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Spain catalonia cadaques c pura aventura 2
Photogenic Girona
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Spain pyrenees catalonia aiguestortes summer roses lake c diego pura

Around Catalonia: Drive & Explore Holiday

From storied city street to Pyrenees peak; forested volcanic cone to sunny sea cove, we present Catalonia's greatest hits, entwined with its trademark hospitality.

All your questions answered

Helping you find the right holiday for you is important to us, so here's a few common questions about this trip to help. If there's anything you'd like to know that's not covered here, send us over a message or you can also give us a call on +44 1273 676 712 and we'd be only too pleased to help.

What flexibility will I get with any Covid-19 restrictions?

First thing to say is that throughout the pandemic we have frequently been praised by Which? as a tour operator to trust, so you're in good hands. Your safety is always our top priority and we want you to be able to fully look forward to and enjoy your holiday with peace of mind.

Even as restrictuons ease, our policy remains as it always has - we view quarantines as a travel restriction on a par with lockdown, in-country restrictions at your destination or FCDO advice against travel, and we will offer the same flexibility as in those situations; defer to new dates or a full refund at the point at which your trip is imminent. In these cases, we define imminent travel as a month prior to departure.

Read more: Covid-19 FAQs

What is the payment process and is my money completely safe?

We take a 15% deposit to secure your holiday, with the remainder due four weeks before your departure, rather than the usual eight weeks.

Your money is 100% protected through our ATOL licence if your trip includes a flight booked through us, or through our ABTOT bond if it does not. Either way, this protection provides a cast iron financial guarantee and helps you book with complete peace of mind. Because the contract between us exists here in the UK, you get this protection regardless of where you live

When is the best time to go?

This trip can start on a date to suit you from March through June and September through November.

The warmest and driest months are May to October. You can expect the temperatures to be pleasantly warm most of the year in the mid-20°s during the day on average, cooler at night up in the mountains of course. May and June are beautifully green. In October and early November, the autumnal colours are a true sight to behold in the forests of Aigüestortes. We have had people visit over Christmas and enjoy lovely sunny weather, albeit rather cooler, it's lovely walking weather.

When is peak season?

Peak season is from mid July to end of August as as the area is busier with summer holiday makers from Spain.

How far ahead should I book?

If you have a limited travel window and specific dates we suggest you book around nine months ahead. If you are flexible with dates, then three – four months ahead should be fine.

How much carbon is produced on this trip and how is it mitigated?

Total carbon generated on this trip: 412kg per person
Carbon mitigated by us:
659kg per person

As Yvon Chouinard, of Patagonia, Inc. rightly declared: “To do good, you actually have to do something.”

Therefore, for every kilometre travelled by road, air and sea on your Pura Aventura holiday, we carbon balance it by a mile - i.e. by 160% of your trip's carbon, from your front door and back again, irrespective of whether we book your international travel or not.

This is one of the travel industry's most ambitious and innovative schemes and has recently been praised by Wanderlust, Condé Nast Traveller and The Independent.

Which airports are best for this holiday?

This holiday is designed to begin in Barcelona and end in Girona, so they are the two most logical choices. Equally, given that they are very close by high speed train and not too far by road, it's easy enough to begin and end at one or the other. It's also possible to fly into Madrid, stay there for a few days, and then connect to Catalonia via fast train. Please do let us know if you're interested in that option, or if we can help decide which are the best flights for you.

Is this trip suitable for solo travellers?

Most of the costs of this holiday are fixed so going solo will usually mean you pay nearly the same for one person as you would for two. If you enjoy time to yourself then the experience itself will be absolutely lovely, and safe.

How active is this trip?

In many ways this is a walking trip wrapped up in a self-drive adventure. A major advantage of having your own car is that the walks can be adapted to your needs completely and overall you have complete control over how much or how little you do on any given day. If you don't feel like walking, you don't have to.

What if I get lost or need some help?

Although this is an independent self-drive holiday, we are always on hand to help and advise should you need us. You will be given a local support number before you travel - we are always on hand 24/7.

How comfortable will I be?

The hotels on this trip tend towards the premium end of the scale, which is to say that they are the perfect places to rest up and relax on what is an active holiday with a strong focus on walking. In the countryside you should expect small rural guesthouses, with a warm welcome, characterful and comfortable rooms and often a delicious homecooked meal made with local ingredients.

In Cadaqués your hotel overlooks the old town, a 5-minute amble down to the water. Understated elegance and calming minimalism are the order of the day. Your Girona hotel is in the very heart of the city, on a peaceful street, with a (small) swimming pool.

Will I meet the locals?

Absolutely. The shared pride in the Catalan identity is expressed in myriad ways. The most striking is the Catalan nationalist movement and its statements of liberty and the right for self-determination. It underscores much of your trip in Girona and the small villages of La Garrotxa.

But the identity runs much deeper, free from political viewpoints. Throughout this trip you will hear that Catalan is the lingua franca, not Spanish. The food is an absolute delight, as is the wine. Out on the coast, the modern world, and tourism in particular, has encroached on the Costa Brava more than is apparent inland but these coastal communities retain their personality and charm.

What type of vehicle can I expect?

The vehicle will be suitable for the destination, the distances you are expected to cover, roads, and number of people travelling. For two people travelling to Spain you can expect a medium-sized vehicle such as a VW Golf or Seat Ibiza. We can’t guarantee the make and model. Speak to us if you prefer a larger vehicle.

If you need an automatic car, that's no problem, though we do need to know in advance as most are manual transmission. Cost of automatic cars tends to be higher.

Generally the hire cars include one named driver. You can add drivers locally and pay locally. Charges vary depending on the location but it is usually no more than Euro 10 per day.

What are the roads like?

The roads are all paved and in a good to excellent state of repair. You can expect some narrow winding mountain roads but nothing extreme.

Can I make changes to this trip?

Absolutely. This trip can be tailored to suit you so speak to us if you would like to include more activities or extend your stay to include other parts of Spain.

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Travel with Pura Aventura

Exceptional Holidays

Best in class holidays, service, characterful hotels, lovely locals, food and beautiful walks - that's what our clients tell us they love about our holidays, as noted in the highest possible 5* Feefo Platinum Award.

ATOL and ABTOT protected.

Certified B Corp

We are one of the first UK travel companies to be certified B Corp – regarded by The Independent as the premier sustainability certification, and described by Which? as "meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance".

Award-winning Travel Positive

We are proud to have been recipients of awards from both Wanderlust and LUXLife for our sustainable Travel Positive initiative, that includes balancing carbon by 160%, and providing 1% of our profit to the planet.