You’ll hike along the Costa Brava and French coast with spectacular views, secluded coves with hidden beaches and picturesque fishing towns. The area was popular with famous artists like Picasso, Dali and Matisse. You can even visit Dali’s house en route while hiking.
Despite the beauty of the area, once you’re out of the villages you’ll see few other hikers. You’ll experience a unique mix of solitude with dramatic windswept seaside cliffs. You’ll arrive around mid-afternoon each day to a fishing village where you’ll have time to relax or do some sightseeing. You’ll definitely want to reward yourself with the freshly caught fish of the day.
This self-guided hiking tour gives you the freedom to hike on your own, at your own pace, stopping as little or as much as you like. We’ll provide you with a map, detailed instructions and an easy-to-use GPS pre-programmed with your route so that you can easily see if you’re on the right track. Your tour includes an in-person briefing so we’ll show you how to use the GPS and answer any questions you have.
We take care of the route planning and have chosen the most scenic coastal paths that take in some fantastic cultural sights like a visit to Salvador Dali’s house, one of the most important monasteries in all of Spain, and the Exile Memorial at the border of Spain and France. Your hike ends in Collioure, France, where you can also visit a castle.
We take care care of the time-consuming hassles of booking accommodation in two different languages and arrange for your luggage to be transferred each day. We’re also only a phone call away if you need something while on your tour.
HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR COSTA BRAVA TO FRANCE SELF-GUIDED HIKING TOUR IN SPAIN AND FRANCE
✔ Hike along the dramatic coastlines of Costa Brava, Spain and France.
✔ Visit and stay in stunning seaside villages like Cadaques in Costa, Brava, Spain and Collioure in France, while having time to explore.
✔ Experience cultural highlights like visiting Salvador Dali’s eccentric house, one of the most important monasteries in all of Spain, the Exile Moment, and a castle in France.
✔ Eat delicious regional cuisine, freshly caught fish and seafood, and indulge in regional wines.
COSTA BRAVA TO FRANCE HIKING TOUR ITINERARY
Day 1: Arrive in Barcelona
You’ll be picked at Girona airport/train station or Figueres train station (your choice) and transferred to your hotel in Cadaqués, Spain. Your guide will give you an orientation, the pre-programmed GPS device, along with a demonstration of how to use it, your itinerary with step-by-step instructions, hotel information and tourist information of what else you can see and do in the area. After your orientation, you’re free to explore on your own. We recommend taking a walk to explore this gorgeous seaside village.
Day 2: Cadaqués – Cap de Creus – Cadaqués
Today you’ll embark on a beautiful walk that takes you right by Salvador Dali’s house. It’s located right on the coast and near the start of your hike. It’s available by a guided tour only and takes ~ 30 minutes. After visiting Dali’s eccentric house, you’ll make your way to the Cap de Creus the most easterly point of mainland Spain. Here you’ll get some spectacular coastal views. The rock outcrops are one of the most significant features of the natural park. You may find yourself getting carried away by your imagination. Visitors often report seeing images of real or mythical animals in the area (lions, dragons, camels, eagles, cats, rats…). You can then make your way back or call a taxi to take you back to Cadaques.
- Distance: 16km (can be shortened to 8km if you choose to call a taxi from Cap de Creus).
Day 3: Cadaqués – Port de la Selva
Leaving Cadaqués behind you’ll make our way north through the heart of the famous Cap de Creus Natural Park. You’ll follow a rural trail with beautiful views of the Catalan countryside. You’ll get some magnificent views of the Pyrenees and the French/Spanish border before arriving in El Port de la Selva.
- Hiking Distance: 12Km
Day 4: Port de la Selva – Llançà
From El Port de la Selva you’ll hike up a small mountain to the Sant Pere de Rodes Cloister, one of the most important Monasteries in Spain. It dates back to the first century after Christ. After your (optional) visit, where there’s also a restaurant (pricy but incredible views), you’ll make your way up to the ruins of Castle of Sant Salvador. From here you’ll have a breathtaking view of the Alt Emporda County, across to the Albera Mountains and far into the Pyrenees. You’ll also have stunning views over the Bay of Roses and the entire Cap de Creus. You’ll then make down to the seaside town of Llançà.
- Hiking Distance: 14Km
Day 5: Llançà – Portobou – Banyuls-sur-Mer
In the morning, you’ll take a private transfer that’s included in your tour from Llançà to Portbou (skipping the least scenic part of the Catalan Coast in our opinion). From here you’ll start hiking again. You’ll get wonderful views over the Pyrenees, the famous Canigou Peak, one last look at the Cap Creu and of course the Mediterranean Sea as you ascend up the beautiful Catalan Hills. At the border of Spain and France, approximately a 30-minute hike from Portbou, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Exile Memorial. It’s a tribute to the 500,000 refugees who made their way here in 1939 fleeing Franco’s regime. After that, you’ll cross the border into France and onwards until you reach the French seaside town of Banyuls-Sur-Mer.
- Hiking Distance: 15Km
Day 6: Banyuls-sur-Mer – Collioure
You’ll hike along quiet lanes and cliff-top paths around the rugged Cap Béar headland. The views are truly spectacular. There are a couple of spots where you can go for a swim before winding your way through the vineyards that produce the region’s wines. You’ll reach the end of your breathtaking journey, in the beautiful French coastal town of Collioure. Of special note here is the Château Royal de Collioure, a massive royal castle.
- Hiking Distance: 17Km
Day 7: Departure
Departure day. You can either make your own way back to Barcelona by train, let us arrange a private transfer from Collioure back to Barcelona (€325 for 1-4 people) or continue on further into France.
Your tour starts in Cadaqués, but your tour includes a free pick up from Girona (either the airport or train station).
While there is a small airport in Girona, the closest large airport is in Barcelona.
We recommend searching on Skyscanner to find the best deals.
Note: We highly recommend waiting to book your flights or making other travel arrangements until you receive an email from us notifying you that all your accommodations have been confirmed.
The easiest way to get from Barcelona to Girona is by train. It takes between 38 minutes to 1:30 hours depending on the train that you take.
We’ll pick you up in Girona at either the train station or the airport.
From Collioure, the train back to Barcelona takes between 2:40 to 5 hours depending on the train. We can also arrange a private taxi at a cost of €325 (1 – 4 people). The drive takes ~ 2:15 hours.
€1130 per person based on double accommodation for three nights in 3 -star hotels (or equivalent) and three nights in 4-star hotels with a transfer from Girona or €1235 with a transfer from Barcelona.
Save €200 when your trip takes place in March, April, May or October.
For solo travellers a single supplement of €405 applies.
30% of payment is due at the time of booking. As soon as we receive your deposit, we will start making the arrangements for your accommodation.
The remaining balance is due 45 days before the onset of the trip. If you’re booking within 45 days full payment is due at the time of booking.
You see the booking terms and conditions by clicking here.
You’ll spend 3 nights in 4-star hotels and 3 nights in 3-star hotels.
They will either have a restaurant on-site and/or be conveniently located close to restaurants.
All your accommodations will be within walking distance of the beach.
Notes on your Costa Brava to France Self Guided Hike
This trip is available from March 1st to October 31st. It’s possible to go in July and August but we don’t recommend it because of the heat. It’s also high season so the accommodations are more expensive than what’s listed on our site (enquire within).
Booking in Advance
Book as soon as possible to ensure that accommodation is available on your start date. This is especially true if you’re doing your tour in June or September when accommodations fill up quickly.
We’ll transport your luggage each day to your next accommodation. You only need to carry your day backpack with whatever you need for the day. We also recommend bringing a packed lunch with you each day.
Grade and Terrain
Grade 2 (medium). The elevation is very hilly. You’ll hike uphill then downhill, only to go uphill again as you follow the coastal path. Don’t think that because it’s a coastal path, it’s easy. While it’s not difficult hiking, it’s more difficult than many people would expect for a coastal path. An average day’s walk is between 12 to 17 km.
This coastal hike is a self-guided tour. You get the flexibility and freedom of starting your day when you choose. You hike at your own pace and take breaks whenever your heart (or lungs) desire. Or you simply want to enjoy the scenery or go for a dip in the Mediterranean Sea. Spend as little or as long as you want at the cultural highlights along the way.
We’ll take care of booking your accommodation, and provide you with a pre-programmed GPS so you won’t get lost and instructions in English. We’re there for you prior to and during your trip. Ask all the questions you want. You’ll also get an in-person orientation and we’re only a phone call away if you need anything while on your tour.
Your tour starts in the fishing village of Cadaques, Spain. It includes a transfer from Girona to Cadaques. It takes 38 minutes to 1 1/2 hours by train to get from Barcelona to Girona. Girona is beautiful and it’s worthwhile to spend a day or two there too if you have time.
You should be in good physical condition and be a regular walker or hiker. The route is not technical so no prior expertise is required.
✔ Transfer from Girona or Figueres to Cadaqués (the starting point) on your first day
✔ In-person orientation to get your last-minute questions answered.
✔ 6 nights accommodation including 6 breakfasts in 3 and 4-star hotels
✔ Transfer from Llançà to Portbou (required on day 5)
✔ The transport of belongings each day.
✔ Pre-programmed GPS you can use to ensure that you’re going the right way.
✔ 24/7 emergency number
- Transport from Barcelona to Girona. From Girona, we’ll pick you up and transfer you to Cadaques.
- Transport from Collioure, France back to Barcelona (or your onward destination).
- Admission to any museums, castles, monasteries or other cultural activities.
- Lunches and dinners.
- Travel and trip cancellation insurance that includes emergency evacuation, and repatriation insurance in the unlikely incident that you get injured. World Nomads insurance covers this which is why we recommend it.
Our Self-Guided Coastal Hiking Tour From Spain to France gives you the freedom to hike the most scenic coastal trails at your own pace
But without the time-consuming hassle of trying to find the most beautiful routes and hidden coves and beaches.
You work hard and deserve an incredible vacation. Let us work hard for you.
This tour is available from March 1st until October 31st. While it’s possible to do it in July and August we highly don’t recommend it due to the heat. It’s also peak season so the trip will be more expensive. It’s much more enjoyable to do it at another time of the year.