It took my 80 year old father and me 15 days to finish our Costa Brava Coastal Path hike last summer. Fifteen wonderful individual days staring out at the Mediterranean and some of the most beautiful coast line in Spain! It felt as if every day was the best ever – and then we’d wake up and start hiking the next day and it got even better!
Even though the Costa Brava Costal Paths and Cami de Ronda is a long distance hiking route taking you from village to village along the coast, you can slice it and dice it any way you’d like. No matter how much time you have, you can find a coastal path itinerary that will work for your adventure level and timeframe. And the best part is that you will end in a Costa Brava town to stay in and explore when you aren’t hiking. This is the ease and beauty of the Costa Brava coastal paths; you can do it your way! Queue Barbara Streisand…
Many people go to the Costa Brava region to stuff themselves with world-renowned food, lounge on the beaches, and shop in little coastal towns. However, if you’d like to add some adventure to your day to work off all of that delicious food and wine, add a day hike to your itinerary!
The Cami de Ronda Full Route from Blanes to Portbou
The full Costa Brava Coastal Path route uses a variety of trails and goes from Blanes to Portbou covering 135 miles. This full route could be done 10 aggressive days of hiking 13 to 15 miles per day. However you can also shorten those days and hike for 2 weeks giving yourself a bit more of a relaxed pace, like my father and I did. To learn about all of these options, check out my free ebook on the full Costa Brava Coastal Path.
However, if you are just looking for a few great day hikes, here were my 5 favorites, that provide a variety of views and terrains.
The Best Costa Brava Day Hikes
Sant Feliu de Guixols to Palamós
10.8 miles | 5 to 6 hours
This is a hike along clifftop trails with beautiful views of contrasting orange cliffs, green trees, and turquoise waters. We started the day a little intimidated with the length of the hike. From early on we could see Palamós in the far, far distance – and it was hard to feel like we were making progress at times.
This day hike really gives you a feel for Costa Brava’s finger-like peninsulas and coves. For this hike you can’t get caught up on efficiency – you just have to enjoy the moment and the views. And luckily the variety of views in this section was spectacular.
We experienced a diversity of areas on this day hike from little villages to affluent seaside communities and mansions, as well as a canal lined with yachts and then back to secluded beaches. You’ll even encounter a nudist beach. You have everything in this day hike!
Be aware you cross a number of sandy beaches too on this route, which can take a lot out of you as you expend a lot of energy walking through sand. But hey…you can stop any time and take a dip on the beaches!
When you get into Palamós, don’t miss the fishing museum, fish market, and fish auction if you have enough energy left!
Palamós to Calella de Palafrugell
6.8 miles | 4 to 5 hours
This was one of our favorite hiking days due to the variety of views and environment you go through as well as the culture of the fishing huts. It was a little taste of everything the Costa Brava throws at you, all packaged in one day.
We took our sweet time hiking this section stopping frequently to take in views and relax. At Cala Margarida I stopped and talked to locals as well as stopping in the other enclaves of fishing huts and to take lots of pictures. On the weekends you’ll find locals and tourists at the huts cooking seafood feasts and enjoying the simple life of Costa Brava. Platja de la Fosca ended up being one of my favorite beaches in the whole hike thanks to its big waves and soft sandy beach. If I had more time I would have liked to surf!
The last part of the hike was challenging for us, but it took you to the best coastal views. The El Crit area is really steep with crumbling stairs that leading down to the beach and through a keyhole opening in a rock – all part of the Cami de Ronda trail. Then we headed back up near the botanical gardens of Cap Roig on a steep hillside climb up to the gardens. But soon we reached the urbanization of Palafrugell where there is a refurbished path hovering out above the sea and we had great views as we entered this gorgeous little town.
We met many people from other countries on this route because it’s a popular section for hiking groups, making it a fun, social day.
Calella de Palafrugell to Tamariu
4.3 miles | 2 hrs to 3 hours
This day hike is full of variety as well as some steep climbs, but the views were worth it. We began at the heart of Calella de Palafrugell with its cute little patios and fishing beaches skirted by large estates and restaurants with killer views. So cute we kind of didn’t want to leave it! After hiking through the port town of Llafranc we started a steep climb up huffing and puffing to the lighthouse on Sant Sebastià Mountain.
At the top, we had to reward ourselves! There’s a great restaurant at the top serving classic Spanish vermouth on the patio. I particularly liked the trail after the lighthouse through the rural farming section even though it was short; it was a nice change of scenery.
The beach at Cala Pedrosa was a great stop and place to swim if it’s warm enough. We sat and watched the kayakers launch from the rocky beach. It was a great rest to prepare us for the next section of very steep switchbacks towards Punta de la Musclera. Thankfully this section of the trail had railing for us to hold! One of my favorite sections though was after this when we worked our way across the barely-marked rocky outcrop near Tamariu. It was sort of like connecting dots to get across to the other side! And on the other side was a gorgeous beach and village waiting for us!
Cadaqués to Cap de Creus
4.5 miles | 3 hours
This was a special day that combined both art and nature. Since it was a short hiking day, we took the time to explore the sites along the way. We followed the signs with red and green trail markings to Portligit and Cap de Creus out of Cadaqués. I really loved the little church and cemetery we came across as we left Cadaques, Hermitage of Sant Baldiri.
Of course a stop at Dalí’s House and Museum is a must. Salvador Dalí is responsible for introducing the Cap de Creus landscape to the world through his art. This was his main residence and studio. It’s an eclectic (and sometimes long) stop on your way to Cap de Creus depending on the lines.
The landscape is rough and arid in this part of Costa Brava. It’s full of small ups and downs on what appears to be rock shale. We took our time and enjoyed the change of scenery at some of the beaches/capes along the trail as they are quite unique and secluded. Our highlight of the day was the last steep climb up to the lighthouse and then having a beer and patatas bravas at the end of the hike enjoying the view and our accomplishment!
Llançà to Colera
4.16 miles | 3 to 4 hours
The route started quite urban with a well-defined coastal stone path leaving Llançà, and then it changed. We took the variant path that follows the coast out onto Cap Ras. Even from a distance Cap Ras looks sort of uninteresting; a giant flat rock spilling out into the sea without a tree in sight. However, once we started walking on it to the edge, we discovered its beauty. I found myself on top of a beautiful cliff and layers of colorful rocks plunging steeply into the sea. It was surprisingly beautiful. We took a break here and enjoyed watching the yachts sail around the cove.
We got a real taste of the Mediterranean today when we had to cross through the water and tide pools. Luckily we had a pretty calm day for crossing the tide pool, as sometimes the waves can be crashing along there and you have to take an alternate route. Our highlight of the day was the big open field you climb to see Illa Grossa (big island) and its turquoise shallow waters. I even laid down and scooted out to the ledge with my camera to get a feel for how high we were on the cliff. This is a great day to just go slow and enjoy the views and beaches!
Hopefully this just gives you an idea of some of the best day hikes in the region. However, if you want more info on detailed route information, what gear to take, what time of year to go, and where to stay – download my Costa Brava Coastal Paths Ebook. It’s free!
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I was a guest of Costa Brava Tourism during my hike, however all opinions expressed here are mine.