Barcelona is a lovely city to touch down into. Our first and last hotel was located on Rambla de Catalunya, a bustling but slightly understated street very close to the ever popular La Rambla. I arrived on a Friday and Saturday morning strolled with 3 of my walking ladies to La Boqueria Market where we sat at a nearby restaurant for a hearty eggs and ham breakfast with a side of tomatoes and goat cheese….my first of many goat cheese treats.
We quickly strolled through La Boqueria Market, where there was an abundance of fresh fruit, vegetables, meats and cheeses and I wished we had more time to peruse before taking off to the train station. On our way down La Rambla after the market we ran into our fearless tour leader and dear friend, who had gotten dropped off in a nearby square via bus from the airport.
The Boqueria Market
We were picked up in Figueres train station by Steve of Catalan Adventures. Steve and Maria were our tour guides as they provided us the information and details for the walks, hotel reservations, transport at times and a preview of the adventure upon our first nights stay. Their services are highly recommended and reasonably priced.
Our first night and second night’s stay on the official tour was in Sant Pere Pescador a sleepy little town and the Mas del Joncar was just a 10 minute walk from the town center. The inn had ample space to accommodate the 8 walking ladies in our group plus a few more small groups. The rooms were spacious and well attended and there was a lovely terrace for night caps and an indoor space to relax as well. Breakfast was served on the front terrace and the food was simple and quality. Fresh squeezed orange juice along side delightful pastries, cheese and meats, fresh fruit and my personal favorite plain yogurt with full fat. We were delighted to hang our hat at this inn for 2 nights.
Mas del Joncar breakfast
We headed out for two days walking first on the beach from L’Escala to Empuries. The wind on the beach walk was incredible with wind surfers having their day and we took a detour at the Marlin Beach Bar for a lunch of tapas and salads for the gluten free girls. Day 2 we headed from Sant Pere Pescador to Costello. We trekked from the Mas del Joncar and connected to a trail along a river and then spent some time swimming in the Mediterranean. The trail took us through a bird sanctuary the is part of the Parc Natural del Cap de Creus. Walking in Catalonia in the end of June we were in for hot weather. The days averaged about 85 degrees fahrenheit. We applied lots of sun screen and covered up.
We stayed that night in Castello D’Empuries at Casa Clara. The Casa Clara is a lovely hotel with well appointed rooms in the heart of Castello. Around a few medieval corners in the village is a square where we had drinks and then dinner.
The next day we were picked up by Steve and transported to Platja Canyelles. This walk would take us to Cadaques and the tour stepped up a peg or two on this section. The walk was stunningly beautiful along the Cap de Crues. We walked along the Mediterranean Sea for most of the day and the views were just amazing. The day ended in Cadaques, a dreamy
sea village that most of our group can visualize retiring to one day. I can’t say enough about Cadaques. Cadaques resides on the edge of the Cap de Creus Peninsula. The Pyrenees are just north and beyond them is France. The village was bustling in the evening as visitors ventured out to shop and dine. We stayed at the Hotel Llane Petit a lovely hotel with a view from the outskirts of the bustle of Cadaques. The hotel was a great place to hang our hats for two night. We felt so lucky to have our day off mid week in Cadaques. Some of the group did a long walk to the Dali House but two of us took the short walk and strolled 20 minutes across town to explore Dali.
We were sad to leave Cadaques but the adventure continued. After one relaxing day off we headed through the village and up into the hills past an olive farm and beyond on our way to Port De La Selva. Again the weather was hot, about 27C or 80F. This walk was beautiful with many views of the sea in the distance, wild flowers and rock formations.
Cadaques to Port De La Selva
We stayed in Port de la Selva and swam in the sea and had a welcome late lunch of tapas and salads. We headed out the next day for our last day of walking. It was warm…seemed the warmest day but maybe it was because we were scaling a small mountain? The day was not without excitement as the decision for Great Britain to leave the European Union was all over the news that day. There was much discussion in our group. We headed up and out of Port de la Selva towards a Benedictine Monestary – Sant Pere de Rodes. It was quite a walk up the hill. And some of our group are warriors and made the trek even further to the Castell de Sant Salvador. The views were reported to be spectacular – as we drank sparkling water and cortados in the Monestary lounge.
The rest of the walk was up and over the other side of the mountain and down the other side to Palau. The way down the other side was quite difficult in places with loose large stones but the satisfaction of completing the walk is always high when the going gets tough.
We were happy and celebrating our arrival at the darling inn Niu de Sol Hotel Rural in Palau. This inn had all the special touches, lovely rooms, some with views of the coast, a terrace for an evening dinner and a lovely breakfast. The inn was perfect for our last evening before heading back to the city of Barcelona where we’d say our goodbyes and look forward to another adventure in two years! We are really lucky – eight girls connected by a common friend from some special time in our lives. And now we are eight lifetime friends.