It was our first major hike that we ever did, we ended up doing 80+ km and it took us 7 days to accomplish. We chose to go backpacking, carrying our tent, and stay in the camping sites on the way. This hike is great to do in spring(May-June) or autumn(September-October), as the heat in summer can be pretty extreme. We enjoyed so much doing it in the late May-beginnings of June with all the blossom and smells around along with favorable weather conditions that we would highly recommend it to everyone. The hike can be broken up in as many parts as you wish by doing as many kms a day as you can. We did on average 12-15 km a day being loaded with 10-15kg backpacks and found it to be a golden mean, but depending on your physical state you may choose to do more or less. It will also depend on whether you’ll go with a heavy backpack or not. The route is very well signed and we have a very little complains about it. On the way you can either stay in the hotels, guest houses etc. or campings as we did, and became the true fans of this kind of stay. The camping sites are very developed in the area and can meet everyone’s needs, not to mention the reasonable prices that is available to everyone. This kind of experience you won’t forget. Also it is a good idea to stay for longer in a village that you really like to get to know it better and then continue on with the hike. The whole experience makes up for an unforgettable active trip!
It was our first day of the Great Mediterranean Hike when we walked 17 km from Argeles Plage to Port-Vendres outskirts.
It is all started the night before when it was raining cats and dogs and the wind was blowing fiercely. Because of that we woke up pretty late in the morning and even considered for a moment to give up on a hike because of the bad weather. But we’ve been already postponing this hike for so long because of that so finally we put ourselves together and started walking.
Luckily the weather was favorable all day long. And even though it was the weekend we didn’t met too many people on the way.
The day was full of great views, different landscapes, and exceptional variety of flowers (some of them we haven’t even seen before!).
We enjoyed very much the route that goes from Argeles to Couilloure, it is not very long, but still offers you all the richness of landscapes of the region.
We got lost several times in small villages but finally managed to find the route signs, just had to look close. There was no long gaps between the marking, they were everywhere.
First, we walked through Argeles village which is by our opinion a perfect holiday destination for everybody with nice wide sandy beaches, lots of activities offered and plenty of campings to stay in.
Then we entered the village of Couilloure where the architecture that surrounds you speaks for itself, it immerses you in the history and creates bohemian atmosphere.
Finally we reached Port-Vendres where we had a little time to spend but our first impression was that it is an old city with quite a big port with deep waters (we’ve seen a cruise ship parked there) and active fishing market(we could say it by a strong smell of fresh fish).
At the end of the day we were running out of time, the sun was setting and we realized that we won’t get to our planned destination which was Banyuls-sur-Mer. It meant that we had to walk around 8 km more to our camping and we very already more than tired. So we had no other option left that just find a place to stealth camp.
So we had to gather our powers and walk several km more till we find a spot at a vineyard close to the seaside. It was the only place with relatively flat surface and it is the most unusual place we’ve camped at so far.
So we quickly prepared and ate some dinner and fell asleep right away overwhelmed by the first and is it turned out the hardest day of our trip.
Here is the link to Google map to follow the hike: