Itinerary Les Massif des Albéres and the Vermeille Coast

Day 1 – Arrival day (Saturday)

Included Dinner

Settle into your hotel and meet with your guide in the evening for a glass of wine and to discuss your week.

Meeting at your hotel at 6pm with your guide for introductions and to find out the itinerary before you head out and find dinner for the evening.

 

Day 2 – (Sunday) -Tour de la Madeloc – 651 Mtrs.

Included Breakfast & Lunch

Distance 11.3 km     Ascent 532mtrs       Descent 521mtrs     Time 5hrs

This is a great walk to start the week, driving up to a view point we park the van and continue up the winding small road on foot for a couple of hairpins before starting on the main path. Climbing up steeply on rocky paths we find ourselves arriving at the old Batterie Taillefer, from here we ascend good paths up to the old Torres de Madeloc where we stop for our picnic lunch.

After lunch we head down past more ruins and make our way towards the Col del Gascons where we pick up and traverse a small part of the GR10 route and arriving at the col de Vallauna. From here we drop off to our right traversing underneath the Torre de la Madeloc with vineyards stretching down below us as we make our way back to our starting point.

A great day to warm up the legs for the week, have an understanding of the area we are in and then return in the middle of the afternoon for some beach time.

 

Day 3 – (Monday) -Tour de la Massane – 782 Mtrs.

Included Breakfast & Lunch

Distance 14.8 km       Ascent 826 mtrs       Descent 833 mtrs     Time 6hrs

Today we start at the chateau du Valmy, a centre for birds of prey. From the parking we drop down right along the vineyards for a couple of minutes before coming out of the trees and finding the main trail. From here we turn left and head up towards through cork forests and arrive at a small Dolmen; from here we carry on up leaving the cork forests behind and entering an area of oak and holly forests. This is a day of being in the forests passing outcrops of rocks projecting up through the trees. Finally we come out onto an open area with the tour de la Massane sitting above on a rocky outcrop. After climbing up to the tour we start descending back down through forests past the ruins of La Chapelle de St-Laurent and back into the cork forests and finally retuning to the parking at Valmy.

 

Day 4 – (Tuesday) -Tour des Cretes de Cerbère – 675Mtrs.

Included Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Distance 13.2 Km       Ascent 861 mtrs       Descent 857 mtrs   Time 5hrs

Todays hike has one of the bigger ascents and descents of the week and is a magnificent day out. Starting right on the sea, we wind up through the narrow streets of Cebère and arrive literally where the road finishes and the trail takes over up into the mountains. The trail starts steeply but gives great views of our day and where we started. At times the path is rocky under foot and we traverse small rock areas continuing to gain height and large birds of prey can sometimes be seen floating on the warm thermals above us. We gain the heights of Puig Joan and the Col de Cerbére and at times have views of the Massif des Albéres, the Mediterranean coastline and the mountains of southern Catalonia and Spain all at the same time. By the time we reach our highest point of the day the Peak and Torre de Querroig at 672 mtrs we are on the actual frontier with Spain. From there we descend on again sometimes rocky paths following the border all the way back down to Cerbère for a cold beer or glass of wine to finish our day.

 

Day 5 – (Wednesday) – Randonnée des deux Fontaines – 500 mtrs

Included Breakfast and Lunch

Distance 10.3 Km        Ascent 418 mtrs         Descent 433 mtrs     Time 3.5 hrs

The Randonnée des deux Fontaines is a great hike starting in the small village of Laroque-des-Albéres, following wonderful little trails up through the woods we come up and out into the open wider paths before heading up into the forested trails once again. The 2 fountains are non-working now and really just give their name more than their presence to this hike. It does supply though wonderful views and an easier day half way through the week. Arriving back to Laroque-des-Albéres we take our transport and go off to Collioure the beautiful and charming seaside village to sample the shops and cafes before return back to the hotel.

 

Day 6 – (Thursday) – Le Pic de Sallfort – 981 mtrs

Included Breakfast & Lunch

Distance 11 km             Ascent 594 mtrs           Descent 594 mtrs   Time 5hrs

Todays route ends up taking us up to a big metal cross on the summit of Le Pic de Sallfort. Starting at the col des Gascons, we head up and along the GR10 track to the col de Vallauria. This col is the same col we crossed on the first days trek but here is where the connection ends for instead of dropping down to our right we turn right and head up through wooded and shaded paths for a while before hitting the ridge line that becomes more rocky and open. The path winds steeply upwards passed and through some wooded areas and wonderful rock formations until we claim the open plateau. Here we can discover a small cabane/refuge tucked into the side of a tower of rocks. The refuge Tony as it is called is not even marked on the local maps and is a wonderful surprise to discover. Making our way over to the right we gain the summit cross and amazing views of the Spanish Catalonian mountains, the Mediterranean coastline and the Massif des Albéres. Depending on the weather and the group we can keep traversing along the frontier ridge following the GR10 track for as long as we like. If the group is fit enough and wants we can traverse all the way to the Puig de Quatre Thermes but this makes the day a 20 km day with double the ascent and descent. Either way today is a magnificent day with views and solitude to make you feel really good.

 

Day 7 – (Friday) – Port Vendres to Banyuls sur Mer – 74 mtrs

Included Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Distance 11.9 Km         Ascent 552 Mtrs           Descent 573 mtrs   Time 5hrs

This is a great coastal path hike, starting in Port Vendres we circumnavigate the port and start to climb up the hillside leaving Port Vendres stretched out below us. The trail takes us past the lighthouse at Cap Béar and then past some tiny beaches and hamlets before we traverse past Le site Paulilles (an old dynamite factory that has been transformed into a free and ecological park). Continuing on a long the rocky sea bashed coast line, we can stop at any of the beaches to eat our picnic lunch. We should arrive in Banyuls sur mer in time to have a glass of wine or a coffee before catching a bus back to our hotel.

 

Day 8 – (Saturday) – Departure day.

Included Breakfast

We have our breakfast, check out of the hotel and say goodbye to the beautiful Massif des Albéres and the Côte Vermeille.

 

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