The Coastal Trail from Begur to Sant Feliu de Guíxols
You may have already read the first instalment of our Camino de Ronda blog that covered the coastal walk between the villages of Begur and Calella de Palafrugell. If you haven’t you can find it here. In this blog we will share our experience of the rest of this camino down the coast to Sant Feliu de Guíxols.
Part 2: Calella de Palafrugell to Sant Feliu de Guíxols
Having made our way back to Calella to pick up from where we left off the first day, we began with the easy section to Cala El Golfet with plenty of photo opportunities along the way.
Almost as soon as you leave El Golfet you start a tough enough stretch up to Cap Roig. (Yes, there is more than one Cap Roig!) It involves quite a bit of climbing through some lovely woodland and it’s somewhat challenging for a little while, but of course what goes up must come down and in no time at all you’ll be descending again. You’ll come down a set of steps to a small beach known as El Crit and at first you may think you have taken a wrong turn as it seems the only way off the beach is back up those same steps. But look more closely and you’ll see a gap in the rock which leads you through towards Cap de Planes.
The next section involves some walking along a few almost deserted sandy beaches until you come to Cala Estreta, one of the naturist coves in which you can strip down to your birthday suit if you so wish. We didn’t take any close-up photos here (!) but the second of the following shots shows you just what a beautiful spot it is.
After Cala Estreta there’s another bit of ascending and descending to do but the views from on high make it worth the extra bit of effort.
This will eventually bring you to the ruins of Poblat Ibèric de Castell, located at one end of the beautiful and popular Platja de Castell beach. The ruins are of an indigenous pre-Roman Iberian settlement that dates back to between the 6th century B.C. and the 1st century A.D. Back to modern times and there’s a xiringuito on the beach here so definitely time to stop for a well-earned refreshing beer! Thanks to efforts by locals to prevent development this beach remains in its natural state with the seasonal beach bar being the only concession to tourism. You can revert to your natural state too as it’s another of the ‘clothing optional’ beaches.
Leaving Platja de Castell we continued on our camino towards Palamós, passing the lovely Cala S’Alguer on the way with its old fisherman’s huts, until we came to Castell de Sant Esteve at the start of La Fosca beach. This was another Iberian settlement that existed during the same time as the one at Platja de Castell. Nowadays it’s settled during the summer months by mostly foreign tourists and there are a few bars and restaurants if you feel in need of sustenance.
At the other end of La Fosca we picked up the camino again and carried on towards the port town of Palamós, passing Cala Margarida with more of those fishing huts. The next part of the walk is an easy stroll along the seafront promenade from Palamós to Torre Valentina where it becomes a trail again.
This next section, which takes you towards Platja d’Aro, involves crossing more beaches than any other part of the camino and if you decide to do this during the height of the summer season, especially on a weekend, you’ll find yourself stepping over lots of pale blue northern bodies sunning themselves to a bright pink! Up until a couple of years ago part of this section of the camino de ronda was closed off due to erosion but it has now been restored with some sections of boardwalk put in where before walking wasn’t possible. This stretch of our walk was easy enough as the path is in good condition although it is narrow in places and the beach sections may slow you down a bit. It’s probably best to avoid trying this segment on weekends in summer.
From Torre Valentina to the start of Platja d’Aro beach should take you about an hour. Then it’s another stroll along another promenade with plenty of opportunities for a beer or a bite to eat on the way. At the end of the beach, you’ll need to briefly walk up to the main road linking Platja d’Aro and S’Agaro in order to link up with the camino once again – unless of course you’re Jesus and can walk on water! Once you are back on track the first beach you’ll come to will be the lovely Platja Sa Conca. At the other end of the beach starts probably the best maintained segment of the whole camino. There are some spectacular houses with beautiful gardens along this section and if you happened to have a spare few million euro (or roubles!) in your pocket you would be tempted to knock on one of the doors and ask how much they want and how long they need to move out! At the end of this stage you emerge onto the beach of Sant Pol.
And so, to the final part of our camino! It’s a good idea to grab a last beer in Sant Pol before this next bit because it’s very up and down – and up and down… As on most of the camino the trail itself is in good shape but you may find the climbing a bit tiring at the end of your hike, especially when you get to the top only to find it takes you back down to sea level and you have to do it all again! It’s worth putting in the final effort though as it’s not that long and there is more lovely scenery to behold. There are a couple of short stretches that are actually up on the street but eventually you’ll come out at the edge of the pleasant town of Sant Feliu de Guíxols. Even though you’ve now technically finished this camino de ronda we’d suggest walking to the end of the prom and walking the last 100 metres or so inland to take in the Monestir de Sant Feliu de Guíxols. A fitting end to a wonderful day!
All in all, the Camino de Ronda from Begur to Sant Feliu de Guixols is calculated to be 43km in length and the total time to walk it is estimated at around 13.5 hours, of which 11.5 hours of actual walking (not counting beer stops!).
The beauty of the camino is that you can dip in and dip out anywhere along the way and do it in segments. Most of the trail is well looked after and in good condition and there are sections for people of all levels of fitness and ability. The hardest part in terms of the trail, as well as the ascending and descending, is the bit between Tamariu and the lighthouse at Sant Sebastià but it is also very beautiful. The easiest would be from Platja Sa Conca to Sant Pol beach – also very beautiful! Whatever part you decide to do we’re sure you’ll enjoy it. We did!