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Written by
Ewan
Ewan

Adventure of the Week: Cycling Catalonia - Beaches, Wine & Dali

On visiting Catalonia it becomes clear why there is such a strong sense of belonging and pride amongst the people. Catalonia is home to beautiful and diverse landscapes from mountains to beaches and everything in between. It is a bastion of culture with a rich history that also happens to be home to world-renowned cuisine and art. The Cycling Catalonia: Beaches, Wine & Dali tour provides a glimpse into the rustic and historic side of Catalonia as you peddle through vineyards and villages that date back to medieval times, with plenty of opportunities to try the region's wines and explore the museums. [caption id="attachment_30714" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Gothic Streets of Girona Gothic Streets of Girona[/caption]

In a Nutshell

Where? Starting in the city of Girona which dates back to the 12th century and is home to one of the best preserved Gothic quarters in Europe the cycling begins on day 2 as you cycle along the El Carrilet cycleway which follows the Onyar River. The forests of cork trees soon give way to coastal views as you approach the town of Saint Feliu de Guixols. Cycling along Catalonia's Mediterranean coastline you pass by coves and bustling villages where fisherman bring in the hauls that are made into famous Catalonian seafood dishes such as Esqueixada. Heading back inland the route takes you through groves of olives and almond trees before arriving at the medieval village of Pals where 11th-century towers overlook vine-covered hills. After a night in Torroella de Montgri, an easy cycle takes you to Peralada, en route you pass the Greek and Roman archaeological site of Empuires. Peralda is home to some of Catalonia's oldest wine cellars, the impressive Peralada castle and the fantastic collection of art that is housed in the 14th century Carmelite Convent. A few days are spent exploring the sites in Peralada including three tours of traditional Catalonian wine cellars where you will learn about the historic production of the Grenache and Syrah grapes as well as tasting Cava at the revered cellars of Trobart. Moving on, a gentle ride through the vineyards ends in Figueres where Dali's theatre/museum is the focal point, a fantastical collection of paintings, sculptures, holograms and other dynamic installations. [caption id="attachment_30717" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Cycle through Catalonia's vineyards. Make sure to get a sample![/caption] Distance?  225 - 249 km, depending on the daily options you choose. This equates to average daily distances of 37.5 km or 41.5 km with a maximum daily distance of 49 km. Grade? Easy to moderate. Some days are harder than others with some slopes especially on the coastal trails but the majority of the cycling is on farm tracks, rural trails and quiet country roads. The bike available is a 24-speed touring bike from Scott however we can also arrange for Ebikes if you would prefer a power-assisted ride.

Why Cycle Here?

[caption id="attachment_30709" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] There is a contrast of cycling in the mountains and cycling along the coast[/caption] This is the perfect trip to discover Catalonia, both for those who haven't yet experienced the region and those who have. Spend time in the hidden corners and less explored areas of Catalonia on a relaxed cycling tour that affords plenty of opportunities to soak up the culture, whether its exploring medieval villages, wine tasting or watching the catch being unloaded in a small fishing village. Enjoy some of the best wines that Spain has to offer and learn about the history of wine production in Catalonia. Take the opportunity to test your pallet on wine tasting tours in some of Catalonia's most famous wine cellars, many of which date back centuries.  The deeply intense Priorat is one to go for if you like big reds or stick to the crisp, refreshing hit of a great bottle of cava. Spend time exploring some of Catalonia's most historically and culturally important places. From the Gothic city of Girona to the historic village of Peralada and Salvador Dali's home town, Figueres. [caption id="attachment_30712" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Calella in the evening[/caption]

Planning and Preparation

To get to our Cycling Catalonia trip is really easy. Girona airport is well served by most airlines as well as Ryanair. It is a 20-minute journey on the airport bus to Girona city centre. At the other end, there are regular trains from Figueres to Girona (30 mins) and Barcelona (1 hour 30 mins) and even a high-speed service to Paris. Browse or book the Cycling Catalonia: Beaches, Wine & Dali tour on our website or contact a member of our team on [email protected] if you have any questions.
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