A Guide to the Best Camino de Ronda Day Hikes Across Costa Brava
Posted On July 12, 2018
The stunning area of Costa Brava in Catalonia stretches from Blanes to the French border. The 200 kilometer (125 mile) Camino de Ronda coastal trail(Camí de Ronda in Catalan) is extremely popular with residents and visitors who want to fully enjoy the area. Camino de Ronda day hikes are perfect for those who want to spend the weekend exploring the fabulous beaches and view the incredible coastline, but don’t have time to do the entire trek.
I’ve spent many weekends hiking different parts of the trail and exploring the hidden coves, beaches, restaurants, and the beach towns Costa Brava has to offer.
Here’s my guide to the best Camino de Ronda day hikes:
Cap de Creus Lighthouse through the natural park to Port de la Selva
13 km (8.1 mi) following the GR-11 – 4 hours
Many people who thu-hike the Camino de Ronda bypass this leg completely and cut from Cadaqués straight to Port de la Selva. This section is actually one of the most secluded areas of the trail since it traverses the rocky landscape of the Cap de Creus Natural Park. The peninsula marks the eastern-most point of the Pyrenees Mountain Range where it meets with the Mediterranean Sea. The panoramic views of the coastline with France off in the distance are picture perfect. The park itself has their own set of trails too. Some of them go down to small coves and beaches, and others tour incredible rock formations created by erosion. With a little imagination, it’s easy to make out animals and other shapes in the terrain.
Some points of interest along the route are the rock formations, Sant Baldiri de Taballera Church, Tavallera Beach, and the lighthouse. The path follows a dirt trail with stretches along a paved road. Be prepared for little to no shade and no potable water along the way.
Once in Port de la Selva, there are various types of accommodations, bars, and restaurants. It’s also possible to stay at the other end of the trail within the natural park. Next to Cap de Creus Lighthouse there is a hostel that also runs an Indian restaurant with amazing views from the patio.
Calella de Palafrugell to Tamariu
7 km (4.3 mi) following the GR-92 – 2 hours
This is one of the more popular Camino de Ronda day hikes in Costa Brava. The rustic village of Calella de Palafrugell with its boutique shops, beachfront dining, and chic accommodations, is a great place to spend the night. From Calella de Palafrugell, it’s just a short fifteen-minute walk over to Llafranc, the only town you’ll pass on the route.
This section has amazing views and is great for those who don’t have much time to spare. It’s also the shortest and easiest day hike on this list. Don’t forget to pack water, lunch, and your beach essentials like sunscreen. The trail can get very hot and dry with little tree cover. Once in the tiny village of Tamariu, walk an extra 1.5 km (0.9 mi) past the town to visit a truly spectacular cove, Cala d’Aigua Xelida. This tiny secluded beach—though crowded in summer—is bordered by steep cliffs, and always has inviting turquoise-colored water.
Cadaqués to Cap de Creus Lighthouse
7 km (4.3 mi) following the Camí Vell – 3 hours
One of my other favorite Camino de Ronda day hikes is around the area of Cadaqués because of the incredible views and the art. Don’t forget to explore the streets of the lovely white-painted town of Cadaqués and visit the cathedral viewpoint before leaving. Begin this stage by walking over to the neighboring village of Port Lligat (15 minutes), where you can visit the one-of-a-kind home of Salvador Dalí or hit the beach. Much of Dalí’s work was inspired by the untouched landscape right outside his bedroom windows. The unique interior of his house and the surrounding gardens are just as eccentric as he was. Buy the €12 ticket online and reserve a time slot to avoid waiting since it is an extremely popular attraction.
After the pitstop, continue hiking toward the end point of the Pyrenees Mountains by following the red markings and signs for Camí Vell a Cap de Creus. Along the way there are short trails down to remote beaches and pebbly coves. These little detours are perfect to swim or eat lunch in seclusion, just remember to be respectful of the nudists who frequent this area.
Most impressive are the incredible scenic views on this stretch. You can look back on the quaint town of Cadaqués, and once at the lighthouse, you can even see France in the opposite direction. The hostel restaurant near the lighthouse is legendary amongst the local hippie crowd. They often have live music in the evening overlooking the expansive cliffs, and it’s a great place to unwind with a cold beer to end the day.
Cala de La Fosca to Calella de Palafrugell
8.2 km (5.1 mi) following the GR-92/CdR – 3 hours
This section is just way too crowded for my liking. It also has a few instances in the forest without much of a view (the shade is nice though) and there’s also parts on private and residential roads. Surprisingly, there are parking lots for quite a few of these tiny coves adding to the overcrowding.
If your main intention is hiking, it’s best to choose a less congested section. However if you want to spend time at some of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Brava and don’t mind sharing the trail with others, you’ll enjoy what this day hike has to offer.
The many points of interest along the way like Castell De Sant Esteve, Cala Cap d’en Planes, and the ancient Iberian settlement (poblat Ibèric de Castell) are definitely worthy of a visit. The nude beach Cala Estreta is a local favorite and is situated right in the middle of the hike. Take a break here to enjoy the beach’s natural charm and famous snorkeling spot, it’s definitely impressive.
This leg of the trail crosses multiple beaches and fisherman’s huts that local families have converted into little beachside getaways. It also passes beachfront mansions to marvel over, the well-known festival venue Cap Roig, and numerous little tunnels before reaching one of my favorite coastal towns in all of Costa Brava, Calella de Palafrugell.
Are you planning a trip to Costa Brava or have you already done one of these day hikes? Tell me all about it in the comments below.
For more hiking inspiration, check out these articles about trekking in Spain, Italy, and Hawaii.