You stop en route to enjoy a trailside picnic before descending into the seaside village of Cadaqués, the inspiration to and former home of Salvador Dalí. After settling into your hotel, you can discover the excellent seafood of the region, perhaps traditional fresh grilled sardines or Catalan “black rice”—squid-ink paella.

Accommodation: Hotel Tramuntana, Cadaqués

5 miles, easy, no significant elevation gain or loss OR 4.3 miles, moderate to challenging, 1,800-ft. elevation loss

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast of home-baked breads and pastries before exploring the port of Cadaqués—one of the most picturesque villages of the Costa Brava. In addition to Dalí, Pablo Picasso also spent some time in this village and was attracted by its shifting Mediterranean light. You can choose from several options today, which may be as simple as relaxing on a nearby beach, or strolling through the village. Two walking options (both requiring taxis at your own expense) provide more in-depth exploration of the Cap de Creus. The easier option is a route from the village of Llança along a coastal promenade to the small fishing port of Port de la Selva, providing views of the sea on one side and the summer villas on the other—and, high above you, the Benedictine Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes. The more moderate option is to take a taxi up to the 11th-century monastery, with its magnificent views over the cape and the surrounding sea. After visiting the Romanesque complex with its 12th-century cloisters, you follow an old path that descends steeply through a small mountain village and vineyards on its way to the sea, finishing your walk on the waterfront promenade of Port de la Selva. You can stop for lunch here before catching a return taxi back to Cadaqués. Alternatively, if your knees are not up for the descent, the monastery is well worth the visit via taxi both ways. Yet another alternative is to walk to a nearby cove to visit Dalí’s home, now a museum, which was the Surrealist painter’s only permanent home from 1930 to 1982 (at your own expense, advance reservation required, there may also be time to visit at the end of tomorrow’s walk). For dinner, choose from one of Cadaqués’s many excellent restaurants, perhaps one owned by the Faixó family of the Perafita winery.

Accommodation: Hotel Tramuntana, Cadaqués

4.7 miles, easy to moderate, 650-ft. elevation loss

Today’s walk takes you to the tip of the natural area of Cap de Creus—with its beautiful landscape of low Mediterranean vegetation and varied coast of cliffs and hidden coves. This morning, a short drive takes you to the lighthouse at the end of the cape. Surrounded by aquamarine water views, you set off walking along the coast—on your left are small coves accessed by narrow paths—any of them ideal spots to enjoy your picnic lunch. As you approach Cadaqués, the trail winds between stone walls and through olive groves, always in sight of the sea. The route passes in front of Dalí’s home museum, which you may have visited the day before. You can enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure—in town, or by the beach—before enjoying a final dinner celebrating your exploration of Catalonia with its excellent cuisine.

Accommodation: Hotel Tramuntana, Cadaqués

You depart Cadaqués today for the larger city of Figueres, to catch a train to your next destination. Here in the hometown of Salvador Dalí, you may choose to visit the Dalí Theatre-Museum—the museum that contains his largest and most diverse body of work, located a 5–10–minute taxi ride from the train station (at your own expense; advisable to book ahead of time online at salvador-dali.org/en/museums/dali-theatre-museum-in-figueres; luggage can be stored at the museum; closed on Mondays in April, May, June, October, and November; visit taxifigueres.es/en for area taxi information).

What's Included

Tour Only
Boutique accommodations Check
10 meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 2 dinners Check
Detailed water- and tear-resistant Route Notes, maps, and use of a handheld GPS unit Check
Orientation meeting with a Country Walkers representative Check
Local representative available 24/7 Check
Scheduled taxi and luggage transfers (Please note: If unable to walk, it is possible to transfer with your luggage from one accommodation to the next; there may be an additional charge.) Check
Travel assistance available 24/7 provided by One Call International Check
Access to Self-Guided Flight Concierge—Ask our knowledgeable team to find flights that sync perfectly with your planned trip. Check
Morocco: Marrakesh, Foothills of the High Atlas & Essaouira

Dates & Prices

2019 Dates Number of Travelers
2 3 4 5 6 Single Supplement
Solo Surcharge
Jun 24 - Aug 31 $3,298* $3,148* $3,148* $3,148* $3,048* $940 $720
Sep 1 - Oct 31 $3,148* $2,998* $2,998* $2,998* $2,898* $940 $720
This tour is available starting Sunday through Thursday, on request, from April 21 through June 23, 2019 and September 1 through October 31, 2019. It is available daily, on request, from June 24 through August 31, 2019. Please note that the tiered tour price is based on a guarantee of a specified number of guests—should your group decrease in size, we reserve the right to alter the per person price if necessary as reflected in the Tour Price table. Please also note that the tour price includes one arrival transfer from Girona to the first hotel in Sant Feliu de Pallerols on Day 1 of the tour and one departure transfer from Cadaqués to Figueres on Day 8 of the tour. If traveling in a group of two or more with separate arrival or departure times, additional charges will apply for multiple transfers. * Hotel Tramuntana in Cadaqués (Nights 5, 6 & 7) does not have twin rooms. For guests who do not wish to share a double bed at this property, a twin share surcharge of $165 per person will be added to allow each guest to have their own private room. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy.
2020 Dates Number of Travelers Pre Hotel Night Post Hotel Night
2-3 4+ Single Supplement
Solo Surcharge
2+ Single Supplement
2+ Single Supplement
Apr 19 - Jun 23 $3,198 $3,198 $898 $698 $248 $248 $248 $248
Jun 24 - Aug 31 $3,348 $3,348 $898 $698 $248 $248 $248 $248
Sep 1 - Oct 29 $3,198 $3,198 $898 $698 $248 $248 $248 $248
This tour is available starting Sunday through Thursday, on request, from April 19 through June 23, 2020 and September 1 through October 29, 2020. It is available daily, on request, from June 24 through August 31, 2020. Please note that the tour price includes one arrival transfer from Girona to the first hotel in Sant Feliu de Pallerols on Day 1 of the tour and one departure transfer from Cadaqués to Figueres on Day 8 of the tour. If traveling in a group of two or more with separate arrival or departure times, additional charges will apply for multiple transfers. Hotel Tramuntana in Cadaqués (Nights 5, 6 & 7) does not have twin rooms. For guests who do NOT wish to share a double bed at this property, a twin share surcharge of $148 per person will be added to allow each guest to have their own private room at this property only. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy.