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Following the Footsteps of Dali

Reference: UT20

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS 

  • Walking in the foothills of the Pyrenees
  • Exploring the stunning Vermillion coast on foot
  • Experiencing interesting villages and towns en route
  • Enjoying excellent local cuisine and the warm hospitality of family-run hotels

Following the Footsteps of Dali

TOUR DETAILS

Follow in the footsteps of the surrealist painter, staying in hotels situated in charming country towns and coastal fishing villages. The journey begins by crossing the foothills of the Albères, the section of the Pyrenees where the mountains gradually give way to the sea. As you amble along well defined trails, there are magnificent views beyond the rolling hills and terraced vineyards to the sea. Marvel at the stunning Vermillion coast as you arrive by foot in Spain. Discover the coastal villages that inspired many artists over the centuries including the great Salvador Dali. Catalan hospitality provides a further dimension to the walk as you reach the Mediterranean coast. Each walking day there will be two possible routes (high route or coastal route) offering greater flexibility and a chance to take in the sights, swim in the sea or ascend a high ridge for panoramic views of this stunning pocket along the French / Spanish border.

Cost per person: from $1,600 to $1,900 Twin share accommodation


Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Collioure

Make your own way to Collioure and the joining hotel. Collioure is a beautiful old sea port where the Fauvist art movement began. Dependent on your arrival time, you can visit the city and its surroundings (including some of the coastal walk shown on day 2) or you can simply relax by the sea.

Meals:  D

Day 2 Walk to Banyuls (4 or 5.5hrs)

Walking past the Royal Castle and along the seafront and beach, you then climb between the stone walls and cork oaks, the old mill and Fort St Elme, enjoying a magnificent view of Collioure. From here, there are two possible variant walks, shorter or longer, either along the coast or through the mountains. Hiking along the coast you'll pass a typical port, Port Vendres, and walk via Cape Bear with its sublime coves. The Cove of Paulilles offers a lovely place for a swim, before continuing to Banyuls via Cap d'Ullastret among shrubs, coves and vineyards. Taking the higher mountain route, you'll walk between shrubs and vineyards, and climb to the Madeloc tower for a breathtaking view stretching from the border to the plain of Roussillon. Descend towards the sea through vineyards and chestnut groves to Banyuls. Altitude difference: 4 hrs: +/-500m/1640ft or 5.5hrs: +/-700m/2297ft

Meals:  B,D

Day 3  Ridge walk descent to Cerbère (4 or 5hrs)

Today along the coast you'll be near the marine nature reserve of Cap Cerbere, an area rich in fish and clear waters. For the longer route through the mountains, you head steeply out of Banyuls into the heart of vineyards and stone walls. You'll enjoy views of the mountains and the vineyards on one side, and the sea on the other side. Cross into Catalonia via the Puig Joan passage (437m). There is an option to extend the walk and ascend to the Querroig tower ruins, from where there are superb views of the Pyrenees, the sea and the town of Cerbère, your destination today. Descend the ridge and arrive in Cerbère (France) on the Mediterranean coast, where you stay overnight. Altitude difference: 4hrs: +/-500m/1640ft or 5hrs: +/-700m/2297ft

Meals:  B,D

Day 4 Walk into Spain and the Catalan town of Llança (3.5 or 5hrs)

Following the coast today you'll pass the pretty Garbet beach and the little coves of Cape Ras, before arriving at the traditional fishing town of Llança. The scenery and local small harbour painted in blue and white create a totally Catalan ambiance. If you prefer a longer walk, from the coast you can climb to Puig Tiffel for a panoramic view of the Cap de Creus and the Emporda and Alberes regions. Altitude difference: 3.5hrs: +/-300m/985ft or 5hrs: +/-700m/2296ft

Meals:  B,D

Day 5  Walk to Port de la Selva (4 or 5hrs)

Along the coast the path runs past modern villas and the lighthouse of Sarnella before reaching Port de la Selva, a pretty, lively harbour with an air of tranquility. You can extend your walking and discover the intimacy of the Fornells Cove, a superb foretaste of the wild recesses of the Cap de Creus. You can also walk to the Selva de Mar, a lovely little village not far from the sea. Alternatively, the mountain hike is one of the trip highlights, with superb walking and incredible views. Leaving the coast there is a steep climb to reach the restored Monastery of San Père de Rodes, which has origins from the first century and dominates the bay of Llança and Port de la Selva. Whilst the monastery can be reached by road, the most impressive way to reach it is on foot. With a little extra effort you can reach the remains of the castle of San Salvador, perched 700m above sea level and offering striking views. After visiting the monastery, enjoy the scenic descent to Port de la Selva. Altitude difference: 4hrs: +/-250m/177ft, or 5hrs: +/-500m/1640 or +/-720m/2362ft

Meals:  B,D

Day 6  Walk to Cadaques (4 or 6.5hrs)

Another superb day of hiking. The coastal path is more challenging than the high path today, for a change. You cross beautiful stretches of the rugged Cape before reaching the extreme tip of the Cap de Creus and its lighthouse, the easternmost point of the Iberian peninsula overlooking the pretty coves of Cala Culip, Cala Jugadora and Cala Bona. Pass by Port Lligat – where Salvador Dali used to live. It's possible to extend and do a loop on the S'Oliguera peninsula. The alternative high route takes you behind Port de la Selva where you descend to the remote Cala Taballera, crossing many dry stone shelters. Continue between low walls and olive trees to today's destination, Cadaques. Altitude difference: 4hrs: +/-450m/1480ft or 6.5hrs: +/-600m/1969ft

Meals:  B,D

Day 7  Return to Collioure via Figuéres (to visit the Dali Museum), trip concludes

If you're up early this moring, you can take a sunrise walk towards Cala Nans, in front of Cadaques (optional, 2hrs walking). After breakfast at around 9am, the trip ends with a transfer via Figuéres, where you have the option to visit the Dali Museum (approx. 1.5 hrs visit), before continuing to Collioure. You can expect to arrive in Collioure at approximately 1pm. Trip concludes on arrival in Collioure. Note: Departure from Cadaques depends on whether you want to stop in Figuéres. The museum is open every day in June, July & August but closed on Mondays outside these months. Or if you'd like to extend your stay in Cadaques, please ask for our rates.

Meals:  B


Grading

moderate   

This is a self guided walk with average daily stages of 3.5 – 6.5 hours. The walking is graded moderate, however each day there is an option to join a more challenging route (sporty route). There are many ups and downs as you would expect in the foothills of the Pyrenees with nights spent on the coast. Walking poles are definitely a good idea. A reasonable level of fitness is required. IMPORTANT NOTE: Navigation on this trip can be complex at times so good map reading skills and experience using a compass are important. The trip is suitable only for experienced walkers who are proficient in trail finding. The walk takes you up into the mountains during the day and back down to a coastal town for your next nights accommodation. Therefore there are no towns visited enroute and no shops to purchase supplies once you have left town. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure.

 

What's included

  • 6 breakfasts, 6 dinners
  • Continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, cheese, occasionally eggs and meats, coffee, tea and juices. Dinner will consist of 2 to 3 courses which include regional specialties
  • 6 nights in 2-3 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Luggage transfer
  • Transfer on day 7 from Cadaques to Collioure via Figuéres
  • Information pack including route notes, maps and tourist information per room booked
  • Emergency hotline

What's not included

  • Travel to and from Collioure
  • Lunch and drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tour guide – this is a self guided walking trip
  • Site entrance fees
  • Transfers
  • Travel Insurance
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