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3
moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Meals
  • 3 Dinners
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days£1120GBP

Overview

Trip Code: JVC

Trip highlights


  • Coastal and Mountain Hiking Along the Edge of the Pyrenees
  • Beautiful Seaside Towns & Panoramas
  • Famous Banyuls Wine and Seafood
  • Swimming Opportunities

This walk along 'La Cote Vermeille' follows the steep coastline where the Pyrenees meet the 'Big Blue', as the Mediterranean is called in these parts. Our route takes you over the frontier from French Catalunya to Spanish Catalonia. It starts in the former fishing village of Collioure, where the colourful Fauve school of painting began and follows waymarked paths between the vineyards of Roussillon and through heavily scented maquis to the seaport of Banyuls, home of the great French sculptor Aristide Maillol and also renowned for its sweet aperitif wine. After crossing the frontier you descend on the Spanish side to the little town of Port-Bou and continue past rocky bays to the more modern resort of Llanca. The walk then climbs inland over a high col and along the mountains to the monastery of San Pere de Rodes, before descending steeply, passing ancient Dolmens to the attractive fishing village of Port de la Selva. You can watch the catch come in, get iced and then marketed. From here the trails become more remote as you head into the recently established Natural Park of Cap de Creus to complete the longest walk of the tour into the beautiful whitewashed old town of Cadaques. Nearby, at Port Lligat, is the former residence of Salvador Dali (now open to the public). On your departure day you may find enough time to visit the Dali museum at Figueres. On your way throughout the tour you will be able to sample the wines of Roussillon, delicious local honeys and, of course, the Catalan cuisine.

Countries:

France/Spain

Starting Point:

Collioure

Finishing Point:

Cadaques


Flower decked Collioure is a very pretty little town set against the foothills of the Alberes Range. It has an idyllic setting with sun, sea and sky attracting many tourists each year. The town consists of two little fishing ports separated by the mediaeval castle on a spur. This former fishing port was the birthplace of the Fauve movement of painters in the early 20th century. Accommodation: For two nights stay in a comfortable 2* hotel, furnished Catalan style. All rooms are ensuite. The hotel overlooks the harbour and citadel of this port which has long attracted artists.

Meals:  Nil

Transfer by road to Gorges de Lavall (240m) and walk back past Tour de Massane (793m) to Collioure.

Meals:  B

Walk up from Collioure to Tour Madeloc (656m), then descend to Col des Gascons and follow the GR10 long distance trail among vines down to Banyuls. Banyuls is the southernmost seaside resort in mainland France with 7000 inhabitants and a popular yachting harbour. The resort is very pleasant backed by hillside vineyards and surrounded by tropical plants. Accommodation: Here we use a 4* family run hotel, by the seashore with a terrace restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean. The “gastronomique” restaurant specialises in seafood. There is a sauna (free) and all rooms are ensuite.

Meals:  B,D

Walk up from Banyuls to Pic Joan (437m), a summit with a magnificent view of the indented coastline. Optional ascent to the Tour de Querroig/Tour Carroig, a ruined fort on the frontier (670m). Then steep descent on the Spanish side of the frontier to Port-Bou, a small town just on the Spanish side of the border. Accommodation: A simple but nice pension. The rooms are not en-suite. Dinner is included in a local restaurant.

Meals:  B,D

Walk up to Colle de Frare (202m) for wonderful coastal views then descend to the coast at Colera and then through a chain of pretty bays and headlands to the traditional fishing port of Llanca. This is a small resort development with an attractive old town a mile inland. You must bring sandels, jellies or water shoes today as there is a short section on the trail today where you have to walk in the sea for about 150 metres around a headland. In normal conditions this can be done in walking boots, but when there is a strong wind, the terrace can be a third of a metre under water. If we are unable to confirm accommodation here tonight, you catch the train back to Port-Bou which takes approx. 10 minutes. Accommodation: We stay at a small 2* hotel on the front that was one of the first to appear here and has changed through the decades as the historical images show. All rooms are ensuite.

Meals:  B

A steep climb from sea level to the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes near the summit of San Salvador Peak (670m), descending along the forested Serrat de la Guerra ridge to Port de la Selva a traditional fishing village that has largely escaped development for the mass tourism market. Accommodation: We stay at a 2* hotel, where the friendly proprietors provide lovely meals. All rooms are ensuite.

Meals:  B,D

Port de la Selva through rugged maquis landscape to Cap de Creus (easternmost point on the Spanish mainland). From Cap de Creus on paths to Cadaques. You will pass close to Port Lligat (former home of Salvador Dali) on the approach to Cadaques. Accommodation: Our normal 3* hotel overlooks the sea. The hotel has excellent facilities, including an outdoor swimming pool. All the rooms are ensuite. There are good restaurants nearby so you can sample the local local cuisine.

Meals:  B

There is limited public transport out of the town, just one or two early morning buses. For those who wish to visit the Dali Museum at Figueras before returning to Collioure or to the airport at Barcelona or Perpignan an early start by bus or taxi is advisable. For those travelling direct to an airport the most convenient train station is also at Figueras.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 3 dinners
  • 1 night accommodation in a 4* hotel, 5 nights in 2-3* hotels with ensuite facilities & 1 night in a pension with shared facilities
  • Luggage transfer
  • Information pack including route notes & maps
  • Emergency hotline
  • GPX files of the routes will be emailed to you

  • 4 dinners, all lunches & beverages
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the trip
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip
  • Excess Luggage
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Guide - this is a self guided holiday

Suitability

moderate

3

This walk (grade 3) is best described as moderate and should present no difficulties for anyone in reasonable condition and accustomed to walking up and down 2500 feet/700 metres or so in a day. Day stages: Of up to 22 km / 13.6 miles, the daily ascents up to 700m/2500 feet make each day a full one. Some of the trails are rocky in places


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Feb to 30 Jun & 1 Sep to 30 Dec

Notes

H
High Season
S
Surcharge
Note:
High season is 14 June - 15 Sep. A supplement applies for travel in high season.
NB:
Please note that minor changes to your 2024 itinerary may apply.

Priceper person from

£1120GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • High Season Single SupplementGBP£50
  • High Season Solo Traveller SupplementGBP£60
  • Single Room SupplementGBP£410
  • Solo Traveller SupplementGBP£500
*Prices listed are per person

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, there is a short section on this walk where a house has been built over the route of the coast path and you have to walk in the sea for 150 metres or so. We advise carrying sandals that day in order to do it. Sea levels vary depending on the weather rather than tide in the Mediterranean and the water will rarely be above calf height.

These coastal trails do not have a lot of walkers, some of the attractive tourist spots can be locally busy.

There are a few rocky sections on our Vermillion Coast hiking holiday, but generally straight forward. Care will be needed if there is a strong Tramontana wind blowing, which can happen mainly in spring or autumn.

No, although you do cross the border between France and spain, the actual walking trail goes high above the border post near Cerbere.

We would recommend and extra night in Cadaques, which is a very interesting small coastal town. If you are flying out of Barcelona, you may want some time there as well.


Trip reviews


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