Home > Catalonia Pedal and Pamper
Catalonia, oh Catalonia! Words are barely adequate to describe this fantastically unique region. For much of this tour you will be exploring Catalonia’s Costa Brava on edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Thanks to its perfect location, you will be blessed with hot and dry weather, perfect for cycling. In fact, many of the top cyclists in the world choose to call Catalonia home because of the great weather and even better cycling terrain.
The varied landscapes you’ll ride through include mountains, beaches, cliffs, and volcanoes — all in one corner of Europe! Aside from the varied landscapes, you’ll discover the historically diverse city of Girona, the beaches of Roses, and the peculiar birthplace of Salvador Dali, to name a few cultural hotspots. Seeing Catalonia from the seat of your bike is truly the experience of a lifetime!
Although this is not a very difficult tour, we recommend this tour to cyclists who ride on a regular basis and can comfortably ride 70 km (45 miles). As easier alternatives, we suggest our 6-night/7-day "" tour.
For travel and cycling tips to Catalonia, visit our "Travel and cycling tips" section.
As you can , accessing Girona is easy no matter how you travel. From within Europe, several low-cost airlines service the Girona Airport. Another option is to fly to Barcelona and from there, take the train or a low-cost flight to Girona. Barcelona is approximately 100 miles from Girona, so traveling to and from Barcelona is very easy! The train ride is only 1 hour and 20 minutes long. Upon arriving in the ancient city of Girona, you’ll be ushered to your room at a classic hotel. Your bike outfitting and briefing will take place at our local representatives’ shop tomorrow morning, giving you time to settle in and explore the city on foot.
Today is your first day of adventure in the saddle! 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. The coastal road to Sant Feliu provides a scenic backdrop resembling a work of art.
Although you’ll begin the day cycling inland, your route will bring you back to the sea in the end. Start off cycling towards Santa Cristina d’Aro — soon you’ll tackle the largest climb of the day (roughly 330 meters, or about 1,000 feet). As you descend, you’ll reach Calonge, a very traditional Catalonian town. Stop and relish in the old town’s pastoral charms. As you leave town, you’ll cycle north and begin your second climb of the day. You’ll then pass quintessentially Catalan towns such as La Bisbal d’Emporda, Torrent, and Regencos, all worth a visit (if you wish!) Coastal Calella de Palafrugell is your destination for the evening.
Continuing north along the coast you’ll pass through an area famous for its incredibly well-preserved medieval villages including Peretallada and Ullastret, the site of a Pre-Roman settlement. Further north, you’ll wheel into Torroella de Montrgrí, another breathtaking medieval town, and cross the plain to reach Sant Martí d’Empuries, site of the largest Greco-Roman ruins outside of Rome itself: the ancient city of Emporion! Spend some time exploring and then relaxing on the beaches of nearby Sant Pere Pescador, before pedaling into your destination at Castello d’Empuries.
With so many options available today, you’ll fully realize the benefits of self-guided tours: you have the means to enjoy your vacation on YOUR terms! If you feel like hitting the road, you can ride our provided loop to El Port de la Selva. You’ll cycle north and start your hilly (and incredibly scenic!) route through Spain’s northeast peninsula, nearly reaching the French border. You will pass Pau and the Monestir de Sant Pere de Rode 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! Another option is to take a bus to Cadaques to visit Salvador Dali's home (the journey lasts approx. 45 minutes.) As always, if you just want to spend the day relaxing on the beach, you are free to do so.
Say goodbye to coast and head inland to Figueres. Today’s ride is one of the easiest on your tour. If you chose the loop option yesterday, you’ll recognize the route and get to see Pau again. You’ll also pass through the very small towns of Garriguella, Vilamaniscle, Rabos and Espolla, whose idyllic surroundings seem right out of a fairytale. From here, most of the journey is downhill so you’ll coast your way towards Figueres, the birthplace of the father of Surrealism, Salvador Dalí. Be sure to visit the Dalí Theatre-Museum, which he actually designed. Much like Dali’s work, Figueres is quirky and has a unique personality all of its own.
Set off westbound to discover the inland frontier of Catalonia. As you zigzag your way out, you’ll slowly gain elevation. The largest city that you’ll pass through is Banyoles, where lakefront cycling makes for a serene ride. From there you’ll head into the natural volcanic park of La Garrotxa. This thickly forested park features 40 volcanic cones! Don’t worry — 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 a surprise lava flow. Spend the night 447 meters (1,467 feet) above sea level in Olot.
Ride back to Girona today on a southeastern route bound by mountains and high cliffs. Along the way you’ll pass valley towns such as Sant Feliu de Pallerols, Les Planes d’Hostoles, and Sant Aniol de Finestres. As you begin your descent, you’ll pass several small villages such as Sant Marti de Llemena and Sant Gregori, all worth a pause, before you reach Girona, your home for the night.
Following breakfast, depart Girona at a time of your choosing.
4 nights in 4-star hotels, 2 nights in 3-star hotels and 1 night in a 2-star hotel