Camí de la Ronda DAY 1 in Costa Brava
Camí de la Ronda DAY 1 of 3 hiking 12 Km from Palamós to Callella de Palafrugell in the costa Brava via the GR-92 trail
Camí de Ronda is a coastal hiking trail that runs from France down the whole of the Spanish coastline, with the most famous section through the Catalan costa Brava. The best coastal trails in Spain can be found on the 583 Km long section of the Catalan GR-92 Camino de la Ronda.
El Camí de la Ronda is characterised by sweeping forests and jagged cliffs that conceal hidden bays and picture-perfect calas for a hiking based summer holiday. Escape the crowded beaches in towns and cities to find amazing beaches in the summer or complete the trails for an adventure hike off season. You will discover the Catalan coast from a unique perspective while enjoying healthy open air and the cleanest Mediterranean crystal clear blue water.
El Camí la Ronda, or to give it its official name, The GR-92, Gran Recorrido 92, can be divided into sections on the Costa Brava and Costa Dorada and at various points the GR-92 heads inland away from the coast around large urbanisations like Barcelona.
NOTE: in popular foreign media, Camí de La Ronda refers to the section of the GR-92 trail between Palamós and Begur on the Costa Brava when in fact Camí de La Ronda is a term locally used to describe the whole of the GR-92 coastal trail. If your looking for the 'classic' Camí de La Ronda then my three day trip along the Begur to Palamós section is what you are looking for.
On the Costa Brava, the GR-92 starts at Portbou, goes around Cap de Creus and heads inland, through the Aiguamolls de l'Emporda Natural Park, over the Montgri Massif and Les Gavarres Massif, until reaching Lloret de Mar. From there the trail goes inland again up through Montnegre-El Corredor Natural Park towards Santa Coloma de Gramenet, and crosses the River Besos and Collserola Mountains.
It dips back down to the sea at Garraf County and continues along the Costa Dorada coast until Tarragona, before going inland again at Ampolla. Finally, it crosses the River Ebre at Amposta and continues until reaching Ulldecona, on the border between Catalonia and Valencia.
Traditionally, the Camí de la Ronda originated as a series of small pathways connecting one cove to the next, enabling fisherman, smugglers, sailors, travellers, lighthouse keepers and traginers (cart and mule drivers), to navigate this once remote coastal territory.
After the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939), Spain was in economic Ruin and smuggling was rife so the Spanish police (Guardia Civil) patrolled the coastline along the Camí de la Ronda until the country stabilised. During the Era of the Franco Dictatorship, from the 1950s, Spain began to open up to tourism and the Camí de la Ronda gained prominence as a popular hiking trail.
Due to uncontrolled expansion of tourism, many sections of the coastline are now over developed so the natural beauty of the coastline in some parts has been destroyed, diverting the path inland away from private resorts and urbanisations or cliff top houses for the wealthy. However Spain has introduced laws in the early 2000s to protect the littoral areas of Spain and stop development of large hotel complexes. Some sections of Camí de la Ronda have been restored back to a coastal route.
Because you will be walking a linear trail along the coastline, Public transport that will take you to the start and pick you up at the end is the best option. The costa Brava is not connected to the rail network but has reliable bus services to the towns.
I completed the Costa Brava section of Camí de la Ronda from Palamós to Begur as a three day holiday with overnight stays in towns along the coast. However this section can be broken down further by visiting each of the towns individually as mini breaks by car.
The section between Cadaqués and Cap de Creus was completed as a one day hike while visiting the town of Cadaqués.
The sections south and north of Tossa de Mar can be done as part of a short holiday in Tossa de Mar.
Not technically on Camí de la Ronda, a section of the French Cote de Vermelle Coastline just across from the Spanish border between Collioure and Banyuls-Ser-Mer is worth a visit. I completed this as one day of a weekend in Colliure. Colliure and Banyuls-Ser-Mer are linked to Spanish rail via a border connection from SNCF in Port Bou.
The Costa Dorada has excellent railway connections via the Renfe Regional trains and can be broken down into a series of day hikes by train from Barcelona.
This is not a complete list of the Camí de la Ronda but a select list of the best coastal hiking trails in Catalunya, broken down into day trips. There are more sections of the GR-92 trail but they are boring because they are along the front of wide sprawling modern beach towns or are routed inland away from coastal urbanisations.
To find out the exact details of each hiking trip with my Wikiloc route map, tips about the best places to swim, bus or train maps and timetables, advice on where to stay, photo galleries and much more, click on any of the images below.