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Far de Sant Sebastia (Llafranc) to Tamariu

Lighthouse at Llafranc The idea was to try out the marked path to Tamariu from the lighthouse at Sant Sebastia above Llafranc then come back along the GR92 to complete the next stretch of the coast path for the blog, but sometimes when we go walking things don't quite turn out as planned as unfortunately the GR92 was being repaired (winter damage is a continual problem for the path) and so not accessible for the whole of the route. It was also a little overcast, so we'll have to repeat and get some of the classic bluesky photographs (see Tamariu to Llafranc revisited for an update).

View from Far Sant Sebastia over Llafranc and Calella Llafranc is an old fishing village with a harbour and large sandy beach, with chic restaurants along the promenade overlooking the sea (the Daily Telegraph describes it as che-che). Though small it is quite upmarket. To the south is an easy walk around the headland to Calella (described in our Mont-ras to Llafranc and Calella walk). Along the coast to the north is the lighthouse of Sant Sebastia. If you see a postcard of the Costa Brava with a picture of a lighthouse, this is likely to be it. You can obviously walk up to the lighthouse from Llafranc, but having done that a few times, it's quite steep and all roadway and Llafranc can be difficult to find parking. So rather than start in the village we drive directly to the lighthouse (follow the Tamariu road out of Palafrugell) - this is both easier and gives a great view over the countryside and down the coast towards Palamos.

Remains of Iberic village Llafranc There is parking but it can be busy. We parked just under the hotel/restaurant just above the lighthouse itself. The walk starts and runs down past the excavation site of the Iberic village. We wanted to do a circular route, and we wanted to follow the marked path to Tamariu so we followed the path marked by green-white flashes which actually runs along the road all the way to the Palafrugell-Tamariu road. The marked path to Tamariu is just to the right after the junction on the other side of the road. This takes you along a dirt track in among isolated houses in the woods. The flashes are now yellow-white. Follow the track through the woods and keep looking out for the flashes. You would think the path would go down, but actually it goes up and stays high above the village. At a junction, the path turns to the right, past a couple more houses and then you've got to look out for the turning.It's marked on the tree as you go past, but you have to keep an eye out for the flash as the path doubles back sharply into the woods and turns into a single-track footpath.

This runs gently downhill through the woods, before becoming quite a lot steeper. We had to support ourselves on the trees so as not to slip over. Eventually you reach the bottom and emerge at the top of an estate above Tamariu. Walk down through the estate (we found a short cut down a long flight of steps) before emerging towards the bottom by Camping Tamariu and out along the road to the village itself.

Tamariu in winter While Tamariu bustles in summer, in winter it tends to close down almost completely. The shops and restaurants were all closed in January. This is contrast to Llafranc or Calella where there is always some activity all year around and obviously in total contrast to the larger neighbouring towns of Begur or Palafrugell which have large permanent populations.

GR92 across rocks near Tamariu The GR92 then follows out across the beach before climbing over rocks and out to the headland. Around the headland you have to cross a rocky outcrop dodging among the rock pools - there is no easy flat path here. Our intention was to follow the path all the way around to Cala Pedrosa but subsidence and some works on a local villa meant it was impossible to follow the path around. We have taken the path before and it is quite wild. There is also a step descent down into Cala Pedrosa.

Coast line between Llafranc and Tamariu Watchtower at Far Sant Sebatian Instead we had to head back up to the main road and follow the road out. The road is bendy and though there is not much traffic at this time of year, there isn't any separated walking space. There are two large estates off the road - the Musclera - a large house with gardens that extend down to the sea; and La Pedrosa which takes up all of the next hillside. After La Pedrosa estate take a track to your left. This rejoins with the GR92 as it emerges from Cala Pedrosa. The path continues straight on past the farmhouses and back into the woods. In the woods, the path climbs gently and you slowly rise above the sea. As you get to the last stretch, the path is about 150m above the sea and though not a vertical cliff, to your lefthand side, the edge falls away below you steeply. For those uncomfortable with heights the height, closeness of the edge and narrowness of the path potentially make this a little nerve-wracking. As you reach the top you'll see the watchtower at the back of the hotel. The path climbs up steps and then emerges at the top. The path skirts the watchtower and along back to the hotel.

Update: The path to Cala Pedrosa has been reopened with a new high quality walkway (Nov 2013). The route down to Cala Pedrosa also seems to have more guiderails/fences making the route down (or up) easier.

Neighbouring walks: Mont-ras to Calella de Palafrugell and Llafranc - Palafrugell, Tamariu, Begur residential and EsclanyaCalella de Palafrugell/Cap Roig to Castell - classic wild Costa Brava - Fornells and Aiguablava walk (GR92) - Eulogy to the Ruta del Tren Petit (Palafrugell, Palamos, Mont-ras and Vall-llobrega)

Swimming: Swimming at the beach at Tamariu


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