French Catalonia Guided Walking Holiday
Uncover the dramatic border region between France and Spain
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Hills & moorland
Choosing the level of your walks
Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Nestled between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea in the Languedoc, Argelès-sur-Mer in northern Catalonia offers superb walks taking in secluded coves, pretty beaches and wild landscapes. Enjoy a mixture of green inland hills and rocky coastline, including the outstanding section made famous by the Cadaques to Collioure long distance path.
Inland, the routes feel 'off the beaten track' near the Spanish border and are filled with incredible history including WWII forts.
- Fantastic coastal walking along the famous Sentier du Littoral
- Enjoy delicious meals with a view of the sea at the well-appointed Grand Hotel du Lido
- Discover shaded routes between pretty French towns or with far-reaching sea views, or visit local markets to soak up culture
- A full programme of guided walks with 2 options every walking day
- All transport to and from walks
- The services of experienced HF Holidays’ leaders
- Return flights from the UK and hotel transfers on 'with flight' holidays
- 7 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms
- Half Board – continental buffet breakfast and 3-course evening meal
The family Lormand offers our guests a warm Catalan welcome to their 3-star Grand Hotel Du Lido that sits on the seafront in Argelès-sur-Mer and boasts superb views over the Mediterranean Sea. Pine trees have been planted along a footpath that runs alongside the hotel and a delightful sandy beach. This path offers a relaxing 15-20 minute walk into the main resort town of Argelès-sur-mer passing many of the older villas.
|Grand Hotel Du Lido has 66 well-equipped en-suite bedrooms.
With over 4 floors, most rooms have side sea views and with balcony or terrace.
Each bedroom has:
|At the Grand Hotel Du Lido guests can enjoy:
Holidays at Argelès-sur-Mer are Half Board with continental breakfast and 3-course evening meal.
Argelès-sur-Mer offers a self-select buffet breakfast with cold and hot beverages, fruit, and selection of breads and pastries.
Dinner is a 3-course evening meal served to the table. Vegetarian and special diets are catered for; we ask you to take a few moments to talk with the management on arrival.
The hotel has a well-stocked bar serving beer, wine and spirits.
This hotel offers a packed lunches at an additional cost. Alternatively, ingredients for a picnic lunch can be purchased from local shops and on certain days it may be possible to eat in local cafès; your leader will advise you of these options.
The friendly atmosphere of our Guided Walking holidays continue into the evening.
Enjoy a glass of wine or beer whilst listening to our leaders telling you about the next day's walk. After dinner you may like to join your group on a walk along the beach, go for coffee in a local cafè, or listening to live music.
Your leader will be checking for any local events going on nearby. Or you may like to stay in the hotel relaxing and chatting to your fellow guests.
Argelès-sur-Mer Guided Walking Holiday
Our experienced leaders offer the choice of two different walks each day. Choose the option which best suits your interests and fitness. We provide flexible holidays. Choose easier walking one day and harder the next or just explore independently or relax around the resort. Our leaders are friendly and welcoming, making your holiday fun and sociable
Our walks from Argelès-sur-Mer help discover the incredible variety this compact area has to offer. Underfoot there are good paths allowing us to enjoy a mixture of green inland hills and rocky coastline.
Easier walks: 5 to 8 miles (8-13km) on good paths, with some rocky sections. Up to 1,500ft (450m) of ascent in a day.
Harder walks: 7 to 10 miles (11-16km) on good paths, with some rocky sections. Up to 2,500ft (750m) of ascent in a day.
Our full 2019 itinerary is being finalised by our field advisors and product team, we'll have it published soon! Take a look at our 2018 holiday below for a taste of the holiday.
Day 1: Arrival day
On your arrival day you will have the opportunity to settle into your room and perhaps see a little of the resort before the evening meal. On the first evening your leaders will explain more about the walks.
Day 2: Argelès and the Sentier du Littoral coastal path
Today both walks will start from the hotel and follow a section of the Sentier Littoral, a long distance path that follows the coastline all the way to the Spanish frontier. The section we follow is known as the côte Vermeille (Red coast) because of the rock colour and both groups will visit the picturesque Mediterranean fishing village of Collioure, set in a beautiful natural bay framed by the bell-tower of Notre Dame des Anges.
Easier Walk: We will leave directly from the hotel to follow the level beach promenade path initially shaded by pines, passing the centre of Argelès plage. The promenade continues through the modern port of Argelès and on to a small beach resort of La Racou. From here the path becomes more rugged as it ascends clifftops where there are good coastal views at an orientation table and descends to visit remote beaches. We pass ruined clifftop fortifications along the way, before the final descent into the attractive colourful narrow streets of Collioure, where guests will have time to wander themselves and discover its charm before the short coach journey home. 5½ miles (8½km) with 500 feet (150m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: The harder group also leave directly from the hotel following the same route as the easier group passing Argelès plage and its port following the Sentier Littoral coastal path as far as Collioure. At Collioure we follow the promenade around the complete bay taking in the everchanging vistas of this pretty fishing port that so attracted painters like Matisse and Derain. Climbing to follow the clifftops along the Sentier Littoral again passing ancient fortifications and defences we have good views along the coast at the headland of Cap Gros. Finally, the path descends to arrive in the large commercial harbour of Port Vendres. 8½ miles (13½km) with 1,000 feet (300m) of ascent.
Day 3: Walks in the hills above Laroque des Alberes
A short coach ride brings us to the attractive medieval village of Laroque des Albères, from where many paths climb steeply into the wooded slopes of the massif des Albères hills. Both groups will make pleasant but different circuits into the interior discovering some of its natural and man-made treasures along the way, before returning to the village.
Easier Walk: This leaves the village on a gently ascending shaded path passing the old watermill and spring. A further steady climb through woods on paths that are quite rough and steep in places allows us to discover the site of an ancient snow trap built to provide a supply of ice during summer, constructed in the 16th century but hidden in this wooded environment. Climbing higher and crossing a stream we reach the highest point of today’s walk at the Casot del Guarda refuge hut. From here we make our slow steady descent back to the village on a mixture of wide stony tracks and narrow woodland paths, which are rutted in places but with views down the valley. In the village there is an option to visit the ruined tower of its ancient castle for more views. 6 miles (9km) with 1,600 feet (480m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: The initial route leaving the village follows the same gentle path taken by the easier group, but we soon branch off following a steeply climbing path, rutted in places by water erosion, up the side of the valley with some shade in places. At the top of the climb when the path levels we walk through woodland populated with chestnut and cork trees to arrive at the site of the Vernosa spring with great views over the plain of Roussillon below. Continuing our climb, we arrive at the Casot del Guarda refuge hut, from here we descend to cross a stream before viewing the puits a glace (snow trap used for making ice in summer) seen by the easier group. Continuing our descent on a pleasant woodland path we eventually meet our outward path for the final return to the village. 7 miles (11km) with 2,100 feet (630m) of ascent.
Day 4: Coastal routes to Banyuls-sur-mer
For today’s walks we have a short coach journey to Port Vendres. The walks will start from different places in the town and take different routes but both groups will have the opportunity to visit the museum at Paulilles en route finishing at the pleasant beach resort of Banyuls sur mer and perhaps sample the drink of the same name.
Easier Walk: We leave Port Vendres passing the railway station and gently climbing to the fertile terraced slopes behind the town. Weaving our way on stony paths through the vines we have good views towards the coast, before descending, passing under the railway to arrive at Paulilles. The free open-air museum here tells the fascinating history of the former dynamite manufacturing complex in a very attractive setting overlooking a small sheltered beach, where we will have time to look around. Leaving the museum, we re-join the sentier Littoral coastal trail which climbs and descends the clifftop all the way to Banyuls. 6 miles (9½km) with 1,100 feet (330m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: The harder group starts at a minor road on the far side of the large commercial port of Port Vendres. From here we pick up the sentier littoral again initially on a level path passing ruined port defences, but soon climbing to a narrow balcony path that takes us out to the remote headland at Cap Bear and its lighthouse. Our route continues to follow the undulating coastal path descending to visit small coves and climbing to remote dwellings perched above the sea before also arriving at Paulilles beach and its museum; where if time permits a brief visit should be possible. Our route from here continues along the sentier littoral, the same as that taken by the easier group, until our final destination at Banyuls comes into view and a well-earned refreshment is available. 7 miles (11km) with 1,500 feet (450m) of ascent.
Day 5: Free Day
Each week there is a free day when no guided walks are offered. Your free day offers the chance to relax in this beachside setting, visit the medieval centre of nearby Perpignan or travel by train into Spain to the Dali museum in Figueres.
Day 6: The Vallespir Valley around Ceret
Today we will travel by coach inland from the coast to the neighbouring region of Vallespir and the attractive small town of Ceret, known for its modern art museum and annual cherry festival. Setting off from different locations both groups will finish the day in Ceret.
Easier Walk: The walk starts near the old medieval bridge below Ceret, ascending to the remote chapel of St Ferreol, on tracks and narrow paths where we are rewarded with great views. We descend from the chapel before another short climb brings us to a view point. From here we descend to the valley bottom using minor roads and narrow paths and cross the ancient bridge we saw at the beginning (Pont de Diable). Afterwards, a gentle climb takes the group up to the centre of Ceret. 6 miles (9½km) with 1,100 feet (330m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Starting at the small village of Le Pont de Reynes and its disused railway bridge, the group climb up woodland paths giving good views of Canigou, a mountain of great Catalan significance. Reaching the attractive village of Reynes in its own secluded valley, we leave the valley along a minor road and then descend an old mule track to the next valley before a short climb to the coll de Bossells. From here we descend with views over the Tech valley to the centre of Ceret. 6 miles (9½km) with 1,800 feet (540m) of ascent.
Day 7: Foothills of the Pyrenees
Both groups will discover the hinterland behind Argelès on today’s walks. The easier group will walk directly from the hotel, while the harder group will start with a short land train journey. Both walks explore paths in the wooded slopes of the foothills that form the final part of the Pyrenees as they meet the sea. Finishing at the pristine white exterior of Château Valmy, a slightly incongruous sight in this region, provides a fitting end to today’s walks.
Easier Walk: Walking from the hotel a level path beside a small stream takes us into Argelès village where a small artisan market has occupied the streets below the bell tower and church for centuries. It is tempting to linger but not for too long as we must continue our route along quiet lanes across the fertile plain behind the town. Our path starts to climb the wooded slopes, and after a steeper climb, we are rewarded with great views across the plain below towards the coast. We arrive at the remote chapel of St Laurent in a wooded clearing. From here our route descends on wide rough tracks to arrive at Château Valmy with time to visit the botanical park perhaps while awaiting our return transport. 7 miles (11km) with 1,400 feet (420m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: The harder walk starts at the Château Valmy car park, from where we skirt the château and vineyards to ascend on the track used by the easier group on their return. However, we soon leave it and climb steadily on narrow paths to reach the Roc de Grill. The path levels briefly before a further climb towards the tower of Massane seen ahead on the horizon. The final ascent to the tower is above the tree-line and the commanding views are spectacular. From here you can appreciate why this defensive signal tower was constructed, and we have seen it all week on the skyline from the hotel. Leaving the tower, we descend the same way to start but soon a different narrow path descends to bring us onto a wider track. Our descent is rough and rutted in places passing a pre-historic stone tomb and good views of the château below where we finish and await our return transport with drinks in a nearby cafe. 7½ miles (12km) with 2,500 feet (750m).
Day 8: Departure Day
Please note that the itinerary outlined is provisional and could be subject to change. A finalised itinerary will be available at the resort and every evening your leaders will talk to you about the next day’s walks.
Make the most of your European holiday by visiting two resorts. Why not visit Roses in Spanish Catalonia.
Roses and Argeles
Combine a week at Argeles with a week at Roses. Stride out on the "wild coast" and enjoy walks on the dramatic Cap de Creus coastline. Uncover it's pretty whitewashed villages - Llanca, El Port de la Selva and the jewel in the crown, Dali's haven of Cadaques.
To book any of our Two-Centre holidays call our Reservations Team on 0345 470 7558
There are a number of local shops within a short walking distance of the hotel where you can obtain the basic necessities, ingredients for a packed lunch and plenty of gift shopping.
We recognise that everyone’s travel arrangements are unique, so all our holidays to Europe can be booked ‘with flight’ or ‘without flight’, giving you more flexibility and choice.
‘With flight’ holidays – the hassle-free option
Book your holiday ‘with flight’ and choose between Heathrow or Manchester flights to Barcelona airport. For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.
If you choose this option we automatically include return transfers between the airport and the hotel. The coach transfer takes approx 2½ hours to the Grand Hotel du Lido.
Please note London Heathrow and Manchester flights arrive into different terminals at Barcelona airport. Our coach transfer will depart from Terminal 1. Guests on the Manchester flight will need to make their way from Terminal 2 via the free shuttle bus located outside the arrivals hall. There is plenty of time for this journey as the London flight is scheduled to arrive later.
‘Without flight’ holidays – the flexible travel option
Alternatively, tailor your journey to suit you by booking your holiday ‘without flight’ allowing you the freedom to book your own flights from your local airport.
If you choose this option, transfers are not included in the price. However, below are some suggestions to help you reach your destination:
Transfers must be pre-booked. Please call 020 8732 1220 for more details
* Please note that HF Holidays is not responsible for your onward travel if you fail to meet the transfer coach
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Dates & Prices
|8 Sep 2019||ABLCL - French Catalonia Guided Walking - Without Flights||7||£1,199.00||Book Now|
|15 Sep 2019||ABLCL - French Catalonia Guided Walking - Without Flights||7||£1,199.00||Book Now|
|15 Sep 2019||ABLCL - Argeles-Sur-Mer & Roses Guided Walking - Without Flights||14||£2,449.00||Book Now|
|22 Sep 2019||ABLCL - Argeles-Sur-Mer & Roses Guided Walking - Without Flights||14||£2,349.00||Book Now|
|22 Sep 2019||ABLCL - French Catalonia Guided Walking & Barcelona - Without Flights||10||£1,449.00||Book Now|
|22 Sep 2019||ABLCL - French Catalonia Guided Walking - Without Flights||7||£1,099.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Double room for sole occupancy: £25 per night
- All transport to walks is included in the price of the holiday
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person