Bicycling Catalonia's Costa Brava Plus! Barcelona

  • Itinerary Summary

    Home to some of Spain's most iconic cities and famous 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 beginning in Girona, one of the most fought after towns in all of Spanish history. 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, quiet towns, and through wine country on our way to Figueres, Salvador Dali's birthplace. We'll cycle west towards the foothills of the Pyrenees through nature reserves and to ancient Roman spa towns before looping south. Our journey ends on a 10-mile bicycle path finishing in 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.***

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    1. 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

    2. 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: 61 km (38 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Sant Pol

    3. 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: 40 km (25 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Aatu .

    4. 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 in la Bisbal d'Emporda just a few kilometers into the ride to visit a local ceramicist. 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 21 km (12 mile) extra ride that includes a 8 km (5 mile) climb. Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel Aatu .

    5. 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: 58-72 km (36-45 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Llane Petit Cadaqués .

    6. 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: 18 km (11 miles) out and back or more if you want! Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel Llane Petit Cadaqués .

    7. Day 7: Bicycle to Figueres

      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 Figueres, birthplace of Salvador Dali. We'll plan a guided tour of the museum this afternoon.

      Distance: 32 km (20 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Duran

    8. 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: 76 km (47 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Can Blanc

    9. 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 km (40 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel Ciutat de Vic

    10. 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 km (31 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Vila de Caldes

    11. 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.

      Distance: 43 km (27 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Jazz

    12. Day 12: Barcelona

      Highlights: Barcelona

      You're 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.

      Meals: B

    • Highlights

      Barcelona, 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 world
    • Includes

      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 plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

    • Begin/End

      Girona / Barcelona
    • Arrive/Depart

      Girona (GRO) / Barcelona (BCN) or Girona (GRO)
    • Total Distance

      490 - 526 km (302 - 325 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      Average per riding day 49 - 53 kms (30 - 33 miles)
    • Rating

      201-301 Gentle terrain with two days of longer climbs of around 5 or 6 miles, but not too steep. Other days include rolling hills.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes
    Aug 24-Sep 4, 2017 USD$5055 USD$650 Guaranteed to Go! Book it
    May 10-21, 2018 USD$5055 USD$650 Book by November 15th and save $200 Book it
    May 24-Jun 4, 2018 USD$5055 USD$650 Book by November 15th and save $200 Book it
    Jun 14-25, 2018 USD$5055 USD$650 Book by November 15th and save $200 Book it
    Aug 23-Sep 3, 2018 USD$5055 USD$650 Book by November 15th and save $200 Book it
    Sep 13-24, 2018 USD$5055 USD$650 Book by November 15th and save $200 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 private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

  • Stories

    • 2016 Catalonia's Costa Brava Video

      Need further inspiration to visit Catalonia's Costa Brava? Check out this video which will convince you to go in less than 30 seconds!

    • 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.

    • Iberia by James Michener

      Looking for a travelogue set in Spain? Here's a review on one of Michener's finest books.

    • La Tomatina

      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.

    • How would you describe this tour to a friend? Good mix of scenery, great food, generally good hotels, and inclusion of history, art and culture along the way.

      Kevin W., Santa Barbara, CA - May 2017
    • Really fun, well-organized great leaders beautiful country.

      Carla D., Reno, NV - May 2017
    • This was a great tour. We really had fun. I''d put this in the top 3 tours we''ve been on.

      Clark M., Fort Collins, CO - May 2017
    • What was your favorite experience on this trip? I love the Spanish lifestyle, eating late, sharing lots of great food, good wine. See you, again, soon!

      Susan R., Santa Cruz, CA - May 2017
    • I think what you offer is so compelling that I cannot imagine going on anyone else''s bike tours. I also come home from a tour with greater interest in increasing my cycling skills so that I can do more. I love that you inspire me!

      JJ L., Fort Collins, CO - May 2017
    • The trip exceeded our expectations.

      Fred S., Boulder, CO
    • This was the 2nd Experience Plus trip in which I have participated. You do a great job organizing the trip, planning the bike routes, making sure the food and accommodations are excellent, and providing us with mature and capable guides. I have loved both experiences!

      Alan G., Rockford, IL
    • Thank you for all the effort you (as the company) make to care for your staff and clients. It is a wonderful experience that is clearly appreciated by many as they return time and time again to do the different tours.

      Sarah H., Auckland, NZ
    • How would you describe this tour to a friend? Great roads and rides, great food, incredible guides, amazing sites.

      Robert P., Bellevue, WA
    • Absolutely beautiful! The country is so diverse, the people are friendly, the food was fabulous and the roads were fun to ride. Shopping in Girona was also really good!

      Elaine L., Ayer, MA
    • I couldn''t improve this trip. It was the best of the last five years. The leaders were superb. The food was fantastic. The route was hard, but doable, and the van support was more than I expected.

      Linda Z., Sherborn, MA
    • Great trip. Take it! Looking forward to more!!

      Russ A., Seattle, WA
    • This was a "bucket list" experience with superb leaders and support. A "must do" experience for everyone.

      Don W., Savannah, GA
    • Amazing! A must do! Truly a magical trip and we were sorry when it ended. The hotels were the best we have experienced in our ten trips. We have had dream teams before but this team was certainly right there with the best. A big thank you to the entire Experience Plus team not only those on the road but the office team as well. Every question answered promptly with all the information we needed to make the journey easy.

      Sharon M., Vancouver, Canada
    • Wonderful! Lovely cycling in varied and beautiful scenery with outstanding food and great weather! Looking forward to our next tour with ExperiencePlus!

      Heather B., Kirkcaldy, Scotland
    • It was one of the best tours I''ve been on. The riding, the food, the people. I loved riding over the hill and seeing the white town of Cadaques took my breath away. Enjoyed it so much booked next year''s tour as soon as I got back.

      Terry G., Annapolis, MD
    • The incredible scenery of the Costa Brava. Overall, a memorable trip with ExperiencePlus!

      Paul B., Arcadia, CA
    • Great tour, outstanding guides, great scenery, outstanding food = wonderful cycling vacation!

      Russell B., Arcadia, CA
    • 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

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