Little Trains & Walks of the Pyrenees

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11 May 2020 - 13 Sep 2020
Duration: 8 days
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DISCOVER THE WILD BEAUTY OF THE PYRENEES

By way of brightly coloured little trains and leisurely walking trails, discover the wilder side of the Pyrenees. Staying in the charming Catalonian town of Roses we’ll ride the Roses Express and walk its beautiful coastal footpath before exploring the stunningly beautiful Núria Valley, only accessible by its own rack railway. Step aboard and enjoy a kaleidoscope of dramatic mountain scenery from the world-renowned Little Yellow Train before taking the Little Red Train and following in the footsteps of those who, during the country’s civil war, joined the Exodus from Spain to France walking through the Pyrenees.

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:

  • Return Eurostar from London to Paris
  • Return TGV from Paris to Perpignan
  • Coach transfers between Perpignan and Roses
  • Seven nights’ half board accommodation in Roses
  • Welcome drink on day two
  • Enjoy wine served with your evening meal
  • Two days at leisure to explore the charming town of Roses
  • Coach transfers for our excursions
  • Services of an experienced local walking guide and Tour Manager

Your rail journeys:

  • Journey on the charming Roses Express
  • Step aboard the Yellow Train in the Pyrenees
  • Travel in style on the Núria Valley Railway
  • Relax onboard the Red Train of the Pyrenees

Your guided walks:

  • Discover the Cape de Creus National Park and enjoy a guided walk to Falconera
  • Explore the Núria Valley and the Sanctuary of Núria walk
  • Follow the paths of exile on the Refugees Trail

Day 1: London – Roses

We journey aboard Eurostar from London to Paris where we’ll connect with the TGV to Perpignan. On arrival we transfer to the delightfully unspoilt town of Roses on the Costa Brava for a seven night stay.

Day 2: Roses

Enjoy a day at leisure to wander the uneven streets in the old town of Roses, relax in our hotel, or perhaps on the wide, sandy beach nearby. Today both lunch and dinner are included in the hotel’s restaurant.

Day 3: Roses Express, Cap de Creus National Park & Falconera

The Roses Express is a charming little road train that starts its journey at the Citadel on the seafront. Pulled by an ornate tractor it climbs into the hills of the Cap de Creus National Park giving us spectacular views looking down onto the coastal town of Roses and across the bay towards the Medes Islands. We alight the train in Cala Montjoi, which is the start of our guided walk. Set against a backdrop of hillsides covered in Mediterranean shrub vegetation we’ll take the narrow, natural footpath as it follows the contours of the land along the rocky shoreline past steep cliffs and several beautiful coves. When we reach Falconera, the Roses Express will be waiting to take us back to Roses. Dinner is served in the hotel’s restaurant this evening.

Easy/moderate walk – Duration: approx. 2 hours, distance: approx 3 miles. Terrain: narrow, sometimes steep cliff paths with some steps.

Day 4: The Yellow Train of the Pyrenees

Today’s excursion takes us to neighbouring France and the historic walled town of Villefranche. Here we’ll step aboard the Little Yellow Train of the Pyrenees, considered one of the world’s great railway journeys. Opened in 1909, this historic, metre-gauge electric railway is a remarkable feat of civil engineering. Enjoy spectacular views of the rocky mountainous scenery as, hugging the sides of the deep Tet valley, the train winds upwards passing through dozens of short tunnels, and over bridges and small viaducts including the Pont Gisclard suspension bridge and Sejourne viaduct with its dramatic double decker arches. We alight in Mont Louis and return to Roses by coach where dinner served at our hotel.

Day 5: Núria Valley Railway & the Sanctuary of Núria Walk

Spain’s Núria Valley Rack Railway is twinned with the Jungfrau Rack Railway in Switzerland. It is the only means of transport into this breathtaking valley of alpine meadows surrounded by stunning mountain peaks soaring to over three thousand metres. Sit back and watch the spellbinding scenery unfold as the rack railway climbs more than a thousand metres in just twelve and half kilometres to Vall de Núria station. Join our local guide as we learn more about this remote region and enjoy a tasting of some of the local produce. We’ll embark on a leisurely walk seeing the rich and diverse flora and fauna, many species legally protected for their rarity. Our guide will tell us a little on the history of the Sanctuary of Núria before continuing our walk around the lake.

Easy walk – Duration: approx. 2.5 hours, distance: approx. 1.5 miles. Terrain: Natural paths, some steps and hills.

Day 6: The Red Train of the Pyrenees & the Refugee’s Trail

Today we step aboard the Train du pays Cathere et du Fenouillèdes for a journey on the 100-year old railway line running between the French village of Rivesaltes and the pretty town of Axat. Enjoy the stunning landscape as the train, affectionately called the ‘Little Red Train’, takes us through beautiful valleys with rolling vineyards, over impressive viaducts spanning deep gorges, through tunnels and past Cathar castles until we’re high in the Aude Valley. Enjoy time at leisure for lunch in Axat before this afternoon’s guided walk. From Coll de Lli we walk the Refugee’s Trail, which follows one of the paths of exile taken by hundreds of thousands of men and women who, along with leaders of Catalonia’s Government, headed for the safety of the French border when Barcelona fell to Franco’s troops. We return by coach to Roses for dinner at our hotel.

Easy walk – Duration: approx. 2 hours, distance: approx 1.2 miles. Terrain: natural paths, some steps & hills.

Day 7: Roses

Enjoy a final day at leisure to enjoy the Mediterranean atmosphere of Roses. This evening dinner is served at our hotel.

Day 8: Roses – London

We leave the Spanish coast behind and retrace our route to Paris where we take the Eurostar for the return to London.

Due to our late arrival in Roses on day one, lunch and dinner will be included on day two.

What walking equipment will I need?

All of our walks are of an easy-moderate nature and therefore we recommend that you have a reasonable level of fitness for our Off the Beaten Tracks range of holidays. It is also important to ensure you bring the right equipment with you and for our walking tours we would recommend:

  • A pair of good quality walking boots
  • Weather appropriate clothing – including layers
  • A comfortable rucksack
  • A water bottle
  • Walking poles (not essential but can aid climbs and descents)

PROVISIONAL TRAIN TIMES

    Outward Journey

      Departs London 08.31
      Arrives Perpignan 19.04

    Return Journey

      Departs Perpignan 10.53
      Arrives London 20.39

Hotel Coral Platja Elit, Roses

This 3 star colonial-style hotel is located on the seafront and is a 25-minute walk from the centre of Roses. All of the bedrooms have a warm Mediterranean decor and modern amenities including an en suite, hairdryer, mini fridge, TV, safe (with a supplement) and air conditioning. The hotel has a swimming pool, restaurant and a terrace with a sea view.