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.
Calella de Palafrugell
Calella de Palafrugell
What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?
INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP
Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and 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
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)
Mar 27-Apr 2
Apr 26-May 2
Apr 29-May 5
May 27-Jun 2
Aug 26-Sep 1
Self-guided and custom trips also available and can start any day. Call or email for details.
ARRIVE / DEPART
Moderate with challenging options
40-70+ km daily
Land Cost (current year):
Getting there :
Figueres. Most people will want to stay in Barcelona the night before the trip begins as you will need to take the 8:20 train arriving into Figueres at 10:12 so we can enjoy a full day of riding. You can also fly directly into Girona and take the train from there to Figueres. We meet at the Hotel Duran at 10:30 am.
We start our exploration of Catalonia in Figueres, the birthplace of Dali. Salvador Dali was known as much for his flamboyance and exhibitionism as he as for his surrealist and exotic imagery; most of his work are in the Dali museum here. Our first ride will be a short loop to the northeast of townDinner is included at a restaurant where Dali was often a patron. On Day 2, you’ll ride a loop east towards the coastal town of Roses. A long option will reach Cadaques, an unspoiled and remote village with crystal-blue water, fishing boats, sandy beaches, and old white-washed houses. Back in Figueres, walk the narrow, twisting streets and dine in one of the many excellent restaurants.
Distance D1: 48 km, elevation gain 300m or 64 km, gain 425m.*
Distance D2: 52 km, elevation gain 160m or 92 km, gain 995m.*
Riding south from Figueres, you will have a chance to visit Empuries, to Romans and Greeks live excavations. Lunch is recommended in the medieval city of Torroella de Montgri at a restaurant that has been in the same family for five generations. Then it is on to Pals and Calella de Palafrugell, a seaside village with a superb hotel, the San Roc. The views between Calella and Begur are sublime and your ride along this coast will be a favourite, but there are some steep sections.You will have time to explore medieval Begur with its castle above town and Pals, which is one of the popular and enchanting villages in Catalonia. If you prefer to do a hike along the coast, one of the most beautiful of the Costa Brava can be easily done from the hotel, exploring nearby villages and beaches on foot.
Distance D3: 44 km, elevation gain 170m or 72 km, gain 380m.*
Distance D4: 41 km, elevation gain 820m.*
Ride to Girona, one of the most important historical sites in Spain, where professional cyclists often live and train off-season (attracted by the climate and food, just like us). Stop to visit the castle that Dali lived at 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 the many treasures here before dinner on your own – options abound from michelin starred (El Celler de Can Roca is rated one of the best restaurants in the world) to cosy bodegas. Next day, choose from moderate or challenging rides west of Girona and then post-ride lunch at Cafe Fabrica, owned by Canadian pro cyclist Christain Meier. We will have a memorable final night wine tasting and then dinner at our favourite restaurant in Girona. Hungry anyone?
Distance D5: 40 km, elevation gain 460m up to 88 km, gain 760m.*
Distance D6: 52 km, elevation gain 555m or 75 km, gain 900m.*
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.
This is the top-rated TA hotel in Figueres. Located in the historical center, walking distance from the Dali museum and with an excellent restaurant, this hotel is a fine one to start your Catalonia experience.
This 3-star boutique hotel boasts sea-view rooms, a lovely terrace where breakfast 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.
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.