CYCLING TOURS AND HOLIDAYS | Barcelona & Girona 2021


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Barcelona, Girona and Costa Brava

16 - 26 August 2021 (11 Days / 10 Nights)

Experience Girona and its special cycling community and culture. Ride mountains, coastal roads and out to spectacular coves and peninsulas. Test yourself on the Rocacorba and Mar de Deu del Mont climbs. Visit mountain top monasteries. Enjoy breath-taking views of the Mediterranean coastline. A long Spanish lunch enjoying paella and sangria. Finish in Cadaques, a coastal gem with the Salvador Dali museum.




Overview of the Tour

Find out why Girona and the Costa Brava region is considered by many as the place to be when it comes to road cycling. This cycling tour will find you zipping along the Mediterranean coast, crossing the interior mountains, visiting spectacular lakes and climbing up to some simply breath-taking lookout points. During 2021 we start and finish our cycling tour in Barcelona but in between move through three different but equally stunning bases.

The initial nights in Girona enjoy the buzzing cycling culture that is all around, followed by some relaxing nights in the scenic interior mountains before finishing things off with what can only be described as a gem of a coastal town! This tour is perfect for cyclists who like to do shorter climbs but who equally enjoy undulating roads and flowing descents on smooth asphalted roads. We guarantee you a variety of picture-perfect views from hilltop monasteries, small coastal coves and beaches and serpentine roads out to remote Mediterranean peninsulas!









Barcelona, Girona & Costa Brava | Tour Details


Tour Inclusions

  • 11 Days / 10 nights using quality 3 and 4 star hotels.
  • 2 nights - Barcelona, 3 nights - Girona, 3 nights - Figueras & 2 nights - Cadaques
  • All breakfasts, 6 dinners & 1 lunch. (cycling food & drinks also included)
  • Maximum 20 cyclists. Supported with 4 staff. Tour leader Dean Mills
  • Choice of 2 rides per day at your pace
  • Includes all tips (guides and pre-arranged meals)
  • Souvenir booklet and RIDE Holidays cycle jersey
  • Maps provided as well as GPS assistance
  • Travelling in small vans which allows for flexibility

Highlights

  • Climb both Rocacorba and Mar de Deu del Mont
  • Breathtaking views of the Mediterranean
  • Explore the famous hill top Els Angels Monastery
  • Ride the Spanish Pyrenees
  • Visit the Salvador Dali Museum
  • Guided walking tour of Barcelona of the "must see"sights

The Tour Price Excludes

  • International Airfares - Karl can provide recommendations
  • Bike Rental - NZD 650.00 (Carbon, Compact)
  • Meals not included in the itinerary. Alcohol.
  • Travel Insurance - compulsory! Karl can provide recommendations
  • Pre-& post tour accommodation or tours

The Tour Cost

  • $5800.00 NZD pp. (Twin Share)
  • $900.00 NZD pp. Single supplement

OPTIONAL EXTRAS: Carbon Road Bike Hire: 650.00 NZD

Due to the current Covid-19 uncertainty - There is no deposit to be paid on this tour. Please ignore the invoice that is automatically generated. We will monitor the coronavirus situation and keep you posted if this changes. At this stage - balance is due 60 days prior to departure.

Also - the costs are approximate as the NZD vs Euro is simply too hard to predict. In the past 6 weeks it has moved by 15%.





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    Barcelona, Girona & Costa Brava Tour Itinerary

    Day 1, Monday 16 August

    Welcome to Barcelona

    Feel free to arrive at any time. We will meet you at the airport and take you to our central hotel. You are more than welcome to arrive earlier if you want to spend time in this fantastic city. This afternoon we7'll help put your bikes together so we can hit the ground running, or should we say riding - tomorrow.

    If your bike is already prepared and you are looking for a relaxed way to get started in Barcelona then why not consider a swim at nearby Playa de la Barceloneta, a stroll along La Rambla pedestrian street or a visit to the San Jose food market (La Boquiera) where fresh food and colours combine!

    Tonight, we've hand-picked a local restaurant. Let's introduce the team and talk through the plan for the next few days.

    Welcome to Spain. It's fantastic to have you here.

    / Accommodation: Barcelona
    / Meals Included: Dinner


    Day 2, Tuesday 17 August

    Barcelona to Girona, Spain

    We leave Barcelona at 9:30am. It's a short 1hr drive to the outskirts of Girona which is undoubtedly one of Europe's key cycling destinations.

    Did you know, that at last count, there are almost 100 professional cyclists living in Girona! With a fantastic climate, varied terrain and excellent roads it is a no brainer for foreign cyclists moving to Europe to set up base in Girona. The 'varied terrain' comes in the form of Guilleries (1200m) and Gavarres (530m) whose curving mountain roads surround the city! No ride is ever complete without a good coffee stop right? Girona has many excellent coffee shops and post-ride we would like to take you to our favourite where all the pros hang out.

    There are two rides to choose from. 85km and 50km. Short but memorable. Both rides lead us all the way to our Girona hotel which is where we are staying for the next three nights. Tonight, enjoy a dinner together. Let's see if we can attract a few Kiwi pros to join us. (seriously - they will be invited)

    / Accommodation: Girona
    / Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Day 3, Wednesday 18 August

    Girona to Mediterranean Coast

    Today you will cycle a fantastic ride through the hills south of Girona towards the Mediterranean coastline. Today there are four climbs to contend with but they all range between 5-7km in length and 6% average grades.

    For those of you who like name dropping the main climb to remember today is the spectacular 7km ascent called 'Alt de Sant Grau'. At the summit you will have your first impressive views down to the Mediterranean coastline. It is a relatively gentle 5% all the way but we warned the final km has some good 10% ramps to contend with!

    Those with some training in the legs will really enjoy today's ride which is up to 100km and 1350VM. In between all the climbing is a wonderful 10km stretch along the coast to Tossa de Mar which will be great fun before ducking back inland. Post ride there is a 30min van transfer back to Girona but for anyone looking for a big day on the bikes then just have a word with one of our guides!

    / Accommodation: Girona
    / Meals Included: Breakfast (Dinner own arrangements)

    Day 4, Thursday 19 August

    Els Angels Monastery

    Riding from the hotel and you encounter some stunning scenery as you climb over the Les Gavarres mountain range twice. The road from Girona heads east and the first climb is up to the Els Angels Monastery. This is one of the most popular rides in the region and its 10km at 3% average gradient is the perfect way to get your legs going again.

    Newcomers to Girona often refer to this climb as 'Hells Angels'. But don't worry it is not related to the climbs difficulty, only an error in pronunciation. The Spanish to English translation is actually 'The Angels' due to the chapel at the summit where Salvador Dali himself was married. This climb up from Girona follows quiet roads that weave through the woodlands. Make sure to do the extra 500m up to the chapel (Santuari de Els Angels) for amazing panoramic views and to find the coffee shop of course!

    Now that you are back on the bike again it is time to enjoy a cruisy flowing descent back down to the plain. The loop back (90km and 1200VM) to the hotel passes smooth, beautifully asphalted roads with many undulations that will keep things very interesting and will take you back up and over the the Les Gavarres mountains from further south. Cycling through this protected nature reserve covered in ancient dwarf oak forest is a special experience.

    / Accommodation: Girona
    / Meals Included: Breakfast

    Hello to Figueras

    Settle in - it's our home for the next 3 nights

    Day 5, Friday 20 August

    Girona to Figueras

    Today we change hotels and with this our base moves to the scenic landscapes directly adjacent to Figueras. Figueras is famous as Salvador Dali's birthplace and later during the tour you will have time to visit a collection of his surreal artwork in Cadaques. Getting back to the cycling though and following breakfast the group will roll out of the hotel. The cycling on offer is best described as a transitional day where an early climb then follows a final 70km of flat riding through to our new hotel for the next three nights. With some solid days in the saddle still to come today will be the perfect ride to make sure you are feeling stronger as the tour goes on! (total distance is 85km and 1000VM).

    We know there are always some riders in the group that need extra kilometres. Immediately west of Figueras there are some quiet roads providing the perfect chance to ride an extra 30km and 300m of elevation gain to knock up a quality century ride!

    / Accommodation: Figueras
    / Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner


    Day 6, Saturday 21 August

    Mar de Deu del Mont & Rocacorba

    The most challenging day on the bike now awaits but it is full of surprises and changing landscapes at every corner. Cycling from the hotel and the climb up to Mar de Deu del Mont at 1085m altitude will be sure to impress. The 360° degree views from our favourite platform on the Costa Brava makes the energy expended well worth it. Mar de Deu del Mont is an 18km climb with an average gradient of 5%. The 20km descent down to our lunch stop on the shores of Lake Banyoles will be one to savour! Lake Banyoles is a tectonic depression and the largest natural lake in Catalonia which was used as the rowing venue during the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. If you would like to take some time to relax or perhaps even a swim feel free to finish your ride on the lake at the 65km mark. After lunch though the final 'Rocacorba' challenge is waiting for those itching for more! This climb has become famous in recent years with professional riders using the climb for their specific hill interval sets. While the 13.5km is characterized by a 6% average grade it is the final 5km which are really tough and constantly maintain ramps hovering around double-digit gradients! (Maximum distance is 100km with 2300VM ouch)

    / Accommodation Figueras
    / Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Day 7, Sunday 22 August

    Spanish & French Pyrenees

    From Figueras there is a short 30min van transfer west to the edge of the Volcanica de la Garrotxa Natural Park. As the name suggests this is an area of extinct volcanoes which is a road cycling paradise. The cycling heads north in search of the Pyrenees. It is in this region that the mountains follow isolated back roads right up to the Spain/France border.

    Those of you looking for an extra cycling challenge should let the guides take you in search of Coll de la Creueta. This 21.5km averages 5% and takes you up to the highest point on tour at 1925m elevation. It is very remote on the summit but the views of the surrounding rural landscapes will be fantastic. We will descend on quiet backroads to Gombren to round out a very enjoyable loop of 'Creueta'. If you have selected to ride 'Creueta' then expect to break 2000m elevation gain today.

    Post-ride there will be a 1hr transfer back to the tour hotel.

    Tomorrow we have designed an easier day for you all so here is your chance to put in a solid Pyrenean raid! (Up to 100km cycling / 1650m elevation gain

    / Accommodation: Figueras
    / Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner


    Day 8, Monday 23 August

    Cabo de Creus

    After your cycling heroics in the Pyrenees, today we take a shorter recovery ride to the most eastern point on the Iberian Peninsula. The ride leaves the hotel and first stop is the beach at Playa de Garbet. A coffee stop is a given considering time is required to take in the wonderful sights of this protected small cove and its sparkling clear waters. Back on the bikes and our only challenge for the day is a 5km climb (5% average) over to Cadaques. From here things get really interesting as the road out to the lighthouse constantly dips and winds its way through an abrupt rocky landscape with constant coastal views. For those GoPro camera users out there please double check that you have hit the record button as this road to the most eastern point of Spain was built for making cycling videos! It is not all over though because in true Spanish style we would like to invite you for a long paella lunch at one of our favourite beach coves. Carbohydrate loading is on the cards for one final ride tomorrow! Sangria anyone?

    / Accommodation: Beau Site Talloires
    / Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch


    The Final Few Days

    Let's make the most of it before our tour ends





    Day 9, Tuesday 24 August

    Serra de Rodes mountains

    To round out what has been a fantastic week on the bikes we have designed an excellent 'all-rounder' route for today. The route includes three climbs which again all range between 5-8km in length. The climb though with the most prestige is Sant Pere de Rodes. For many past guests we have saved the best for last because the arrival at the picturesque Benedictine Monastery with its curving roads and spectacular coastal views all combine to create a most memorable experience. The 'Sant Pere' climb begins from sea level and the views of the Mediterranean will follow you all the way to the very top! (75km and 1400VM).

    No trip to this region is complete without a visit to the former home of one of the world's most eccentric artists. Step inside the residence where Salvador Dali lived for 50 years. It is amazing to see how a single small fisherman's cottage later expanded into a labyrinth of connected cottages with weird rooms!

    / Accommodation: Cadaques
    / Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner

    Day 10, Wednesday 25 August

    Back to where it began

    A short ride after breakfast before packing up the bikes and heading back to Barcelona. We hope you have enjoyed your Costa Brava cycling experience!

    No doubt some of you will spend a few additional days relaxing and enjoying all the wonders of Barcelona. To start you off, we have arranged a guided walking tour of the "must see" sights. Our guided walking tour is naturally focused on the major works of Antoni Gaudí, one of Barcelona's greatest modernist architects. His unique architectural style is highly respected around the world and there will be time to enjoy La Sagrada Família cathedral and Güell Park.

    Tonight we have booked our favorite restaurant to celebrate our time in Spain. Let's raise a glass or two of top notch cava and share some stories. Cava is to Spain as Champagne is to France and this bright and bubbly drink will send you off in style!

    / Accommodation: Barcelona
    / Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner



    Day 11, Thursday 26 August

    Home, James

    All good things must come to an end. We say goodbye after breakfast. Thank you for joining Ride Holidays. Transfers are included to the airport.

    Safe travels home.

    / Meals Included: Breakfast




     

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