Bicycling Catalonia's Costa Brava Plus! Barcelona
Home to some of Spain's most iconic cities and famous (and infamous) characters, Catalonia is a one of a kind destination. With a history as diverse as the territory and a cultural identity and language of its own, this Spanish community will delight and fascinate. Join us on a 12-day bicycle tour that begins in Girona, one of the most fought after towns in all of Spanish history, having been sieged over 25 times. We'll pedal east towards the rugged Costa Brava and through the rolling hills of the Emporda' region - dotted with Roman ruins and medieval towns. Our journey continues through hidden fishing villages and quiet towns along small roads through wine country on our way to Figueras, Salvador Dali's birthplace. We'll continue to the west and the foothills of the Pyrenees through nature reserves and to ancient Roman spa towns before looping south. Our journey ends with a fabulous 10-mile bicycle path that leads into the heart of Barcelona.
***If this sounds great but you don't have time for the full 12 days, check out our 8-day Bicycling Catalonia's Costa Brava itinerary which shortens this itinerary by 4 days.***View Day-by-Day ItineraryHide Day-by-Day Itinerary
Day 1: Girona
Highlights: Girona, Jewish Museum and Historic Center
We meet in the medieval town of Girona today. We highly recommend coming a day or two early to explore this city and begin your exploration of the Catalan culture. We'll fit bicycles this afternoon and recommend a test ride along the river bike path before meeting for introductions and dinner together.
Distance: Optional. Meals: D
Lodging: Hotel Historic
Day 2: Bicycling Girona to Costa Brava
Highlights: Cycling the Via Verde, quiet roads, beach town,
Today's ride features a gentle ascent to the highest point in the area. You'll be rewarded for your efforts with a classic view of the Costa Brava. The van will be there to offer a lift up (or down) for those who prefer. Our descent ends at the sea and from there we'll follow the sometimes hilly coastal road to our beach front hotel. Enjoy a dip in the Mediterranean, or some people watching this afternoon before dinner together.
Distance: 60 kms (37 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Sant Pol
Day 3: Bicycling Costa Brava to Peratallada
Highlights: Beaches, rural bicycling, castles and medieval towns
Today we'll ride along the coast to Palamos, a great coffee stop and perfect opportunity for one last dip in the sea before we head inland over rolling hills. Many of the towns we'll pass through on today's ride were once fortified Roman and medieval cities, so be sure to take time to meander the tiny streets. Peratallada, our destination this evening, is perhaps the best preserved as the center is entirely pedestrian and the walls still stand. You'll notice ruts in the stone streets which were created from centuries of horse carts moving through the narrow streets. We'll stay just outside of town and enjoy this little corner of Catalonia for the next few days.
Distance: 41 kms (25 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Aatu .
Day 4: Loop ride or Rest Day
Highlights: Loop ride, optional climb
We'll take a loop ride through the gentle hills of the Baix Emporda region today. We have a special stop planned just a few kilometers into the ride to visit a local ceramicist, la Bisbal d'Emporda. This is also a great town to enjoy a beverage and explore the boutiques and artist stores - some of which carry traditional pieces while others have expanded into more modern ceramic art. After our visit we'll continue our loop ride which includes the option of an 8 km (5 miles) climb for anyone wanting a little challenge.
Distance: 48 km (30 miles) plus the option of an 8 km (5 mile) climb. Meals: B
Lodging: Hotel Aatu .
Day 5: Bicycle to Cadaques
Highlights: Remote fishing village, stunning views of the sea
We'll head north and inland today through gentle hills and reclaimed marshes that are now the center for the agricultural economy in the area. We'll suggest a lunch stop in one of these small but historic towns. There is a significant climb to the hotel so anyone who prefers to rest their legs can meet at a café to regroup and shuttle. Everyone else can join local cyclists to conquer the hill that creates a natural barrier and makes this Eastern most peninsula in Spain such a unique natural and geological formation.
Distance: 57 - 73 kms (35 - 45 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Llane Petit Cadaqués .
Day 6: Cycle the Cap de Creus or enjoy the beach
Highlights: Dali's summer home, beach front rambla, and optional rest day
Today you have the option to take a day off the bike, or bicycle to the stunning Cap de Creus - the most easterly point of the Iberian Peninsula. It's a short but hilly ride out and back. For those who prefer a day off the bike, Cadaques has been inspirational to many great artists, including Dali, Miro, Duchamp and Picasso. Find a spot and explore your inner artist, or simply enjoy a day relaxing by the pool.
Distance: 14 kms (8.5 miles) out and back or more if you want! Meals: B
Lodging: Hotel Llane Petit Cadaqués .
Day 7: Bicycle to Figueras
Highlights: Scenic Coast Boat ride, Dali Museum
We start our day with a chartered boat ride as we leave Cadaques and navigate around the rocky coastline that isolates the Cap de Creus Natural Park from the rest of the Costa Brava. Once we land in Roses we'll pedal to Figueras, birthplace of Salvador Dali. We'll plan a guided tour of the museum this afternoon.
Distance: 32 kms (20 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Duran
Day 8: Bicycle to Olot
Highlights: Banyoles, Garrtoxa Volcanic Natural Area
Our route takes us along the foothills of the Pyrenees and we'll enjoy some larger rolling hills on our way to Olot. You'll notice a change in the landscape as we enter this unique region which was carved out by ancient lava flows from the four volcanoes that border the valley. Our hotel this evening is a restored manor house just outside of town.
Distance: 79 kms (49 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Can Blanc
Day 9: Bicycle Olot to Vic
Highlights: Vall d'en Bas, Vic
We head down the Vall d'en Bas before climbing up and over towards the headwaters of the River Ter - one of the larger rivers in Catalonia. Stop at the top for lunch before heading down towards Vic. A town of ancient Roman and Iberian origin Vic preserves one of the few Plaza Mayor's that is still dirt - just as it was for festivals in medieval times. Our hotel is just off the Rambla (pedestrian corridor).
Distance: 64 kms (40 miles). Meals: B
Lodging: Hotel Ciutat de Vic . September 8th departure will stay in the town of Mas Albereda instead of Vic at the: Mas Alberes .
Day 10: Bicycle Vic to Caldes de Montbui
Highlights: Roman spa towns and rolling hills
Previous customers have loved our first visit today; a local Fuet (sausage) producer opens its doors to us for a private tour. Our ride continues from one valley to the next as we make our way towards Barcelona. We leave the foothills of the Pyrenees as we pedal down to Caldes de Montbui, an ancient Roman hot springs town. Take some time to enjoy this small town and the ancient baths before taking a dip in the hot pools yourself.
Distance: 50 kms (31 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Vila de Caldes
Day 11: Bicycle to Barcelona
Highlights: Bike path and entering Barcelona
We have a relatively short day today as we pedal south and join up with a river side redevelopment that is now a thriving active multi-use path. Our route takes us straight to the coastline from where we'll take bike paths and back streets to our hotel at the top of the Ramblas of Barcelona. A dynamic city, Barcelona combines history and modern art, culture and cuisine seamlessly. We'll have a fabulous final dinner together this evening in one of the classic restaurants of Barcelona.
Distance: 43 km (27 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Jazz
Day 12: Barcelona
Your on your own to explore this magical city which is home to some of Gaudi's finest works. Plan to stick around a day or two as there is much to see and do.
HighlightsBarcelona, Garrtoxa Volcanic Natural Area, Girona, Figueras and Dali Museum, Medieval Villages, Costa Brava Beaches, Vic, Extraordinary food - Girona has more restuarants with Michelin stars then anywhere else in the worldKeep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.
IncludesUse of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 12 days, 11 nights' lodging; 11 breakfasts, 8 dinners with wine; 1 guided visit of Dali Museum; a wine tasting; boat trip plus "The Usual""The Usual" (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)
Total Distance421 - 486 km (260 - 300 miles)
Daily Distance15 - 70 kms (8 - 42 miles)
Rating201-301 Gentle terrain with two days of longer climbs of around 5 or 6 miles, but not too steep. Other days include rolling hills.
TermsTerms & Conditions
Dates Price Single Supplement Notes Jun 16-27, 2016 $4950 $650 Guaranteed to Go! Book it Aug 25-Sep 5, 2016 $4950 $650 Guaranteed to Go! Book it Sep 8-19, 2016 $4950 $650 Sold Out! Book it Sep 15-26, 2016 $4950 $650 Sold Out! Wait List Available Book it
* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.
Book Review: The Angel's Game
Dive into this deliciously dark tale about passion, love, loss and life and follow David Martín, the main character, through Barcelona’s murky alleys and wide avenues.
Catalonia's Costa Brava with Joan Escosura
An interview with Joan Escosura our Spanish country coordinator and tour leader about the new bicyclign Catalonia trip that he helped design.
Cyclists of Spain
ExperiencePlus! traveler Guy Lothian impressed us with his talent for words and we love this ode that was inspired by “an afternoon encounter with some serious local cyclists” during the May 2014 ExperiencePlus! ride along the Costa Brava in Catalonia, Spain.
Meals on Your Bicycle Tour
Information on how meals work on ExperiencePlus! Bicycle tours
Recipe: Romesco Sauce
A versatile sauce from the Catalonia region of Spain. Use it on fish, chicken, burgers, pasta, or as a dip.
Spain Trip Planner
Read up on country customs, transportation information, culinary specialites, and more!
We Are ExperiencePlus! Meet your Tour Leaders
We'd like to introduce you to your tour leaders. We believe we have the best bicycle tour leaders out there, click through to see a slideshow about them.
Iberia by James Michener
Looking for a travelogue set in Spain? Here's a review on one of Michener's finest books.
The end of summer means tomatoes! In Valencia, Spain, there's a tomato throwing festival..join in the fun.
Postcards from Barcelona
When you stroll around Barcelona, you'll have the opportunity to witness Antonio Gaudi's architectural genius.
- Book Review: The Angel's Game
Excellent. It was surprising, and therefor refreshing. Occasionally challenging, but the challenge was worth it. The area was beautiful and the variety of the landscape very interesting.Vicky T., Owen Sound, ON
How would you describe this tour to a friend? Exploring the culture of Catalonia from hills to mountain climbs to the ocean was a challenge. The beauty a nice surprise. The food and dining experiences off the chart. The last trip Catalonia was the best. Well...I always say that!Stu W., Boulder, CO
Fantastic and beautiful route through Catalonia coast and inland areas. Fantastic local guides. Over the top food.Eirc and Gabrielle, Mill Valley, CA
Another great trip! Wonderful and above my expectations.Cliff L., Chapel Hill, NC
It was a fantastic trip. The guides were great, the route was beautiful and as expected.Mary B., Newport Beach, CA
Bottom line: this was truly one of the best bike trips we have ever done.Jim B., Incline Village, CA
Great tour. Beautiful scenery and quaint towns. The food was great, as good or better than anywhere I have been and that includes France and Italy!Gary B, Huntington
This was my 9th ExperiencePlus! tour and one of the best (I started in the 80''s with Rick and Paola). Fantastic job, fantastic value.Mike D., Portland, OR
I only wish you had an "extremely satisfied" category! I had a fantastic time - it was a GREAT trip!!! Wonderful bike routes, spectacular scenery, amazing cuisine, interesting cultural visits.Carol D., Williston, VT
A must, one of the best ever. Great cycling, great scenery and of course great food.Peter K., Williston, VT
This was one of our favorite ExperiencePlus! trips. Even though the geographic area we covered was not that big, we weaved in, out and around, to see the mountains, the sea, the medieval villages, the Greek and Roman ruins, and the history and culture of Catalonia.Sari R., Glastonbury, CT
Good riding, varied scenery, interesting culture, wonderful food and outstanding leaders. Learned so much about the Catalan people, their history and culture. So much to see in Barcelona.Linda M., Livermore, CA
It is a great trip in a beautiful and interesting part of Spain. This was our 15 ExperiencePlus! trip. Enough said.Dave M., Livermore, CA
How would you describe this tour to a friend? That they have to experience for themselves. Excellent and memorable. Wonderful. Leesa and I are looking forward to our next tour.Ward S., Kanata Ontario
Beautiful scenery, especially along the coast and on the descents to the coast; interesting medieval villages. moderately challenging rides, great support, great hotels and food. Loved Cadaques and Cap de Creus. I had a great time, seeing and experiencing Spain like I would not have on a normal trip.Paul L., Sebastopol