Catalan Coastal Walk

From $1423 per person

****# Based on 35 customer reviews
  • Delightful villages, bijou beaches, craggy coves and rocky bays
  • Rich history: Roman ruins, sun-kissed castles and prehistoric dolmens
  • Sea views almost all week from fabulous, high walking trails
  • Cobbled streets, Mediaeval archways, fishermen's huts-turned-restaurants
  • Cap de Creus peninsula, one of the largest protected Natural Parks

What's included?

  • 8 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Every two days from 23 Apr '17 to 8 Oct '17
  • All continental breakfast and 6 evening meals
  • Managed remotely by Headwater employed representative
  • Sustainability rating: 85%
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers included

Excellent for...

Catalan Coastal Walk

The peninsula of Cap de Creus, just 30 miles south of the French border constitutes the last buttress of the Pyrenees where the mountains meet the sea and the most easterly point of the iberian Peninsula. This stunning cape, carved by the elements into sweeping valleys and towering cliffs makes the coastline a smuggler's paradise of shimmering shallow coves and azure harbours. The Cap is the first Natural Park in Catalunya that encompasses both land and sea and, including all the islands and islets around it, it's one of the largest protected reserves in Spain. it's also the most uninhabited area in the Spanish Mediterranean, so on our walks you really will find complete tranquillity beyond the coastal villages.

This eight-night, self-guided walking holiday begins and ends in the pretty inland village of Garriguella. Once you commence walking around the peninsula, the sea is your constant companion, offering magical views from the high walking trails that lead you through the reserve. The Natural Park protects cork oak, pine woods, bright orange prickly pear, vineyards and terraces of olive groves, all surrounded by magnificent coastal cliffs where shearwaters and swifts wheel on the breeze.

Your family-run hotels are perfectly situated, with three out of four on the beach. The Vilamont Spa, with pool, sits on the church square in a pretty village and the Porto Cristo is set just back from the sea, with meals enjoyed in the hotel's seafront restaurant. at the sea-front Hotel Playa Sol, in the chic and arty harbour of Cadaques, there are swimming opportunities aplenty and the almadraba Park is a spectacular cliff-top hotel overlooking the Bay of Roses, with a panoramic swimming pool and steps to the beach.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Garriguella

Explore the pretty streets of Garriguella before your evening meal.

Day 2 - Garriguella to El Port de la Selva 14km/9mi/5hr

After a 10-minute transfer to Pau, enjoy panoramic coastal views south as you ascend to Sant Onofre, a rocky C14 chapel clinging to the hillside, then crest the peninsula at Castell de Sant Salvador, once a refuge from pirates and now a sunkissed crumbling ruin in a perfect spot for picnics! Descend past the C13 Sant Pere de Rodes abbey, before the Vall river leads to the sea. Dine on the waterfront overlooking the picturesque natural harbour.

Day 3 - At El Port de la Selva

Perhaps use the hotel spa today (payable locally) or stroll along the waterfront; this is the only working harbour on the peninsula, where fishermen still land their catch. We also include directions for a 10.5km or 12.5km walk to the peaceful mediaeval village of la Selva de Mar, where you can enjoy a shady lunch in one of the terrace cafes, and some lovely views over the vines.

Day 4 - El Port de la Selva to Cadaques 14km/9mi/5hr

Heading east, you walk through the heart of the Natural Park where neptune grass, shy orchids and bright yellow saxifrage cover the hillsides. Evidence of ancient settlements in the shape of dolmens appear at Cista dels Bufadors along the trail, before the white houses of Cadaques appear below you. it's a short stroll along the harbour to your hotel, complete with pool and private beach.

Day 5 - At Cadaques

Salvador Dali lived a short walk from Cadaques, and you can make an appointment to visit his quirky house if you wish. The pretty harbour, perfect light and relaxing atmosphere has made Cadaques popular with artists for decades; many art galleries and curio shops line the waterfront, and the narrow alleyways behind are packed with chic restaurants and bars.

Day 6 - Cadaques to Roses 16km/10mi/6hr

Leaving Cadaques, you pass a rocky lighthouse outcrop and follow the southern edge of the peninsula, passing below Puig de sa Cruilla. The second half of the walk is all along the seashore, passing a plethora of pretty coves and bays, perfect for relaxing or swimming.

Day 7 - At Roses

It will be hard to leave the hotel today; its location is so perfect! Set just above a sheltered beach, with access via steps, it has tennis courts and landscaped gardens shaded by tall pines, not to mention a pool with 180° views and a tempting poolside bar. if you do explore, the centre of Roses has the remains of the C16 Trinitat Castle, a star-shaped redoubt, and the ruined ciutadela, an impressive fortress from Greek and Roman times embellished by Carlos V in the C16.

Day 8 - Roses to Mas Palou/Garriguella 13km/8mi/4hr

You ascend from Roses to a natural balcony, the Pla de les Gates, passing a clutch of dolmens in la Muntanyeta. after descending to the verdant plain below, your walk then takes you on country tracks through apple orchards and sunflower fields, with the high Muntanyes de Verdera as a backdrop, and ends in the wine village of Mas Palou. From here we transfer you (15 minutes) to your hotel in nearby Garriguella.

Day 9 - Leave Garriguella

For a longer tour, why not consider combining this with our Catalan Classic Walk

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

Vilamont Spa Hotel, Garriguella   (3 star)

Vilamont Spa Hotel, Garriguella

The Hotel Spa Vilamont is in a very recently refurbished building in the church square in the centre of Garriguella. Run by Teresa Vila Ribera and her welcoming staff, the bedrooms are charming with exposed stone walls, all very modern and recently refurbished with en suite facilities. Particularly attractive is the basement indoor pool and spa area where you can relax after a good walk. (It is also possible to arrange spa treatments and massages on request).

It is the perfect spot to stay in the heart of this typical Catalan village.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Air conditioning

Nearby facilities:

  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Hotel Porto Cristo, Porto de la Selva   (4 star)

Hotel Porto Cristo, Porto de la Selva

The Verges family own the 50 room Porto Cristo Hotel, which is set back from the beach by around 50m in the fishing port of Porto de la Selva. The rooms are spacious and very comfortable with high ceilings, cedar wood furniture and marble floors, and masses of art work line the spot lit corridors.

Evening meals are taken in a seafront restaurant also owned by the family just 150m away so you can have dinner with a view of the harbour, where brass cannons from the C18 point out to sea. The hotels also has a rooftop lounge with sea views, and a state of the are Jacuzzi and spa.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning

Hotel Playa Sol, Cadaques   (4 star)

Hotel Playa Sol, Cadaques

The Playa Sol, owned by the Llado family, could not be closer to the sea. In fact, it has a beach immediately opposite the front door so in the morning you can step out the front for a swim in the sea, or use the back door for a swim in the pool, set in landscaped gardens.

The 48 rooms inside are comfortable without being showy, half facing the harbour and half facing the gardens. It is a lovely waterfront stroll to the centre of Cadaqués (about 10 minutes), and there are many restaurants to choose from for dinner. The hotel also has a steam room, jacuzzi and tennis court.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning

Hotel Almadraba Park, Roses   (4 star)

Hotel Almadraba Park, Roses

Owned by the Subirós family, the Almadraba Park is in an enviable location. Set above the Bay of Roses with steps down to the beach, it has a fabulous panoramic swimming pool and the most perfect cocktail lawn for pre-dinner drinks with 180 degree views. The modern building has spacious rooms simply presented, each of them with a balcony. Great care is taken with customer service and Señor Subirós often greets his guests in the evening before dinner. There is also a tennis court if you feel energetic!

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning

Travel options

Transfers included from Vilajuiga train station at 17:35, and back to Llanca train station at 13:00.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mrs Feely on 04/10/2016

As with all Headwater Holidays experienced so far the Catalan Coastal Walk was a great experience,. The walking was challenging but the notes provided were meticulous and at the end of each day it was a joy to experience the comfortable, characterful hotels in interesting locations. I can't fault Headwater's meticulous arrangements.

Reviewed by Ms Nicolson on 23/09/2016

Catalan Coastal Walk has it all: wonderful walks, stunning scenery and fabulous hotels - one of the best!

Reviewed by Mrs Bibby on 26/06/2016

Brilliant! The Catalan coastal walk is challenging in parts, particularly when the weather is hot, but it is spectacular and the route notes were great (with one or two exceptions, see below) The hotels were all quite different, each lovely in its own way and the restaurants that were pre-booked offered varied and interesting menus.I would thoroughly recommend the holiday. Last year we walked in the Venito and we think the walks and accommodation in Catalonya are even better than those last year. Thank you Headwater.

Reviewed by Mr Cheek on 17/06/2016

We enjoyed our holiday however I must point out certain issues. The notes on page 3 of your Catalunya brochure are unclear - you have tried include notes for several holidays in one go using commas which results in it making little sense. In the first two lines you do not make it clear that you are talking about two different stations (Airport Terminus and Passeig de Garcia). I think you should investigate alternatives to having to wait at Passeig de Garcia station - it is busy, hot, no facilities, you are not allowed out of the station and we waited one and a half hours for the train. I think you should also give more information as to where to get off, it was luck we spotted the Viajuiga sign and managed to scramble off the train. Trail notes badly written and in parts not clear, there were two instances of them being totally wrong. Page 23 2nd para arriving at junction we could not understand which path to take so opted for the road route which says follow to Cala Joncois NO just the opposite is correct. Page 25 second column 3rd para on reaching T junction turn right NO turn left and at next T junction turn right. There are no road signs to help you.

Reviewed by Mr Cross on 07/06/2016

Definitely a two--boot walk, especially the day to Almadabra Park hotel, which was the longest and had some quite hazardous sections on the coast path.We were in late May and had some disappointing weather, and there was no question of swimming in pools or on beaches. Hotels were good, although the dinners at the Monterey/Porto Christo were poor - dinners and breakfasts at other hotels and restaurants were good. Francisco our taxi driver did the job OK but he speaks only Catalan and a little French.

Reviewed by Mrs Robertson on 05/06/2016

Excellent holiday. Be sure to carefully check the travel details if you have requested any changes or non-standard arrangements.

Reviewed by Mr Abrahams on 01/06/2016

Excellent concept well executed

Reviewed by Mrs Coonan on 27/07/2015

Jim and Katie Illingworth, the Headwater reps, were absolutely fantastic - the best we have ever had; from the postcard we received a few days before our trip to their solicitous and detailed advice about the routes, the travel arrangements and thoughtful attention to detail e.g. Katie suggested that we buy a multi pack of bottled water which could be transported with our luggage every day. In addition as we experienced a heatwave during our trip, they suggested ways of shortening the walks to make them more manageable. They also recommended excellent restaurants when an evening meal was not included giving us lots of choices. Francisco, the taxi driver who transported the bags (and us on some days as it was so hot and we didn't want to walk) was delightful despite his lack of English and our lack of Spanish!

Reviewed by Mrs Wakefield on 29/06/2015

Wonderful variety of walks and scenery with comfortable hotels and good food.

Reviewed by Mrs Crowther on 05/06/2015

Met our needs brilliantly. Superb scenery. High level of service and comfort.

Reviewed by Ms Clark on 28/05/2015

Fantastic walking area if you like wild, remote stony terrain. Incredibly windy at times and also challenging steep downhill sections if these are not your forte! Superb coastal and inland scenery. Great to have suggested walks for free days especially as the weather wasn't really good enough for swimming and relaxing. The local taxi driver was great, carrying on the luggage and when we finished the last day's walking early we phoned him and he picked us up. He also helped us sort out an earlier train to Barcelona. We had the same reps in Tuscany last year and once again they were brilliant, providing extra route notes and e mailing changes. The initial briefing by phone worked well and we were delighted when they joined us for our last evening meal. They really go the extra mile to make things go smoothly. The hotels were all excellent and we liked the variety in the evening meal arrangement. Adding on 2 nights in Barcelona was the icing on the cake. The hotel there was of a lower standard, a very small room,but we did expect an ensuite room and not one with a bathroom down the corridor. We would have liked to have known this in advance and been given the chance to upgrade. Overall, a memorable holiday!

Reviewed by Mr Cameron on 07/05/2015

Excellent holiday and a lovely area of Spain with great food and wine

Reviewed by Mrs Potts on 09/10/2014

Varied walking, great countryside and wonderful, welcoming accommodation with excellent food. An ideal holiday with real feel good factor

Reviewed by Mis Rodgers on 06/10/2014

Enjoyed the whole holiday. Walking and hotels were great and the scenery was fantastic. Enjoyed barcelona and the trip to the Dali House. Overall a good variety of experiences in the time.

Reviewed by Mr Petch on 03/10/2014

Couldn't fault it. Even the weather was excellent. Looking forward to next year's brochure.

Reviewed by Mr Grant on 27/09/2014

We enjoyed the rest days and some parts of the walks were very enjoyable with spectacular landscapes. However, overall we felt that the holiday was not exactly as described. It is called a 'Coastal Walk' but it is, in fact, rather a tough mountain hike as the walks focus inland in dry arid and often rather inhospitable terrain. The holiday description states 'once you begin walking clockwise around the peninsula, the sea is your constant companion'. The sea is not your constant companion, as for the most part, it is far off and out of sight. There are no villages at all (bar one small one just before El Porta de la Salva) on the walks, pretty,'cute as a button' or otherwise. A lot of people would enjoy this but it could be clearer in the holiday description. A lot of the climbs and descents are steep and rocky and in one place you do have to do a small bit of rock climbing. The trails are often on loose rocks and stones and narrow.There is quite a lot of scrabbling required. I think this should have been flagged in the holiday description with better photos. I would have rated the holiday difficulty at least as a '2 boot +.' Cadaques is certainly the highlight but all the hotels were excellent and welcoming. Recommend the restaurant 'Can Rafa' in Cadaques.

Reviewed by Mr Lewis on 19/09/2014

For us aged 79 and 74 the walks were challenging but we very much enjoyed our holiday in a beautiful area of Spain.

Reviewed by Mrs Evans on 13/06/2014

Fantastic holiday - very good walks and directions. Only niggle was the train journey in Spain as instructions about tickets not clear. Ticket booth at Barcelona closed so ended up buying wrong ticket and then having to pay again on train. Again on return journey not enough detail about buying ticket and when I rang rep unfortunately he did not know so made journey slightly stressful! Overall a very enjoyable holiday

Reviewed by Mrs Currie on 03/06/2014

Excellent walking with fantastic scenery. All accommodation of high standard. Walking definitely 2 boot.

Reviewed by Mrs Brown on 03/06/2014

Does what it says in the brochure - 7 days of interesting sights without using cars or trains - organisation during walk flawless.

Reviewed by Mrs Rathmell on 28/05/2014

All was very efficient and the walking instructions were excellent

Reviewed by Mrs Grundy on 27/04/2014

Headwater holidays always live up to the descriptions in the brochure. Well planned walks, mainly excellent food and accomodation. We had a great holiday. Well done Headwater.

Reviewed by Mrs Hawkins on 07/10/2013

Well chosen area for walking.Very good self guiding notes and helpful and efficient rep.Excellent choice and standard of hotel. Just everythig we expected of Headwater. Thank you.

Reviewed by Mis Callaghan on 05/10/2013

This was a lovely holiday. The walks were quite tough and in particular the walk from Cadaques to Roses was demanding. The scenery was stunning and hotels very comfortable. Alan's guide notes were excellent. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable holiday in a beautiful location

Reviewed by Mrs Winward on 17/09/2013

use headwater and plan a holiday to fit your needs and wishes.

Reviewed by Mrs McKinstry on 15/09/2013

The Catalan Cooastal Walk guides you through an area of outstanding beauty which remains unspoilt by tourism.

Reviewed by Mr Pearce on 15/09/2013

Excellent walks but in places were much more demanding than 'leisurely.' Good mix of hotels. Generally good food. Roses was very much at the Costa Brava end of holidays but the rest was good. It was a bit disappointing to find so many extra costs - the train from Barcelona to Garriguella & back - the £59 for a relatively short taxi ride from Garriguella to Figueras for the train home (although the taxi people - Francisco & Maria - were very reliable). With a few exceptions the guidance notes were reliable - the optional walk at El Port de la Selva had loads of mistakes - I have pointed this out to the rep. Overall though it was a good experience & I would recommend it.

Reviewed by Mrs Hales on 24/07/2013

Although we enjoyed the walking we found some of it challenging, and yet we are quite active walkers. It is not what we expected as a leisurely classification. But the whole area was beautiful and enjoyable.

Reviewed by Mr Davis on 07/06/2013

Excellent holiday. Walking notes by Alan were excellent and to a point that a map was unnecessary.

Reviewed by Mrs Beaney on 17/10/2012

A great holiday in some lovely locations. Well planned routes with easy to follow guidelines. We did the walk in late September/early October - not sure I'd want to do it in the summer months as some of the walks are quite open and hot!

Reviewed by Mr Moore on 06/10/2012

We had a bad start, nothing to do with Headwater - wallet and knapsack pick pocketed/stolen in Barcelona Sants Station. Headwater (Alan Hughes, Kim Schreier and Francisco (taxi driver) were terrific in rescuing our spirits and on practical things like replacement medicine, hiking boots, knapsack. We found the walks challenging for a 71 and 65 year old and rewarding scenically and for interest. We have minor suggestions on the walking instructions, but very minor, which we will give to Headwater. We thought the hotels were all very good, not to knock the others, but in particular Playa del Sol in Cadaques - fine design, fine bedrooms and public rooms, 20 meters to the sea for swimming, fine pool and gardens and eating at pool. We much enjoyed going to Garriguella. It was very good to be in a small hill town that was quite traditional. We enjoyed our rest days:nice walk to the Dali House near Cadeques, very fine restaurant in Can Tinto; all the facilities at the Almadabra Hotel in Rosas, including superb food; two interesting vineyards in Garriguela and a good, traditional Catalan restaurant with a larger than life owner, plus the really helpful Vilamont Spa Hotel owner. If you do not have Spanish or best of all Catalan, French is useful and English is less commonly spoken than you might think. Iain More and Pam Siler

Reviewed by Mr Hides on 13/08/2012

A very good balance of challenging walks and pampering at the hotels. The very personal treatment and superb food at Palau Savadera was particularly welcome and appreciated. The mix of hotel character was a positive feature of the holiday. The rest days were important when it was very hot, during high season, but we liked the opportunity offered by the additional walks. Even though we didn't meet our rep in person, he was very accessible and extremely helpful and friendly over the phone, supporting our day-to-day experience and also communicating with us very well over a problem (outside of his or Headwater's control) with the final taxi transfer on the last day.

Reviewed by Mis Gow on 07/08/2012

We very much enjoyed our holiday on the Catalan Coastal walk. The scenery and the views were lovely. For us Cadaques was the real highlight both in terms of the town itself and one of the nicest hotels and certainly the cleanest in which I have ever stayed. We did find a couple of the walks quite hard going especially in the heat and in particular some of the downhill sections but we aren't particularly experienced walkers and the more sensible would no doubt have avoided July and perhaps would have had a better understanding of the grading. Our rucksacks were mostly full of litres of water which added an extra challenge! We had a most unfortunate experience in Niu de Sol which we raised with Alan at the time. Headwater had clearly been put in an unacceptable position by the hotel owner but they responded promptly both during the holiday and immediately on our return. Alan called us several times and travelled the 2 hours to Port de la Selva to take us to the station on our return to Barcelona. We also received a call as soon as we got back from Steven in Head office. We felt the response of Headwater was excellent and genuine ie no-one was just going through the motions Alan's notes were astonishingly detailed though we did suggest the insertion of some extra distances between marks, but given the effort he has put in I feel a bit petty raising that.

Reviewed by Mr Jones on 16/06/2012

Apart from 3 days of rain and 1 day of food poisoning (restaurant recommended by previous headwater clients in cadaques) we had a lovely holiday.

Reviewed by Ms Swinburne on 11/06/2012

Really enjoyable, despite poor weather. The hotels and Alan did their best to help us work around the rain. Only complaint was the Barcelona/LLanca transfer.

Departure dates & prices

April 2017 departuresTour only 
Apr 23$1423
Apr 25$1423
Apr 27$1423
Apr 29$1423
May 2017 departuresTour only 
May 1$1561
May 3$1561
May 5$1561
May 7$1561
May 9$1561
May 11$1561
May 13$1561
May 15$1561
May 17$1561
May 19$1561
May 21$1561
May 23$1561
May 25$1561
May 27$1561
May 29$1561
May 31$1561
June 2017 departuresTour only 
Jun 2$1657
Jun 4$1657
Jun 6$1657
Jun 8$1657
Jun 10$1657
Jun 12$1657
Jun 14$1657
Jun 16$1657
Jun 18$1657
Jun 20$1657
Jun 22$1657
Jun 24$1657
Jun 26$1657
Jun 28$1657
Jun 30$1657
July 2017 departuresTour only 
Jul 2$1717
Jul 4$1717
Jul 6$1717
Jul 8$1717
Jul 10$1717
Jul 12$1717
August 2017 departuresTour only 
Aug 27$1717
Aug 29$1717
Aug 31$1717
September 2017 departuresTour only 
Sep 2$1717
Sep 4$1717
Sep 6$1717
Sep 8$1717
Sep 10$1717
Sep 12$1657
Sep 14$1657
Sep 16$1657
Sep 18$1657
Sep 20$1657
Sep 22$1561
Sep 24$1561
Sep 26$1561
Sep 28$1561
Sep 30$1561
October 2017 departuresTour only 
Oct 2$1423
Oct 4$1423
Oct 6$1423
Oct 8$1423

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided walking, hotel-to-hotel. Managed remotely by Headwater employed rep.


Every two days from 23 Apr '17 to 8 Oct '17, for 9 days (8 nights). This holiday departs every 2 days, however non-standard arrivals and altered itineraries may be possible - please call for prices.


All continental breakfast and 6 evening meals.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Vilajuiga train station at 17:35, and back to Llanca train station at 13:00.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

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We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.


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