I arrived in Costa Brava the day after I finished walking the Camino de Santiago, it was an abrupt transition – so when my hosts, Visit Costa Brava Toursim board, said that I could go hiking in the area I was excited but my feet had a different plan. My feet wanted to simply relax and enjoy being driven around! However after a couple of weeks of enjoying the gastronomy treasures of Costa Brava and seeing the area by wheeled transportation, I was ready to put back on my trail shoes and do a hike.
I was surprised to learn about the extensive hiking trail called Camino Ronda – a 220km walk from Blanes to the northern city of Collioure near the border of France. This extensive and well marked trail goes by many names – Camino de Ronda, Costa Brava Way, and GR-92 (Grand Randonee). It is mainly a coastal hike which takes you to the little coves and hidden beaches of Costa Brava as well as fishing villages and inland landscapes. There is lodging along the way and it appears to be very well marked and supported with resources.
I walked a very small portion of it one day to get a feel for the trail and to stretch my hiking legs again. I started in Calella de Palafrugell and walked up to the Llafranc light house and then turned around and came back down. This was enough to get it under my skin and start planning to come back and walk the entire 220k in the next few years. The views are stunning, and the terrain varied, plus at any moment you can cool off in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean!
I’ll be back for more – but in the meantime, I’ll tempt you with photos of the portion of the trail I ‘test drove’!
This is not a heavily touristed trail (which makes me even more excited to walk it!), so there are few English resources on it. The Tourism board does offer a comprehensive trail book that is wonderful. Plus you can learn more about it in these blog posts and videos. Maybe you’ll get interested enough to come walk it with me in the future!
The Scenic Costa Brava Coastal Trails
Walking and Hiking in Costa Brava
Video (Spanish) – trekking the Camino de Ronda
Listen to more about the Camino Ronda and Costa Brava on the Amateur Traveler Episode 339 – Travel to Costa Brava, Spain
My travels around the area were supported by Visit Costa Brava . However all of the opinions expressed here are my own.
By Barbara Weibel July 20, 2012 - 2:12 pm
Absolutely gorgeous photos, Sherry! I’ll be in Girona in September, and since I seem to have gotten my trekking mojo back on, I might just consider doing this hike.
By Sherry July 21, 2012 - 6:51 am
Barbara – I think you’d love it!
By Alexa Hart July 23, 2012 - 2:25 pm
I love all your photos! Every time I go to your site, I am in awe. Please tell me you are entering the “Capture the Colour” contest. I have seen a lot of great entries so far. http://www.travelsupermarket.com/c/holidays/capture-the-colour/
By Mark H July 27, 2012 - 6:36 pm
Hearing “camino” will probably have a strange effect on your body for a while….
By Chris October 9, 2012 - 7:45 am
Great photos! I’m sitting here at my desk in the city and just got the overwhelming urge to book a trip to the coast this weekend!!! If you like coastal trails, I’d recommend visiting the coast that streches from Cadiz, Spain to the Algarve in Portugal. It’s dotted with picturesque little villages and hidden coves.
By Karen January 17, 2013 - 7:19 am
Sounds fabulous! Any idea where I can get my hands on the tourism board’s comprehensive trail guide mentioned above? The Costa Brava tourist office doesn’t appear to offer it online.
By Sherry January 22, 2013 - 10:39 pm
This is the only info I have – you may have to use Google Translate to read the page though! http://www.triangle.cat/guias-mapas/guias-mapas/travesia-costa-brava-caminos-ronda
By NZstays February 4, 2014 - 2:43 am
beach hose and all the photo sre so good
keep it up posting
By Harrie December 30, 2014 - 12:40 pm
De GR 92 is een Spaanse Gr route.
Deze route is niet overal even goed aangegeven ( zachtjes uitgedrukt ) en ze laten je vaak klimmen terwijl er een goed alternatief is.
In de plaatsen is de route zonder meer slecht aangegeven.
Heb een groot gedeelte van de route in 2012 gelopen maar heb op een aantal plaatsen mijn eigen weg gezocht.
By Simon Narh February 13, 2016 - 5:31 pm
I really enjoy your site. It is very nice also learning and much encouraged.keep it up God bless you. I am interesting about learning from travelling! !!
By Sherry February 14, 2016 - 9:59 am
Thanks for stopping by!
By Leigh | Campfires & Concierges May 2, 2016 - 5:32 pm
This looks great – I am learning about so many “long trails” – and this could be a good alternative to the Camino del Norte if I don’t have the time next year. Looking forward to seeing more posts on this one!
By Cindy May 30, 2016 - 10:54 am
Thanks for the info. It will be useful on our trip 🙂
By Sherry June 2, 2016 - 3:06 am
More info to come for sure! The ebook and my other articles will be out late summer. But if you have questions in the meantime – just let me know!
By Vandrestøvler June 24, 2016 - 9:43 am
Thanks for the information. It will definitely come in handy when we go there this summer. Thanks again!!
By Rusty August 14, 2016 - 6:13 pm
I’m going to be visiting the northeastern coast of Spain in a few weeks and ran across your story of the Camino de Ronda. It seems like a perfect opportunity to hike a portion of it. I’m used to backpacking in the US. Is there any primitive camping or is this trail primarily along civilization?
By Sherry August 15, 2016 - 1:36 am
I’m not really positive where camping is allowed or if there are restrictions as we just stayed in hotels. However – I do know that you are in wild/nature areas for normally half of a day’s hike. It’s not all villages and you often get into areas that are quite forested OR – you also go to lots of little beaches and coves that are secluded. I have no idea though if you can camp there overnight. In the area of Roses I know there are lots of campers because there are lots of wind surfers. I hope you spend a few days on the trail…it’s super! Another person to ask about camping might be the Cami De Ronda hiking company – they will have info on it.
By Rusty August 16, 2016 - 3:48 pm
Thanks for the reply. I’ll look into the hiking company and see what they have to say. I’ll also check into the wind surfer scene and see what I can find out there. It looks like I’ll be able to have about 4-5 days on the trail so I’m shooting for 40 miles give or take. With that in mind, a couple of hotel stays and local meals will probably suit me fine when the alternatives are a sleeping bag and dehydrated food. Looking forward to the trip. Thanks again!
By Sherry August 16, 2016 - 5:47 pm
4 to 5 days will be perfect! I just completed another article on the ronda here – it might be of some help too – https://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/camino-de-ronda-coastal-path-hike/
For 4 to 5 days – I would consider going from Sant Feliu to Pals with a nice stop in Begur. Or maybe 2 days from Palamos to Begur and then go Roses to Cap de Creus – to experience a total different environment.
By Rusty August 18, 2016 - 9:14 pm
Great article! Convinces me even further that this is the right trail I’m looking for. I’ll most likely opt for the latter of your suggestions and either start or finish in Palamos with a stop in Begur in between. I’m primarily staying in the Sant Pere Pescador area so this route seems ideal. Again, thanks for the advice…I’m counting down the days!
By Strategerizer June 25, 2017 - 2:14 pm
Sherry, thank you for sharing your travel insights; very useful as I prepare for a 3-day trip to Costa Brava in September. I’d like to ask you for further feedback on your Day 1 and Day 7. Why did Lloret to Tossa and Tamariu to Begur not make it in your top five? These stretches were on my list from other research I had done. However, I share your interests in photography and natural beauty so I am interested in your perspective as to how these stretches rate comparatively.
I am spending just two nights in Costa Brava (less than 3 full days) so need to be stringent on identifying the top 3 hikes to anchor my visit.
By Sherry June 30, 2017 - 11:46 am
Well – it’s very hard to pick 5 when every day is quite lovely! So some don’t make the cut – and I chose the 5 so they had a little variety in location and coastal views as well as variety in terrain. Lloret to Tossa is lovely as you leave Lloret and as you enter Tossa – however the middle is a bit residential as you walk on streets and near a big highway at one point. I just found that the other hikes I mentioned were always on trails which I find more enjoyable. Tamariu to Begur was gorgeous – but also REALLY challenging. It was the most steep day by far. I love the forested walk out of Tamariu and the beaches however once you leave the beaches and start climbing – it is quite a climb. The climb was full of gorgeous views though of the whole coast. So that would likely be #6 of my fav. days! Hope that helps!
By Strategerizer June 25, 2017 - 2:58 pm
Sherry, one more question for you, and a suggestion. Do you have more information or a pointer to bus schedules and routes? Trying to plan my trip and will need to figure your best transportation from the hike end point to the start point where I would have left my rental car. I see between Blanes and Tossa de Mar there is a boat option, which looks great. From my research I think Uber is not available. Not sure how practical are taxis or where to find about buses in the region.
Now for the suggestion… I use ViewRanger app to accompany me on hikes. The great thing is that you can download Open Cycle detailed map tiles of the area you are interested and then you don’t need to have an active cell reception; you can even put phone in airplane mode – which saves battery. You would only be powering GPS signal and screen illumination. You can purchase detailed IGN Spain maps for a few dollars though the free Open Cycle map is actually more detailed and easier to read, with clear marking of all trails. The app has a nominal cost and available on all your mobile devices – I load it on my Android phone and on my large screen iPad.
Through the app and online website you can search and download routes uploaded by others but that is a hit-or-miss. I have some sections of GR-92 but did not find what I was hoping for – official routes from the tourism bureau of the whole trail, like I had on my hikes in Dordogne, France. The ViewRanger website allows you to plan ahead by clicking on the map and creating your own route to follow during the hike. And of course, you can track your hike and upload later.
It has some other features like syncing the time stamps of your track with pics it finds in a connected Flickr account. Also, when taking photos from the app, it can automatically show and superimpose labels of mountain peaks that appear in the photo. I am not associated with ViewRanger, just happy user – though the interface is a bit hard to understand and navigate at first.
I tried some other apps that have some strengths (e.g. AllTrails) but require monthly or yearly subscriptions, which I do not like.
By Sherry June 30, 2017 - 11:42 am
Where is your ending point – Portbou? And where are you leaving your car? There is a pretty good bus system that runs between many of the coastal villages. And taxi’s are definitely a possibility for sure. We used some taxis to pick my dad up in the middle of the trail and take him to the hotel while I walked the whole thing. And we took a taxi to the beginning of the trail from Girona. So you could leave your car at the end and set up a taxi to take you back to the beginning if you wanted – that way you could easily schedule it and then your car is at the end waiting for you. I’m not sure about uber as I never used it there…but I guess it would only be in the bigger cities. I think taxi or bus is your best bet. Happy to get more info for you if you tell me your start/end. Thanks for sharing about the app – I will have to take a look. I normally just use Google Maps for everything as you can also download the maps to your phone and also not have to rely upon a connection. Hope your planning is going well!
By Strategerizer July 7, 2017 - 4:37 pm
Sherry, thanks for the additional details; very useful to planning my few days to maximize the experience. I’ll leave hiking Lloret to Tossa for another time and maybe do a drive stop in each.
I am looking to find about buses serving these points:
Sant Feliu de Guixols Palamós
Palamós Calella de Palafrugel
Calella de Palafrugell Tamariu
Cadaqués Cap de Creus
Roses Cap de Creus
Is there any website that maps bus itineraries and shows schedules?
Many thanks for all the great information you put together here!
By Sherry July 10, 2017 - 10:18 am
Ok – here’s the info I was given on buses from this area:
However, don’t expect much possibilities to buy tickets online or updated schedules… For some routes it will be possible, for some others you will have to check once here for the exact schedules.
– Sant Feliu de Guixols Palamós à There is a direct bus https://compras.moventis.es/
– Palamós Calella de Palafrugel à They will have to do Palamós – Palafrugell and then Palafrugell – Calella de Palafrugell https://compras.moventis.es/
– Calella de Palafrugell Tamariu à There is a bus doing this route https://www.moventis.es/es/lineas-horarios/palafrugell-platges-de-calella-i-llafranc , and also a special one called Julivia that runs during the summer http://visitpalafrugell.cat/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/julivia-triptic-web.jpg
– Tamariu Begur à I am not sure there is a bus doing this route. But there is always the option of going to the main town Palafrugell and take the bus to Begur from there https://www.moventis.es/es/lineas-horarios/palafrugell-begur-girona
– Cadaqués Cap de Creus à There is a bus that stops in the different towns in Cap de creus Natural Park https://compras.moventis.es/
– Roses Cap de Creus à There is a bus that stops in the different towns in Cap de creus Natural Park https://compras.moventis.es/
By Strategerizer July 7, 2017 - 4:39 pm
Sant Feliu de Guixols — Palamós
Palamós — Calella de Palafrugel
Calella de Palafrugell — Tamariu
Tamariu — Begur
Cadaqués — Cap de Creus
Roses — Cap de Creus
By Lari August 7, 2018 - 3:23 am
Hi Sherry: Your blog on the camino de ronda is really good. We’ve taken your referal of the Cami de Ronda travel agency to transfer our bags on the three day lineal hike. I’ve noted your comment about the difficulty of the Tamariu to Begur leg, but it is not the difficulty of the climb. It seems to be the only part of the three day trek that leaves the coast line by an appreciable amount. Is there enough signage on this part to make it easy to keep to the trail? Cami de Ronda seems to suggest that their GPS rental is a wise investment. Thoughts?
By Sherry August 13, 2018 - 4:23 am
Hi Lari, Thanks for your notes and I”m excited to hear you are going to do the hike! When we did the hike 2 years ago, I don’t recall there being an issues with signage in that section. There weren’t a ton of sons on the hill climb portion – but it was very simple to tell where the trail went and it was so rugged and steep that you didn’t really want to wander off the trail! Regarding the GPS – it depends on how you like to hike. I personally am someone that like to know that I’m going the right way and I don’t want to waste time backtracking. So I really enjoyed the GPS maps so that I just had peace of mind. However some people don’t mind the exploration and it doesn’t stress them out to backtrack. Regardless – you are never too far from civilization on this trail – so you can’t get that lost. Let me know how your hike goes and what you think of it!
By Lari Mitchell August 13, 2018 - 10:29 am
I will. Thanks again!
By alice January 10, 2019 - 3:24 pm
This is great information. We want to do a few short hikes in the area. Looking to do 3 to 4 hour hikes and then train back to hotel. That is my question. Is there one area we can stay in and do several short hikes. We loved Cinque Terre and the ease of going back by train. Is that possible in this area?. I really want to walk the coast but I can not find enough information about where we should stay. We don’t want to send our luggage from town to town. We just want to enjoy a little hiking with our sight seeing in the Costa Brava region.
Can you offer more information. The best village to stay in that might offer a few hikes for us.