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Self-Guided Catalonia Walking Short Break

Spain - Trip code WSSCA Walking and Trekking
Days 5
Deposit From £47
Price from £465
Flights not included

Why book this trip?

Experience authentic Catalonia's rich cultural and natural beauty on this short break holiday walking from the foothills of the Pyrenees towards the Mediterranean. Walk past extinct volcanoes, beech woods and ancient farmlands to medieval villages and towns.

  • La Garrotxa Natural Park - Extinct volcanoes, fascinating basalt rock formations and beech woodlands
  • Medieval town and villages - Including Santa Pau and Besalu
  • Catalonian hospitality - enjoy mouth-watering local delicacies
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 4

    Dinner: 1

  • Trip staff


  • Transport


  • i


    2 nights comfortable hotel

    2 nights premium hotel

  • i

    Walking grade:

    Easy To Moderate


Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Trip starts in Olot

Your walking holiday starts in Olot, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, and an ancient volcanic land called La Garrotxa. This region has over thirty extinct volcanoes, now covered in woodland and vegetation. Olot itself is an historic town, with colourful old buildings in the streets around the centre and a selection of cafes and bars. Our hotel of choice here is a family run hotel with a private garden area and swimming pool, on the outskirts of the town.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Dinner

Day 2 - La Garrotxa Natural park

Your first walk is in La Garrotxa Natural Park, a great introduction to this area. You will be taken by taxi to the visitors centre at Fageda d'en Jorda. From here you follow a trail through protected beech woodland, past long extinct volcanoes including the striking crater of El Croscat, back to your hotel in Olot.

Your first walk covers 16 kilometres and takes approximately five and a half hours. The total ascent and descent is +365m / -500m.

Note - The La Garrotxa Natural Park Information Centre and Museu dels Volcans are not open on Mondays


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 3 - Medieval towns: From Santa Pau to Besalu

Today begins with a taxi ride (included) to the medieval town of Santa Pau. The town centre has some interesting buildings including a castle first mentioned in documents dating back to the 10th century. From Santa Pau you follow the GR-2 long distance path through the Ser River valley and across rolling hills before finally descending to the beautifully preserved medieval town of Besalu via the famous 12th century bridge over the Fluvia River. The town's historic centre features arcaded streets and squares, a church consecrated in 1003, a restored Jewish bathhouse (kimveh) dating back to the 11th - 12th century, and a medieval synagogue down near the river. Our hotel of choice here is a centrally located, small, historic hotel.

Today's walk is 18.3 kilometres and takes approximately six hours. Total ascent and descent is +275m / -625m


Grade: Premium Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 4 - Hike beside River Fluvia to the rural village of Esponella

The walk today is shorter than previously, the trail first passing through fields then follows the River Fluvia where there are numerous swimming spots, and restaurants where you can stop for lunch. After a taxi ride back to Besalu (included) you will have time to further explore this interesting town.

The walk today is 10.5 or 14 kilometres depending on route and takes approximately three or three and a half hours. The total ascent and descent is +175m / 160m.


Grade: Premium Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 5 - Trip ends Besalu

Your trip ends today in Besalu, after breakfast.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Country information



Overall, spring, early summer and autumn are ideal times for a Spanish trip - though the weather varies enormously from region to region. The high central plains suffer from fierce extremes, stiflingly hot in summer, bitterly cold and swept by freezing winds in winter. The Atlantic coast, in contrast, has a tendency to damp and mist, and a relatively brief, humid summer. The Mediterranean south is warm virtually all year round. Spain's Islands the Canaries and Balaerics experience very mild winters and warm summers making them ideal year round destinations.

Time difference to GMT



2 Pin Round


Roman Catholic


Castilian Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Basque

Budgeting and packing


During the day you will mainly need lightweight, breathable shorts and shirts. However light rainwear may be needed at any time of the year, and a warm fleece/ jacket is recommended for cooler evenings and nights early and late in the season. In July and August temperatures can reach 30°. April and May are the months with the most rain.


Well worn, sturdy walking boots / shoes with good ankle support are essential for the walks. Sandals and trainers are recommended for relaxing in the evenings.

Luggage: On tour

Bring one main piece of baggage as per your airline luggage allowance, maximum 20 kg per person. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage during transfers by public transport so don't overload yourself. Luggage transfers between hotels are normally arranged by the hoteliers. Mark your bags clearly and leave them at the place and time arranged with them. When travelling on public transport or on a ferry you should always take your luggage with you.

Luggage transfer

Included between each hotel.


A water bottle, sunhat and sunscreen are all essential and you may wish to bring a small torch. Walking poles are recommended.

Maps - Along with the destination manual and route notes you will be sent a set of maps that have been created specifically for this trip to help you navigate. The route is marked on each map together with a series of numbered waypoints which correspond with instructions in the route notes. Should you wish to purchase a more detailed commercially produced map we recommend the following:-

The following maps are recommended:
Mapa comarcal de Catalunya, scale: 1:50000, published by Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya
n° 02 Alt Empordà
n° 19 Garrotxa
n° 28 Pla d'EstanyThese can be purchased online at Go to the e-shop and select "Shire map 1:50,000" ("Mapa comarcal" in Spanish)


Local fees
NB City Taxes maybe applicable. These are payable locally to the accommodation owner and vary from place to place. Generally this tax is up to 2€ per person per night.


Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Lunch price
£8.00 - 12.00
Dinner price
£16.00 - 20.00
Beer price
£1.50 - 3.50 (depending on the region/area in Spain)
Water price
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Recommended Currency For Exchange
We recommend you take the majority of your spending money in Euros cash.
Where To Exchange
We recommend that you change any currency into Euros prior to arrival. Bureau de Change are generally only found in major cities and large airports.
ATM Availability
In cities and most major towns.
Credit Card Acceptance
Visa and Mastercard are generally accepted in larger restaurants and some shops.
Travellers Cheques
Not recommended.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Recommended airport

Girona or Barcelona Airport

Flying to your destination

The nearest airports are Girona and Barcelona. Barcelona has more flights and is served by budget (including EasyJet, Ryan Air, Norwegian) and charter / scheduled airlines (including Monarch, British Airways, Vueling). Girona is served by fewer airlines including Ryan Air and Thomson Airways.

Arrival and departure information

At the start of your trip you can fly into Girona or Barcelona.

Arriving by public transport from Girona to Olot -

Bus from Girona airport to Girona bus station (city centre): Line 607 (run by the company Sagales) departures every hour from 05.00 to 19.00hrs (in summer from 05.00 to 23.00hrs), duration approximately 30min.

From Girona city centre to Olot:
Bus service run by Teisa departs Monday to Friday, hourly from 07.15 to 21.30hrs. Weekends, every 2hrs from 09.15 to 21.15hrs. The fastest route is via Banyoles, which takes between an hour and an hour and a half to reach Olot.

Arriving by public tranport from Barcelona to Olot -

From Barcelona Airport to Barcelona City Centre
Train service on Cercanias / Rodalies trainline R to Passeig de Gracia, a five minute walk from the Teisa bus stop. Trains run every thirty minutes from 05.40 to 22.30. Travel time is approximately thirty minutes.

Bus service from Barcelona city centre to Olot is run by Teisa and departs from Teisa bus stop, Calle Pau Claris, 117 This departs four times a day between 09.00 and 20.30 Monday to Friday. On Sundays and holidays the bus runs between 09.30 and 21.00. The journey is approximately two and a quarter hours.

Departing By public transport from Besalú to Girona airport

From Besalú you will take the bus first to Girona city centre (It goes every 2hrs, the bus company is Teisa; ; travel time 1 hrs: costs 5 euros). From Girona Bus Station you can take a shuttle bus to the airport (Sagales) Departures every hour from 05.00 to 19.00hrs (in summer from 05.00 to 23.00hrs), travel time aprox. 30min. The approximate cost is 2.75€ per way/ person.

Departing by public transport from Besalú to Barcelona airport

The Teisa bus company operates a direct bus from Besalú to Barcelona ( several busses per day; 2hrs drive; 15 euros) from where you will take a Cercanias train (R2N) to the airport ( every 30min; duration 30min)

** If you cannot find a convenient connection via Barcelona city centre, check the timetables for Lines 602 and 661, run by Sagales. These are direct bus services from Barcelona airport to Girona bus station (travel time approx 2,5hrs)

**Check your departure terminal and make sure your mode of transport will get you to the proper terminal for your departure from Barcelona Airport**

Alternatively it is possible to book private transfers both ways for both Girona and Barcelona airports. Please ask Explore for details.

Essential Information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Spain: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, US, New Zealand, US or Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.

If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.


Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here


It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.

Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.


Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Maximum altitude (m)




Nothing compulsory but Tetanus is usually recommended as a precaution. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Walking grade
Easy to moderate
Trek details
On this journey you walk 44. 7 km over 3 days (an average of 15 km per day). On this tour 90% of the walks follow dirt roads and wide tracks (hard-packed gravel or sand) with gradual ascents and descents, with a few exceptions (shortcuts along more stony trails). We have graded this trip as Easy to Moderate.
Max walking altitude (m)
Additional Information

Dates, prices and booking

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
Tue 10 Sep 2019 - Thu 31 Oct 2019 Your trip can depart anytime between the above dates. A solo traveller supplement applies, contact us for prices.
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All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both. The exception to this rule are customers who are booked on a trip where the joining and/or ending point is the airport or station. In this particular case there will be a specific time provided for when the trip starts and ends. On these particular trips, only one arrival and departure transfer will generally be provided for the whole group. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Time and place
00:00 at Hotel reception
Ending Point
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.

Add a flight

We offer a wide range of flexible flight options including convenient regional airports. Book flights with us and your trip will be ATOL protected for your peace of mind. 

ATOL logoATOL Protection
A flight inclusive package will be financially protected under ATOL 2595 held by Explore Worldwide Limited.



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