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Gastronomic Catalonia
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Gastronomic Catalonia

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 20 people
Destination(s): Spain  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring  
Season: March - October
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 950 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1160 Euro (EUR)

This eight-day tour explores Spain’s famous Costa Brava, considered by many to be not only Spain’s but Europe’s best kept secret. Located along Spain’s Mediterranean coast, in the northeast corner, this sun-drenched area is a visual thesaurus for the word “spectacular.” Everything, both man-made and natural, places an emphasis on wow. The tour begins and ends on the coast. Along the way you’ll pedal past an endless chain of tiny, beach-rimmed coves, serving as scenic entranceways into the Mediterranean’s sparkling, clear water. To maximize your coastal experience you’ll also enjoy overnight stays in scenic fishing ports of whitewashed buildings, stretching beaches, and open-air restaurants specialized in “Catch of the Hour” seafood. The inland portion of your ride will be highlighted by medieval villages with narrow cobblestone streets and ancient churches, as well as visits to Empuries, one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites and the Gala-Dalí Castle-Museum, the former home (actually, it’s a palace) of Salvador Dalí. You’ll also receive guided tours of a local winery and of Dauro’s- producer of one of the world’s most coveted olive oils. You’ll finish the tour with a memorable ride through Aiguamolls de l’Empordà National Park, a protected bird sanctuary, and then into Figueres, Salvador Dalí’s birthplace. ck-up fees).

Because this is a self-guided tour you’ll be able to set your own pace and choose which attractions to devote attention to based on personal interests. In between rides you’ll stay in first-class lodging. Each morning we’ll shuttle your luggage to your next hotel and have it waiting for you when you arrive later in the day. So, all you have to focus on is riding, framing snapshots and wondering how such an area of mind-calming beauty could have served as the creative muse for Salvador Dalí’s surrealistic visions.

Day 1: Arrival

Your tour begins in Palamós, Costa Brava’s capital. This beautiful coastal village features a dazzling beach, which some rate as the nicest in Catalonia. The Fishing Museum, the only one of its kind along the Mediterranean coast, warrants attention as does the town’s famous Fish Market, which is part commerce and part spectacle. Everyday the Market opens at 5 p.m. selling seafood, including the region’s famous prawns, caught just hours before by local fishermen.

Day 2: Palamós to Calella de Palafrugell: 18 Km (11 Miles).

Following breakfast, our local representative will meet with you to go over your itinerary (meeting is scheduled at 9:30 am). You’ll be given tour packets containing all of the information you’ll need (maps, phone numbers, lodging details) for your ride.
After the first 10 kilometers of the bike portion, your tour will begin with a visit to Celler Can Sais, a family wine cellar located in Vall-Llobrega (Emporda appellation), a family-operated vineyard in the true sense. You’ll be greeted by the family’s daughter who also doubles as the cellar’s winemaker and vineyard tour guide. After the visit and the wine tasting, you’ll be given a marked map so that you may follow an optional 5-kilometer bike itinerary through the vineyard.

You’ll return to Palamós, following a coastal route that passes Castell Beach. This crescent of sand rims the inside of a small cove and enjoys status as Costa Brava’s last virgin beach. From Palamós you’ll continue on to Calella de Palafrugell, a stunningly beautiful fishing port where all the homes and surrounding buildings are white, creating a visual aura of warmth and calm. There, you'll have the opportunity to take a short walk along the sea cliff on the famous «Chemin de ronde». The stroll is easy and the views breathtaking! Our local representative can certainly give you more information about this walk when meeting her/him in Palamos. Calella is one of the most beautiful villages in la Costa Brava. If you'd like to spend an additional day/night in Catalonia along your itinerary, this is where we'd recommend staying!

Day 3: Calella de Palafrugell to Peratallada: 23 Km (14 Miles).

Following the coast, you’ll pedal into Llafranc. Tucked inside a cove of shimmering blue water, this resort town of whitewashed streets and hillside villas is THE model of coastal villages. If the legs allow, a ride up to the Sant Sebastià Lighthouse will reward your efforts with fantastic views of the coast. From here you’ll pedal inland to Pals, a medieval village of narrow cobblestone streets and stone archways.

On your way, you’ll ride through the lively and typical market of Palafrugell. The market is separated into three parts: fruit and vegetables (street), fish (square), butchery and delicatessen (indoor). In the indoor market, look for Margarita’s place. She will give you a container with the typical “croquetas” (a small cake of chicken, or ham, or mushroom coated with bread crumbs and fried).Your next stop is the “Museu de la Confitura in Torrent. Georgina, the founder of this cozy space, will guide you through this gastronomic experience, showing the elaboration process of her artisanal jams, and offering a jam tasting accompanied by juices, coffee and sparkle wine. A delicious experience! And then it’s on to Peratallada, your home for the night. This ancient village is chockfull of medieval wow. Narrow streets framed by stone buildings are the norm rather than the exception, making you half expect that at any moment you’ll bump into King Charlemagne.

Day 4: Peratallada to Madremanya: 20 Km (12 Miles).

La Bisbal d’Empordià is today’s first stop. Considered to be Spain’s “Pottery Capital,” this bustling market town features scores of shops selling pottery and ceramics. It also houses a wealth of architectural marvels, highlighted by the Church of Santa Maria de la Bisbal (901) and the Vell Bridge (1606) over the Daro River. You’ll next pedal into Monells, another village steeped with ancient awe, highlighted by a town square dotted with tiny cafes and restaurants. From here you’ll ride into Madremanya, a medieval village with an Italian feel. Dinner at La Plaça Restaurant will end the day with a culinary exclamation point. Located inside a 14th century farmhouse surrounded by overflowing gardens, you’ll enjoy a meal based on seasonal produce, which combines traditional fare with innovative techniques.

Day 5: Madremanya to Torroella de Montgrí: 24 Km (15 Miles).

Today you’ll pedal into La Pera, another well-preserved medieval village, known for its narrow, hilly streets and dominating Gothic church. From here you’ll ride southeast into Púbol, home to the Gala-Dalí Castle-Museum. This Gothic Renaissance palace (once the main residence of Salvador Dalí) offers up-close insight to the world’s most famous surrealist painter. A tour of the palace exposes you to Dalí’s vast art collection, including his famous elephant sculptures, as well as personal items like his high fashion clothes and his famous Cadillac. And you’ll also pass the crypt where his wife, Gala, is buried. You’ll spend the night in Torroella de Montgrí, yet another fantastically preserved medieval village with an array of palaces and homes dating back to the 16th century.

Day 6: Torroella de Montgrí to Sant Pere Pescador: 27 Km (17 Miles).

Today you’ll ride into Bellcaire d’Empordà, a hilltop village famous for its ancient castle that dates back to the 13th century. Equally as impressive is the 10th century Church of Santa Caterina that stands next to the castle. Next, you’ll visit Sant Martí d’Empúries, located along the coast, overlooking the Gulf of Roses. This tiny village is home to Empúries, a massive archaeological dig site of a Greek town, settled in 6 BC, and, next to it, a Roman village built during the days of Julius Caesar. And then from here you’ll ride into Sant Pere Pescador, a scenic coastal town with a large beach.

Optional day trip to Cadaques: What about giving you some extra time to visit Salvador Dali’s home and take a stroll through the charming and authentic seaside town of Cadaques? Cadaques is serviced by bus from San Pere Pescador. This is operated by a bus company named SARFA. There are two buses per day, running Monday through Friday (except bank holidays). You may view bus schedules at www.sarfa.com (you will get to the English site by clicking on the icon at the top right corner of your screen). The journey lasts approx. 1 hour and costs 5.25 euros per person.

Day 7: Sant Pere Pescador to Figueres: 23 Km (14 Miles)

Your last riding day will take you into Aiguamolls de l’Empordà National Park. This reserve of marshes and dunes is home to 327 different species and is considered one of Spain’s most important bird habitats. Storks, herons, osprey and gulls are some of the more common winged-residents that in this area. And then you’ll end your tour in Figueres, Salvador Dalí’s birthplace and your home for the night. The Dalí Theater-Museum deserves must-see status, featuring the world’s largest collection of Dalí’s art, including paintings, sculptures and collages.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

- 950 euros January 1 thru April 30 and Oct. 1 thru Dec. 31. Single sup.: 290 euros.
- 990 euros May 1 thru June 30 and Sept. 1 thru Sept. 30. Single sup.: 305 euros.
- 1,160 euros July 1 thru August 31. Single sup.: 360 euros.

Price includes:
7-night accommodations in 4- and 3-star properties and 1 guesthouse "of character"
Daily breakfast
1 dinner at La Plaça Restaurant in Madremanya (drinks are not included)
Guided visit to Celler Can Sais wine cellar and wine tasting
Margarita's “croquetas” in Palafrugell’s market on Day 3.
Guided visit to the Museu de la Confitura in Torrent on Day 3 and jam tasting.
Meeting with our local representative on Day 2
Luggage transfers
Detailed marked maps and/or cue sheets
All tax and service charges

Price does not include:
Expenses of personal nature
Travel insurance.
Bicycle rental. Hybrids are available at the rate of 115 euros per bike (includes drop-off and pick-up fees).

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