Home > Sandy beaches and gravel roads - Gravel biking along the Costa Brava
The varied countryside around Girona is a fantastic place for gravel cycling and this tour is the perfect way to discover some of the regions wildest landscapes - Costa Brava literally means ‘wild coast’! The route takes in the Empordà plain which is a vast agricultural area with apple and peach trees as well as a lot of vineyards and olive groves. Further inland to the northwest of Girona, the plain opens out into several mountain ranges including the biggest concentration of dormant volcanoes in Europe - La Garrotxa! It is a cyclist’s paradise and it is clear to see why many professionals decide to make this their home and playground.
This route sees you initially riding south east from Girona to Sant Feliu de Guixols through open fields and past Catalonian farmhouses before then heading north skirting along the Costa Brava stopping in Torroella de Montgrí and Castelló d’Empúries along the way. The route takes in both the Mediterranean coast and the most hidden parts of the Empordà valley as it winds its way northwards before heading back inland towards Figueres through the large national park, the Cap de Creus and then finishing back in Girona.
Girona is a cyclist’s haven and the perfect place to begin this tour given its excellent transport connections to Barcelona and the rest of Europe. Before starting to pedal tomorrow make sure to enjoy visiting the narrow cobblestone streets of the Jewish quarter, walking along the city’s ancient walls and marvelling at the impressive Gothic Cathedral! You can grab a beer in one of the many cycling cafés or bars too!
On the first day of cycling, you will be outfitted with your bikes (if you choose to rent with us) and all other necessary gear (GPS etc.) at our partner renter's shop in Girona. The loop for the day sees you discover the inland countryside of the Llémana Valley and the Ter valley, riding past its big ancient farms along the way. Initially, the route climbs north towards Sant Gregori through the Vilanna valley before then looping around and heading west towards Anglès along the river Ter. After crossing the river into the Brunyola Valley at Bonmatí a climb awaits towards Mas Llunes and then a descent to take in the La Crosa volcano, which boasts the largest crater on the Iberian Peninsula at 1250m. The route then returns back to Girona through rolling fields on the outskirts of the city.
Today’s route begins by cycling along a disused railway which has now been converted into a bike path - the Greenway which runs all the way from Olot through Girona and on to Sant Feliu de Guixols. Riding south east towards the coast the route passes through Llambilles from where you will head into the Girona plain and pass through beautiful cornfields and take in Catalonian farm houses and small churches such as Mare de Deu del Remei in between Campllong and Sant Andreu Salou. The route then arrives into Llagostera, home to the Emili Vilà Museum, from where you will rejoin the Greenway and ride into Sant Feliu de Guixols where you will stay for the night.
This stage is divided into three different sections - a very flat first and last section with a significant climb and descent in the middle. The ride begins by riding north following the coast to Calonge from where the route heads inland through open fields and the long climb awaits (almost 10km long!) which culminates at the church of Santa Coloma de Fitor. You will be rewarded for that effort up the hill with a magnificent descent into the wonderful and picturesque medieval village of Peratallada. From here, the route takes you towards Pals, another medieval town with a beautiful gothic quarter. The day ends by passing through fields to Torroella de Montgrí set in the shadow of the looming Montgrí Massif. We highly recommend checking out the Museum of the Mediterranean in Torroella where you can learn about the local culture and heritage!
The terrain during this stage is relatively flat, bar an ascent towards the beginning of the ride. You will be riding through a region famous for its wine production, so enjoy the sights of picturesque vineyards! The route passes by a beautiful beach at the end of the River Ter from where you will head to Port de l’Estartit and turn inland towards the day’s climb. Climbing towards L’Escala the route passes through Punta del Milà where you will enjoy magnificent views over the Mediterranean Sea. Having reached L’Escala, a fishing village famous for its anchovies, the route then flattens out and stretches along the Empordà plain to Castelló d’Empúries. Make sure to pay a visit to the Basilica de Santa Maria in Castelló d’Empúries, a highly impressive 13th century Gothic Cathedral.
This is the hardest stage of the tour but it is well worth the effort as it also has the best views! Leaving Castelló you will head to the village of Empuriabrava, a gorgeous marina village with 30km worth of canals! From here the route heads to Roses and you will ride along the coast past the beautiful beach at Almadrava. The biggest uphill of the stage begins here. You will pedal past the Sastre tower on your way to the summit at Puig Alt. From here you will enjoy a fantastic downhill section through vineyards and olive groves through the villages of Pau and Vilajuiga and the medieval town of Peralada. The stage finishes by riding through fields into the town of Figueres, the birthplace of the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí and now home to the Dalí Theatre-Museum which is a must see!
The final day’s ride can be split into two sections - the first being a flat section through the Empordà plain and the second being a much more mountainous section through the Gavarres. Initially you will leave Figueres and ride through fields and small villages such as Vilamalla, Siurana and Camallera. Once you arrive into Bordils the route heads to Sant Martí Vell where you will begin climbing towards the centre of the Gavarres mountain range and the Sanctuary of the Angels. From here the route descends into the valley of Sant Daniel which leads you straight into Girona. It is time to take a well earned break, enjoy a meal in one of Girona’s many brilliant restaurants and reflect on a week of epic gravel biking!
Breakfast and departure from Girona or alternatively an extra night
5 nights in 3-star hotels and 2 nights in 2-star hotels.
7 nights in 4-star accommodation.