This is our Day 8 of Great Mediterranean Coast Hike when we 3 years later got back to the trail in Cadaqués where we left it. This hike follows mostly the GR92 trail but we were going to make it our own and planned to hike as close to the coastline as possible making any deviations needed. We were going to hike from Cadaqués to Lloret de Mar passing through Roses, L´Escala, Palamos, Castell Platja d´Aro etc, many beautiful cliffs and beaches covering around 150 kms in total. We planned to do it in 7 or 8 days making 15 to 20 kms a day.
That 8th day we were going to make 15 kms hiking from Cadaqués to Roses, getting though Cap de Creus Natural Park. We expected this day to be quite hard because of some elevation gain and hilly terrain.
The trail started for us getting through the white narrow streets of Cadaqués town. It was a beautiful September morning and the sun was just establishing on the sky. It looked like it was going to be a nice warm sunny day.
The Cadaqués area and Cap de Creus is a very special spot for us as this is where we finished our Great Mediterranean Hike the last time, it was an emotional moment and we have very bright memories from it. Also it is the Southern extreme spot of GR11 trail where it can be started you finished depending on the direction you choose.
While we were getting out of the town Cadaqués we faced the uphill right from the start that went along the gravel car road. Not so long after we started to enjoy the beautiful panoramic views over the town and Cap de Creus with plenty of boats and yachts parked in the sea. On the way we met several isolated rocky buildings that did look residential and we wondered how it may be nice to try living in such rural area.
In the first half of the day being on the trail we reflected about why it took us so long to get back on this trail and couldn’t find a comprehensible answer. There was no obvious excuse for us rather than being busy with other trails and travelling to other countries. But we were happy we finally were able to get back to it this time.
The way directed us through the open field part of Cap de Creus Natural Park and as the sun was coming higher up on the horizon it became hotter and hotter. We had to do our major climb for the day of 220m and were glad that there was a cool wind that was very refreshing to us. The climb wasn’t steep at all and followed the rocky farmer’s roads.
We have noticed that there were endless deviations from the main trail we were following with little paths leading to the little capes, cliffs and beaches. So having more time there is lots of possibilities to explore the area and visit many cool spots. But the GR92 was crossing the cape the shortest way possible and we were getting close to our first beach.
While walking we discovered that out of the trees and plants that were growing in the area cork trees, pine trees, olive trees, lots of cactuses and spiky plants were dominating the landscape. There were whole plantations of the olive trees growing on the sides of the hill. And the cork tree was an interesting specie too as we discovered about it very recently. It turned out that only in Catalonia and some Southern regions were grown this type of trees. Before we confused this tree with the oak because of its similar looking acorns and bark. But when looking closer we could see that the bark is much more thick than on oak tree and that is exactly what the manufacturers take from it to make corks.
Soon after we came down to the first beach Joncols. It was around midday time and we decided to take some rest and have our lunch and snacks there. At this point we have already done the half of the trail -8kms and major elevation gain. But the weather was becoming hot and we expected to meet lots of small ups and downs on the way ahead so we thought the same difficulty of the trail would continue.
And so we were out on the trail again, facing the steep rocky uphill from the beach getting to the next one. It was one of the drawbacks of hiking along the coast with the cliffs and getting down to the beaches is that you will always have to climb up again after you come down.
The next part of the trail as expected was full of small ups and downs, several quite steep ones. But we were very happy that the trail was going very close to the coastline and we could see many small scenic beaches hidden in the cliffs that made them look isolated. The water was also looking insane having bright blue turquoise color. It was magical to witness how the form of the Cap de Creus actually helped these beaches to emerge because of its very irregular form with lots of cliffs and rocks.
That day made us explore a lot of beautiful beaches and spots where we would love to come back another time. So we called this day a beach paradise.
Most of the way we were walking in the direct sun which was quite hard counting the warm September sun and summer like weather especially in the second half of the day. But we were grateful that we had some shaded foresty parts also which made it more bearable. The difficulty of most of the trail wasn’t easy but moderate with no extreme parts.
At the end the trail went mostly flat and soon we came out to the car road of the village. It took us 6 hours to complete the plan and it was more than we expected. At the end it got quite tiring as the terrain continued to be hilly all the way. We arrived to the camping Ampurdanes in the outskirts of the town Roses at around 6pm. It turned out to be a bit expensive campground for the facilities it had but we were grateful that at least there was a campground on the way as the wild camping was nearly impossible in such populated area. We felt so hot that decided to take advantage of the sea proximity and take a swim at the nearest beach – Platja de l’Almadrava. It felt amazing and fresh. Then we were doing our usual camping routine of cooking dinner, taking shower and setting our camping gear for the night. We hoped to recover our powers for the next exciting day to come.