The pine-scented coastal region of Catalonia has long attracted artists (Salvador Dali, among others), writers, and those in search of beauty, tranquility, and inspiration. With its multitude of villages, sunny weather, seaside splendor, art, culture, and gastronomy & wine, this corner of Spain offers everything we look for when traveling. Did we mention the cycling is superb? In fact, many pro teams live and train here when not competing. While most of our routes are more moderate in length and difficulty, avid cyclists will have lots of options should they choose. From Figueres, to Callela de Palafrugell to Girona, we have created an itinerary that shows you the very best of this region.

Only Great Explorations:

  • Small groups, extraordinary guides and authentic experiences
  • Order off the menu at restaurants you won’t find in guidebooks
  • A ride you won’t forget- from Calella de Palafrugell along the coast
  • We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises

Location

Figueres

Figueres, Spain

Day 1+2

Calella de Palafrugell

Calella de Palafrugell

Day 3+4

Girona

Girona, Spain

Day 5-7

What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP

Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides
Support vehicle
6 nights lodging
All breakfasts, 2 lunches, and all dinners but 1
Entrance fees for selected tastings, historical sites and museums
Wine reception on first and final nights
Detailed map and route instructions
All baggage transportation

Particulars

EVENT DATES

2024

Mar 20-26
Apr 10-16
Apr 24-30
May 22-28
Jun 5-11
Aug 21-27
Sep 12-18
Oct 2-8
Oct 9-15
Oct 16-22

2025

Mar 24-30
Mar 31-Apr 6
Apr 7-13
Apr 14-20
Apr 21-27
May 5-11
May 12-18
Jun 2-8
Aug 25-31
Sep 1-7
Sep 8-14
Sep 29-Oct 5
Oct 6-12

Trips can start at any date. Self-guided and custom trips also available and can start any day. Call or email for details.

TRIP SIZE

4-16 participants

TOTAL DAYS

7 days/ 6 nights

ARRIVE / DEPART

Figueres/Girona

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Moderate with challenging options
40-70+ km daily
Van supported

TERRAIN

Varied - expect some hills, worth the effort to climb

COST

Land Cost:
US $2,950
Includes 6B/2L/5D

Single Supplement:
US $750

Bike Rental:
US $280

E-Bike Rental:
US $480

*E-bikes are generally available but are on an ‘on request basis ‘ and will be confirmed on receipt of your booking registration. E-bikes provided are the best rentals available in the region. Our regular fleet of hybrid and race bikes are fun to ride and light and fast, but if having an e-bike will make your trip, we’ll do our best to provide. E-bike rentals are non-refundable.

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at info@great-explorations.com or by telephone at 604.730.1247

Getting there :

Figueres. You will want to stay in Barcelona the night before the trip begins as we recommend the 8:22 train that arrives into Figueres Villafant at 9:19 (55 min). We will meet that train (or the one specified in your Trip Planner) and whisk you to the hotel so we can enjoy a full day of riding. If you come on a different train, you can easily take a taxi to the hotel – we plan to depart on bikes by 10 am.


1

Day 1

Bienvenido to Figueres, birthplace of Salvador Dali, and gateway to the beautiful Alt Emporda with traffic-free, smooth paved roads with stunning scenery, quaint villages and beautiful beaches. On our first day of riding, we will ride towards Pont de Molins and past the Castell de les Escaules en-route to a sanctuary near Terrades. An add-on loop visits Darnius and the Panta de Boadella reservoir. Back in Figueres, we will have a welcome reception and enjoy dinner at a popular local restaurant steps from our hotel. Distance D1:  48km, elevation gain 590m or 60 km, gain 750m.*

 

2

Day 2

Today, we will ride to  the wine town of Peralada, one of the most charming villages in the region.  Explore the historic center, visit the XII century Romanesque cloister of Sant Domenec museum here or wine taste if you wish – the newly opened Celler Perelada offers tours of the Perelada Castle and winery. Reach Roses, a beachside enclave where you can swim or enjoy a cappuccino from one of the cool cafes here. From here, you will ride through Empuriabrava with its navigable waterways and marinas and then through the Aiguamolls d’Emporda, an important bird sanctuary. Have lunch in Castell D’Empuries, one of the gems of Catalonia with a basilica, and impressive town center with great restaurants.

A long option will reach Cadaqués, an unspoiled and remote village with crystal-blue water, fishing boats, sandy beaches, and old white-washed houses.

Back in Figueres, we will visit the Dali Museum with an expert guide; the artist was known as much for his flamboyance and exhibitionism as he as for his surrealist and exotic imagery and definitely leaves an impression on visitors. We will finish the day with another great meal in a traditional asador restaurant frequented by Dali. 
Distance D2: 50 km, elevation gain 270m or 88 km, gain 1390m.*

 

3

Day 3

Riding south from Figueres, we ride past the archeological site of Empuries and along a scenic sea-side bike path with a possible swim spot at a lovely bay. We ride through the medieval city of Torroella de Montgri and admire the ruin of a castle high above town.  In Palau-Sator we have lunch at an atmospheric restaurant before continuing to Calella de Palafrugell, a seaside village with a superb hotel, the San Roc. Dining on the terrace of the hotel, overlooking the beach and this scenic stretch of coastline, is sublime. Distance D3: 44 km, elevation gain 170m or 72 km, gain 380m.*

4

Day 4

The views between Calella and Begur is some of the most stunning scenery of the trip; there are some steep sections but they are short. You will have time to explore medieval Begur with its castle above town and Pals, an enchanting village. Back in Callela, you may want to consider a wee stroll (1.9km) to nearby Cap Roig, an idyllic castle and gardens overlooking the coast. If you prefer to do a longer hike along the coast instead of biking on this day, one of the most beautiful of the Costa Brava can be easily done from the hotel, exploring nearby villages and beaches on foot returning to the hotel to enjoy the afternoon.  Distance D4: 44 km, elevation gain 820m.* Hiking alternative: up to 12.3km; 380m or 1.9km;200m

5

Day 5

Ride to Girona where professional cyclists live and train off-season (attracted by the climate and food, just like us). Along the way, stop to visit the castle that Dali and his wife Gala built in Pubol and to have lunch before a wee climb over the Mare de Deu dels Angels before descending into Girona. We will enjoy a walking tour of the city, to learn of the many treasures here before dinner on your own – options abound from Michelin starred (The Roca brothers El Celler de Can Roca is rated one of the best restaurants in the world, but their newest restaurant, Normal is easier to get into and also superb). 
Distance D5: 40 km, elevation gain 460m up to 88 km, gain 760m.*

6

Day 6

Choose from moderate or challenging rides northwest of Girona and then post-ride lunch at Cafe Fabrica, owned by (now retired) Canadian pro cyclist Christain Meier and his wife Amber. We will have a memorable final night wine tasting and then dinner at our favourite restaurant in Girona. Hungry anyone? Distance D6: 52 km, elevation gain 555m or 75 km, gain 900m.*

7

Day 7

Depart at your leisure for onward travel. Trains from Girona reach Barcelona in 30 minutes (25 trains per day).

*Distance and elevation gains may vary depending on hotels chosen for specific departure.

Hotel Duran, Figueres

This is the top-rated TA hotel in Figueres. Located in the historical center, walking distance from the Dali museum.


Hotel Sant Roc, Calella de Palafrugell

This boutique hotel boasts sea-view rooms, a lovely terrace where breakfast and evening dinner is served overlooking the beach and a great location, steps to town. It has been in the same family for 3 generations. “Quite simply the hotel has the best position in the most charming resort on the most beautiful and rugged coast on the whole Mediterranean.” Arnold Z, Leeds, England.


Hotel 1901, Girona

Situated in the historic center of Girona, this luxury hotel is close to Cathedral, Arab Baths, and Walls of Girona. It is the only hotel in Girona that has an outdoor pool. Alternate: Ciutat de Girona.



			

Trip Reviews

October 28, 2022

“Where we went was very nice & the accommodation was too. The choice of restaurants was very good. It was beautiful & mostly non busy roads.”

December 4, 2018

“Terrific region. Bikes exceeded my expectations. Performed extremely well.”

October 31, 2015

“Great trip. Liked the locations where we stayed and routes we rode on the bikes.”

October 30, 2014

“Of course, beautiful weather helped, but we loved exploring this region of Spain and enjoyed the “personalized touch” on every aspect of the trip”

October 16, 2014

“Terrain was beautiful and roads very good for biking. We chose GE largely because of good experience in Puglia in 2012 but this trip was even better!”

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