Costa Brava is a stunning coastal region in Catalonia just north of Barcelona. It 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, 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 Costa Brava has to offer is to follow the scenic coastal trails or the Cami 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.
Hiking the Cami de Ronda
The Costa Brava coastal trails extend over 200 kilometers, built by fishermen and the police force who patrolled the coast on the lookout for smugglers. 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 Cami de Ronda is the path that winds down the coast from Begur to Calella de Palafrugell (map) and further south to La Fosca. 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 coastal scenery in 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 Cami de Ronda as there’s a good choice of accommodation options and a wide selection of restaurants.
Check out my guide to the best places to visit in Costa Brava!
The Cami 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!
Recommended hotels along the Cami de Ronda
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 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 Cami de Ronda. One of the trails passes right by the hotel’s doorstep. The hotel staff also assist guests wishing to hike the Cami 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.
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 (map), 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.
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.
Perched on the slopes of a hill overlooking Llafranc and the stunning cove, Casamar Hotel & Restaurant is a beautiful family-owned hotel, with bright rooms and gorgeous views. The hotel is also home to Casamar Restaurant which boasts a Michelin star.
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.
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.
How to get to Costa Brava
Costa Brava is located less than a two-hour drive north of Barcelona. Barcelona Airport is the most popular option for those flying in though Girona also has (seasonal) flight connections to various cities in Europe. From both airports, I recommend hiring a car to explore the region. You can also take the train from Barcelona to Girona or Figueres and utilise local buses from there to reach the coast.
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.
[…] rocky cliffs between these beaches are a hikers paradise! Part of the Cami de Ronda (Costa Brava trails that wind along the coast for about 200 km!), this particular stretch is famous […]
[…] Coastal hikes in Costa Brava […]
Yes, there are frequent bus services between the towns along the route. Some hotels along the route also provide a porter service where your bags are delivered to your next hotel so you can hike there without bags. I hope this helps.
Hello. How is the Public Transportation between the Places.
We want to stay in one town, and hike through other towns and take bus / Train back. Or take a bus /Train to one town and walk “back home”.
Very much like we did in Cinque Terre.
Is this possible in this area`?
[…] to my yoga practice, Costa Brava’s scenic hike left me with a closer connection with my mind and body. Initially, I was […]
This website provides info and maps of the coastal paths but it’s only in Catalan, Spanish and German. Hope it helps though.
Do you have a map of this hike?
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.
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
[…] ¡Recorre los senderos de este escenario natural! […]
[…] Walk the trails of this natural setting! […]
[…] Recorre els camins d’aquest escenari natural! […]
Yes, that’s possible. Please get in touch with Hotel Aigua Blava. They can arrange this.
hi would like to hike from town to town and have my bags meet me at the next town. is that possible?
[…] are about 200kms of walking paths along the Costa Brava coast. Called the Camins de Ronda, the trails provide visitors a unique means to explore the coast, its little coves and quaint […]
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.
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!
I’ve emailed you my response to your questions. Hope the info helps!
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.
[…] The Scenic Costa Brava Coastal Trails […]
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.
[…] stayed on in Costa Brava to see more in the area, visit medieval towns, do some hiking on their coastal trail, and enjoy villa living at Can Grau. I will also be writing about these various experiences in […]
[…] 15-minute drive away from Begur. It’s a great base from which to explore the coast: the famed Camins de Ronda or the Costa Brava coastal trail passes the hotel’s front entrance; and it is along the trunk […]
[…] can easily spend several days or longer, just lounging at the pool, going for walks along the Costa Brava coastal trails (one of which passes right by the hotel’s doorstep) or exploring the surrounding towns like […]
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.
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!
The lobster carpaccio just sounds devine!
Great blog & pics!
The Tamariu area looks incredible.
What a treat to have those places all connecting through the trail.
N & S
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.
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.
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.
Thanks! The trails are absolutely beautiful. Love this part of Spain.
Beautiful and inspiring post, Keith! I hadn’t thought of trekking this part of Spain.