GR10 self-guided Section 8 : From Vernet les Bains to Banyuls sur Mer
6 days of activities
from 455 €
The mountain that is fully representative and symbolic of the Eastern Pyrenees, the very symbol of the Catalans, is the Massif du Canigou. This summit dominates the Roussillon plains and the Mediterranean coastline. The position of the summit is isolated from the rest of the Pyrenean chain, so it stands out and is easy to spot, omnipresent in the landscape. It is nicknamed the Fujiyama Catalan. These protected areas that you walk through are a special environment and for nature lovers there is rich flora and fauna to admire. From Vernet-les-Bains, depending on the weather and your motivation, you have the choice of going around the Canigou summit, or going up and over! Then, you will drop down to the Roman spa town Arles sur Tech. From here, the GR10 gets close to the French/Spanish border, after having passed the Roc de France and the famous Col du Perthus, you will drop down into a vegetation of Mediteranean garrigue. The last mountain foothills of the Massif des Albères give way to the sea. You can't help but be charmed as you approach the enticing blue coastline. The sandy beach of Banyuls, one of the prettiest spots along the Vermeille coastline is not far off !
Dates and prices
Every days from the June to the end of September.
Booking from 2 people (solitary traveller: consult us).
Prices with luggage transfer :
Price per person for a group of 2 persons : 710€
Price per person for a group of 3 persons : 645€
Price per person for a group of 4 persons : 610€
Price per person for a group of 5 persons : 590€
Price per person for a group of 6 persons : 575€
Prices without luggage transfer :
Price per person for a group of 2 persons : 480€
Price per person for a group of 3 persons : 470€
Price per person for a group of 4 persons : 465€
Price per person for a group of 5 persons : 460€
Price per person for a group of 6 persons : 455€
- Comfort version (5 nights in rooms) : 70€/pers
- Extra single room : 85€/pers
- Extra night in Vernet les Bains/Banyuls : Consult us
- Transfer back from Banyuls to Vernet les Bains : Consult us
The price includes
- Half-board accommodation
- Transfer mentioned in the program
- Luggage transfers depending on the option chosen except fir 1 night in refuge day 2
- Dossier containing maps, route notes (1 for 4 persons, given in 1st accommodation)
- GPS tracks if you ask us + access to the detailed itinerary on the Mhikes GPS mobile application
The price does not include
-Holiday and travel insurance
-Showers in the mountain huts
-Booking fees (10€)
-Entrance fees, additional activities
-Drinks and picnics
Day 1 : Arrival in Vernet-les Bains
Installation in your accommodation,
according to your arrival time. Depending on your arrival time, you
can visit the village or go hiking.
The Cascade des Anglais and the Saint Vincent
A refreshing out-and-back hike to discover the spectacular waterfalls in the Gorges de St Vincent, offering a nice mix of lush vegetation, cool gorges, bridges and footbridges. There are also several small watering holes to refresh yourself.
Pic de la Pena
Hike to the Pic de la Pena (1062m) which offers a superb view of the Canigou and the surroundings of Vernet-les-Bains. You will also see the Abbey of Saint-Martin du Canigou lurking in its setting.
Distance: 6km, duration : about 2h30, altitude gain : + 375m, descent : - 375m. OR Distance: 6km, duration : about 2h45, altitude gain : + 470m, descent : - 470m
Day 2 : From Vernet les Bains to Cortalets refuge
Day 3 : From Cortalets refuge to Batère
Day 4 : From Batère to Arles sur Tech
During the descent to the charming tourist resort of Arles sur Tech, you will encounter many types of vegetation in this massif, from high altitude pastures to forests. The alpine environment is slowly transforming into a Mediterranean environment. This illustrates the diversity of this exceptional landscape. The Canigou Massif itself is home to a quarter of the plant species in France and all the mountain wildlife you would expect. Distance : 11,5km, duration : about 4h00, altitude gain : +55m, descent : -1235m.
Day 5 : From Montalba to Las Illas
Transfer (25min) from Arles sur Tech to Montalba (can be avoided, consult us). Start from the hamlet of Montalba d'Amélie, with its incomparable isolation and charm. At the exit of the beech and chestnut woods, the Cerda pass offers itself to you, at the base of the Sant Salvador rock. Then it is the crest of the Frausa rock with its wide panorama of the Catalan plain of the Empordà. Distance : 17,5km, duration : about 6h45, altitude gain : +965m, descent : -965m.
Day 6 : From Las Illas to Col de l'Ouillat
This stage is the transitional point of the Pyrenean crossing as the GR10 approaches the Alberes massif and joins the Franco-Spanish frontier up to the col du Perthus. Its twin the GR11, takes on the same itinerary on the Spanish side. The Alberes is the last Pyrenean massif before diving into the deep blue sea. Crossing it is a real pleasure given the diversity of the landscapes. Distance : 26km, duration : about 8h30, altitude gain : +1030m, descent : -640m.
Day 7 : From Col de l'Ouillat to Banyuls sur Mer
A long stage, with highlights such as the passage to the Pic Neulos, the Pic des Quatre-Termes, or the Pic de Saifort, the last promontory before the descent to the sea. Here, in the heart of the Mediterranean vegetation, everything has been shaped by the tramontana. Further down, the vegetation of the Pyrenean foothills has taken on the appearance of vineyards, with its casots, dry stone huts. The sea is there, very close, attractive. Distance : 23km, duration : about 8h, altitude gain : +680m, descent : -1615m.
This programme is an example of the itinerary we aim to adhere to. It may be necessary, if situations arise that are beyond our control, for the itinerary to be modified.
Day 1 at your accommodation in Vernet-les-Bains (66), according to your time of arrival.
Day 7 in Banyuls sur Mer (66), after your walk.
Nature of the walk
Walks on mostly waymarked paths, but some technical difficulties are possible. The walks are on good footpaths and trails, the terrain is varied but often rocky.
For walkers in good physical condition, already experienced in mountain hiking. The walking times mentioned are given as an indication, they are average times that only take into account the duration of the actual walking without counting the break times. Depending on the weather conditions, the walking pace can also vary, ranging from +300m to +500m of climb per hour.
4 night in gite in shared dormitory on days 1, 4, 5 and 6.
1 night in mountain gite in shared dormitory on day 3.
1 night in a mountain refuge in a shared dormitory on day 2.
COMFORT VERSION (with extra) :
1 night in hotel** in room on day 1
2 nights in family hotels in room on days 4 and 5
1 night in mountain gite in room on day 3.
1 night in gite in room on day 6.
1 night in mountain refuge in shared dormitory on day 2.
For night in dormitory, bring a liner (blankets are provided).
- Continental breakfast (tea, coffee, milk, butter, jam)
- Evening meals in accommodations, often based on local specialities, include a starter, a main course and a dessert.
- Picnics and drinks are not included. Picnics can be provided by all accommodation.
You will need to carry a day sack only, with your water bottle, camera, picnic and goretex jacket. Our bag-moving service means you can travel light during your walks except for the nights in mountain refuge, D2, where you have to carry your necessary personal belongings for the night, including a lightweight sleeping bag or liner, change of clothes, toiletries. Unless you have chosen the version without luggage transport. In this case you are responsible for carrying your bags between stopovers and are only permitted to use the people transfers. We ask you to please limit your main luggage to between 10-15kg to facilitate the transportation and carrying for the porters. It is also important to consider that it may be necessary to carry your bags short distances at the start or end of your holiday. (Consult with us for left luggage facilities).
Self-guided walking, without guide.