Spectacular scenery framed by the Pyrenees mountains, carefully preserved thousand year old monasteries, lush green valleys, three rivers, rolling farmland with fields of orchards, sunflowers, vineyards, olive groves, coastal paths and unspoilt beaches not forgetting the medieval city of Girona – this cycling tour captures the breathtaking beauty of Catalonia.
We meet you at Girona Airport or Flaca Station (if arriving from Barcelona) and take you to the mountain town of Ripoll famous for its Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria. You will spend the first night at the comfortable La Sequia Molinar Hotel with beautiful modern designed rooms, friendly staff and free Wi Fi. Welcome drink in the bar, tour orientation, maps, bike fitting and dinner booked in the hotel’s restaurant.
This morning you are ready to set off on your 190km journey from the mountains to the sea. The first section follows the old carrilet railway originally used to bring ore and coal down from the mines in Ogassa. The route takes you up through the valley to the town of Sant Joan de les Abadesse where you can stop for a leisurely lunch. Onwards now to Olot which lies within the protected area of the Natural Park of the Volcanic area of the Garrotxa.The route continues down the old railway south of Olot to just north of Sant Feliu de Palleros.
You arrive at La Rectoria, a beautifully restored rectory adjacent to the Vias Verdes cycle path. Roy and Goretti will assure you of a warm welcome. Roy was previously a chef at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh and Goretti was a whisky taster at Glenmorangie so after they prepare you a delicious meal you may even get to sample a wee dram!!
Distance: 55 km
Today you will explore the volcanic region of La Vall D’En Bas. This is a lovely circular route. Make time to stop in a couple of the rustic Pyrenees medieval villages where you feel you have stepped back in time. The route offers some amazing scenery, rugged landscapes and rivers. Head back to La Rectoria late afternoon for a second evening of fine dining.
Level: Easy to Moderate
This morning you pick up the narrow-gauge railway route which descends smoothly from Sant Feliu de Pallerois to Girona . The trail is in very good condition and has been fitted with new bridges, railings and signs. It crosses through magnificent scenery of great ecological and cultural value. It continues through the Garrotxa and reaches the Ter valley and on to the pasturelands of Salt and Girona. Tonight will be spent in the Hotel Llegendes situated in the old town (the Jewish Quarter) of Girona near the magnificent Gothic Cathedral and a few minutes walk from some lively tapas bars and restaurants.
Level: Easy to Moderate
After leaving Girona the trail crosses the Selva depression, characterised by a patchwork of croplands and forests. On a clear day you can enjoy a panoramic view of the eastern Pyrenees before crossing the Ridaura valley and skirting the edge of the Gavarres an area covered in unspoilt forest. The route runs gently down to Castell d’Aro then on to the fishing town of Palamos where you will stay for the next two nights’ in the Hotel Trias beautifully decorated in a colonial style overlooking the beach and the port. Dinner will be served in the Hotel.
Today is based in and around Palamos. You may want to visit the Fish Museum on the harbour or wander round the fish market, or cycle the coastal path to Cap Roig a botanical garden of stunning beauty in Calella de Palafrugell. Please ask your guide for a route depending on your preference.
Distance and level – your choice.
Transfer back to Girona airport or Express Bus from Palamos to Barcelona (cost approximately €14 or Barcelona airport €19)
My wife and I have just completed the Mountains to the Sea cycling trip organized by Cycle Catalan. What a fantastic experience, 4 days of cycling (we opted to rest at the beach on the last day) through beautiful Catalonian countryside. For inexperienced cyclists like us, the 40-50 km each day was very manageable, punctuated by coffee and lunch stops in picturesque towns and villages.
Jordi our guide was very helpful and friendly, explaining our daily routes and offering a wealth of local knowledge.
Highlight for us were the hilly passage from Sant Joan de les Aberdesses to Olot, the beautiful Vall d’en Bas, and the excellent food and accommodation along the way.
Cycle Catalan understate the quality of the accommodation, especially La Rectoria de Sant Miquel de Pineda, Hotel Llegendes in Girona, and Hotel Trias in Palamós – very classy and great food.
We highly recommend this adventure.