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 Camins de Ronda and Coastal Paths 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 Costa Brava Camins 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.
Utilize Local Operators
Costa Brava Walks
You can also get as much or as little assistance as you want to walk any of the the Costa Brava Coastal paths or the entire route with the local operator, Costa Brava Walks.
If you want to hike it independently, you can simply purchase and download the route maps for your phone or GPS from their website for very reasonable prices. Each stretch has a defined level of difficulty that you will find detailed on their cards.
And if you want more assistance they will also arrange lodging (basic or comfort) for you as well as luggage transfer and transportation!
I love this new offering from Costa Brava Walks to aid you in your walks or the entire route!
Cami De Ronda
In addition, if you are looking for a multi day designed hike, you can also take a look at the local company Cami de Ronda who provide 2 or 3 day lineal routes and a circular route from Girona. They will also provide maps, luggage transfer and support.
The Best Costa Brava Day Hikes
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. These times and details are based on my own walks when I did the entire Cami de Ronda trail from Blanes to Portbou.
Costa Brava Day Hike 1: 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! Or plan a fun day out on the sea learning about fishing on this unique day long fishing outing.
Costa Brava Walks Itinerary 1
Costa Brava Walks Itinerary 2
Costa Brava Day Hike 2: 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.
Costa Brava Day Hike 3: 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!
Costa Brava Day Hike 4: 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!
Costa Brava Day Hike 5: 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 along the Cami de Ronda. 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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Download the Costa Brava Coastal Paths Ebook and plan your hike!Download Ebook
I was a guest of Costa Brava Tourism during my hike, however all opinions expressed here are mine.
By Melanie Trethowan April 27, 2017 - 2:13 am
That looks brilliant! I have walked a couple of caminos in Spain and didn’t realise there were these sorts of paths too! I will download your e-book and see if I can entice my husband to come walking with me! Thanks so much for the lovely photos too…Mel
By Sherry April 29, 2017 - 5:47 pm
Yes! It’s much less crowded than the Camino de Santiago hikes. It’s not a pilgrimage – so you don’t get that aspect – but the hike is beautiful!
By Gillian Williams April 27, 2017 - 3:45 am
We walked the Cami de Ronda 2 years ago, your pictures remind us of a beautiful holiday. Lovely weather, walks and accommodations.
By Sherry April 29, 2017 - 5:45 pm
Prior to doing the hike last year I had only done a few day hikes along the coast there – but was always intrigued with doing the entire hike – and it was well worth it!
By Larry Johnson May 20, 2017 - 12:54 pm
I just completed an enjoyable 3 day hike on the Costa Brava, based largely on the inspiration, descriptions and photos on this website. My launching point was St Feliu de Guixols and I spend nights in Palamos, Llafranc, and finally Aiguablava. Each day I sent my suitcase ahead by taxi and hiked with just a day pack.
Based on my experience, Sherry’s pictures and commentary pretty accurately capture the beauty and variability of the Cami de Ronda trail in the area I hiked. I would add the following notes:
(1) In some places the Cami de Ronda trail is quite poorly marked and difficult to follow. I could not have done it without having previously bought a detailed map of the trail and manually entered it into a GPS hiking app (AllTrails) that I used during my hike.
(2) Maintenance of the trail is quite variable. In some areas it is beautifully developed and maintained; In a few areas there is little maintenance resulting in downed trees or similar obstacles that provide a little extra adventure to the day.
(3) There is a lot of up and down which can become tedious at times. You cross a beautiful secluded beach, ascend 200 feet to reach the bluffs above, hike 1/4 mile and then descend again 200 feet to another beach. In some sections, this process is repeated over and over again.
(4) There are a few uninteresting sections of the Camino de Ronda trail that follow a paved road or pass through heavily wooded areas. Fortunately, these sections are rare.
By Sherry May 21, 2017 - 4:10 pm
Larry – I’m so glad you did some of the walks! And it sounds like you really liked the area. Thanks for leaving the additional tips and thoughts as of course everyone’s opinion of the hike is different and it’s great to get multiple opinions. Yes – it is more up and down than I wanted at times – however I just went slow each day and we really enjoyed it. It probably helped that I was hiking with my 80 year old dad – so we had lots of good breaks and took our time. And cool that you just had a taxi move your bags – was that hard to organize? Please feel free to share how you did it as I’m sure others will be interested!
By Larry Johnson May 21, 2017 - 4:43 pm
Sherry, Thanks for the reply. Regarding the luggage transfer, it worked surprisingly well despite some initial misgivings that I had. I kept wondering what I would do if I got to my next hotel and they said, “Suitcase, what suitcase?” Fortunately, that never happened. On the contrary, the hotels and taxi drivers all seemed dedicated to making the process work smoothly.
Each hotel was happy to call a taxi for me and explain what I wanted to the taxi driver. Usually, I booked the taxi the night before and then met the taxi driver in the morning at a prearranged time in the hotel lobby. I had brought with me preprinted sheets of paper with the delivery information for the suitcase and my contact information in case of any questions. Each time I gave a taxi driver my suitcase, I also gave him the delivery information sheet to go along with it. The cost for all of the transfers was 25 Euros and in every case my suitcase was waiting for me at my next hotel.
On another subject, I wanted to say thanks for the great work you have done exploring the Costa Brava as a hiking destination and putting some of the best information available on your website.
By Louise Erceg January 27, 2018 - 9:01 pm
We are staying in Calella de Palafrugell again in June this year and have walked a lot around the area in previous years but have never walked to Palamos so will do it on this trip. My question to you is it better (read easier) to go C de P to Palamos or Palamos to C de P? I’m thinking of walking one way and getting the bus the other. I would appreciate you advice.
By Sherry January 30, 2018 - 3:01 am
I honestly don’t think it makes much of a difference. Both towns are at sea level so you sort of start and finish in the same place elevation wise. Bring a swimming suit – there are many hidden beaches along the way and take your time and enjoy!!
By Tanya Straatsma May 23, 2018 - 10:49 am
Hello so excited that i found your blog, and downloaded your book on the hike on the Cami de Ronda. My husband and i are doing your hike and staying at the same places from Begur to Port Bou starting 30th May 2018! So looking forward it thank you.
By Sherry May 23, 2018 - 5:09 pm
Yay! How exciting! I’m actually in Girona right now through June 2nd. So if you happen to pass through Girona let me know! We can go for coffee! I hope you love the hike…it’s gorgeous and this time of year is the perfect time to go! Please do follow back with me and let me know how it went!
By Jeni August 16, 2018 - 12:30 am
Thank you very much for this great information! I’m actually doing a trip with my dad (I’m 40 and he is almost 70!) this September and I’d like to do one of these hikes. Can you tell me the easiest one to do as a day trip from Barcelona? We are staying in the city the entire trip so I’d like to take a train/bus/taxi to one of the towns on the hiking path in the morning then do the hike then take a train/bus/taxi back to Barcelona at the end of the hike, after dinner, from the town we end at. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
By Nan November 9, 2018 - 4:36 pm
thank you so much for this information! I will be traveling to Barcelona in June 2019. We only have one day out of our trip to take a hike. Out of all the hikes which one is the best one to do and I guess how close or far are these hikes from Barcelona. There are 5 of us all in good shape so we are up for a challenge. Can we do this hike on our own or do you recommend us to get a guide? First time in Barcelona and not sure when we will come back but we all want one good memorable hike. Any help would be appreciated. Again thank you for starting this feed.
By Sherry November 10, 2018 - 2:36 pm
Nan – you can definitely do any of these hikes on your own – you don’t need a guide. I think the best one and likely the best marked is Palamós to Calella de Palafrugell – and if you are really fit then you could go all the way to Tamariu that day (another 4 miles). The hardest part would be getting there from Barcelona. It would be a 90 min. drive from Barcelona to Palamos most likely. You could train to Girona and then take a taxi to Palamos potentially. And then taxi back to Girona and catch the train back to Barcelona. The train from Barca to Girona is less than an hour on the fast train. Hopefully that helps a little!
By Christin March 16, 2019 - 11:34 am
Hi! Super nice post, thanks for sharing! The Palamós to Calella de Palafrugell hike sounds like a perfect day trip from Barcelona 🙂 I’ll try it this month. Do you remember what the elevation gain/loss was like on that stretch? One of the comments mentioned 200 feet, would you say that is the max? I like a challenge 😉
By Sherry March 17, 2019 - 3:10 pm
I think you’ll love that hike! I don’t recall off the top of my head the elevation of the hike…but it’s not too high at all – however it is challenging due to it’s many ups and downs!
By Carolyn Whiskin May 4, 2019 - 10:47 am
We are planning our trip to Barcelona and are thinking we’d rather just do a day in Barcelona and a couple of days along the coast with some hiking. We will have been touring from Seville for a few days and I am in Madrid for a conference for a few days. So our last few days we have the option of doing day trips from Barcelona or basing ourselves on the coast. We have thoroughly enjoyed hikes along the Amalfi coast and this looks like a beautiful trail. I was told Tossa de Mar was a lovely place to stay. If we don’t have a car, is this a good place to do a day trail out and back in one direction and then the opposite direction in the next day. Or are we best to take a taxi to another location along the coast to do our hike from. Is there a better place to stay as a base for a couple of days.
By Sherry May 5, 2019 - 3:57 am
Hello Carolyn! I think you’ll be very happy to stay outside of Barcelona and experience the Mediterranean towns of Costa Brava! Tossa is a beautiful town – I have another ebook about it that is also photography based that you can find here – https://ebooks.costabrava.org/ebook/the-medieval-journey-tossa-de-mar/
It is a beautiful little town to base yourself and you could easily do an out and back hike that goes North for a few miles and stop at little swimming holes along the way. You could also go south for a little ways – and it’s very scenic – but not really a long hike. So it would be a good place to stay for a couple of short hikes – maybe 2 miles or so. The other town options you could base yourself for great hikes is Calella de Palafrugell – that way you could do the hike south to Palamos and the hike north to Tamariu – both are beautiful and the town of Calella de Palafrugell is really adorable. You’d have to taxi back to Calella de Palafrugell after each of these though as they’d be hard to fit in as an out and back. The other town I would consider is Cadaques – it is an adorable place – a real gem. You could do the hike out to Cap de creus lighthouse which is such an incredible landscape and you could also hike south from there as far as you want and then turn around and come back – both will provide epic views of the coast! You can also see more on these hike in this ebook too – https://ebooks.costabrava.org/ebook/costa-brava-coastal-paths/.
Let me know if you have any other questions!