The Cami de Ronda long distance coastal path on Spain’s Costa Brava north of Barcelona stretches from Blanes all the way up to the French border. Much of it developed from ancient smugglers’ tracks, for spectacular variety of scenery and landscape it can’t be beaten. Pine trees cling to the cliffs falling away into the incredible blue of the sea, tiny wild coves lead into still tinier and wilder inlets before opening out into miles of beach. A perfect fishing village suddenly appears in the distance as you round a rocky, reddish promontory and always with the incomparable Mediterranean as the perfect walking companion beside you every step of the way. The high rise atrocities are thankfully left behind much further south round Lloret.
Almost all of the path is well signposted and maintained and offers something for all ages and levels of fitness. If you want strenuous climbs and vertiginous downhills, try the section from Sa Riera to the beach at Pals; for a flat sea-level stroll where you can stop at any number of small coves to swim or rest you can do the section from Platja d’Aro to Palamos; for a combination you could try Sa Riera to Torroella. The best thing about it is that you can have any length of walk and will never be far from refreshment or a fascinating, picturesque place to stop, whether it’s a beachside cafe for a snack (most of the bigger beaches, all year round), atmospheric fishing village for lunch (Sa Tuna, Tamariu and Sa Riera are unspoilt places to compete with any on the Mediterranean) or historic town (the perfectly preserved Begur and Pals are just short detours inland). The most rugged part is up north of Cadaques, where the path skirts Dali’s idiosyncratic house and ventures further into the weird moonscape which inspired some of his greatest paintings.
Too hot for most during July and August, at any other time it’s the perfect way to explore the coast. It’s free, you get fit quickly with the hills, and every walk can be punctuated with memorable meals. We first started doing it 30 years ago and are still discovering new experiences every walk; unlike us, it’s inexhaustible.
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