Mountains to the Mediterranean

tours / Other

Mountains to the Mediterranean information and booking

from
$1490
  • Duration
    8 days
    Days
  • Group size
    1-10
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    moderate
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Schedule Details

Summary
  • 7 nights hotels

Highlights

  • Walking in the French Pyrenees with a taste of Spain
  • Hiking from High Mountain Cols to Lush Green Valleys
  • Fortified Walled Towns and Castles
  • A One-Night Stop in Spain

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

This is a series of walks that link the mountains with the sea. They start in La Preste, the highest village of the Haute Vallespir valley, high on the frontier between France and Spain. Each day you will be walking a little further eastwards, sometimes assisted by a strategic taxi transfer, to get a little nearer to the "Big Blue", as the Mediterranean is called in these parts. The route follows a series of waymarked paths across the mountainsides through the heavily scented maquis and visiting some historic towns on the way to the port and beautiful town of Collioure. On your way you will be able to sample the wines of Roussillon, delicious local honeys, and the Catalan cuisine.

What's included

  • 7 breakfasts, 5 dinners
  • 7 nights accommodation in 2-3 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities where available
  • Luggage transfer
  • Information pack including route notes & maps
  • Emergency hotline

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive La Preste
La Preste les Bains. Mainland France's most southerly hotel (2*) in a dramatic position overlooking the river. La Preste is a noted health resort where the hot springs were and may well still be the ultimate cure for colibacillose. Half board
Day 2 La Preste to Mollo (14 km/4 to 5 h +650 -650 m)
From La Preste (1000m) we make our way up the forested slopes of the Haut Vallespir valley on well graded paths, to the Col de Siern (1629m) on the Franco-Spanish frontier, with fine views west to the Pic de Costabonne (2465m). We descend on the Spanish side and follow the Rio Ritort valley down to the village of Mollo (1000m). Accommodation: Mollo (in Spain, 1182m above sea level). Our usual accommodation is a 29-room hotel in a typical Spanish mountain village with views over the Pyrenean foothills and with Catalan and international food. This hotel does not have an official rating but the rooms are some of the best on the trip. Half board
Day 3 Mollo to Prats-de-Mollo (18km/5.5 to 6 h +500 m -865 m)
From Mollo we take a more Easterly route to return to France, following the Torrente de Fabert to recross the frontier at Collado des Prats (1596m), from where we descend a ridge between forested ravines to Prats de Mollo. Accommodation: Prats-de-Mollo. 2* accommodation. Either a small Logis de France hotel and restaurant with a well-qualified chef in the shadow of the walls of the old fortified village or another hotel of similar size and standard just a 5 minute walk away. Half board
Day 4 Prats-de-Mollo to Amelie-les-Bains (16 km/4.5 to 5 h +480 m -1160 m)
We start the day with a road transfer to a farm, Pla Boula (900m), high up on the south flank of the Vallespir. A fine ridge walk takes us via Serre de la Garsa (1212m) to Pilon de Belmatx (1280m). At Col des Paracolls (902m) we join the GR10 coast-to coast Pyrenean long distance trail to start the descent to Amelie-les-Bains (220m). Accommodation: Amelie-les-Bains. A fairly large 3* hotel with 66 rooms with private facilities, telephone, TV. The hotel is 5 minute walk away from the town center, shops, restaurants and cafes. Swimming pool. Half board
Day 5 Amelie-les-Bains to Le Boulou (20 km/5 to 6 h +370 m -420 m)
A short road transfer to Chapelle St Paul, followed by a walk via the famous Pont du Diable (Devil's Bridge) over the River Tech and up to the Ermitage St Ferreol. Then a traverse to the tiny village of Vives and the viewpoint of Puig Sangli (209m) and down to Le Boulou. Accommodation: Le Boulou - Tonight we have to leave the mountains. Our hotel (2*) is on the quiet back streets on the edge of the old town overlooking the Tech valley. It boasts a swimming pool but this is in reality just a small dip pool suitable for young children. It also has a good restaurant with a terrace. Half board
Day 6 Le Boulou to Collioure (16 km/5.5 to 6 h +800 m -1150 m)
Another taxi takes us high via the border town of Le Perthus to join the GR10. The route starts with gentle ascent on paths and tracks before a steeper climb brings sweeping views to the west. Forest paths reach the border ridge at 1130m with views to the coast and the summit of Puig Neulos, which is reached by an open ridge walk. The views are magnificent to the mountains and the Mediterranean . Descend to the ancient walled village of Laroque-des-Alberes for refreshment and a taxi transfer to Collioure. Accommodation: In Collioure our 3* hotel is in a quiet location about 500m from the center of this busy town and about 600m from the sea. The hotel has 22 rooms all with en suite facilities. The two nights are booked on a bed and breakfast basis as there are numerous good restaurants in the town and along the waterfront
Day 7 Collioure to Banyuls & return to Collioure (15 km/5.5 to 6 h - 820 m)
Walk up from Collioure (sea level) to Tour Madeloc (656m), then descend to Col des Gascons and follow the GR10 long distance trail among vines to down Banyuls. Look around Banyuls, take a swim or try some of the local wines. Take a train back to Collioure for your last night. Accommodation: In Collioure our 3* hotel is in a quiet location about 500m from the center of this busy town and about 600m from the sea. The hotel has 22 rooms all with en suite facilities. The two nights are booked on a bed and breakfast basis as there are numerous good restaurants in the town and along the waterfront
Day 8 End of tour
Depart Collioure after breakfast