Roses Frontier Crossing
Distance: 93 km
Duration: 5h 25'
Accumulated climb: 1.390 m
Accumulated descent: 1.390 m
Main passes: Coll del Frare and Coll dels Belitres (Average gradient of 1.9% - Maximum gradient of 8%) and Coll de Banyuls (Average gradient of 3.5% - Maximum gradient of 20%)
Route of medium distance and gradient, with the attraction that it allows you to enjoy the two essential attributes of the Empordà landscape: the rocky coastline and the interior plain, with wide panoramic landscapes.
The first part takes us to the coast, moving easily along the Empordà plain, but with a section along the highway – Vilajuïga to Llançà sector – where you should be very careful. Once you are beside the sea, many kilometres are spent alternating between the coastline – with small ports, where the rugged landscape of this part of the Costa Brava takes centre stage – and the spectacular panoramic views that can be seen thanks to the height gained.
Once you have entered Northern Catalonia, at the beautiful village of Banyuls-sur-Mer, the direction of the route completely changes, turning southwest. The two slopes of the Coll de Banyuls are a genuine revelation, both for the exercise and in terms of landscape, with the eastern part open to the Mediterranean – wetter, and where we pass beside vineyards up until the final steeper slopes – and the Empordà section, rougher, with its characteristic olive trees and cork oaks.
While it is generally a very quiet section in terms of traffic and is mainly a tourist route, you should be very careful, making sure to stay on the right side of the road, as it is quite narrow and with very little visibility at certain points.
Arriving in Espolla, the route turns southeast, dropping down along a quiet, bucolic section until Vilajuïga where, until we reach Roses, you should be vigilant as the road can be quite busy and vehicles can drive at some speed.
This route presents an interesting option at Banyuls. You can reach the renowned village of Cotlliure (Collioure) and get back to the original route following the D-86 road, over the Coll dels Gascons (387m), passing the Madeloc tower and descending again at Banyuls. If you choose this option, the route is approximately 120 km and 1,750 m.
- On the fastest main roads, the kerbs are reasonably good, traffic is fairly heavy and even more so in summer.
- You should be fit and especially so if, at Banyuls, you choose the option to go towards Collioure.
- Stop to gather your strength before climbing the Coll de Banyuls.
- Attention! After Colera, you leave the N-260 to climb the Coll dels Frares towards Portbou and don’t have to go through the tunnels. It's worth it.
- The climb to the Coll de Banyuls is along a road which is in good condition but is narrow, without lines or kerbs. Final inclines of 22%.
- On the descent of the Coll de Banyuls to Espolla there are 5 cattle grids (these are iron bars set into the ground, visible or covered with steel plates). They are indicated with a warning sign. There are some sections with slopes of 10%.
- After the first descent of the Coll de Banyuls, at the first ford of a stream you cross, the concrete road surface is in poor condition. The asphalt on the rest is fine.
- After Espolla, don’t be over confident, despite entering the Empordà plain towards Roses, it is long and there are often deceptive flat sections and small undulations.
The trails are an option to follow specific routes. The trail markers are exclusively of informative nature that indicate where the planned itinerary goes. Given the diverse situations and circumstances that may occur, it is essentially impossible to guarantee that this signage remains intact always. As such, the Town Hall and/or other entities that maintain the signage are not to be held liable for damages and/or loss in the case of getting lost or any other potential problem that users may face when using the indicated routes.
For this reason, users following the marked routes are recommended to not only rely on the signage for direction. Rather, both prior and during their excursion, they should have a map, GPS or compass at hand in order to solve any problems that may present themselves.
Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that when following a marked trail, the norms for movement and correct behaviour should be totally respected, whether on trail, road or streambed.
The marked routes on the trails are merely informative, and, as such, the Town Hall of Roses is not to be held liable for the accidents occurred whilst using said trails. When using the trails, it is recommended to do so with the proper equipment and material, keeping the prior recommendations in mind.