Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Cycling in Catalonia self guided cycling holiday in Spain
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Highlights

  • Cycle the dramatic coastline of Catalonia
  • Enjoy traffic-free rural trails through olive groves, vineyards and orchards
  • Discover and explore the areas medieval towns and villages
  • Pedal through coastal nature reserves
  • Sample the region's outstanding Catalan cuisine and local wines

Uncover the wild and beautiful landscape of Catalonia on this cycling holiday in North East Spain. Follow traffic free roads and open countryside as you cycle through idyllic villages surrounded by olive groves and orchards. Relax and unwind as you pass fields of yellow sunflowers and meander through nature reserves teeming with bird-life. Take time to savour the local cuisine at the village markets and discover local tradition and culture in this hidden area of Catalonia.

After a transfer from Girona, your cycle starts in Palau Saverdera which is a charming Catalan farming village, only 5km from the sea. You will be based here for the first few nights as you explore the surrounding villages and sights on your wheels, including a wonderful circular route to Peralada (famous for its winemaking). You then head south to Sant Pere Pescador your base for the rest of the holiday. En route you pass through Aiguamolls Nature Reserve where there is an abundance of birdlife and head on down to the coast for some fantastic views across to the Pyrenees. Plenty of relaxed cycling and stunning scenery make this a wonderful holiday to unwind and recharge your batteries.

The pace of life, stimulating culture and dramatic seascapes of this largely undiscovered and unspoilt part of Spain will refresh and reinvigorate you. Macs Adventure’s cycling holidays allow you to see so much more of the countryside away from the crowds and give you a real sense of freedom.

Day 1 - Arrive Girona & transfer to Palau Saverdera

Our local partner will meet you at Girona airport for the transfer to Palau Saverdera, alternatively we can arrange a transfer from Figueres Train Station. After your welcome briefing and bike fitting then you are free to set off on your adventure. Palau Saverdera is a charming little farming community nestled at the bottom of the Sant Salvador Saverdera mountain in the Cap de Creus National Park. The village is just 5km from the sea. Depending on your arrival time you may wish to begin your exploration of the area by cycling some of the off road trails minutes from your front door.


Overnight: Niu de Sol, Rural Hotel, Palau Saverdera


Day 2 - Loop cycle to Peralada

Today you will travel due west on a circular route that introduces you to the beautiful Catalan countryside in the foothills of the Pyrenees. You’ll pass fields lined with vines producing the wine that you will no doubt sample at some stage of your holiday. After a while you’ll arrive at the historic town of Peralada—a town now known for its winemaking. The impressive ‘Museo del Castillo de Peralada’ hosts one of the best collections of Catalan art. You may wish to change out of your shorts and tee shirt and return in the evening to visit the elegant Casino-built within the medieval castle. Its a gentle cycle back to Palau through the sleepy hamlets of Pedret and Marza to your hotel for a second night.


Cycle: 36km (22.4m)


Overnight: Niu de Sol, Rural Hotel, Palau Saverdera


Day 3 - Loop cycle to Vilabertran

Today you cycle through rolling farmland cultivated with fruit orchards, olive groves and vineyards. Farm tracks, rural trails and tourist cycle routes wind their way to Vilabertran where you cannot help but be impressed by the Romanesque Monastery and Church. The working town of Figueres is a short distance away and the 5 mile diversion will allow you to visit the Teatre-Museu Dali—a museum created by Dali and his final resting place in the crypt within. The return journey passes the village of Vilanova de la Muga and 11th Century church of St Eulalia and takes you for your final night in Palau Saverdera.


Cycle: 39km (24m)


Overnight: Niu de Sol, Rural Hotel, Palau Saverdera


Day 4 - Cycle to St Pere Pescador

Leaving Palau Saverdera behind, today's route is a short one but packed with sights and experiences. You’ll meander through a patchwork of fields to Castello d'Empuries; a beautiful medieval town, steeped in history. Once you’ve satisfied yourself with the architecture, shops and cafes in the old town it’s back in the saddle for a ride through the Aiguamolls Nature Reserve. The Reserve covers nearly 2000 hectares and the area is dotted with hides, ideal for spotting the abundance of birdlife. From the Reserve you continue onwards to the village of St Pere Pescador. The village is about a mile from the coast, and a beautiful 4 miles long sandy beach.


Cycle: 28km (17.4m)


Overnight: Mas del Joncar, Rural House, Sant Pere Pescador.


The house, constructed in the 19th century has been completely restored and modernised by owners Anna and Miguel. One of Miguel's passions is cooking and he and Anna offer traditional Catalan fare, using local produce.


Day 5 - Free day to explore

The options are numerous for your free/rest day with a host of local attractions, some slightly farther afield and of course there's always the beach should you want to kick back and relax. Whether you decide to use the bikes or leave them at home you could visit the vibrant and bustling seaside town of Cadaques, famous for its association with Dali who spent his summers here. The village of St Pere is a short walk from your Casa Rural and you should take time to wander around its attractive lanes . The nearby Bay of Roses can be reached on foot or two wheels in a matter of minutes. The sand and sea are great for relaxing, getting some rays and cooling off in the Mediterranean and the expansive beach ensures space and tranquillity.


Overnight: Mas del Joncar, Rural House, Sant Pere Pescador.


Day 6 - Loop cycle through the countryside

Today’s cycle is a wonderful circular route through open countryside. On the first section of the cycle you get great views across to the high Pyrenees and you pass many apple orchards and small hamlets before crossing the river and looping southwards back to Sant Pere Pescador


Cycle: 37km (23m)


Overnight: Mas del Joncar, Rural House, Sant Pere Pescador.


Day 7 - Loop cycle to Empuries

Remember to pack your swimming kit as you head off today. You’ll begin by leaving the village, before a brief climbing that takes you past the entrance to the Greek and Roman ruins at Empuries. There are some excellent examples of Roman Mosaics here and other remains dating back as far as 281 B.C. An hour or two here will give you an insight into the cultures that influenced and shaped the area and its people. Continuing along the coast path you soon reach the walled settlement of Sant Marti d’Empuries. Dropping back to the plains your route home takes you through the pretty village hamlet of Cinclaus and back to the river Fluvia. Retracing your route for the last mile or so bring you back to your Casa Rural for your final night.


Cycle: 39km (24m)


Overnight: Mas del Joncar, Rural House, Sant Pere Pescador.


Day 8 - Onward travel

After a leisurely breakfast a quick transfer to Girona Airport sees you on your way home.

Accommodation

One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. We specifically select the Hotels and Casa Rurals (local farmsteads converted to accommodate tourists) to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. Each accommodation is different and full of character and they are detailed below.


Additional Nights and Extensions

An extra night in Castello d’Empuries provides a base for a trip to Figueres to the Museum that commemorates Dali's life. There are some amazing beaches a few kilometres from Castello to intersperse culture with sun, sand and sea.


Single Rooms & Solo Cyclists

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.


Meals

A 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.


 
 




Niu de Sol - Palau Saverdera

Tucked away is a side street this small rural Hotel provides comfortable and relaxing accommodation at the end of your walkign holiday.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Mas del Joncar - Sant Pere Pescador



Mas del Joncar - Sant Pere Pescador

Anna and Miguel offer the warmest of welcomes in their modernised rural guest house. They offer wonderful cosy accommodation and have a real passion for cooking and use local ingredients whenever they can.


 

 

 

Time of Year

The climate in Catalonia can be summarised as Mediterranean, total rainfall here is lower than in the rest of Spain, and generally falls in late autumn-winter. This is also the hottest region of Spain so we recommend travelling in spring and autumn. We don't offer this holiday in the months of July and August as the temperatures are too high for enjoyable or safe cycling.


Grade & Terrain

The routes on this trip are graded as moderate. Occasionally you will encounter a moderate slopes, particularly on coastal trails, but you'll find the ascent is not too difficult or prolonged. Cycling is mostly on farm tracks, and trails, but sometimes the routes follow quiet country lanes.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The route notes that accompany each itinerary give a step by step, turn by turn account of your route and are complemented with photographs for points of reference.


Luggage Transfer

Your luggage 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.


Rental Bikes

The rental bikes included with the holiday package are fully equipped hard tail mountain bikes (Giant Talon 27.5” RC LTD) with helmet and accessories.


Travel Insurance

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 hospital care. Make sure your travel insurance will cover you for the theft, loss, or damage of your bike if you intend to hire one.


General Information

The 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.

Getting to Catalonia 

By Air: The closest regional airport to Catalonia is Girona Costa-Brava airport and as part of the package we offer return airport transfers.  The drive from Girona to Palau Saverdera is approx 1 hour. 


By Train - If you are arriving by train then the best station to arrive into is Figueres or Figueres Villafant.  We can arrange a transfer from here which take approx 40mins.


 

Included

  • Arrival and departure transfers from/to Girona Airport
  • Bike Hire - fully equipped hard tail mountain bike (Giant Talon 27.5” RC LTD) with helmet and accessories
  • Welcome meeting with our English speaking partner
  • B&B accommodation with en suite rooms
  • Luggage transfer between accommodations
  • A detailed info pack, route notes and maps
  • Emergency telephone support from our office in the UK as well as from a local office in Catalonia with English speaking staff

Excluded

  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
  • Entrance fees (where applicable)
  • Travel Insurance (required)
  • Transport should you need to skip a stage

Extras

  • Additional nights along the trail

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.

How far in advance do I need to book?

The accommodation we use on our cycling holidays is of a high standard. In order to maintain high levels of comfort, service and attention we favour smaller independent hotels and guest houses which can get booked up very quickly at peak times. 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.

How fit do I need to be?

The trails in Catalonia are generally not difficult to cycle. However you may encounter sections of path that are challenging - either because of terrain or gradient.

How do the baggage transfers 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.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good cycling shoes, comfortable cycling clothes - preferably layered and trousers that "zip" into shorts are particularly useful when the sun is up, a daypack/hydration pack and sunblock. A full equipment list will be provided in your info pack.

When is the best time of year?

This cycling holiday can be enjoyed from Feb - December (not in July and August due to the heat). The Spanish climate is generally much more favourable than the UK. Cycling is best in Spring and early Autumn.

What happens if I can’t cycle a stage?

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. Our local office can assist with helpful advice should you need to arrange transport for yourself or anyone in your party.

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Cycling in Catalonia

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