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.***
Day 1: Girona
Highlights: Girona, Jewish Museum and Historic CenterWe 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. Mileage - optional
Lodging: Hotel Historic
Day 2: Bicycling Girona to Costa Brava
Highlights: Cycling the Via Verde, quiet roads, beach town,We join one of the most extensive networks of bike paths and rail to trail systems in Spain today on part of our ride as we pedal south and east towards the coast. We'll weave through small farm roads and on the bike path through towns to avoid traffic on our way to our beach front hotel. Enjoy a dip in the Mediterranean, or some people watching this afternoon before dinner together. Distance: 43 kms (24 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Sant Pol
Day 3: Bicycling Costa Brava to Peratallada
Highlights: Beaches, rural bicycling, castles and medieval townsToday 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. Mileage 50 kms (30 miles)
Lodging: Hotel Aatu
Day 4: Loop ride or Rest Day
Highlights: Loop ride, optional climbWe'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. This evening dinner is on your own. Mileage 45 - 60 kms (24 - 36 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Aatu
Day 5: Bicycle to Cadaques
Highlights: Remote fishing village, stunning views of the seaWe'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. Dinner is together tonight. Mileage 60 - 70 kms (36 - 41 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Rocamar
Day 6: Cycle the Cap de Creus or enjoy the beach
Highlights: Dali's summer home, beach front rambla, and optional rest dayToday 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. Dinner is on your own today. Mileage 14 kms (8.5 miles) out and back or more if you want!
Lodging: Hotel Rocamar
Day 7: Bicycle to Figueras
Highlights: Scenic Coast Boat ride, Dali MuseumWe 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 before a final dinner together to celebrate the completion of our journey. Mileage: 50 kms (30 miles)
Lodging: Hotel Duran
Day 8: Bicycle to Olot
Highlights: Banyoles, Garrtoxa Volcanic Natural AreaOur 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. We'll have dinner together in the nearby restaurant. Mileage 75 kms (43 miles)
Lodging: Can Blanc
Day 9: Bicycle Olot to Vic
Highlights: Vall d'en Bas, VicWe 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). We'll meet to visit and learn about the local Fuet production (sausage) before dinner on our own this evening. Mileage 65 kms (36 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Ciutat de Vic
Day 10: Bicycle Vic to Caldes de Montbui
Highlights: Roman spa towns and rolling hillsToday 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. This evening we'll have dinner together. Mileage 48 kms (28 miles)
Lodging: Hotel Vila de Caldes
Day 11: Bicycle to Barcelona
Highlights: Bike path and entering BarcelonaWe 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. Mileage 41 km (24 miles).
Lodging: Hotel Jazz
Day 12: Barcelona
Highlights: BarcelonaYour 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
Includes"The Usual" plus... Use 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
Total Distance421 - 486 km (260 - 300 miles)
Daily Distance15 - 70 kms (8 - 42 miles)
What to ExpectGreat beaches, quiet roads, rolling terrain, historic villages
Gentle terrain with two days of longer climbs of around 5 or 6 miles, but not too steep. Other days include rolling hills.
|May 01 - 12, 2014||$4750||$650||Confirmed.||Book It|
|May 22 - Jun 02, 2014||$4750||$650||One space left.||Book It|
|Sep 18 - 29, 2014||$4750||$650||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.|