Foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees

8 Days & 7 Nights 4 Read 2 reviews
  • Easy walking in the La Garrotxa foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees
  • Explore the rocky crags, gorges and tiny mountain hamlets of 'Alta Garrotxa'
  • Walk amongst dormant volcanoes cloaked in woodland in the 'Zona Volcanica'
  • Visit the medieval villages of Santa Pau, Castellfolit de la Roca and Besalu
  • Sample the delights of 'cuina volcanica', the unique cuisine of La Garrotxa
Discover the unspoilt foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees in the beautiful La Garrotxa region. Explore two distinct areas, the Zona Volcanica, filled with medieval villages and volcanic landscapes cloaked in woodland, and the Alta Garroxta with its rocky crags, gorges and tiny mountain hamlets. Begin in the picture postcard village of Santa Pau, with its medieval architecture , castle and narrow alleyways dating back to the 13th century. Take a walk to the summit of Finestres for panoramic views over the ‘Zona Volcanica’. Continue to the capital of the region, Olot, walking past several of the dormant volcanoes in the area. Head into the ‘Alta Garrotxa’, where the landscape changes to become more dramatic featuring rocky cliffs and gorges. Enjoy a stop at Castellfolit de la Roca village, perched upon a clifftop before continuing on foot through the Alta Garrotxa. Finish by walking into the historic town of Besalu across the impressive 11th century Pont Forticat bridge.
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What To Expect

If you would like to explore an unspoiled, traditional part of rural Spain, enjoy history and great food, this is the trip for you. With daily walks of between 10 and 18km, and ascents of up to 475m, the walking is easy-moderate, making this a softer option than the walking usually associated with the Pyrenees. You will stay overnight in small rural hotels and inns offering authentic Catalan cuisine and a warm welcome to La Garrotxa.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.

Activity:

Multi Center Walking | You will spend multiple nights in one or more of the locations on this walking tour

Ideal if you have an interest in:

Mountains

Activity Level & Terrain

This walking tour is graded Moderate overall. Walks are between 3-7 hours with an ascent of between 110 and 965m each day. Some of the terrain is quite rocky and there are a few steep drop-offs.

Day 6 is a more moderate-strenuous grading with a steep ascent involved

Paths can also become slippy in poor weather going over tree roots and mossy stones.

Navigation

The routes on this trip are generally way-marked but we will also provide detailed route notes and maps. You will also have access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App enabling you to follow the route using your phone’s GPS so using this combined with the provided route notes and maps means you should have no problems finding your way.

Accommodations

6 nights accommodation in 2 and 3* hotels and 1 night in a rural hotel in a private room are included in your trip.

The accommodation we normally use is detailed below. We may sometimes have to use alternative hotels subject to availability but if this is the case we will always let you know when confirming your booking.

Accommodation Location

We will always try and accommodate you at the locations detailed in your itinerary. Occasionally, because of limited availability, there is the option to be accommodated at an alternative location. In the unlikely event that we have to accommodate you elsewhere we will advise you of this before confirming your booking.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is available to solo walkers although there is a supplement applicable and we recommend that you are an experienced walker comfortable with navigation if you are wishing to walk solo. Single rooms are also available and  a single room supplement is payable.

Meals

7 breakfasts and 5 evening meals are included. Lunches and evening meals on the other days are not included. You can pick up lunch at restaurants on your way or enjoy alfresco picnic lunches. Your route notes have details for each day. Evening meals will either be available at your hotel or a selection of nearby local restaurants, many of which specialise in the famous Cuisina Volcanica.

Included
  • 6 Nights in 2 and 3* hotels
  • 1 Night in a rural hotel
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 5 Dinners
  • Baggage transfers as per itinerary
  • Transfers as per itinerary
  • Detailed route notes, maps and pre-departure information pack
  • GPX tracks and access to our smartphone app
  • 24/7 emergency telephone support
Excluded
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to Santa Pau and from Besalu
  • Bus to Castellfolit de la Roca on Day 4
  • Lunches, dinners on Days 3&7, snacks and drinks
  • Personal equipment
Extras
  • Additional nights before, during or after the tour

When To Go

You can start your walk anytime between the beginning of April and end of October, subject to availability.

Time of Year

The climate of La Garrotxa can be described as mountain Mediterranean with plenty of sunshine but cooler summers than on the coast. In springtime, the meadows and woodland in the Zona Volcanica region will be filled with flowers. Whereas in the autumn months of September and October, you can expect to see a wonderful profusion of golden brown and yellow colours.

Getting to the Start

By Air: Girona is the closest airport to Santa Pau. From here take a shuttle bus to the centre of Girona, and then you can catch a bus to Santa Pau, via Olot (approx 1h45m in total).We can also arrange private transfers from the airport to Santa Pau. Please select this option when making your booking.

Getting from the End

The closest airport to Besalu is again Girona. Take a bus to the centre of Girona (50min) and then a shuttle bus out to the airport (30min).

It is also possible to fly out of Barcelona Airport. To do this take the bus to Girona (50min), followed by the train to Barcelona Airport via Barcelona Sants Station (approx 1h in total). 

Luggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight stay. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Santa Pau Day 2 Loop walk from Santa Pau 8 miles / 13 km Day 3 Walk to Olot 10.5 miles / 17 km Day 4 Bus to Oix via Castellfolit de la Roca, Loop walk from Oix 7 miles / 11.5 km Day 5 Walk to Sales de Llierca 10 miles / 16 km Day 6 Walk to Beuda 8 miles / 12.5 km Day 7 Walk to Besalu 10.5 miles / 17 km Day 8 Onward Travel

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