The scenic Costa Brava coastal trails

Gorgeous views along the trails.

The Costa Brava is a stunning coastal region in Catalonia just north of Barcelona and stretches right up to the border with France where the Pyrenees mountains meet the Mediterranean Sea. Costa Brava means ‘rugged coast’, a reference to the spectacular cliffs and hundreds of coves that line the coast. Though famed for its beaches and generous dollops of sunshine, the Costa Brava is not only about sun, sea and sand. The region is a treasure trove of cultural, gastronomic and natural gems. A great way to discover everything that the Costa Brava has to offer is to follow the scenic coastal trails or the Camins de Ronda. These trails wind around the coast past sleepy villages, hidden coves and picturesque towns, where one can enjoy the natural scenery, discover age-old traditions and indulge in fantastic cuisine.

More beautiful views.

Walking the Camins de Ronda

The Costa Brava coastal trails are a series of paths, built by fishermen and the police force who patrolled the coast on the lookout for smugglers, that extend over 200 kilometers. Certain sections of the old trails disappeared due to coastal development in the 20th century but many parts have been lovingly restored, providing visitors a unique means to explore the coast, its little coves and quaint fishing villages. There are many trails to choose from, offering visitors a choice of easy hour-long walks or week-long hikes. Some of the trails can be done as a circular route whilst others can be combined with public transportation.

One of the most scenic sections of the Camins de Ronda is the path that winds down the coast from Begur to Calella de Palafrugell. You can opt to hike certain sections of the trail (the level of difficulty varies for each section) or the entire trail if you’re feeling adventurous. The trail is clearly marked and easy to find. The path takes hikers past some of the most stunning scenery along the Costa Brava. You’ll pass gorgeous pine groves, flowering shrubs, small fishing villages, stately villas, historic watchtowers, secluded coves and pristine beaches – you’re never far away from a fabulous vista of the rugged coastline and the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. The trail connects some of my favourite villages in this area including Llafranc, Tamariu and Calella de Palafrugell. These villages are great spots to start and end a walking itinerary along the Camins de Ronda as there’s a good choice of accommodation options and a wide selection of excellent restaurants.

The trail from Llafranc…

… to Calella de Palafrugell

An artist painting the charming village of Calella de Palafrugell.

Tamariu

The Camins de Ronda is one of Europe’s great hiking trails and one of the most accessible. The varying lengths and levels of difficulty provide visitors with ample options for a leisurely stroll or a gruelling hike. The best thing is: it’s more than just a scenic trail. The natural scenery is captivating but the lovely villages, the hospitable locals and the amazing food will steal your heart for sure!

The charming Hotel Aigua Blava

One of the most charming hotels along the Camins de Ronda is the Hotel Aigua Blava in the Begur township. This four-star family-run hotel, located on a forested hillside, consists of a main building and adjacent villas. Many of the spacious rooms have terraces which face the sea or the lovely pine trees.

Hotel Aigua Blava

The view from my terrace at Hotel Aigua Blava

Hotel Aigua Blava is a great place for a tranquil holiday – there’s a beautiful pool and several nearby coves to lounge at – and to explore the trails of the Camins de Ronda. One of the trails passes right by the hotel’s doorstep. The hotel staff also assist guests wishing to hike the Camins de Ronda by making forward reservations at hotels in the villages along the trail and by transporting guests’ luggage to the next stop. So all guests have to do is put on their walking shoes, pack a small bag and hit the trails! Oh, and don’t miss a romantic dinner at Hotel Aigua Blava. The food (contemporary Catalan cuisine) is superb and the views of the gorgeous trees and the sea are unforgettable.

The hotel’s terrace with views of the sea

The rockfish tartare with lobster carpaccio was pretty sensational! 🙂

Other recommended hotels along the Camins de Ronda

El Far Hotel & Restaurant

El Far is a name that’s synonymous with the historic Sant Sebastiá lighthouse that for centuries guided ships along the Costa Brava. The adjacent inn was a favourite among the locals who came here to enjoy the sea breeze, the majestic views and a glass or two of vino. Spectacularly situated high above the seaside town of Llafranc, on a bluff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the refurbished inn now houses the El Far Hotel-Restaurant and is a gorgeous spot for fine Catalan cuisine and unforgettable views.

El-Far-hotel-restaurant-llafranc-terrace-photo

El Far Hotel & Restaurant

Hotel BlauMar Llafranc

Also located in Llafranc, the Hotel BlauMar Llafranc has beautiful rooms with stunning sea views, a sizeable pool and is only a few minutes walk from the beach, cafés and restaurants.

Hotel Blaumar Llafranc

Hotel Sant Roc

Situated on a hill-top with glorious views of Calella de Palafrugell, Hotel Sant Roc is a charming hotel with a terrific restaurant. You can even opt to stay in the Tower Room (which I did) and the views from there are absolutely breathtaking! The hotel is in a secluded neighbourhood yet just a few minutes walk away from the picturesque village and beaches.

calella-de-palafrugell-photo

The seaside village of Calella de Palafrugell in Costa Brava as seen from the gorgeous Hotel Sant Roc.

Read other Velvet Escape posts on Costa Brava. Or look up other active things to do in Costa Brava. Check out my favourite medieval towns in Costa Brava.

Looking for an incredible foodie experience, read the ultimate Euro food trip.

Note: my visit to Costa Brava was part of the #InCostaBrava blogtrip organised by the Costa Brava Tourism Board and Tourism Spain. All views above are mine, and mine only.

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29 Responses to “The scenic Costa Brava coastal trails”

  1. Keith Jenkins 05/09/2016 10:40 am
    #

    Hi Kari,
    This website provides info and maps of the coastal paths but it’s only in Catalan, Spanish and German. Hope it helps though.
    See: http://www.camideronda.com/es.html

    Kind regards,
    Keith

  2. Kari 02/09/2016 11:35 am
    #

    Hi!
    Do you have a map of this hike?
    Please send!
    thanks

  3. Keith Jenkins 13/06/2016 8:29 pm
    #

    Hi Kerry,
    That’s great to hear! So glad you managed to do some of the most beautiful stretches! Glad I could help too!
    Thanks so much for your note.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  4. Kerry Latchford 13/06/2016 6:52 pm
    #

    Hi Keith,
    Thanks again for the link with the tourist office, they very kindly sent me a book of the coastal trails. We have since done the stretches from Tamariu to Aigua Blava, Tamariu to past Callella de Palafruguell and Cadaques in both directions with plans to do lots more! thanks again, Kerry

  5. Keith Jenkins 19/10/2015 5:01 pm
    #

    Hi Ed,
    Yes, that’s possible. Please get in touch with Hotel Aigua Blava. They can arrange this.

    Best regards,
    Keith

  6. ed 17/10/2015 8:09 pm
    #

    hi would like to hike from town to town and have my bags meet me at the next town. is that possible?

  7. Keith Jenkins 30/06/2015 11:01 am
    #

    Hi Stephen,
    Thanks for your comment. From your description, I think the Costa Brava is perfect for a family trek as the paths are well-maintained, there are many places to stop/stay along the way. There’s also a service whereby your bags are transported from hotel to hotel so you can hike without carrying loads of bags. I’m not entirely sure who offers this service but you can check with Aigua Blava Hotel (I think they offer it) or with the Costa Brava Tourism Board.
    I hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  8. Stephen Wiseman 24/06/2015 1:59 pm
    #

    Hi Keith

    Decided it’s time to start the kids on a family trek. Wife and I trekked various places before kids in Spain, Chile, canary islands etc. but are looking for a really family friendly week long trek to cut the girls teeth on. They are fit and able but only 6 and 9 yrs old. Day trips between places around 10 to 15km max. Love to walk reasonably light and so stay at inns or pensions on the way – not tent on this first big adventure for them! Where in Europe would you go for an October trek with kids? The Costa Brava sounds great in your blog – would we be best to book places to stay from home or just roll up on the day?

    Thanks for your time – not much written about family trekking on the web!
    Stephen

  9. Keith Jenkins 07/11/2014 1:09 am
    #

    Hi Kerry,

    I’ve emailed you my response to your questions. Hope the info helps!

    Cheers,
    Keith

  10. Kerry 01/11/2014 11:30 pm
    #

    Hi there,
    We have already walked bits of this coast from Aigua Blava to Callella de Pallafruguell. We are now thinking of spending Christmas week there with 70 year old (but fit) parents and a 9 year old and doing a section each day. Do you know if it gets any trickier or steeper than the bits we have already done? I just went to Sa Riera and it seems there is a walk all the way from there to Begur to Aigua Blava, is that correct?
    Any advice on sections to miss gratefullly accepted.
    thanks
    Kerry

  11. Charu 18/06/2012 5:26 pm
    #

    Love how placid the waters are…and the charming hotel you stayed at. Seems like a combination of both low key and extreme regional comfort.

  12. Bookings Costa Brava 03/09/2011 11:38 pm
    #

    Nice one velvet, please visit http://www.bookingscostabrava.com/walking-and-rambling-in-the-costa-brava.html where you will find other kind of routes around Girona and the Costa Brava. Have you ever walked along the GR92, it goes from the French Border to Tarragona? it’s a marvellous route through woods and always following the coast line, actually some of the routes you did ( Camins de Ronda) follow the GR92. You can follow the signs, it’s marked with a white and red strip , one on top of the other.Soon I will update the site with the complete GR92 as well us the route that took the defeated Republican soldiers at the end of the Spanish civil war towards France.

  13. Hiking Holidays In Spain 23/07/2011 7:12 pm
    #

    Love the view from the terrace, all the boats going past must have been great to wake up to and the food looks incredible. Would definitely stay at the Aigua Blava hotel!

  14. Clare Appleyard 18/07/2011 2:34 pm
    #

    The lobster carpaccio just sounds devine!

  15. Hi Keith,

    Great blog & pics!

    The Tamariu area looks incredible.

    What a treat to have those places all connecting through the trail.

    N & S

  16. velvet 13/07/2011 3:42 pm
    #

    You’re absolutely right Samuel. There aren’t many tourists on these trails – it’s a beautiful, peaceful walk and you can take your time to simply enjoy the scenery in solitude.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  17. Nomadic Samuel 13/07/2011 3:23 pm
    #

    I can see why you enjoyed hiking these trails so much. I noticed how quiet it seems without too many tourists from your photos. That would make it even more appealing in my mind – having some peaceful moments to yourself.

  18. Jeremy Branham 12/07/2011 8:10 pm
    #

    I never got a chance to visit this part of Spain when I was there. I know many go for the sun and beach but thanks for pointing out this trail as well. I always like hiking when I travel and I did a great hike along a beach in Portugal.

  19. velvet 12/07/2011 1:24 pm
    #

    Thanks! The trails are absolutely beautiful. Love this part of Spain.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  20. Eurotrip Tips 12/07/2011 1:22 pm
    #

    Beautiful and inspiring post, Keith! I hadn’t thought of trekking this part of Spain.

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