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Pyrenees - Mountains to Mediterranean (self-guided)

Trip Length

Trip Code

7 days PEPM

Minimum Passengers

2 people
Minimum Age
15

Countries Visited

France, Spain

Start City

End City

Setcases, Catalonia, Spain Banyuls sur Mer, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Pyrenees - Mountains to Mediterranean (self-guided)

Begin your adventure with your head in the clouds in the Costabonne Mountains and finish with your feet firmly in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. This trekking trip can be strenuous at times, but it’s well worth working up a sweat when you can finish your days with superb French dishes and wines.

Pyrenees - Mountains to Mediterranean (self-guided)


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Setcases

Meals included: 1 dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Tiranda or similar, Setcases

Your trip starts with your arrival in the village of Setcases, in Spain. This small mountain village is located on the Ter River, at the concourse of the Vall-llobre Stream in the beautiful Ter Valley. Setcases can be reached by a combination of public transport and taxi from Barcelona. Regular trains depart from Barcelona to Ripoll and a bus service operates from Ripoll to Camprodon. A short taxi ride from Camprodon takes you to Setcases. Alternatively, you may wish to book a private transfer from Barcelona Girona Airport (GRO), Figueras Railway Station or Perpignan (France) Railway Station to get you to Setcases – please inquire with Peregrine at time of booking. Tonight is spent in a traditional family-run hotel where you will receive a warm and friendly welcome from the family. Dinner this evening is served in the hotel's restaurant, which serves traditional local Catalan fare in a relaxed and homely atmosphere.

Day 2: Setcases - Mollo

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Calitxo or similar, Mollo

Your first walk in the Pyrenees takes you from Setcases to Mollo. You spend most of the day following the GR11, a path that crosses the entire Pyrenees on the Spanish side. As you hike up and down the steep and rugged mountainous terrain you are rewarded by stunning views of the breathtaking landscapes that surround you. Mountain trails take you by combs and cols and through beautiful wooded valleys of beech trees and coniferous forests. From a crest you descend into the small historic town of Mollo, passing peaceful pastoral lands on the approach. In Mollo, you encounter the town’s charming Romanesque church named Santa Cecilia. This afternoon you can relax in the town and in the evening enjoy a well-deserved dinner in the hotel restaurant. (Walking time: 4-5 hours / 13 kilometres / Level +:550m, Level - :650m)

Day 3: Mollo - Prats de Mollo

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Ausseil or similar, Prats de Mollo

Today as you cross the Pyrenees you walk from Mollo in Spain to Prats de Mollo in France. You leave the South Catalonia following an old smugglers’ path and en route visit a tower known as ‘Tour de Mir’. On today’s walk you enjoy sweeping views over the Vallespir Valley. On arrival in the medieval city of Prats de Mollo, highly recommended is a wander through the old streets and a visit to Fort Laguarde. This impressive castle was built by Marshall Vauban in 1683 to strengthen the town’s defences. This evening is spent in a basic hotel in the town centre. (Walking time: 5-6 hours / 14 kilometres / Level +:440m, Level -:885m)

Day 4: Prats do Mollo - Amélie-les-Bains

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Hotel La Reine Amélie or similar, Amelie les Bains

This morning you are transferred to St-Laurent-de-Cerdans - the starting point for your walk to Amélie-les-Bains. A quick climb takes you to the Pilon de Belmatx (1280m) and from here you experience spectacular 360-degree views over the Costa Brava, Canigou Mountain and the Côte Vermeille. Beginning your descent, you walk firstly down a long and rocky trail and then follow a path through dense chestnut forests before eventually arriving at the town of Amélie les Bains. Upon arrival in Amélie-les-Bains there is time to explore the lively streets of this pretty place which is famous for its natural-healing sulphur springs that rise from the Gorge do Mondony. Amélie-les-Bains is today one of the most frequented thermal bath towns in France. This evening is free for you to relax and unwind in Amélie les Bains. You may even catch a local game of boules - a popular social pastime for Amélie’s residents. (Walking time: 5 -6 hours / 12 kilometres / level +: 362m, level - : 1018 m)

Day 5: Amélie les Bains - Céret

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Hotel les Arcades or similar, Ceret

Today you can enjoy a more leisurely pace with an easy walk from Amélie les Bains to the lovely town of Céret. You pass the small village of Reynes at the bottom of a valley then from the Col de Boussells you soon start discovering Céret, with its surrounds abundant in cherry trees. The area is known for its cherry orchards and the mild climate assures early fruit maturity around mid April. Tradition states that the first pick of cherries is given to the French president as a gift from Catalonia. You soon begin to experience the magic of Céret as you follow the small and narrow street into the town centre. An artist’s town, various well-known cubism painters were inspired by Céret and spent much time here. A key centre of Catalan culture and traditional, the town’s renowned Museum for Modern Art is highly recommended and exhibits works by Picasso, Matisse, Chagal, Maillol, Dali and Miro. Your hotel in Céret was frequented by some of those famous artists who donated some of their original works to the hotel owner who proudly puts them on display on the hotel walls. (Walking time: 4.5-5 hours / 10 kilometres / level +: 380m, level - : 320m)

Day 6: Ceret - Banyuls sur Mer

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Hotel le Catalan or similar, Banyuls sur Mer

This morning you are transferred from Céret to Pic Néoulous, where you commence your final and longest walk of your journey, taking you down to the charming town of Banyuls sur Mer, located at the base of the Pyrenees and on the shores of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. From Pic Néoulous (1260m) you experience fantastic views of the Mediterranean, the Roussillon Plain and the Pyrenees. Today’s trail takes you along the Albères, the colourful foothills of the eastern Pyrenees, before a step and rocky descent from Pic Sailfort to the Cap Béar. Passing through picturesque hillside vineyards you reach Elmes’s beach before continuing on to Banyuls sur Mer. Tonight is spent in Banyuls sur Mer. (Walking time: 7.5-8 hours / 22 kilometres / level +: 642m, level - : 1589m) Please note: For those people who prefer an easier walk today, there is the possibility to do a shorter walk (4.5-5 hours) that commences from Col de la Serre.

Day 7: Banyuls sur Mer

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Your trip ends this morning after breakfast in Banyuls sur Mer. After a week of hiking, you may want to reward yourself with some time relaxing on the shores of the Mediterranean, soaking up that wonderful seaside atmosphere. Additional nights’ accommodation can be booked in Banyulssur Mer – please inquire with Peregrine or your travel agent. Banyul sue Mer Railway Station provides rail connections to other destinations in France and Spain, including Perpignan (France) and Barcelona (Spain). Alternatively you can book an onward private transfer to Girona Airport in Barcelona (served by the budget carrier, Ryan Air) or to Perpignan Railway Station in France – please inquire at time of booking.


Your Trip

What to know

A good level of general fitness is required for this trip. You will trek on hilly terrain, generally on well-defined paths, walking between 4-8 hours per day.

This is a self-guided walking tour and does not include the services of a tour guide and you will not be part of a group.


Departure dates
This trip operates daily from 01 April until 31 October.

Route notes
At the joining hotel on Day 1 you will receive your detailed route notes which includes a technical description of the itinerary, maps, technical sheet, contact listing and 24-hour emergency phone number, as well as useful information on each place visited.

What's Included

Luggage transfers, GPS hire, detailed route notes and maps.

Summary of accommodation, transport & meals

Transport

Accommodation

Meals

Not Included

International flights, arrival & departure transfers, departure taxes, visas, travel insurance (compulsory on all trips), meals (unless stated in itinerary), drinks, additional tours or activities, entrance fees, taxis/transport (if opting out of walks), tips and items of a personal nature.

Optional Extras

We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.


What to know

Fitness

This self guided trek is graded as moderate but is quite challenging in parts. Due to the nature of this self guided trek, this trip may not be suitable for people over the age of 70 and people in poor physical and medical condition. It is also not suitable for people who suffer from vertigo or knee and/or ankle problems.

A good level of fitness is required for this trip. You must have experience with previous hikes and be able to walk on varied terrain including mid to high mountain passes at varying altitudes, steep and rocky descents and ascents, dense forest tracks and undefined trails. You should feel confident reading a map, using a compass and following route notes. We highly recommend you undertake some long practice hikes before your trip.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.  We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.

Visas and Permits

Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.

France
Visas are currently not required for Australian, New Zealand, US, Canadian or UK/EU passport holders wishing to visit France.

Spain
Visas are currently not required for Australian, New Zealand, US, Canadian or UK/EU passport holders wishing to visit Spain.

Insurance

You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.

Responsible Travel

Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.

Customs and Culture

Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.

Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.

Further Reading

France

A Year In Provence Peter Mayle Toujours Provence Peter Mayle The Olive Farm Carol Drinkwater Lazy Days Out In the Loire Philippe Barbour Burgundy: Touring wine country-Hubrecht Duijker Dordogne Adventures-Eric Line Five Quarters of the Orange-Joanne Harris Walks & climbs in the Pyrenees-Kev Reynolds And God Created the French-Louis-Bernard Robitaille

Spain

Driving Over Lemons-Chris Stewart A Parrot In The Pepper Tree-Chris Stewart The Sun Also Rises-Ernest Hemingway Spanish Lessons-Derek Lambert South From Granada-Gerald Brenan


Important Information

This is a self guided walking tour and does not include the services of a tour guide and you will not be part of a group.

Departure dates
This trip operates daily from 01 April until 31 October.

Important things to note about a self guided holiday…
This is a self guided tour and does not include the services of a tour guide so you will be travelling independently for the duration of the trip. You need a good sense of direction and to be comfortable with reading a map, following route notes and using a GPS.  You also need a good level of fitness for the walking included in the tour. 
It’s important to be aware that part of the experience is encountering minor diversions along the way and on occasion you may need to ask for guidance from locals to get you back on route – consider this to be part of the adventure!
If this is your first time on a self guided holiday, it may take a day or two to become familiar with following route notes. A clear thinking and calm approach will generally help to avoid any potential problems. With the right attitude a self guided tour offers a flexible and rewarding holiday experience.
The route notes provided are updated regularly and we provide emergency contact numbers for our local office in the event of any problems. It’s important you carry a mobile phone with you at all times in case you need to call for emergency assistance.
Please note, this itinerary is a guide and we do endeavor to update our itineraries regularly and take into account changes to walking trails, way-marking and routes however sometimes conditions can change without our knowledge. Factors such as weather and other conditions beyond our control can affect walking or cycling paths and may result in a need to change the route.

Weather conditions
Bad weather conditions can prevail at any time during your trip, making paths slippery and potentially dangerous. To avoid any danger it’s important that you don’t attempt walks or cycles when weather is inclement. In this instance, please contact our local office for advice on alternate options available to you.  Your health and safety is important so please don’t take any unnecessary risks.

Mobile phone – International roaming
You must travel with your mobile (cell) phone on self guided trips in the event that you need to contact our local office for assistance. This is especially so in the unlikely event that you lose your way on the trail or if you need urgent assistance. Contact your mobile phone network before leaving your home country to have your mobile phone set up with international roaming. International roaming will enable you to use your phone from abroad. Please note international roaming call rates can be expensive so it’s a good idea to check these rates with your phone company beforehand. It’s important that you provide Peregrine with your mobile phone contact details before you leave home.

GPS
A basic GPS will be provided on arrival at the hotel in Setcases – it’s essential that you learn how to use the device before you start your first walk (instructions will be provided) and you should carry the GPS with you each day. The GPS is useful for providing a ‘position fix’ in the event that you are lost. Travellers who wish to use a more advanced GPS as a navigation device should bring their own.
Aside from a GPS, you will also be provided with an emergency thermal blanket and a small torch (with spare batteries).

Travel documentation
On confirmation of your self guided holiday you will receive a pre-departure information document which includes a day by day itinerary and important things you need to know about your holiday.  Please read this and take it with you on holiday.
On arrival at your hotel on Day 1, you will receive a welcome package with your route notes, maps, GPS and vouchers.

24-hour Emergency contact telephone number
If you require assistance whilst on this trip please contact our office in Amelie les Bains on +33 468392349 (during business hours) or on the local 24-hour emergency telephone number +33 614170363. In the event that you cannot reach anyone on these numbers call the Peregrine 24-hour emergency number on +61 417808800.

About this Information

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version.  If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

7 January 2014


General Contact Details

Peregrine AdventuresPhone: 1-800-663-5132
E-mail: sales@peregrineadventures.com
Web: Visit Peregrine