A long lunch of grilled fish, fresh salad and chilled beer tastes all the more sweeter when you feel like you’ve earned it.
Our seven-day trip, walking in Catalonia on the Costa Brava, had just the right balance of invigoration and relaxation, with spells at lovely hotels punctuated by challenging but rewarding walks along glorious coastline.
Booked through Inntravel – “the slow holiday people” – our holiday took in three hotels, with walks between them.
Walking in Catalonia: Our itinerary on the Costa Brava, Spain
- Hotel Ancora, La Fosca (two nights)
- 4km walk
- Hotel Sant Roc, Calella (three nights)
- 11km walk
- Hotel Aigua Blava (two nights)
Now, our little family enjoys lounging on a sun-drenched poolside as much as anyone but, this time, we fancied something a little more active and, dare I say, demanding. This break fit the bill perfectly.
Inntravel specialises in activity holidays and took care of all the arrangements, with airport transfers, luggage transfers between hotels and detailed walk routes all provided.
Our walks were mainly along GR routes and took us from La Fosca to Aigua Blava, meaning we were able to enjoy some beautiful scenery and get to see parts of the Costa Brava most visitors miss. Inntravel provided a detailed information pack that not only included excellent directions for the two main routs but also suggested walks for the other days of the holiday.
We chose not to do these – the two big walks were enough for us – but the Walking in Catalonia information pack was an essential companion for our holiday.
One of the most pleasing aspects of the trip was it felt authentic, like we were seeing real Catalonia. This was certainly the case with our first hotel, the three-star Ancora in La Fosca. It’s a small, family-run hotel that is clearly popular with fellow Catalans.
The welcome was warm, there was a good-sized pool and it was a short walk to a great beach. The beach at La Fosca was the one we enjoyed most on the holiday, with plenty of space and a few bars and restaurants dotted around.
The sea was perfect for swimming in – a nice temperature and waist-height water for a good distance from the shore.
After two nights at Hotel Ancora, it was time to set out on our first real adventure. As recommended, we set off just after breakfast at about 9.30am and enjoyed cooler weather for most of the journey.
The route was through woodland, up and down hills and across bays and it took us about three hours to reach Calella and our second hotel.
Hotel Sant Roc
Our room at the four-star Hotel Sant Roc was a welcome landing point after our walk, with a lovely roof terrace and fantastic views over Calella bay. There was no hotel pool but it was a short walk to one of several beaches in Calella. There is also a great courtyard to sit out and have lunch.
Calella is a bustling little spot with a wide choice of restaurants, ice cream parlours and shops.
We were at Hotel Sant Roc for three nights, for one of which the hotel hosted a party, boasting a fantastic buffet and a DJ set. It attracted not only hotel guests but visitors from across the resort, who danced late into the night.
The guide promised this would be the most challenging and most rewarding day of the trip and that certainly proved to be the case.
We walked for about four hours and 30 minutes and, in places, the route was quite demanding, with rocky sections and steep ascents and descents. We are not experienced walkers and, with our eight-year-old son Kasper with us, it was at times a little daunting.
However, the views from some of the spots were great for morale and we stuck with it and were so glad we did. When we arrived at Hotel Aigua Blava, it was all worthwhile.
Hotel Aigua Blava
We were lucky to have a great view from our room and we enjoyed the perfect welcome lunch in the hotel restaurant.
Kasper loved the hotel pool and we managed to cram in table tennis, volleyball and tennis during our short stay.
For our second night, we chose the Moonlight Dinner buffet, which offered guests salad and barbecued meat and fish in the most lovely setting as the light faded. It was a really lovely way to end a holiday that was relaxing and rewarding in equal measure.