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Beautifully varied walking, fantastic hotels and gourmet dining on this self-guided inn to inn walk across the heartlands of Catalonia. Forested volcanic cones give way to historically rich towns and coastal cliffs and coves on this inn to inn walking holiday from the mountains to the sea of the Costa Brava.
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Your trip starts in Girona where you are collected for a private guided transfer to the high forested slopes of La Garrotxa natural park and your beautiful rural hotel. This afternoon walk a circular route entirely within the property. This is an opportunity to stretch your legs and enjoy the expansive views over the surrounding hills and mountains. If the weather is right, enjoy a dip in the pool before dinner in the restaurant.
Set off walking from the door of your hotel down steep slopes to the forested valley floor. The path leads you through beautiful beech forests as you loop around dormant volcanoes over the course of the day. This afternoon’s walk is an easy stretch along a wide, fertile valley before the path takes you down steps to a lovely hidden waterfall. You can either detain yourself here with a refreshing dip, or carry on around the corner where you find the small hotel which will be your home for the night.
A long day of walking starts with a warm up for your legs as you follow the relative flat of the valley floor. The path then takes you over the Guixeres range. Enjoy your picnic lunch in the heart of the dense pine forests of the hills before walking down towards the pretty lake of Banyoles. Walk along the shore of the lake in the afternoon light to the town of Banyoles with its lakeside bars, perfect for a well-earned refreshment at the end of a beautiful day’s walking.
Girona has the most incredible history but also retains a cultural vibrancy and authenticity now rather lost under the visiting hordes in nearby Barcelona. Just 15 km from Banyoles this morning you are transferred by taxi to the city in order to give you the day to stroll around the medieval walls, visit the cathedral or the Jewish history museum. Your very comfortable hotel is in the very heart of the city, on a peaceful street, with a small swimming pool in which to refresh yourself.
Walking directly from your hotel, cross the river and up the cobbled streets to the cathedral and on out into the hills beyond. The old pilgrim path from Girona to the Sanctuary dels Angels climbs through a dense Mediterranean forest of cork and holm oaks. From the top, walk down through pine forest into the Empordá region, known to be one of the most beautiful areas in Spain. The village of Madremanya is a fantastic example of the beautifully preserved medieval architecture of this area.
The walk today is long but relatively easy as you cross pleasant, flat countryside dotted with very pretty medieval villages where you can rest for a drink. Over the course of the day, you pass from the fields of the interior to the sand and pine forests of the Mediterranean coast. Though long, todays is a beautiful day of walking.
Despite having been such a popular holiday destination for decades, the small coves and old fishing villages still retain much of their traditional charm. You have many choices today for walks but our favourite takes you down to one of the most beautiful beaches from where you pick up a coastal path which goes from small cove to cove, passing villas perched on the hillside and small fishing ports. There is a lovely natural swimming pool on the water’s edge which is a wonderful spot for a picnic lunch.
Today we take you back to Girona at a time to suit your onward travel plans. There are direct flights to the UK from Girona, alternatively there are regular fast trains to Barcelona. If you prefer to be transferred to Barcelona then this is also possible though it costs a bit more.
Forested volcanic cones and beech forests give way to the wonderful small city of Girona and on past the hilltop villages of the Empordá to the coves of the Costa Brava. Sleep in a succession of beautiful small hotels as you walk from the mountains to the sea of Catalonia. Exclusive to Pura Aventura, there is no better introduction to the beautiful variety of landscapes, rich history and delicious food of Catalonia.
This is a self-guided walking holiday on which your luggage is always taken on ahead. You only walk with your day pack, concentrating on enjoying the walking and your surroundings. Whilst certainly an active walking holiday. There are some long days of walking but the landscapes mean that height gains are not particularly large and the terrain underfoot makes for nice, steady walking.
We rate this as a moderate walk. There are four days on which you are actually walking to your next hotel. On these days distances range from 14-24km. On two days you have the option to take circular walks of around 8km from your hotel. Finally, you have one day in the city of Girona. For exact distances and elevations, please see ask for our detailed pdf itinerary.
This holiday really offers an excellent collection of very comfortable hotels, occasionally even touching on luxurious, but most importantly we believe they offer character and variety, making your accommodation a key part of your holiday. Most of the hotels are historical buildings that have been renovated, maintaining therefore the cultural heritage of the area at the same time as promoting their enjoyment in comfort. As a guideline, expect the hotels on this trip to be of around a 4* standard (though in rural Spain such classifications are not particularly helpful or relevant). Your trip also includes a number of evening meals which are of a generally high standard.
The weather in Catalonia is generally fairly predictable and stable making this trip theoretically possible year round. In fact we recommend March through June and September through November as being ideal. July and August will tend to be too hot to comfortably enjoy the walking.
The Pura Aventura inn to inn itineraries offer you a great opportunity to immerse in the culture of the destination. The meet & greet with a local host, the quiet pace of your travelling, the many villages and towns that you walk through, the fantastic gastronomy and the interaction with all the different families that will host you in their hotels along the way…all add up to create a cultural adventure for you.
On top of this, you pass though Girona which is a city of rich history, particularly its Jewish community. Nowadays it is at the heart of the Catalan nationalist movement. Indeed, throughout this trip you will hear that Catalan is the lingua franca, not Spanish.
Once on the coast you come into contact with the traditional fishing communities and lifestyle of the Mediterranean. The modern world, tourism in particular, has encroached on the Costa Brava more than is apparent inland, nevertheless these coastal communities retain their personality and charm.
You are met at the start of your trip by our local host who makes sure you settle in. We also have on-call support throughout. For the walks themselves, we provide detailed walking notes as well as good maps. You should be comfortable with the idea of using a map to navigate just in case.
This walking holiday starts and ends in Girona, which is not far at all from Barcelona. You can fly to Girona direct from many cities in the UK with Ryanair who in fact call it 'Girona Barcelona' rather misleadingly. From Barcelona to Girona is a sub-40 minute train ride. Indeed, the rail network includes Barcelona airport so you can get off the plane and get onto a train to central Barcelona, connecting to a fast train to Girona. The European rail network is very well linked to Girona too so it is quite possible to travel all the way there by train.
Price per person based on two travelling. Departs on a day to suit you, March through June, and September through November.
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The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.
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