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Noted for its excellent climate, quiet roads and famous climbs, road cycling in Catalonia takes you on a journey from the medieval streets of Girona via sweeping Mediterranean coastal roads and over French and Spanish Pyrenees cols steeped in cycling history.
Not far from Girona your road cycling challenge warms up with day ride to the mountain town of Sant Hialri. A favourite with the pro's (due to its steady but relentless climb of 30km!), return to Girona via a sweeping descent and an evening exploring the cafes and lively bars of the Gothic Quarter. From Girona head out to the Mediterranean coast following previously used stages of the Tour of Catalonia, Tour de France and Vuelta de Espana. Cycling through Dali’s hangout of Cap Creus National Park the route heads into the formidable Pyrenees mountains and across the border to the French port of Banyuls sur Mer. Returning to Catalonia via the Col du Banyuls, it’s back up into the mountains to take on Col d’Ares (1513m) and coffee stop at the Pyrenean town of Coustouges. Descending to the relaxed mountain hangout of Mollo, the last day of cycling rolls through the lush, volcanic landscape of Garrotxa before arriving back into Girona for a very well earned, beer!
An easily accessible city from Barcelona, Girona’s charms lie within the well preserved Gothic Quarter. Cobbled streets and ancient alleyways overflow with coffee shops. The legendary cycle café of La Fabrica is a popular hangout for pro’s and enthusiasts to grab a coffee pre-ride. If you have chosen to hire a road bike our local agent is only a ten minute walk from the hotel. Alternatively there is ample space in the hotel’s cycle workshop for you to assemble your bike if required.
Not far from Girona is the pro’s regular favourite climb to the mountain town of Sant Hilari. The stunning ride climbs an easy going gradient for over 30km and is a great introduction to cycling in Catalonia. The following reward is a sweeping 18km descent to the town of Santa Coloma, before returnng to Girona to further explore the cobbled streets and lively bars.
Cycle: 102km with 1560m ascent
Today you’ll embrace a series of back to back cols and coastal rides as you cross the Gaverres range. Warming up over La Ganga (315m) and Romanya de la Selva (335m) the route sweeps over the Grau d’Ardenya (400m) before descending to the coast. Following the rise and fall of the country lanes to Calella de Palafurgell, this popular section of road has been well used for stages of the Tour de France, Vuelta Espana and Tour of Catalunya.
Cycle: 108km with 1500m ascent
Overnight: Calella de Palafurgell
An easy recovery ride today. Cycling through historical coastal villages and onto the sweeping Gulf of Roses, the relaxed streets of San Pere Pescador is a great spot to enjoy a seafood lunch. Pedalling on through the ancient Greek and Roman site of Empuries, your route finishes in the historic town where you can always spend the late afternoon down on the coast to revive the legs.
Cycle: 67 km with 480m ascent
Overnight: Castello d'Empuries
One of Dali’s go-to sources of inspiration the dramatic cliffs and hidden coves of Cap Creus National Park provides your first col of the day San Pere de Rose (532m). The descent swoops down to follow the coastline over the border to the relaxed French resort of Colliure. Testing the legs on the return to Figueres is the Col du Banyuls (384m), with its’ testing last two km’s, that in places hit 20%. A beer well earnt this evening!
Cycle: 109 km with 1500m ascent
Heading for the higher passes of the Pyrenees, tapping out a steady rhythm will see you arrive at the Pyrenean border town of Coustouge (810m) in good shape. In bygone eras, these routes have been used by civilians seeking refuge from the Nazi occupation of France. Riding on through the secluded Eastern Pyrenees, you’ll return to Catalonia by way of the Col d’Ares (1513m) and make the sweeping descent to the hill town and winter ski station of Mollo.
Cycle: 103 km with 2700m ascent
Starting out with one last col, Capsacosat (865m), the rest of day is for enjoying descending! Your return to Girona heads through the volcanic regions of Garrotxa. Pedalling through countryside blanketed in lush vegetation, you’ll follow the River Fluvia to Girona. Its atmospheric streets and buzzing bars offer plenty of choice to enjoy Catalan cuisine.
Cycle: 110 km with 800m ascent
After a leisurely breakfast you may like to explore Girona on foot. Onward travel from Girona is very easy. Girona airport is 20 minutes from the centre and Barcelona is a one hour train journey.
Handpicked to meet the needs of cyclists, each accommodation is different and full of character. Hotels are listed below, though on occasion we may have to book you an alternative hotel, especially during the busier periods of the year. We always book an equal or better alternative hotel.
You may like to include an extra night at Cadaques, one of Dali's many hangouts. If you're keen to explore the region some more, please do email or call us to discuss options.
If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. Unfortunately this tour is not available to solo cyclists.
traditional Catalan breakfast is included each morning. Breakfast is a
leisurely affair and adequate time should be allocated. Lunch and dinner are
not included. Most accommodations are happy to provide a packed lunch - this
should be requested on arrival. Dinner is available either at your
accommodation or nearby bars, cafes and restaurants.
This 4* property is conveniently located in the heart of historic Girona, the cathedral, Sant Domench Square and our local partner are all within a few minutes walk of this characterful hotel.
Just a short stroll from the beach, this contemporary hotel has simple yet stylish rooms. On arrival, relax in the gardens, by the pool or take a dip in sea. Later you can enjoy a cool bottle local white wine on the terrace before dinner.
Situated in the Jewish Quarter of Castelló d’Empúries, this 18th century mansion has been restored in keeping with this history of this town, whilst offering maximum comfort and relaxation, such as the magnificent reading room.
This former 19th century merchant store has been renovated to host guests that flock to Figueres to visit Dali’s theatrical museum. In central Figueres, the hotel has an excellent restaurant that serves traditi
A traditional mountain chalet is the pefect setting to soak up the charming village of Mollo. Enjoy a sundowner with mountain views on arrival and if you're an early riser, head out onto the terrace for sunrise over the Pyrenees.
The end of April through to June means warmer days at the coast but you may find the weather in the Pyrenees cooler with the odd shower. August through to September gets very hot around Girona, the coast and Figueres but is the best season for heading into the mountains. However, don’t be surprised if you still encounter unseasonal weather.
is graded strenuous, meaning it is a challenging trip. Back to back days in the saddle covering up 100km day, some of which include up to 2000m of ascent means that you should feel comfortable spending several hours in the saddle ready to tackle long mountain ascents. You should also be prepared for a change in road conditions as the route follows coastal roads, through urban environments and up into mountain roads.
notes that accompany each itinerary give a step by step, turn by turn account
of your route to give you continual points of reference. A pre-loaded GPS is
also available should you require, please contact us for details.
will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved
onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one
bag of up to 20kg per person.
Orbea carbon and aluminium road are available for hire. Each bike comes equipped with a basic repair kit, pump, 2 bottle cages and helmet (though we recommend using your own).
Orbea Orca Bronze 105 (compact)
Orbea Onix 105 (triple)
Orbea Aqua T105 (compact)
Hire bikes are not supplied with pedals.
Please let us know your height and the frame size you currently ride if you would like to book an Orbea road bike.
If you would prefer to bring your own road bike please ensure it is thoroughly serviced and is an appropriate road bike for this trip.
Bike bags/hard cases can easily be stored in Girona but please do pack an extra soft bag for your personal belongings as bike bags/cases are too large for the daily baggage transfers.
It is a
requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable
travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and
distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes.
Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain
gear, sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has detailed advice and a kit
list on what to take. This includes good waterproof gear, sports shoes, and
lots of other useful bits and bobs.
Girona Airport bus is only a 20 minute journey from Girona city centre.
Alternatively, Barcelona Airport is within easy reach of Girona. The train from Barcelona Airport to Girona (changing at Barcelona All Saints) takes approximately 1hr 30mins.
Private transfers from Girona or Barcelona Airport to Girona city can easily be arranged. Please do contact us for details and prices.
We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more advice from our team.
We carefully select cycle friendly hotels that offer great value, food and welcomes. The accommodation we normally use is detailed in the itinerary. You can add extra nights at any point during your stay. In order to avoid disappointment it is a good idea to contact us as soon as you are aware of your available dates and to have an alternate date range in mind just in case.
This trip is graded strenuous. With daily distances of 100km with and ascents ranging from 500m to 2000m you should feel comfortable at the thought of spending back to back days in the saddle and be ready to tackle a couple of long days in the mountains.
How does the baggage transfer work?
Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation. Just leave them at the reception at your hotel in the morning and they will be picked up and taken to the next overnight stop. Please limit your luggage to one bag per person of no more than 20kgs.
As a regular cyclists, you’ll know that layers are always better, a helmet is an absolute must and a couple of water bottles are essential. A full equipment list will be provided in your info pack.
This cycling holiday can be enjoyed from April to October. During these months the weather should be at its best for cycling, especially in the Pyrenees. However, mountain climates are subject to storms and fast changes in conditions, so be prepared for a change in seasons.
You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop. In some cases the baggage transfer service that takes your bags on to your next accommodation may be able to assist, but this is not guaranteed. Our local office can assist with helpful advice should you need to arrange transport for yourself or anyone in your party.