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Fornells and Aiguablava walk (GR92)

Fornells village looking back to Aiguablava on the Costa Brava Fornells and Aiguablava are small coastal locations in the municipality of Begur heading out towards Tamariu.

Aiguablava, where we're starting, is a small sandy beach under a Parador (a particular type of historic Spanish hotel) and is an archetypical sandy bay beach with turquoise sea under rocky cliffs, and is the main beach used on the adverts for Begur and its blue Mediterranean waters.

At the other end of this walk is the village or hamlet of Fornells (not to be confused with the village of the same name just outside Girona) is right on the coast and almost tumbles into the sea with a small pretty harbour cut into the rocks and two older Costa Brava hotels.

This is a walk we do regularly out of season, taking in one of the luxurious hidden corners of the Costa Brava past a variety of large houses and villas that seem to nestle into the sides of the hill above the sea between Fornells and Aiguablava.

If it was summer, Aiguablava's car park and small exquisite beach would be  full, but in December, when we are walking, it is empty, with practically no-one around.

This is one of the joys of the Costa Brava. Once the holiday season is over you pretty much have the place to yourself with the most beautiful spots shimmering in the winter sun, empty of anything but sand, sea and scenery.

The walking route we are taking follows the GR92 coast road (marked with red and white stripes on the paths). We tried the walk last spring (2012) only to find a rock fall had closed the path above the Aguablava end. This winter the path has been replaced with a short bridge over the gap.

Tiny sandy bay at Fornells So we start at the Aiguablava car park. The actual path, like many others here, might not be found on Google Maps - some times Google misses connections so it's not so good for walking off the beaten track, however, the route and GR92 is marked on walking maps and when walking the GR92 is marked by red and white flashes. The maps we normally use to check out routes are the Emporda Costa Brava 1:30,000 series, but even on these maps you'll find routes that aren't completely marked.

From Aiguablava (blue water) we follow the beach to the left and up steps over the cliffs to the next bay, full of large pebbles and rocks in complete contrast to Aiguablava. Being winter and so a bit wetter here, a small stream tumbles through the pebbles down to the sea and a small pile of whitened driftwood has washed to the back of the cove.

From the bay, the path then goes under a covered walk way beneath a luxury villa up a tunnel of stairs before emerging higher up just outside fields and an olive grove.

The path is larger and turns down into a pocket of terraced fishermen's cottages of Fornells so closely packed it feels like you're walking in people's yards. The red and white stripes of the GR92 are a reassurance you're on a genuine path.

Below the cottages, the path reaches a tiny little bay with barely enough sand for a sandpit and traces the rocks under the village before turning more cottages and up to the harbour and hotel above.

If you keep walking around the harbour you can continue across the rocks to another narrow cove where the rocks are in a chessboard of dark and light.

You then run into a natural looking 'infinity' pool (Es Cau) that uses the natural rocks by the sea with hidden wall to give the contrast of the still pool water with the sea beyond (it's a private pool).

Finally head up to the road and back out past the pristine gardens of the larger houses here. The final bit of the walk runs along the main road. Not so pleasant but not busy at this time of year.

Update 1: If you're walking this in reverse - Fornells to Aiguablava, someone has removed the signposts just below the orange houses as you leave Fornells. The path runs up the stairs and through what looks like the yard of the house.

Update 2 (2022): The path up from the 'sandpit' beach mentioned in Update 1 has been amended so there is now a set of stairs leaving the beach, so you don't have to go through the yard of the house (which is now fenced off) and provides some pretty views back across the beach.

Neighbouring walks: Sa Tuna, Cap de Begur, Begur - Palafrugell, Tamariu, Begur residential and Esclanya - Far de Sant Sebastia (Llafranc) to Tamariu - Begur, Ses Negres and Sa Riera

Swimming: Swimming at the beach at Aiguablava

Events: Begur - Festa d'Indians

Walking route between Aiguablava and Fornells near Begur on Costa Brava

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