Pyrenees - Mediterranean Coast

INDEPENDENT WALKING HOLIDAY

 

Pyrenees Coastal Trail: Collioure to Cadaques

grade moderate guided walking jura or moderate challenging grade Cantal France independent walking holiday

6 nights - £625/€675 - 5 1/2 days independent walking between guest houses

This self-guided holiday follows a classic coastal and mountain trail flirting with both the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean as it moves south from Collioure in France to Cadaques in Spain. Accommodation in two and three star hotels in fishing ports and villages. See further holiday details

 

pyrenees coast walking holiday France

Mediterannean Coast

This beautiful coastal path has for backdrop the mighty Pyrenees mountains on one side and the blue Mediterranean Sea on the other. This stretch of coast is also known as the Vermillion Coast. Small historic fishing ports using Catalan boats, with white-washed houses nestle at the base of green hills covered in vines, orange groves and forest. Secluded rocky bays nestle beneath picturesque headlands which offer great views across the clear blue sea. Far from the large tourist resorts, it is a wild and rugged coast, ideal for a great walking experience.

The coastline is shared between France and Spain but both form part of the wider Catalan speaking region. This walking holiday is an ideal spring or autumn break. The Mediterranean sea keeps the Catalan coast mild, even in winter and pleasantly warm in the Spring and Autumn. Temperatures in February are about 13°C, 17.5°C in April, 21°C in May and 25°C in June. September is as warm as June whilst October is a pleasant 20°C. During the dates for this holiday, ie Feb - June & Sept - Oct, June and Setember are the driest months, although the others are relatively dry compared to elsewhere in western France. October is the wettest month. May is sunnier than September, although it does have more rain. Find out more by visiting our dedicated page to the climate of the Catalan Coast.

Your self guided walking holiday starts at the French coastal town of Collioure which sits at the base of the Pyrenees in a small calm bay where the Mediterranean gently laps at its shores. This is a pretty town with its coloured facades, its fishing boats decorating the bay, its 13th century royal chateau and impressive church. On the stretch of coast south of Collioure there are a number of ridges sitting high above the Mediterranean Sea. A panoramic trail leads to the Madeloc tower, a lookout station to keep watch over the Med. Banylus sur Mer is the local wine capital with Grenache, Syrah and Autre Grenache vines covering the slopes above the town. The Grenache gives rise to the Banylus appellation - a naturally sweet wine from old vines cultivated on terraces above the town on the slopes of the Pyrenees. It is made in only four parishes on this part of the Mediterranean coast.

Between Banylus and Cerbere the sea is protected as a marine nature reserve. It is the only purely marine reserve in France and is 6.5km long. Cerbère, the last stop before crossing over into Spain is another fishing port located in a bay protected by the cap Canadell to the north and cap Cerbère to the south. After crossing the border into Spain, the vegetation starts to change as the climate becomes increasingly dry in the rain shadow of the Pyrenees. This stage from Cerbere to Llanca is characterised by passing from one secluded small bay to the next.

A glorious ascent on the monastery trail takes you to the unique church of Saint Elena and the imposing monastery Sant Pere de Roda, over a thousand years old. The monastery was built on the side of the Verdera mountain below the ruins of the castle of Sant de Verdera that had provided protection for the monastery. It offers exceptional views over the bay of Llanca. Near the monastery is the ruins of a medieval town, of which its pre-Romanesque style church is the only remains.

To the south of Port de la Selva, a charming fishing port with traditional Spanish architecture, lies the massif de Cap de Creus which is a protected regional Park forming a small peninsula jutting out into the Mediterranean. The terrain is rugged and spectacular on this headland which is the eastern most point of the Spanish mainland. There are a number of narrow and steep inlets where the Mediterranean Sea has shaped the rocks into tortured formations.

The final nights hotel on our independent walking holiday on this Catalan coast is at the small historic fishing village of Cadaques, with its narrow winding streets with its traditional white-washed houses. This charming Mediterranean village ows its protection from modern development to the artist Salvador Dali. The church at Cadaques, Santa Maria, has an exceptional baroque altar.

pyrenees coast walking holiday France and Spain

Catalan coast in Spain independent walking holiday

French self guided walking holiday France

Mediterranean coast independent walking holiday France

Spanish walking holiday catalan coast

Vermillion coast med and pyrenees independent walking tour France

collioure France independent walking holiday