Catalan Camino de Santiago
|Activity Level||Medium Challenging|
|Distance||115Km/ 70 Miles|
|Tour Type||Hiking Guided Tour|
The Catalan territory has always been a historical crossroads between Europe and the Iberian Peninsula. During the middle ages, Pilgrims going to Santiago and coming from Central and Southern Europe, crossed Catalonia and visited its main sanctuaries of Montserrat and Sant Pere de Rodes, the second most important pilgrimage site after Santiago de Compostela.
This path has been out of use for so long, but now we are really excited to walk this hidden road with you. Join us to discover the Romanesque Churches tucked away in La Costa Brava. Explore the contrasting landscape of the Mediterranean Sea and the magical mountains of Montserrat. Walk the ancient Valley of Holm Oak trees and the Volcanic Mountains of “La Garrotxa”. This Camino is totally off the beaten track, it’s real, it’s vibrant, intense in nature and landscape, amazing food and culture. It’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss
Meet your guide and fellow travellers at Girona General Post office at 8am. We will then transfer to Sant Pere de Rodes where the Catalan Camino de Santiago starts. To begin our day we will visit this monastery, one of the greatest examples of Romanesque architecture in Catalonia. Then we will start our walk from the town of Vilajuïga ( Villa Judaica 1127) known for its carbonated water and red wines. Following the shells symbols, we will come across pre-historic dolmens, the medieval town of Peralada with its beautiful castle and will end our hike in Vilabertran visiting its best preserved Medieval Abbey in Spain: “La Canònica”.
This morning we start walking from our Hotel in Figueres. The influence of the brilliant Dalí can be seen in the streets adjoining his splendid Theatre-Museum. Following La Rambla, we will leave the city to get back to our trail, weaving our way back and forth through farms to the village of Borrassà. We will just need to walk around its streets to realize the town’s history with its plazas and houses, some of which are very grand. From here our route continues to Pontós a peaceful country town that lies by the Fluvià River that will lead us to Bascara, one of the most charming villages in Alt Empordà. Hotel: Báscara
Our route today take us through small farming villages where the natural beauty has been preserved unspoiled. We will come cross the villages of Vilademuls and Terradelles before we reach Sant Esteve de Guialbes. Here, the parish church is dedicated to Saint Steven and its open to pilgrims. From here we will continue to the town of Medinyà which is crossed by the Cami Ral, a legacy of an old Roman Road. After lunch, a short transfer to Girona, where we will go for a walk to discover the secrets of Girona before free time for dinner in the mecca of foodies.
This morning a short transfer will bring us to la Garrotxa region, famous for its volcanoes. We will follow part of the Via verda, a former narrow railway line known as “the carrilet”, today transformed into paths and cycleways. Our first landmark will be the town of Sant Feliu de Pallerols, one of the most attractive towns on the route. As you stroll through the streets of its old quarter, you will be transported back in time. As we move forward the route will give us the chance to visit Sant Esteve d’en Bas and Els Hostalets d’en Bas. The fields of La Vall d’en Bas, ringed by mountains, put on a breathtaking display of colours that changes with the seasons.
The route today follows the old Cami Ral from Vic to Olot, with numerous inns along the way now turned into conventional farmhouses. As we leave Folgars d’en Bas we embark on a long climb to Collsacabra where we will enjoy incomparable views. We continue through woodland and meadows on the path, the like of which pilgrims will not see again until they reach Galicia. From here we will start our descent to Roda de Ter, with views of Sant Pere de Casserres which stands on a hill that lies within a meander in the Ter River.
A 30min transfer will bring us to L’Estany. The long stretch between L’Estany and Artés does not pass through any towns or villages so it is a solitary but very beautiful part of the Way of Saint James. The route, most of which is downhill, goes through large swathes of oak and holm oak woodland and you will hear little but the sounds of nature. It is without a doubt, one of the best stretches on the Camino. Transfer back to Vic and free time to discover the town, and its gastronomy for dinner.
Morning transfer sends us to Castellgalí to start our last walk which will lead us to our final destination, Montserrat. The Monastery of Santa Maria and the mountain of Montserrat constitute what is probably Catalonia’s most iconic destination due to its unusual geology, its status as a symbol of Catalan identity and nationhood, and its importance as a place of pilgrimage . For these and many other reasons, there is no better spot to end our Way of Saint James in Catalonia. After visiting the monastery we will be transfer to Barcelona, check in at the Hotel and have time to prepare for the special farewell dinner.
Catalan Camino de Santiago
8 days | Tour dates upon request