Bicycling Catalonia's Costa Brava

Bicycling Catalonia's Costa Brava

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 an 8-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 Figueres, Salvador Dali's birthplace. Enjoy incredible cycling through a variety of historic towns that feature a delightful mix of modern culture and cuisine.

***If this sounds great but you prefer a longer tour. Join us to Bicycle Catalonia's Costa Brava Plus! Barcelona which extends this itinerary 4 days.***

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
May 9-16, 2019
USD$4055
USD$550
 
May 23-30, 2019
USD$4055
USD$550
3 More to Guarantee the Departure
Jun 20-27, 2019
USD$4055
USD$550
Guaranteed to Go. 
Aug 22-29, 2019
USD$4055
USD$550
 
Sep 12-19, 2019
USD$4055
USD$550
Sold Out - Wait List Available. 

* 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.

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Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 8 Days
  • Total Distance / 260 - 300 kms (155 - 180 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 43 - 48kms (27 - 29 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level / 2.0
  • Countries / Spain
  • Begin/End / Girona / Figueras
  • Price / From USD$4055
More Photos
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Girona, Figueras and Dali Museum, Medieval Villages, Costa Brava Beaches, Extraordinary food - Girona has more restaurants with Michelin stars than anywhere else in the world

    Keep 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.

    Though we try and arrange dinners together as early as possible in Spain this means 8:00 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Includes
    8 days, 7 nights lodging; 7 breakfasts, 5 dinners with wine; van support; 2 to 3 bilingual tour leaders; guided visit of Dali Museum; a wine tasting; boat trip; and the usual (see below).

    The Usual (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

  • Arrive / Depart
    Barcelona (BCN)
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    **Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    61km / 906m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 4.0
    3
    40km / 379m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    4
    69km / 434m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.0
    5
    72km / 673m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 3.5
    6
    18km / 436m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 2.0
    Today's ride is an optional loop ride
    7
    32km / 244m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 1.5
    8
    Last day

    Tour Level Note: Generally gentle rolling and flat terrain. Two days have more significant climbs one of which is optional and the other can easily be shuttled if you prefer flatter terrain.

    **We use Ride With GPS (ridewithgps.com) to calculate elevation and mileage information. Due to variance between mapping technologies, totals may differ slightly across devices and applications

Terrain Legend

Mostly flat Mostly flat

Rolling hills Rolling

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily 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.

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.

Lodging: The August 2019 departure will be at the Hotel Barcarola.

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 mi)
  • Gain: 379 m (1243 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

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 before la Bisbal d'Emporda just a few kilometers into the ride to visit a local ceramicist. La Bisbal d'Emporda is 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: 69 km (43 mi)
  • Gain: 434 m (1424 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

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.

DAY 6: Cycle the Cap de Creus or enjoy the beach

Highlights: Dali's 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.

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.

Lodging: The September departure will be at the Hotel Pirineus. All others will be at the Hotel Duran.

  • Distance: 32 km (20 mi)
  • Gain: 244 m (800 ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 8: Figueres

Highlights: Bon viatge

Our tour ends this morning after breakfast. We hope you have enjoyed your ride through this unique corner of Spain. Trains head straight to France or to Barcelona from here - whatever you decide to do, bon viatge.

***If this sounds great but you prefer a longer tour. Join us to Bicycle Catalonia's Costa Brava Plus! Barcelona which extends this itinerary 4 days.***

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Girona

Lodging: Hotel Historic

Meeting time 2 p.m. - on Day 1, meet your fellow cyclists and Tour Leaders at the Day 1 Hotel specified on the itinerary.

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

Look up Spanish train schedules at Renfe.com or Trainline.eu. Questions? See our information on taking trains in Europe here or ask us.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying into Girona (GRO) or Barcelona El Prat (BCN).

If you arrive at Barcelona Airport and continue to the Day 1 Hotel

  1. Bus: Sagales Bus from Barcelona Airport Terminal 1 or 2 to Girona Estacio d’Autobuses. sagales.com (2.5 hr/EUR 19)
  2. Taxi: From the Bus station to the starting hotel (10 min/EUR 10)
Or
  1. Train: R2 Nord from the Barcelona airport to the Barcelona Sants station (25 min / EUR 4.20)
  2. *Train: From Barcelona Sants to Girona/Gerona (40 min/ Fares vary).
  3. Taxi: From the Girona/Gerona train station to the Day 1 Hotel. (10 min/EUR 10)

*Note: The train connection from Barcelona to Girona/Gerona is a busy but frequent line. If you are staying in Barcelona, you may purchase tickets for this train leg in advance. If you arrive by plane the same day, you should purchase them at the Sants train station though you might opt to skip a train departure if it is already full.

Day 8: Departure Information

Figueres

Your trip ends on the final day after breakfast.

The below information will help you plan your departure. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio.

Flying out of Girona (GRO)
  • Taxi: From the Ending Hotel to the Girona Airport (40 min/EUR 85)
Flying out of Barcelona (BCN).
  1. Taxi: From the Ending Hotel to the Figueres Vilafant Station (10 min/EUR 15)
  2. Train: From Figueres Vilafant to Barcelona Sants (1-2 hours/fares vary)
  3. Train: From Barcelona Sants to Aeroport del Prat (35 min/EUR 4.20)

Look up Spanish train schedules at Renfe.com or Trainline.eu.


Questions? See our information on taking trains in Europe here or ask us.

What's Included

For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.

Keep 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.

Though we try and arrange dinners together as early as possible in Spain this means 8:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Check the online itinerary of your trip and review the arrival and departure information under the "Travel Information" tab to see meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program: https://www.experienceplus.com/blog/travel-planning/bicycle-tour-training/
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike will be equipped with: a men's or women's saddle, a quick release style seat post adjustment, rear rack and expandable pack, pump, patch kit, spare tube, cable lock, cyclometer, rear lights, a water bottle cage (or two) and a water bottle (or two) and in some cases a bell. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet.

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

Each day we will provide you with a route map with the day's ride highlighted route. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

For the tech-loving riders out there we offer the opportunity to download GPS tracks of most tour routes to your personal GPS device using RideWithGPS.com. Tracks are available upon request approximately three to four weeks prior to the departure.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you prior to your trip if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

By reserving space on tour, you agree that ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours may use, re-use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promoting and publicizing our travel products and services worldwide. If you do not want us to use any images of you that are taken by us or other participants during the tour, you must inform us or your tour leader in writing at the start of the tour.

Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • A great company to travel with. With 11 trips we have had so many wonderful experiences and seen the countries we have visited in a personal way that other tours just don''t provide.

    Larry B., New Hartford, NY - September 2018
  • A great mix of seaside and small inland towns. Challenging climbs and lovely views. A very well supported experience. Great guides and a fun group of riders to share it with.

    Jane T., Milwaukee, WI
  • is a great trip in a beautiful and interesting part of Spain. This was our 15 ExperiencePlus! trip. Enough said.

    Dave M., Livermore, CA
  • Awesome!

    Katy L., Waterford, NY
  • How would you describe this tour to a friend? That they have to experience for themselves. Excellent and memorable.

    Ward S., Kanata, Ontario
  • WE will be back for more :-)

    Sam and Rebecca E., Denver, CO
  • Thanks for the best vacation time of my life, so far. First class experience from start to finish.

    Scott M., San Ramon
  • The tour leaders were fantastic. Our connection with them felt genuine. I felt that they were taking care of us and concerned for us. Their knowledge about bikes, routes, culture was outstanding. Everything was wonderful.

    Clare S., Boulder, CO - September 2017
  • 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
  • Trip of a lifetime! Would highly recommend ExperiencePlus! THANK YOU!!! You are doing good things and we so appreciated all that your company did to make sure our vacation (and our 50th birthday celebration) was AMAZING! We will be back!

    Julie G., Boulder, CO - September 2018
  • I had a great time, seeing and experiencing Spain like I would not have on a normal trip.

    Paul L., Sebastopol, CA
  • The food and hotels were phenomenal! Very scenic, comfortable riding each day, great guides.

    Sheila M., Boston, MA
  • How would you describe this tour to a friend? Great combination of culture, scenery, beach and food. Excellent trip.

    Wendy K., Lafayette, CO - September 2017
  • The Costa Brava covers almost every kind of terrain and the art, architecture, and cuisine are amazing. Our guides were superlative! This was our fifth tour with ExperiencePlus! and certainly won''t be our last!

    Ford H., Raleigh, NC
  • 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
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