Abbey of Saint-Martin-du-Canigou
Canigou
Cape of Creus
San Pere de Rodes
Cadaquès
Mediterranean Pyrenees
From 1795 (£ 1604)
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7 nights, 6 walking days
Level :
Itinerary : Hotel to Hotel
Holiday code : FP2PUVM
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Walking From Mount Canigou To The Med

A journey from the magnificent Mount Canigou to the Mediterrannean, then along an unspoilt coastline to the homeland of Dali staying mostly in 3 and 4 star hotels. An enjoyable melange of culture and nature, comfort and cuisine!

A summary of your journey

Beginning with a 1,000 year old abbey and ending at the home of Salvador Dali, you travel through centuries of human history, art and culture, but also experience natural wonders including a wonderful range of landscapes from mountains and unspoilt plains to the ruggedly beautiful Mediterranean coast. You can also compare (and possibly contrast) French hospitality and cuisine with that of Spain - or, as many prefer to call it, Catalonia. A truly excellent itinerary, even if we say so ourselves.
This itinerary includes daily private transfers, which add considerably to the cost, so the price of this holiday cannot be compared to any apparenetly similar holiday.

The Plus Points

  • A superb itinerary and an unforgetable experience
  • The joys of walking mountains and coast
  • Excellent cuisine and hospitality
  • The chance to walk up to the summit of Mount Canigou

Day 1

Arrival at Moligt
Meeting you at the airport or station at Perpignan is included in the price, but for a supplement you can choose Montpellier, Carcassonne, Toulouse, Girona or Barcelona. If you arrive by car, there is reasonably priced secure public parking in Perpignan, and we will arrange to pick you up there. We transfer you up into the Mediterranean Pyrenees for a magnificent first walk - just 2 hours, assuming your arrival time permits it. The 1,000 year old abbey (monastery really) of Saint-Martin-du-Canigou (founded 1009) perches precipitously on a rocky promontory above the huge cliffs of Mount Canigou. It is a most memorable place to begin your journey to the Mediterranean.
That you stay for your first night at the three star Grand Hotel in Molitg Les Bains (The Baths) tells you the heritage of this once prestige resort that still offers much of interest to today's visitors, including the many French who still take what they call "the cure". The hotel has been expensively restyled and modernised with very comfortable rooms, a thermal spa (book treatments on arrival), and a very good restaurant specialising in regional cuisine.
Walking time : 2h or 3h30. Distance : 4km or 5,5km. Elevation : + 300m or + 600m / - 300m or - 600m. Transfer time : 1h30.

Day 2

Moligt - Mount Canigou - Cortalets refuge
Today starts with an absolutely unforgettable experience. We transfer you (as we often do to ensure you enjoy only the best "bits") to the mountain refuge of Les Cortalets (6,500 feet) from where you walk steadily, and as slowly as you like, up 2,000 feet to the top of Mount Canigou. The panorama from 8,500 feet features the reds, greens and golds of the surrounding mountains; the plains way, way below of Cathar Country; the foothills from Roussillon in France round to Emporda in Spain, and in the far distance the blues of the Mediterranean. Particularly as you descend, this view is ever present, but also ever changing until you arrive back at Les Cortalets, where you have the pleasure of staying tonight.
This is a holiday where all nights except this one are spent in four and three star hotels, but the refuge provides a unique opportunity to experience a night right up in these mountains with no light pollution, so the stars themselves might well be the star of your stay. The refuge is a sturdy, stone building that offers simple, but comfortable accommodation (private rooms, but not en suite) and good, filling food. As you will realise, it is all about where you are not where you stay, but people really enjoy their night here, and reckon it to be one of the highlights of the journey.
Walking time : 5h. Distance : 8km. Elevation : + 700m / - 700m. Transfer time : 1h15.

Day 3

Cortalets - Batère - Amémlie les Bains
The mythical GR10 beckons today as you walk, mainly downhill, from the refuge along the famous - but more or less deserted - footpath through some delightful and unspoilt mountain scenery looking out for wild horses, brebis, marmottes and large birds of prey. You are generally heading east towards the Mediterranean, but only as far as the characterful Batère mountain auberge. A marvellous place with superb views to enjoy a well deserved beer and snack. We collect you from here when you are ready, and take you to another mountain spa resort, Amélie les Bains.
It's all change for tonight as Amélie les Bains is an elegant, lower altitude town with a truly Mediterranean climate (210 sunshine days a year), and the three star Hôtel de la Reine Amélie is sophisticated and charming with a swimming pool and terrace where you can dine (very well) looking up at the mountains and star filled skies. And your room is, of course, en suite.
Walking time : 4h30. Distance : 15km. Elevation : + 400m / - 1100m. Transfer time : 35 minutes.

Day 4

Amélie les Bains - Montalba - Las Illas
This is a long walking day, but the previous days will have prepared you for it, and it is a most rewarding route along the well signposted GR10 (but you have our comprehensive walking notes anyway). We take you up to Montalba to save a lot of hard walking, so you can enjoy the tranquil mountain meadows (look out for marmottes), woods, higher cols, tumbling streams, and magnificent panoramic views, not least from the Roc de France over the frontier between France and Spain. The final section is a memorable descent between the impressive Salines peaks down to the mountain village of Las Illas.
The so-called Hôstal des Trabucayres is not at all a hostal, but an authentic, comfortable, family run mountain auberge where you will receive a warm welcome, enjoy traditional mountain cuisine, and wonderful views. What being in the mountains is all about! The village is a delight, and its waterfall worth strolling to, but beware the crayfish! Despite German soldiers being stationed here, villagers repeatedly helped Allied soldiers and airmen escape into Spain just as you will make your way into Spain tomorrow.
Walking time : 7h. Distance : 15km. Elevation : + 1000m / - 1000m. Transfer time : 20 minutes.

Day 5

Las Illas - Col de Perthus - Cantallops
This is a comfortable day's walking amid wonderful scenery that almost step by step becomes warmer, drier and more Mediterranean. You walk among the frontier peaks, but don't climb or descend that much yourselves even though your walking destination is the scenic Col du Perthus, made legendary by being the place where Hannibal, his army and elephants crossed into France en route for Rome. From here, there is a short transfer to a wonderfully luxurious hotel at Cantallops in Spain.
The four star Hôtel Can Xiquet is Catalan in spirit and international in ambition, offering the very best contemporary styling for the rooms, all with balconies and great views across the Emporda plateau. There is a large swimming pool, gym, sauna, paddle tennis court, extensive gardens, and even a helipad. Then there is the superbly designed restaurant (with views) serving Mediterranean cuisine that rivals the very best. In every sense, it is a world away from Les Cortalets refuge, but that is what we have worked hard to develop for you: an experience of the Pyrenees that is as varied and pleasurable as the mountains themselves.
Walking time : 4h. Distance : 14km. Elevation : + 250m / - 500m. Transfer time : 20 minutes.

Day 6

Cantallops - Palau Saverdera - Pot de la Selva
Today, the Mediterranean ! You walk on good paths and lanes across the plateau with its typically Mediterranean "scrubland" and olive trees to the lovely little chapel of San Onofre, then along a natural "balcony" to the imposing monastery of San Père de Rodes, which you can visit or just enjoy the unforgettable views down to the coast dominated by the wild Cape of Creus with its white villages. If you are feeling energetic, then you can either walk to your destination for a swim in the sea, or take the path upto the ruined château de San Salvador, located there because of the incomparable views to the coast, including the perfectly shaped Rosas bay, across the Emporda plain, over the Alberes range of hills, and, above all, literally, Mount Canigou. The descent to the sea is further enhanced by pre-historic and quite remarkable dolmens. At the end there is a short transfer to avoid having to walk the "boring bits".
You stay in the fishing port of Port de la Selva, which is a typical Costa Brava (Wild Coast) village, and protected by being within the Cape Creus natural park. The four star Hôtel Porto Cristo is a few metres from the waters edge. Some rooms have sea views and "hot tub" baths as well as guaranteed elegance. The hotel has been created from an historic warehouse, and the restaurant with its triple height and stone walls is a great place to eat.
Walking time : 3h or 5h. Distance : 9,5km or 11,5km. Elevation : + 400m or + 500m / - 500m or - 600m. Transfer time : 35 minutes.

Day 7

Port de la Selva - Cadaques
Your last day is mainly a coastal walk, but you have the option of a fairly long, fairly flat, but eminently rewarding walk, or a much shorter one. You can choose that morning which you wish to take, but whichever you choose you will find the coast here is truly wild with long stretches without human habitation, and favoured with dozens and dozens of small and tiny coves and creeks, many with sandy beaches, and just begging you to swim! Their names are evocative too, and trip off the tongue: Cala Culip, Cala Jugadora, Cala Bona. Your route includes the lighthouse right out on unspoilt Cape Creus, the most easterly place in Spain, and great little seaside villages like Port-Lligat, which was home for decades to Salvador Dali, and you can visit his own, very quirky house with his wardrobe and studio left as they were. Advance booking essential - we tell you how.
Cadaques is many people's favourite along this coastline, and you stay at the excellent 4 star Hôtel Playa Sol, a modern hotel right on the waterside, but with extensive private gardens with tennis court, swimming pool and plenty of places to quietly relax after your journey. You dine a short stroll away at one of our two favourite restaurants here.
Walking time : 4h30m or 6h30. Distance : 13km or 23km. Elevation : + 450m / - 450m or + 600m / - 600m.

Day 8

End of stay
After breakfast on the terrace looking out over the Mediterranean, you can choose to be taken to Figueras to visit the Dali Museum (recommended if he interests you at all), or go directly back to Perpignan station or airport, or other destination as agreed. Sadly, that's it for this memorable holiday!
Transfer time : 1h30m.
  • Practical details
  • Equipment
  • Formalities, Health

PROGRAM OF DEPARTURES

15 June to 30 September

MEETING POINT

Returning you to the car park, airport or station at Perpignan is included in the price, but for a supplement you can choose Montpellier, Carcassonne, Toulouse, Girona or Barcelona.

END OF STAY

At the end of the holiday, we take you back to Perpignan within the price, or elsewhere as arranged for a supplement.

LEVEL

This holiday features mostly comfortable walking, but there are a couple of fairly challenging days, so is suitable for anybody who is fairly fit, determined, and enjoys "a good walk". On most days there are choices of itineraries, which you can decide for yourselves each day. It can get hot in July and August, as well as more crowded, but the temperatures are moderated by the mountains and sea breezes. We would recommend May, June and September as the best months.

GUARANTEED DEPARTURE FROM (PERS)

2

LUGGAGE TRANSPORTATION

We will transfer your luggage between each hotel, so all you need to carry when walking is a daysack with whatever you regard as essentials.

SUPERVISION

This is an independent, self-guided holiday.

ACCOMMODATION

You stay in double or twin rooms for 3 nights in four star hotels, 2 nights in three star hotels, one night in a particularly good mountain hotel, and one night in a simple mountain refuge.

MEALS

You will eat well. Dinners are based on set menus featuring regional specialities usually with 3 or 4 choices for each of three courses, but you can pay locally for upgraded choices. Fewer choices at the mountain refuge. Breakfast is included every morning, and you can shop for your own picnics, or ask the hotel the night before to make a picnic, which you can pay for locally.

TRANSFERS

Usually transfers are in people carriers, mini-buses, cars or taxis. Often they will be exclusively for you.

CONTENTS OF YOUR TRAVEL FOLDER

When we have received your balance of payment for your holiday, and in the month before departure, we send you all the documentation you need: detailed itinerary showing dates, times, contact details etc; a detailed guide to your walking route (with options) and lots of cultural, historical and nature background information; formal documents (invoices, contracts etc); luggage labels etc. If you book at the last minute, we can send this information to your first night hotel.

To make the right choice

Have a look at our detailed explanations on the types of hiking, the standards of accommodation, and understand baggage transport ... How to choose your trip ?

LUGGAGE 

  • A soft travel bag, avoid suitcases, which are more cumbersome and limit the weight of your belongings to 10 kg.
  • A small backpack of 30 litres minimum for your daytime requirements.

CLOTHES 

  • A waterproof and breathable jacket (Gore-Tex type)
  • A fleece or a sweater
  • A raincoat (poncho)
  • Walking trousers
  • 1 pair of gloves
  • 1 hat
  • Shorts
  • A bathing suit + towel
  • Several pairs of socks (not too large)
  • Underwear
  • 1 pair of trainers
  • Loose clothing for the evening

EQUIPMENT TO BRING 

  • 1 pair of walking shoes that have been used before
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip protection
  • 1 bottle (allow 2 to 3 litres per person per day in summer)
  • A Tupperware type plastic bowl for the picnic + cutlery
  • 1 compass
  • Waterproof map cover (advised)
  • 1 head torch in your rucksack (for safety)
  • 1 survival cover (from a chemist)
  • 1 mobile phone (advised)
  • Camera and why not a novel, your watercolours or other desires...
  • Your identification documents
  • Sleeping bag liner : your itinerary includes a night in a mountain refuge, then you will need a sleeping bag liner as the refuge will supply sleeping bags and/or blankets. Sleeping bag liners range greatly in size (avoid a "mummy" shape if you are a larger person) and material (from nylon through cotton to silk), so we think it is better for you to buy and bring one that suits you.

FORMALITIES

You need to keep your passport with you at all times, and ideally insurance information. You need to make your own arrangements to claim local healthcare. There are requirements in France and Spain for all vehicles to carry safety equipment.

VISA Espagne

No need for a visa.

MANDATORY VACCINES Espagne

No vaccine is mandatory, but it is best to be up to date with your tetanus booster.
Click on the price that corresponds to your choice.
FromToFrom / to arrival airport
Fri 15/06/2018Sun 15/09/20181 795 €  (₤ 1 596)
 
List of additional options (to select later)
TitleTime periodPrice
Single room (6 nights) supp. subject to availabilityfrom 15/06/2018 to 15/09/2018435 € (₤ 387)
Supp. to visit Dali from 15/06/2018 to 15/09/201850 € (₤ 44)

THE PRICE INCLUDES

7 nights dinner, bed and breakfast; 5 picnics; people transfers; luggage transfers; detailed walking instructions; 1:25,000 IGN map; 24/7 customer phone service.

THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

The journey to the start point, and from the finish point, except as specified; lunches or picnics unless specified; drinks with meals; non-standard menu items; entry fees; personal and travel insurance.
Provided by TransferMate

You can change the itinerary, and receive revised information

Want to change the itinerary? Complete the form below, and we will send you a revised itinerary as soon as possible.

 

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