CYCLING TOURS AND HOLIDAYS | Barcelona & Girona 2024


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Barcelona, Girona and Costa Brava

23 June – 4 July 2024 (12 Days / 11 Nights)

Experience Girona and its special cycling culture. There’s a reason why many of the worlds professional cyclists live there. Test yourself on the Rocacorba and Mare de Deu del Mont.  Amazing roads and fantastic coffee. What else do you need?

But wait – there’s more. Visit mountain top monasteries and enjoy breath-taking views of the Mediterranean coastline. Visit medieval villages. Enjoy a long Spanish lunch at one of the Costa Brava’s finest wineries.



Overview of the Tour

Find out why Girona and the Costa Brava region is considered by many to be the best place on the planet to ride a bike. This cycling tour will have you zipping along the Mediterranean coast, crossing the interior mountains, visiting spectacular lakes and climbing up to some simply breath-taking lookout points.

We start our trip in Barcelona and then move between four different but equally stunning bases.

This tour is perfect for cyclists who like shorter climbs but who equally enjoy undulating roads and flowing descents on smooth asphalted roads. We guarantee 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

  • 12 Days / 11 nights using quality 3 and 4 star hotels.
  • 2 nights - Barcelona, 3 nights - Girona, 2 nights – Callela, 2 nights - Roses & 2 nights - Figueras
  • All breakfasts, 6 dinners & 1 picnic lunch
  • Cycling food & drinks included
  • Maximum 25 cyclists. Supported with 5 staff. 
  • 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
(Please note: We are unable to offer a dedicated non-riding option for this trip)

Highlights

  • Climb both Rocacorba and Mare de Deu del Mont
  • Breathtaking views of the Mediterranean
  • Explore famous hilltop Monasteries (Els Angels & Sant Pere de Rodes)
  • Ride to the most eastern point on the Iberian peninsula
  • Visit the Salvador Dali Museum & La Cuitadella archaeological site
  • Enjoy your winery visits to Finca Bell-Lloc and La Vinyeta
  • Cycle through the medieval villages of Monells, Peralda & Besalu

The Tour Price Excludes

  • International Airfares - Karl can provide recommendations
  • Meals not included in the itinerary. Alcohol.
  • Travel Insurance - compulsory! Karl can provide recommendations
  • Pre-& post tour accommodation or tours

Bike Hire

Road Bikes: Standard / High Spec

  • $800.00 NZD Orbea Avant M30 Shimano 105 Rim Brakes
  • $1200.00 NZD BMC Teammachine SLR: Di2, 105, Disc
  • $1500.00 NZD BMC Teammachine SLR: Di2, Ultegra, Disc  

e-Bikes: (based on availability)

  • $1300.00 NZD BMC Amp Roadbike
  • $1600.00 NZD Specialized Creo
  • $1150.00 NZD Specialized Vado Hybrid
e-Bikes Options:
  • $350.00 NZD Battery Range Extender

The Tour Cost

  • $8700.00 NZD pp. (Twin Share)
  • $1600.00 NZD pp. Single supplement

Deposit & Balance terms and conditions. The initial deposit is $1500.00 per person. Full payment will be due 60 days prior to departure. Please make sure you take out travel insurance when paying deposits.











    Barcelona, Girona & Costa Brava Tour Itinerary

    Day 1, Sunday 23 June 2024

    Welcome to Barcelona

    We will meet you at the airport (time/s to be organised) 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 we'll help put your bikes together so we can hit the ground running, or should we say riding - tomorrow.

    There’s plenty of free time today. Why not consider a swim at nearby Playa de la Barceloneta, the cable car from nearby Montjuic, 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: Hotel Grums, Barcelona
    / Meals Included: Dinner


    Day 2, Monday 24 June 2024

    Barcelona to Girona, Spain

    We leave Barcelona after breakfast. 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 Les Guilleries (1200m) 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: Hotel Ciutat de Girona, Girona
    / Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Day 3, Tuesday 25 June 2024

    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.

    / Accommodation: Hotel Ciutat de Girona, Girona
    / Meals Included: Breakfast (Dinner own arrangements)

    Day 4, Wednesday 26 June 2024

    Test yourself just like the the pro’s – Rocacorba is calling

    From Girona the cycling heads north and towards Lake Banyoles which is atectonic depression and the largest natural lake in Catalonia. The lake was used during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. It is approximately 2100m by 750m with an average depth of 15m that in several points is nearly as deep as 50m.

    Only minutes away from Lake Banyoles though is the ‘Rocacorba’ challenge. This climb has become famous in recent years with professional riders using the climb for their specific hill interval sets. While the 11km climb is characterised by a 6% average grade it is the final 5km which are really tough and constantly maintain ramps hovering around double-digit gradients. At the top be sure to congratulate yourself on what is a wonderful achievement! If you decide to call it a day you can roll down to the edge of Lake Banyoles, pull in at one of our favourite lakeside cafeterias and grab the van back to Girona (60km and 900VM). For those wanting more, the ride through to the hotel in Girona finishes with 100km and 1250VM.

    / Accommodation: Hotel Ciutat de Girona, Girona
    / Meals Included: Breakfast (Dinner own arrangements)


    Day 5, Thursday 27 June 2024

    Els Angels Monastery & Monells

    Riding from the hotel and you encounter some stunning scenery as you climb over the Les Gavarres mountain range. 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 down to Monells which is a small medieval town located in La Baix Emporda region. Its main features are the yellowish stone houses, arches and cobblestone floors which have formed the film set for many Spanish feature movies. Be sure to take a rest in its main plaza and enjoy a coffee with the locals.

    Both ride options today (85km and 1050VM or 110km and 1500VM) pass smooth, beautifully asphalted roads with many undulations that will keep things interesting through to our coastal retreat in Callela. Callela is a historic fishing village formed by several coves which still today preserves its charm thanks to its narrow streets, traditional fisherman’s dwellings and quiet beaches. The rocky coastline really is an ideal setting for getting out and exploring (walking and cycling anyone?).

    / Accommodation: Hotel Mediterrani, Calella de Palafrugell
    / Meals Included: Breakfast (Lunch & Dinner own arrangements)


    Day 6, Friday 28 June 2024

    Finca Bell-Lloc Winery

    Starting from the coast, today’s ride is an inland loop which passes some majestic small towns. Peratallada is one of these and it will be the perfect coffee stop destination. The small, town centre includes an elegant castle and the defensive walls and moat manage to perfectly preserve the medieval atmosphere of its origins. From here the riding continues west before heading south and back towards the coast. The winding descent down to the Finca Bell-Lloc winery estate will be one to truly remember. It is not a huge day in the saddle today (80km and 1000VM).

    / Accommodation: Hotel Mediterrani, Calella de Palafrugell
    / Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner (Lunch own arrangements)

    Day 7, Saturday 29 June 2024

    Callela to Roses via medieval villages

    The cycling on offer today is best described as a transitional day passing the medieval villages of the Costa Brava (from La Baix Emporda to L’Alt Emporda). The 90km route will take you through to your new hotel on the Gulf of Roses for the next two nights. What is generally an easier day in terms of climbing still packs a small punch in the first 5km. There are some steep pinches with 10-12% ramps up to the lookout point. Take your time though and be sure to enjoy the views from the lighthouse!

    We will also duck into Pals along the way. It is a modern tourist town, but the old town will transport you back to medieval times and you will be able to appreciate its history and beautiful architecture. Among the elements of greatest interest, you will see the Romanesque tower known as “la torre de las hores”, the Gothic entrance arch to the main square, the castle, the walls of Pals and the church of Sant Pere which all are close to 1000 years old.

    Quiet lanes passing agricultural fields and small towns will finally take you through to Roses and its relaxing beaches. The former Greek colony of what was called Rodes stretches between the sea and the mountains. The peaceful waters of this natural harbour were highly sought after. The Greeks from Rhodes were the first to set up a commercial colony here called Rhode. Only a short walk away from the hotel is the archaeological site ‘La Cuitadella’. We will make sure you get to visit this site of historical significance!

    / Accommodation: Hotel Marina, Roses
    / Meals Included: Breakfast (Dinner own arrangements)


    Day 8, Sunday 30 June 2024

    Serra de Rodes mountains

    Today we have designed some excellent 'all-rounder' routes. There are 55km and 950VM or 75km and 1400VM options on offer. The longer route includes three climbs which again all range between 5-8km in length. The ride begins by heading out to Cadaques (another very quaint fishing village) and then onto Cabo de Creus which is the most eastern point on the Iberian Peninsula. From Cadaques the road out to the lighthouse constantly dips and winds its way through an abrupt rocky landscape. Try to wipe that smile off your face. No, it’s impossible!

    The climb though which we believe has the most beauty is Sant Pere de Rodes. For many past guests the arrival at the picturesque Benedictine Monastery with its curving roads and spectacular coastal views all combine to create the 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!

    / Accommodation: Hotel Marina, Roses
    / Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner






    Day 9, Monday 1 July 2024

    A historical ride up to the French border

    Today’s ride heads north to the low-lying Coll de Banyuls (365m altitude) on the French border. Before arriving at the French border though a coffee stop in Peralada is an absolute must. This small medieval township includes a historic old town (casco antiguo) and its principal attraction is its 14th Century castle. For those who like history the route up to Coll de Banyuls was made famous during the Spanish civil war (1939). Hundreds of thousands of Spanish escaped into France as General Franco took control of Barcelona. The views down to France are worth the effort!

    The backroads back towards Figueras meander past the vineyards putting L’Alt Emporda region on the map. We have a special visit to ‘La Vinyeta’ winery organised for you which includes a scrumptous picnic lunch to enjoy! From here you can decide if you will ride 70km and 650VM or 100km and 1000VM through to the hotel for the next two nights. The ride finishes in Figueras which is famous as Salvador Dali’s birthplace so we will also reserve a time so you can visit the museum designed in his name.

    / Accommodation: Hotel Duran, Figueres
    / Meals Included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner

    Day 10, Tuesday 2 July 2024

    Mare de Deu del Mont and its 360ᵒ viewing platform

    One of the most challenging days on the bike now awaits but it’s full of surprises and changing landscapes. The climb up to Mare 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. Mare de Deu del Mont is an 18km climb with an average gradient of 5%. The descent through to medieval Besalu brings the ride to 80km and 1350VM. The spectacular 11th Century medieval bridge and its seven arches that span the river Rio Fluvia have well and truly put Besalu on the map.

    The longer ride pushes on from Besalu through to Castelfollit de la Roca. You are now riding in La Garrotxa national volcanic park. Don’t worry though, the last eruption was over 10,000 years ago! Castelfollit is a small town which has been dramatically built on a basalt flow and rock escarpment. By the way, there is a nice little micro-brewery in the old town. Perfect finish to a perfect day!

    / Accommodation: Hotel Duran, Figueres
    / Meals Included: Breakfast (Dinner own arrangements)



    Day 11, Wednesday 3 July 2024

    Final escape into the picturesque Vall de Bas!

    The final day on the bike through Vall de Bas will be one of the most scenic. The valley is surrounded by mountains that peak at 1500m elevation and the area is very lush and a paradise for agriculture and livestock raising. It would be fair to say that most travellers don’t venture into this corner of Costa Brava. However, the local pelotons know it only too well thanks to the annual ‘Terra de Remences’ gran fondo ride which is held every May.

    Hidden away in this quiet valley is ‘Coll de Bracons’ which is one of our favourite climbs (its 8.4km at 7.8% average grade will get you sweating). The first half of the climb ranges between 4-7% so you can guess what the second part looks like. Basically, there is not too much asphalt over the final few kilometres below double digits!

    Along the route a major highlight for both rides, is crossing the ‘Pantano de Sau’ dam wall. The distinctive rocky mountain landscapes in the background provide a fitting finale and group photo opportunity. Take your pick today between 70KM and 1300VM or 95km and 1650VM!

    Post-ride there will be a 1hr drive back to Barcelona. A final tour dinner in the heart of Barcelona will cap-off what has been amazing Girona & Costa Brava cycling experience. A glass or two of the coveted ‘cava’ (Catalan sparkling wine) will be raised and well and truly enjoyed!

    / Accommodation: Hotel Grums, Barcelona
    / Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner


    Day 12, Thursday 4 July 2024

    Home, James

    All good things must come to an end. After breakfast our guides are available for the short transfer to Barcelona Airport. If you would like extra nights in Barcelona please let us know. Thank you for joining Ride Holidays.

    Safe travels home.

    / Meals Included: Breakfast



     

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