Costa Brava isn’t named the ‘Rugged Coast’ for nothing! The coastline here is pocketed with relaxing little beach towns, sandy coves and rocky cliff faces. The Camino de Ronda coastal trail spans over 200 km (125 miles) past beautiful beach towns like Tossa de Mar and Calella de Palafrugell. I’ve hiked the camino many times and it’s always a different experience. I try to find the time to head out of the city and over to Costa Brava when the weather’s nice.
The Trail: Camino de Ronda
Along the main trail there are smaller dirt trails, which branch off down to little rocky coves, fishing spots or hidden beaches. There are signs and maps posted along the trail to guide you and the trail is well marked in red, with the name GR-92. In summer, it’s essential to bring along your mask, snorkel and towel so you can take a dip whenever you feel the urge (or begin to overheat). During high season, I recommend jumping in the water before you get close to any of the main towns, where traffic begins along the trail and beaches are more likely to be crowded. It’s also nice to spend a few days camping in Costa Brava while making your way along the route if you have the time.
Calella de Palafrugell to Tamariu
Calella de Palafrugell is just a short fifteen minute walk over to the next town of Llafranc. Continuing on another hour and a half, you’ll arrive at the smallest of the three towns, Tamariu. This section has amazing views and is perfect to hike if you only have one day. I have also hiked in the other direction from Cala de Castell beach near Palamos to Calella de Palafrugell (about 3 hours). This route is not as scenic because of a long stretch in the forest. Don’t forget to pack enough water, lunch and your beach essentials like sunscreen. The trail can get very hot and dry with little tree cover.
My other favorite section of the trail is around the area of Cadaqués. Besides walking through the lovely white town and visiting the cathedral, you can make your way to neighboring Port Ligat (15 minutes), where you can spend time in the house of Salvador Dalí or hit the beach. Continue hiking to Cap de Creus following the signs for Cami Vell a Cap de Creus (about 1 1/2 hours). The panoramic views here are spectacular! Look back on Cadaqués. France is off in the opposite direction.
Cap de Creus natural park has their own set of trails, some of which go down to small coves and beaches, and others that tour incredible rock formations created by erosion. What do they remind you of?
Hiking Makes me Hungry!
It’s great to take a nice, long break to enjoy a beer. My favorite refreshing drink is clara, beer with lemon soda. It’s also perfect paired with a tasty paella or grilled Mediterranean seafood. When in Costa Brava, don’t forget to try gambas de Palamos, red juicy shrimp from the nearby town of Palamos.
If visiting Cadaqués, try the famous Taps de Cadaqués, cakes in the shape of corks. Make sure to order them ahead of time, since they often sellout by early morning. Restaurante Cap de Creus next to the lighthouse serves Indian food and has an amazing view over the sea!