Costa Brava Hike – Camí de Ronda
Camí de Ronda is Catalan’s epic coastal hike. It links up a series of pathways along the Costa Brava (which appropriately means rugged coast) from the border with France heading down for over 250km to Blanes. Hiking along the route will take you through some seriously varied scenery. You’ll go past pine forests and rocky cliffs that lead down to beautiful secluded coves, as well as fishing villages, tourist resorts and long sandy beaches.
We wanted a taste of the Camí de Ronda, so we spent a day hiking from Sant Feliu de Guíxols to Palamós along this ridiculously beautiful coastline.
Sant Feliu de Guíxols to Palamós Map
Camí de Ronda – Sant Feliu de Guíxols to Palamós the basics
Elevation gain: 260m
Time: 5 hours (ish)
What to bring:
This is quite an urban hike, so you don’t need to bring much. Just make sure you have comfy shoes and sunscreen. I was glad to have a swimsuit and towel so I could pop into the sea.
Plenty of cafes and loos along the beaches.
Dogs: Okay on a leash
How hard is it?
The walk we did is quite long, and there are a lot of steps (that will get your heart going) but it is not technical or difficult.
Camí de Ronda to Palamós – Getting started
We started by driving to Sant Feliu de Guíxols and finding a place to park near the beach. We had a peek at the habour before getting going. Once you’re ready to go, you start by climbing up to a viewpoint above the cliff (in the photo below), then following the coastline North.
Up on the cliff, you will be treated to some fantastic viewpoints. Then, you’ll walk through a nature reserve full of beautiful pine trees.
Cala de l’Ametller
The pathway wiggles its way along the Costa Brava as there are so many little coves (or cala in Catalan.) There were quite a few people rock climbing as we walked along here, so we could stop and watch them scale the cliffs in the sunshine.
The Costa Brava is so beautiful! With views like this, you can see why people choose to hike the entire Camí de Ronda route.
Mirador de les Dides
This is a great viewpoint to stop for a snack. The route swaps between high viewpoints and easy, flat beach walks. The long beach down below is Platja de Sant Pol.
The flowers lining the path were gorgeous, even in autumn. The drop-offs and views down to the water were spectacular too.
Platja de Sant Pol
Even in October, it was warm enough to relax on the beach and go swimming. I have no idea why there was a fairy-tale-eque castle here, but it made me smile.
Urban Coastal hike
This hike was the most urban walk we did in Spain, so we weren’t used to having access to so many cafes and shops. We made the most of them by stopping off for ice-creams when the opportunity arose.
Camí de Ronda for smugglers
The Camí de Ronda coastal trails were originally built by fishermen and police who were on the look out for smugglers along the Costa Brava. Sometimes they have built tunnels through, or walkways along the cliffs to avoid extra steps. I have to admit, I thought some of these tunnels looked like great spots for smugglers to hide. It made me wonder if this pathway helped or hindered the smugglers…
There are plenty of places to stop and catch your breath. I loved this Mirador de S’Agaró viewpoint in a gazebo, that looks out to the Mediterranean sea.
I enjoyed the way the path winds around the coast. It may make the path seem longer, but the coves and rocky views were just lovely.
The path often has steps down to allow fishermen to access coves.
Platja Gran d’Aro
There are a couple of huuuuge empty beaches along the trail! We took our shoes off to walk along this one, the Platja Gran d’Aro. It turned out to be really difficult to walk by the water! There is a slope down to the waves and the sand is quite coarse so we kept sinking and falling down the slope. In the end, we gave up, washed our feet and retreated back to the pathed walkway.
This is the view looking backwards after we had traversed the massive beach. It was strange seeing so many skyscrapers next to an almost empty beach!
If you like the sound of this walk, just make sure you bring comfy shoes as the path does go up and down a lot of stairs between each cove. Some sections (like the one in the photo below) were falling apart. However most of the trail seemed well loved and in great condition.
The steps may tire you out, but the coves and small beaches were perfect places to relax. We stopped at this one, Cala Rovira, so I could have a quick swim and cool down. The sea was pretty cold in October, but it felt amazing for my (slightly tired) legs.
My heart is drawn to mountains, but I have to admit, coastal views with blue seas are stunning.
Some of the smaller beaches had hardly any people at all. You might be able to find one all to yourself.
Right near the end of the walk (you can see Palamós in the background) there is a well-preserved tower and a great viewpoint.
Eerily quiet apartments
We had planned to walk as far as we could, then grab a taxi to get back to our starting point in Sant Feliu de Guíxols. By the time we had made it to the next long beach, platja de torre valentina, we were about ready to find a taxi.
In the end we walked all the way to Palamós. The beach was 3.5km long, and although we found plenty of cafes, we couldn’t find a taxi. My Spanish/Catalan is a bit too rubbish to order one on my phone, so we walked over to the tourist office and asked them to help us order one.
I hope you like the look of this fantastic walk along the Camí de Ronda from Sant Feliu de Guíxols to Palamós. We found that we were a bit slow on the wiggly stair-filled rugged coastline, and then super-speedy on the long beach sections.
If you like this idea, but would prefer a shorter hike, it would be easy to cut it in half, and just explore one of the rocky sections at either end of the route. Or, I found a fantastic post about other possible day hikes on Camí de Ronda here.
25 thoughts on “Costa Brava Hike – Camí de Ronda”
This hike looks absolutely beautiful! Happy I found your post now while I’m in Barcelona, going to try to make a day trip there now!
Oooh that is awesome news that I managed to help you find a gorgeous day trip! If you have time (and it is not too snowy) you might like to visit Vall de Boí as well. That area is gooorgeous. 😀
I’m really interested to visit here! These hikes look so beautiful!
Wow, those stairs look very ambitious but the views are extraordinary. The “jumping” photo reminds me a little bit of St. Thomas where all the celebrities have their big houses overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
And, how cool was that castle? Neat. I’d have explored the tunnels as well. I love finding places like that.
Thanks for sharing. Happy countdown to Christmas Josy!
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Oooh you are right! I didn’t take many photos, but there were quite a few massive houses overlooking the Mediterranean. It seemed like the very rich people lived on the rocky sections, then there were large housing complexes for everyone else down on the flat sections by the long beaches.
Happy Christmas countdown to you too!
These seems like such an amazing hike!! thank you for sharing all of this information!
The tunnels and stairs would be my favorite part I think! So cool when history is woven into trails like this. I’m on the same page in terms of generally preferring mountain/wilderness hikes, but ruins and historical structures are things that you don’t always get on a wilderness hike that sort of tips the scales towards doing a walk like this every once in awhile too.
Hiking in sand sounds really hard. Sometimes I think about doing those gorgeous coastal paths in New Zealand or Australia, and then I remember it’d be like walking through a ball pit. I feel you on giving up on that one slope haha
I love the outdoors! Great post! Thanks for being so detailed
This looks like an amazing coastal hike. I’ve done one before and New Zealand and loved the fact you’re always next to the water and amazing views.
The empty beaches look amazing as well! Looks like you guys had a blast!!
Thanks Riley! The views are pretty good aren’t they. 😀
This hike looks breathtaking with views of all those coves! When I was in Spain last summer, I hiked a short (5ish miles) trail near Granada, Spain, but I would love to try this hike if I return.
This looks absolutely incredible! Thank you for all the details! I really want to visit Costa Brava!
Wow what a pretty coast to hike! Love that you shared history and essential tips!
This looks like an incredible way to spend the day! And how lovely you could still swim in October! Despite the stairs, I think I’d definitely still do this!
This looks so stunning! I always love a good long hike. 🙂
This brought back wonderful memories of hiking Costa Brava. I did a different section but not less stunning.
Oooh which area did you do? It was hard to choose a section for a day hike as there are sooo many pretty sounding parts to the Cami de Ronda.
I did the section before the one you did. It was so beautiful.
Gorgeous pics, as usual! Your posts keep extending my Travel Bucket List!
Everywhere we went in Spain was pretty amazing for walks. It’s just I don’t think we can go back for a while now!!
Nothing beats a gorgeous hike with both swimming opportunities and ice cream! I can imagine nothing better than this!
Thank you! I am glad you liked the look of it. I sort of fancy it too while I’m looking out at the rain today.
This looks like an amazing coastal hike! I’ve done a few along the Costa del Sol but none in this part of Spain.
Thanks Krista! This part of Spain is pretty stunning too isn’t it? 🙂 I would love to go back and go further.