This self guided cycling tour is a fantastic way to explore this varied landscape, the perfectly preserved medieval villages, secluded sandy coves, orchards, olive trees, rice fields and vineyards. You have the opportunity to meet many local producers on the way and sample some fantastic produce from the land and the sea.
This area of Catalonia is a gastronomic delight and we provide an information pack on arrival with some great restaurants for you try. Accommodation has been chosen for its character, location, comfort and friendliness of staff.
A country’s cuisine is its landscape in a cooking pot: Attributed to Josep Pla (1897-1981)
We meet you at Figueres station (if arriving from Barcelona) and take you to the Hotel Restaurant Duran located in the centre and only a few metres away from the Teatro Museo Dali. This hotel has been family run by the Durans since 1855 and the rooms are spacious and comfortable. Welcome glass of Cava, tour orientation, maps, bike fitting and dinner.
The restaurant is a traditional Catalan establishment; Salvador Dali was a regular visitor. Ramon Duran’s grandfather was a good friend of Dali’s and there is a unique collection of his sketches, menu designs, photographs on the restaurant wall. You will sample a traditional Catalan meal, using locally sourced produce.
Throughout your tour we recommend you sample the following:
pa amb tomaquet (tomato bread) with jamon iberico, mar i montanya, suquet, a classic catalan stew, or a seafood paella using arroz bomba (rice from the local paddy fields), flavoured with azafran (saffron) introduced to Spain by the Arabs during the 8th century. Dessert may be Recuit de drap covered in a little organic honey or Crème Catalan. Most of the wine on the menu will be from Emporda.
This is a circular route taking in several vineyards and olive groves on the way. You leave Figueres and follow the route to Peralada, a beautiful medieval town in the heart of the wine area. Make time to visit the castle and convent Carmen before visiting Castillo Perelada’s degustation centre.17 of their wines scored over 90 in the Penin guide 2017. Last year Cava became the number one exported sparkling wine in the world surpassing Champagne for the first time ever. We highly recommend the excellent value Castillo Perelada Cava. Surrounded by vineyards the road goes to Mollet de Peralada past olive groves towards Masarac where you can enjoy a wine tasting at La Vinyeta. Have a look at our short videos of the wine tasting below.
Next there is a gentle climb to Serra d’Altrera where you can enjoy magnificent views over the plain and the Albera mountains before heading back to Peralada via Vilarnadal and Cabanes. We will provide a list of the vineyards and olive groves that you might want to visit on this tour. We suggest you make time to visit the Dali museum later this afternoon. It opens until 7pm and it is an ideal time to go when it is less busy. Please note that the hotel offers guests a direct booking service for the museum with allocated entrance times.
Level Easy/ Moderate
You leave Figueres behind and travel south through Alt Emporda to Baix Emporda past the river Fluvia and the Ter. Just past Sant Pere Percador you can stop off at Mas Guso.Here you can taste their wines or sample some of the fine local produce. Further down the road just past the village of St Marti you can visit the Greek/ Roman ruins of Empuries. One of the most important archaeological sites in Catalonia.
We recommend you take some time in L’Escala and maybe have tapas for lunch on the seafront at Bar Riba then visit the shop Anxovies Soles to purchase a jar of the famous anchovies produced in locally. The Soles family have been preserving this little fish since 1889. Your accommodation for the next two nights’ in Toroella de Montgri dates back to the 14th century. Palau Lo Mirador is a beautifully restored palace, now a boutique hotel with an abundance of charm including a gothic internal courtyard and an excellent restaurant where you will dine tonight. Due to there only being 9 bedrooms we suggest early booking for this tour. Please ask if you wish an upgrade to a superior room for a special occasion.
This route takes you through many pretty medieval villages with options to visit local producers on the way. We recommend you stop in Ullastret to visit the ancient Iberian settlement dating back to the 6th century BC.
After Ullstret you cycle via Peratallada and on to a highly respected artisan olive oil producer Can Solivera. Hans and Daida have painstakingly restored this estate and house which dates back to the 12th century. After a short tour and history of Can Solivera you have an opportunity to taste the different olive oils produced which are first class, even El Cellar de Can Roca voted in the top 3 restaurants in the world use these oils!
There is a shop on the premises and you can make some purchases after your tour. Please let your guide know if you would like to book a tour. This tour is only available between Monday and Saturday 10am to 2pm.Your route back to Torroella takes you via Palau Sator and Fontclara (meaning clear water) where you can stop at the ancient font for a drink.The cider makers at Mooma which is also on your way back is well worth a visit. Explore Torroella this evening and enjoy dinner at one our recommended restaurants.
You set off from Torroella passing the rice fields of Arros de Moli de Pals before stopping to explore the perfectly preserved hilltop medieval town of Pals. The old quarter known as El Pedro within the medieval walls contains many historic buildings. There is a gothic church at the centre surrounded by beautiful cobbled streets leading to the old castle. The views from the ancient wall to the sea are spectacular. As you cycle down to Palafrugell why not call in at the Museum de Confitura. A quirky little shop with over 100 varieties of jams and chutneys run by Georgina Regas. Just out of Torrent there is a vineyard worthy of a visit called Mas Oller which produces some excellent wines highly recommended in the Penin wine guide. Next cycle over to Palafrugell and stop at Casa Serra, run by 4th generation Enric Serra .
Admire the kitsch window display of cakes and pop downstairs to the old kitchens now a wine cellar with over 1,000 wines to choose from. The speciality is the selection of sweet wines which complement the amazing cakes and homemade ice cream. There is an option to book a wine and produce tasting here. We recommend a menu de dia at Les Palmeres, great food and fantastic value. Next stop is the lively town of Palamos where you will spend the next two nights’ staying in the Hotel Trias, a stunning location overlooking the port and the beach. This evening we have booked you the restaurant in the hotel.
Level Easy/ Moderate
This morning you take the coastal path to one of the last unspoilt beaches on the Costa Brava. Cycle along to the port, visit the maritime museum and watch the fisherman bring in their catch of the day. Take the bike along the beach path that links Palamos to Torre Valentina and watch the wind and kite surfers ride the waves.
We have booked you into local bodega for a complimentary glass of wine and the owner can share a little knowledge of Emporda wines. Palamos is famous for its great selection of tapas bars in the old quarter. We provide a map and a list of recommendations. Try Carmen’s delicious goat’s cheese stuffed aubergine at Can Nicanor.
After a leisurely breakfast take the express bus to Barcelona from Palamos bus station (2 mins from hotel). Transfer to Girona airport can be arranged.
Please note that this tour can be started on any day but may alter the itinerary as some of the recommended producers open on different days and different hours. If there is any producer you especially want to visit please let us know at the time of booking.
Transfer to Barcelona where you will spend the next 2 nights’ at the Hotel Market www.markethotel.com
Evening in Barcelona. Start your stay with a visit to La Vinya de Senjor a wine bar with over 300 wines to choose from. We provide a map and some recommendations for dinner including Tapeo in the Born district where you can sample a Barcelona speciality ‘bombas’ – a round croquette with a fiery sauce.
a great way to see Barcelona and work up an appetite for a late lunch. In the afternoon visit one of Barcelona’s gourmet shops the Formatgeria La Seu, which is hidden away down a lane in the old Gothic quarter. Housed in an old dairy La Seu specialises in artisan cheeses from small producers. No food and wine tour would be complete without a visit to a chocolate shop. Xocoa is a unique Barcelona enterprise and produces over 30 varieties of filled chocolates and chocolate bars all made to their own recipe. Willy Wonka eat your heart out!
Why not reserve a table at Tickets www.ticketsbar.es which offers an online booking service or enjoy a cocktail at 41 www.41grados.es the stylish cocktail bar next door. Both establishments are under the supervision of Ferran Adria (of El Bulli fame) and offer innovative taps from the land and the sea. For a special occasion try Cinc Sentits www.cincsentits.com Chef Jordi Artal offers a gourmet tasting menu which is sensational.
Transfer to Girona where you will spend the next 2 nights’ at the Hotel Llegendes or the Hotel Historic in the heart of the old Jewish quarter, close to the magnificent Gothic cathedral.
Evening, we sugges dinner at Restaurant NU or L’Algueria for a fantastic authentic paella.
Departs Tuesday to Sunday from 10.15 and includes a walk around the Call or Jewish quarter, Sant Feliu church, the ruins of the castle, the arab baths and the medieval walls with panoramic views.
This was our 9th bicycle tour in Europe and it was excellent. The hotels were fabulous–very comfortable and roomy. Each day of riding was unique, with many fascinating sites. The bike paths were in good condition and the pace of the rides required just the right amount of effort. Alan set up the dinners and wine tastings in advance and they were exceptional. Highly recommended!