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Coastal Freedom Trail Trek

France, Spain Trek DEMANDING
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About the Challenge

This beautiful trek along the Vermillion coast of the Costa Brava follows in part the Coastal Freedom Trail or ‘Chemin de la Liberté’, one of the WW2 escape routes from Nazi-occupied France into Spain. Local people risked their lives to help the thousands of allied servicemen and Jewish refugees fleeing to safety on tiny paths to the border crossing, and from there into Spain or Portugal, or via the British ships and submarines that would wait offshore.

The trek offers a huge variety of scenery as we follow the coast initially, before heading inland to cross the border via the Col de Rumplissa, where we see our route in full winding its way along the beautiful, remote coastline to the stunning Cap de Creus, where we finish at the spectacularly-situated lighthouse. This is an incredible trek with a poignant undertone – a personal challenge which commemorates the bravery of others.

 

 


Coastal Freedom Trail Trek

6 DAYS
  • We fly to Perpignan and transfer to the beautiful coastal town of Collioure. Time permitting you’ll have a chance to explore the town before gathering for an evening meal and trek briefing. Night hotel.

    (Lunch not included)

  • We begin walking to Port-Vendres, where Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin began his escape journey in 1940. He was helped by resistance members Lisa and Hans Fittko, who went on to help hundreds of refugees escape into Spain. We start the day trekking to Fort Sant Elme and head out past the ruins of Batterie Mally to the Cap de Bear. We continue around the coast along rough cliff-top trails and beaches alongside the Mediterranean coast to Banyuls-Sur-Mer. Night hotel.

    Trek approx 15km; 5-6 hours

  • We head inland into the hills, climbing through vineyards overlooking the smuggling town of Banyuls. This section is named for Walter Benjamin, and we pass plaques commemorating his escape route over the steep Col de Rumplissa (600m), which marks the border with Spain. There is an option to climb up to the castle of Querroig, which offers views of our entire route, before beginning our descent to Portbou. We walk down through woods to the river; it is steep in places and you’ll need to watch out for the prickly pear cacti that line the path. We then walk through a tunnel and arrive in the sleepy town of Portbou. Night hotel.

    Trek approx 13km; 6-7 hours

  • We start the day with a visit to the poignant, impressive Walter Benjamin memorial, which marks the end of the escape route into Spain. We then climb out of Portbou, following a ridge with views of the Mediterranean far below us. From the ridge we descend on good trails down to the small town of Colera, passing the beautiful beach of Garbet, onto the remote Cap Ras, where we’ll enjoy the shade of the pine trees next to the water. After lunch our path changes to a coastal promenade, making our afternoon more easy-going. We head towards the distant lighthouse and enjoy impressive views of the St Pere de Rodes monastery high in the hills above us. We finish the day in the fishing town of Port de le Selva. Night hotel.

    Trek approx 18km; 6-7 hours

  • Our final day’s walk heads through the Cap de Creus National Park. It is easy to see why this area is renowned for its natural beauty and wildlife status! Dusty trails wind through a mix of woodland and open landscapes with the backdrop of crystal-clear Mediterranean waters, overlooked by the mountains – it’s simply stunning. The trails are relatively easy underfoot, and although there are no significant hills, the terrain is constantly undulating. After lunch you’ll begin to glimpse the lighthouse that marks the end of the peninsula, and the surroundings become much more barren as we ascend to our finishing point. There should be time for a celebratory drink in the wonderfully-located bar, before we jump into the waiting vehicles for our transfer to Barcelona. Here we’ll celebrate our achievement in the famous Catalonian capital. Night hotel.

    Trek approx. 15km / 5-6 hours; drive approx. 3-4 hours

  • Depending on flight schedules, there should be time to explore Barcelona before transferring to the airport for our flight home.

    (Lunch not included)


Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £249 Fundraising target £2,550 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £249 Fundraising target £1,550 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £249 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,275 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All transport from London to Perpignan / Barcelona return
    • All meals except where specified
    • Hotel / guesthouse accommodation
    • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with group of 15 or more participants; local guides & drivers
    • Vehicle support and back-up equipment
    • Entry to any sites visited as part of the itinerary
    • Airline taxes

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Any meals specified 'not included' in the itinerary 
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for the local support crew
    • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions
    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £249 Fundraising target £2,550 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £249 Fundraising target £1,550 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £249 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,275 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All transport from London to Perpignan / Barcelona return
    • All meals except where specified
    • Hotel / guesthouse accommodation
    • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with group of 15 or more participants; local guides & drivers
    • Vehicle support and back-up equipment
    • Entry to any sites visited as part of the itinerary
    • Airline taxes

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Any meals specified 'not included' in the itinerary 
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for the local support crew
    • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions
    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £249 Fundraising target £2,550 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £249 Fundraising target £1,550 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £249 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,275 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All transport from London to Perpignan / Barcelona return
    • All meals except where specified
    • Hotel / guesthouse accommodation
    • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with group of 15 or more participants; local guides & drivers
    • Vehicle support and back-up equipment
    • Entry to any sites visited as part of the itinerary
    • Airline taxes

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Any meals specified 'not included' in the itinerary 
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for the local support crew
    • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions
    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier please call for details. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.

  • Accommodation is usually on a twin-share basis in hotels convenient to our route. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller in a shared room.

    There may be a limited number of single rooms subject to request, on a first-come first-served basis, after you have booked. Extra charges will apply.

  • Accommodation is usually in well-located, comfortable 2-3* hotel(s); standards are generally very good though there may be some variation.

  • The food provided is plentiful and will give you plenty of energy. Lunches are generally buffet-style while dinners are usually eaten at the hotel. Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply.

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders and support crew, including mechanics. Our leaders are selected for their knowledge and experience, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises; they are also trained in first aid. The crew will have mobile phones and/or radios where appropriate, medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary.

    The number of crew and support vehicles looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but the team will be looking after every aspect of your trip whether that’s transporting your luggage, ensuring your route is well-marked, making you lunch and sorting out any mechanical problems. Support vehicles are with the group all of the time, and carry all luggage and spares.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. Inadequate training is likely to have an impact not just on your chances of completing the challenge, but enjoying it too - and we want you to have the time of your life!

    Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners may find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid, and any visas are obtained in good time. Check the FCO’s advice on entry requirements for your destination to be sure. To find out if you need a visa you can check requirements on our website; please ensure you allow plenty of time.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

Buy your kitbag

Kili bag - reduced.jpg Only £42 - designed to deal with the rigours of your challenge.

Easier for accessing gear than a rucksack (especially when camping) this is probably the most cost-effective way to take your luggage on a Discover Adventure challenge!

ORDER FORM DOWNLOAD

GRADE | demandING (2)

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Trip grades range from Challenging (1) to Extreme (5).

DEMANDING trips ramp up the challenge with some long days over tough terrain, and require good stamina, fitness and determination.

See Trip Grading Explained.

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Our 2018 / 2019 Challenges Brochure is available by Post or Download