In fact, many of the top cyclists in the world choose to call Catalonia their home because of the great weather and even better cycling terrain. The landscapes you’ll experience are rich and varied; you’ll see mountains, beaches, cliffs and volcanoes, all set to the backdrop of one of the most unique regions in Europe. Catalonia, by the seat of your bike… an experience of a lifetime!
Day 1: Arrival in Girona. Accessing Girona can be made possible several ways. If you’re traveling from within Europe, several low-cost airlines service flights to the Girona Airport. Another option would be flying to Barcelona and taking the train or a low-cost flight to Girona. Barcelona is only approximately 100 miles from Girona, so traveling to and from Barcelona is very easy. The train ride, for instance, is only 1 hour and 20 minutes long.
Upon arriving in the ancient destination city of Girona you’ll be ushered to your room at the Hotel Peninsular. Once checked in you will receive your complete information kit for the tour. Later that day, you’ll meet our local representative who will deliver and adjust your rental bikes (if you choose not to bring your own bikes) to the hotel.
Day 2: Girona to Sant Feliu de Guixols via Sant Grau
(approx. 55 km/ 34 miles)-(approx. 878 m/ 2,880 feet of climbing)
Today is your first day of adventure on the saddle! Keep in mind this is a self-guided tour, so you’re free to hit the road at any time, although we recommend you first enjoy the complimentary breakfast at Hotel Nord 1901! As you depart the hotel, go to the Girona cycle centre to collect your bikes and route instructions. You can leave any unnecessary luggage for the day at the front desk and it will be waiting for you at your next hotel with our included luggage service that is provided throughout the tour. Simply carry any items for the day in the set of removable panniers that come standard with our rental bikes. The day’s itinerary will take you south through the villages of Quart and Cassa de la Selva before reaching Caldes de Malavella, a small town famous for its thermal springs. From there you’ll climb over the mountain of Sant Grau (part of the 2009 Tour de France stage from Girona to Barcelona) overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean sea and enjoy the incredible coastal road to Sant Feliu.
Day 3: Sant Feliu de Guixols to Calella de Palafrugell
(approx. 64 km/ 39 miles)-(approx. 783 m/ 2,568 feet of climbing)
Today you’re destination city is north, also right on the Mediterranean. You’ll start off cycling inland towards Santa Cristina d’Aro and shortly afterwards you’ll tackle the largest climb of the day (roughly 330 meters or about 1,000 feet). As you descent you’ll reach Calonge, a very traditional Catalonian town. Stop in and relish the old town’s allure. As you leave the town you’ll cycle north and begin your second climb of the day. You’ll then pass towns such as La Bisbal d’Emporda, Torrent, Regencos, and Calella de Palafrugell, your destination town, where you’ll stay for the night.
Day 4: Calella de Palafrugell to Sant Marti d' Empuries
(approx. 53 km/ 32 miles) -(approx. 385 m/ 1,255 feet of climbing)
Continuing north along the coast you’ll wheel into Pals, a historic-artistic site and Torroella de Montrgrí, another breathtaking medieval town. Further north you’ll go through an area famous for its incredibly well preserved medieval villages including Peretallada and Ullestret the sight of the Pre-roman settlement.
After crossing the plain you will reach Sant Martí d’Empuries, your destination. The hotel and Spa is right next to the beach and a very short distance from the largest Greco-Roman ruin outside of Rome itself, the ancient city of Emporion!
Optional additional night in Sant Martí d’Empuries – Rest day or loop to El Port de la Selva (approx. 100 km/ 62 miles with 1,135 m/ 3,723 feet of climbing)
This optional additional day is a prime example of what M09630 is all about- giving you the means to enjoy your vacation on YOUR terms! You have the freedom to enjoy the the archaeological site or if you feel like sticking to your saddle, try our loop option that we have provided. It’s up to you. If you feel like relaxing at your hotel’s Spa, enjoy a walk on the beachfront promenade or a seat at one of the many restaurant terraces. Of course the beach is always a great way to spend a lazy afternoon as well.
If you choose to take the loop option to El Port de la Selva, you’ll be pleased with the loop route we’ve set up especially for you. As you leave the coast, you’ll cycle north and start your hilly yet incredibly scenic route of Spain’s northeast peninsula, nearly reaching the French border. You will pass the Pau and Llançà as you cycle around the Cap de Creus national park. On your journey you’ll be able to view the Pyrenees mountain landscape and rocky coves leading into the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean, so be sure to bring your camera! If you choose to do this loop, you can still be back in time to enjoy the Spa.
Day 5: Sant Marti d 'Empuries to Figueres
(approx. 55 km/ 34 miles)-(approx. 264 m/ 890 feet of climbing)
On this day you’ll be saying goodbye to coast and heading inland to Figueres. The day’s ride is short but hilly, as you’ll be starting literally from sea level. Along the way you’ll go through Pau again, if you chose the loop option the previous day. You’ll also pass through the very small towns of Garriguella, Vilamaniscle, Rabos and Espolla, all set in an idyllic surrounding. From here, most of the journey is downhill so you’ll coast your way towards Figueres. Figueres is where the king of surrealism hails from, the one and only Salvador Dali. Be sure to visit the Dali Theatre-Museum, which he actually designed. Much like Dali’s work, Figueres is quirky and has a unique personality all of its own.
Day 6: Figueres to Olot
(approx. 61 km/ 38 miles)-(approx. 1,113 m/ 3,651 feet of climbing)
Today you’ll set off westbound to discover the inland frontier of Catalonia. As you zigzag your way onwards you’ll slowly gain elevation. The largest city that you will pass through is Banyoles and you’ll cycle around its lake. From there you’ll headinto the natural volcanic park of La Garrotxa. This thickly forested park features 40 volcanic cones!Don’t worry though! None of the volcanoes are currently active and the last eruption took place 11,000 years ago, so you shouldn’t have to worry about out-peddling lava flow. For the night you will be staying in Olot, 447 m/ 1,467 feet above sea level.
Day 7: Olot to Girona
(approx. 53 km/ 33 miles)-(approx. 503 m/ 1,630 feet of climbing)
On your last day of cycling you will be leaving Olot, heading south east back to Girona. Along the way you’ll pass Sant Feliu de Pallerols, Les Planes d’Hostoles and Sant Aniol de Finestres. This valley region is bound by mountains and high cliffs. As you start to descend in elevation you’ll pass several small villages such as Sant marti de Llemena and Sant Gregori before you reach Girona, your home for the night.
Day 8: Departure
Following breakfast you may depart at a time of your choosing. If you choose to rent bicycles for your trip you can return them to our local representative’s shop.
Prices (from 1285 Euros per person based on double occupancy):
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Europe Spain Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring
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