Route 1: Sea and Mountains in Catalonia and Southern France in one week
A route full of contrasts combines the high Pyrenees with the most beautiful coves of the Côte Vermeille and the Costa Brava. Criss-cross Northern Catalonia and Southern France on this 416 mile route and enjoy beaches, mountains, history and Mediterranean culture. This route is ideal to be driven with a campervan. Due to the natural variety and the small population you’ll find a lot of beautiful places to stop and spend the night without worries. In the table on the left you’ll find distances and the principal attractions. Further down you’ll get a detailed description of the route and its landmarks. Here, the tour is planned for six days, but obviously you can (and should) add some more days to enjoy it without hassle. Moreover on the right you’ll find the clickable map and photos of the most beautiful places. Enjoy your trip with a Chilicamper!
Day 1: Vic – Ribes de Freser (53km / 33 mi) In less than an hour you can reach the rack railway station that takes you up to an elevation of 6,000 feet. The Nuria Valley is surrounded by peaks of almost 9,000 feet. An ideal place to spend a day in the high Pyrenees and wander through beautiful and quiet mountain landscapes.
Day 2: Ribes de Freser – Castelnou (132km / 83 mi) Enter into France crossing the Ares mountain pass . You can expect overwhelming panoramic views of Catalonia ‘s sacred mountain, the Canigó, before you descend through the narrow river valley of the Tech. At Arles-sûr-Tech you’ll be provided with a helmet before you squeeze through the vertical walls of the gorges “de la Fou ”. After reaching the coastal flatlands you can taste a couple of glasses of vermouth in one of Thuir’s bodegas and visit Castelnou Castle in its beautiful surroundings.
Día 3: Castelnou – Llançà (102km / 62mi) Reserve the morning for the city of Perpignan , stroll through its narrow alleys and enjoy the sun on one of its many terraces. Past Canet Lagoon you’ll reach the Mediterranean Sea . Finest sandy beaches invite to a refreshing bath. The coastal road brings you to the fortified port town of Colliure that deserves a stroll of a couple of hours. Further south you’ll reach the Côte Vermeille, the wild coast of France . The port town of Llançà , again on Spanish territory, expects you with a selection of good but rather economic restaurants.
Día 4: Llançà – Torroella de Montgri (130km / 81mi) Without doubt, the fishing villages of El Port de la Selva and Cadaqués belong to the most beautiful and most authentic places on the entire Catalonian coast. A stone’s through away you can visit the house of famous painter Salvador Dalí . Windy Cape Creus forms the eastern most point of the Iberian Peninsula . Its rough landscape is formed by wind and salt. A romantic lighthouse at land’s end shows the way into the endless vastness of the sea. The detour to the famous Dalí Museum in Figueres can be considered obligatory. In case your cultural needs have not yet been completely satisfied, you can explore the Greek and Roman ruins of Empúries.
Día 5: Torroella de Montgri – Tossa de Mar (104km / 65 mi) The half hour morning ascent to vertiginous Montgrí Castle rewards with stunning panoramic views over the wild coast and the Pyrenees . Check in for a boat ride at the port of L’Estartit to the natural reserve of the beautiful Medas Islands archipelago. Few miles further south you can let yourself convince that civilized life did not begin with Greeks and Romans, visiting the remnants of the Iberic village at Ullastret . A walk through the perfectly restored middle age village Pals could be the last item on your cultural agenda before splashing into the water at one of the gorgeous little coves between Begur and Tossa.
Día 6: Tossa de Mar – Vic (140km / 87mi) The farewell to the beautiful coast may be sad, but the old Jewish Quarter of Girona invites to shop around or just explore the narrow alleys. Climb back into the mountains again. Views from El Far , a 900 feet high vertical cliff are just breathtaking. The mountain village of Rupit gives you an idea how farmer’s life was some centuries ago. At the cascade Salt de Sallent , not even two miles from the village, the creek falls hundreds of feet deep into the valley.