Guided Hike – Empordà Oak Forests & Dolmens Hike and Picnic

Highlights

  • Head north of Barcelona for a private guided hike of prehistoric dolmens and monuments in the majestic oak forests of the Empordà wine region overlooking the Mediterranean Sea on the Costa Brava
  • Explore the beautiful Peratallada medieval walled town, and discover the delights of Catalonia's medieval heritage
  • Experience the tranquil, stunning countryside of Catalonia “away from the madding crowd”
  • Immerse yourself in the beauty of this Mediterranean region’s nature and heritage in a guided hike
  • Have a traditional Catalan lunch in a local restaurant or have a gourmet Catalan picnic
Guided hike track outline, Dolmen Cova Daina, Baix Empordà, north of Barcelona, Catalonia
Guided hike track outline, Dolmen Cova d'en Daina, Baix Empordà

Itinerary

Morning

Tour leader Killian Driscoll and your chauffeur will pick you up for your Empordà forest guided hike from your chosen location, and you’ll start your tour driving out of the city with Killian introducing the day ahead, and answering any questions you may have. Throughout the day, Killian will share with you his knowledge of the region, and the places you visit.

Your guided hike will start at the sleepy medieval village of Romanyà de la Selva in the Gavarres Mountain range, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The Gavarres Mountains here are part of a nature reserve and the dense forest is dominated by cork oak, holm oak, and pine. The hike takes you through the woodland and farmland, visiting some enormous, ancient cork oak trees, including 'Suro de l'Almeda', the largest cork oak tree in Catalonia. You will learn about the cork and wine industry in the region of past and present, and the stories and legends related to the famed trees.

Prehistoric Megalithic Monuments - Dolmens, Paradolmens, Cists, and Standing Stones (Menhirs)

Along with the many monumental trees on the hike, you'll also visit a number of prehistoric megalithic monuments including dolmens, paradolmens, cists, and standing stones (menhirs). These megaliths are from up to 6,000 years ago, dating to the Neolithic (Stone Age) and Bronze Age. The dolmens, paradolmens, and cists are different types of megalithic (meaning 'large stone') constructions, and were used by the prehistoric communities for as burial places and ritual activities. The standing stones (menhirs) are related to the dolmens, but don't tend to be a focus for burials. Instead, they are often considered to be markers in the landscape.

Dolmen Cova Daina private guided Hike - Roca Grossa mirador (viewing point) overlooking cork oak forest and Mediterranean Sea
Dolmen Cova d'en Daina Hike - Roca Grossa mirador (viewing point) overlooking cork oak forest and the Mediterranean Sea

Lunch

After your guided hike you will enjoy a sumptuous, gourmet picnic of local Catalan food and wine. Alternatively, you can choose to have lunch at a local restaurant that Killian can recommend.

Gourmet picnic Empordà, Costa Brava, Spain
Gourmet picnic Empordà, Costa Brava, Spain

Afternoon

After lunch you will drive through the wine country of Empordà to the stunning medieval village of Peratallada. There, you will explore the beautiful medieval walled town, and learn about the history of the town and area. The name 'Peratallada' comes from 'pedra' meaning stone and 'tallada' meaning cut. Peratallada is a beautifully preserved medieval town, with stone buildings, medieval town walls, and large moat cut out of the bedrock. In fact, the town's history goes back about 2,500 years, with its roots as an Iron Age village and later a Roman settlement. You'll see how this small town evolved over the centuries, in the rich agricultural landscape north of Barcelona.

Streetscape, Carrer Hospital-Perat, Peratallada medieval town, Baix Empordà
Streetscape, Carrer Hospital-Perat, Peratallada medieval town, Baix Empordà

Hike and Trail Details

  • Activity level: Easy-Medium
  • Walking Duration: Approximately 2.5 hours
  • Walking Length: 7.2 km (4.5 miles)
  • Elevation max: 385 m (1263 ft)
  • Elevation min: 291 m (955 ft)
  • Total Uphill: 205 m (673 ft)

Below is a map of the guided hike trail, with an interactive map that you can view the elevation along the trail. Overall, the hike is 7.2 km (4.5 miles) and takes about 2.5 hrs of walking, with plenty of time for taking in the scenery and photo stops.

The activity level is easy to medium, and the hike has a few steepish stretches. Comfortable footwear is recommended (hiking boots are not required, sneakers / trainers are fine).

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