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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 heads over the pro’s favourite pass of Els Angels (484m), and continues along the Mediterranean coast following previously used stages of the Tour of Catalonia and Vuelta de Espana. Cycling through Dali’s hangout of Cap Creus National Park the Eastern Pyrenean border provides the leg testing climbs of Col du Banyuls (384m) and Col d’Ares (1513m). Returning to Catalonia through the Col d’Ares (1513m) you’ll cycle back to Girona through the lush volcanic lands of Garrotxa.
Please note the 2018 itinerary is in the process of being updated.
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 regualr favourite col of Els Angels (484m). A steady tree-lined ascent leads to the Monastery de Mere. Its peaceful location and panoramic coastal views seduced Dali to marrying his sweetheart, Gala here. With the coast in sight, the straightforward descent rolls out to the Mediterranean and onto your overnight your hotel at Torroella de Montgri.
Cycle: 53km with 450m ascent
Overnight: Torroella de Montgri
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 Torroella de Montgri, this popular section of road has been well used for stages of the Tour de France, Vuelta Espana and Tour of Catalunya.
Cycle: 130km with 1346m ascent
Overnight: Torroella de Montgri
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 turns inland to Figueres, the home of Salvador Dali’s extraordinary Theatre-Museum experience.
Cycle: 67 km with 375m ascent
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: 123 km with 1878m 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 2300m 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: 100 km with 798m 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.
Conveniently located in the heart of historic Girona, the catherdral, Sant Domench Square and our local partner are all within a few minutes walk
A 15th century converetd mill with a modern twist, its quiet location with in-house spa provides perfect R&R after a hard day in the saddle.
Comfortable, central hotel which makes life easier for exploring the sight of Figueres including Dali’s showstopping surreal Teatro-Museo experience, just a short walk from the hotel.
Comfortable, rustic hotel located in tranquil Pyrenean hill station of Mollo. The panoramic terrace is superb for a enjoying a well deserved beer and looking back at your descent from 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 challenging. Back to back days in the saddle covering up 100km day which include over 1000m+ 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 small 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, and we particularly recommend extending your stay in Figueres as you may like to explore the nearby national park of Cap de Creus or further into the Pyreness. 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 challenging. 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 May 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.