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Catalan Coastal Cycling

from $2,549.00

Follow the unspoilt Catalan coast on this easy 8-night cycling tour. Our varied routes take you through olive groves, peach orchards and stunningly beautiful, pretty coloured villages. All the hotels have pools, and 2 nights are spent in a luxury C14 castle.

  • Reviews 29 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Easy
    3/8
All about the Catalan Coastal Cycling.

Boasting a rich and varied history, Catalunya was the first Iberian region to become Roman. It was during the Middle Ages that it developed its own identifiable culture and it remains rich in mediaeval villages to this day. Highlights include the fortified town of Peratallada, where many of the old stone buildings are carved from stone taken from the moat encircling the town – this gives the town its name meaning ‘carved stone’. Other highlights include Begur, with its C11 castle perched on the hilltop and the cobbled streets of Pals overlooking Platja de Pals.
Explore this quiet corner of Catalunya and experience a diverse range of scenery and culture that offers something quite different to the rest of the Spanish Mediterranean. Follow a coastline that has inspired creativity in the likes of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Salvador Dali. The cycling is varied, with gentle routes winding through olive groves and peach orchards contrasting with beautiful coastal paths overlooking the azure Mediterranean sea.
You’ll stay in a variety of charming and characterful hotels, all with pools. The family-run Hotel Garbi overlooks the fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell and the elegant Sa Punta is just five minutes’ walk from a large sandy beach. Inland you relax in a magnificently restored C14 castle with breathtaking views from the terrace before returning to the coast, with views over the bay, at bustling Palamos.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • All breakfasts and 4 dinners
  • All 8 nights accommodation, hotel-to-hotel
  • All luggage transfers
  • Route notes and maps
  • GPS route navigation provided
  • Local hybrid bike rental included
  • RidePlus route options (more challenging routes)
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • ┬áSingle Supplement (available on request – inquire for supplement)
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels
  • Tandems available (inquire for supplement)
  • RidePlus road bike (inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Golden sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters and traditional fishing villages
  • Gentle cycling on breathtaking coastal paths and through beautiful Spanish countryside offering fantastic views
  • Medieval villages with fascinating castles, interesting churches and quaint cobbled streets
  • Excellent hotels, all with superb pool facilities, including a C14 castle and others in perfect seaside resorts
  1. Day 1 Day 1 Arrive in Calella de Palafrugell

    Arrive at the Hotel Garbi where you’ll enjoy a sea view room with private balcony. With such a rich variety of restaurants on offer, just 5 minutes’ walk away in the centre of town, you’re free to explore the local cuisine for yourself this evening. (Staying at Hotel Garbi, Breakfast only)

  2. Day 2 Day 2 Calella de Palafrugell to Platja de Pals 33km/21mi

    Today’s ride takes you through the pine forest behind Calella, before leading on to the mediaeval village of Pals with its C11-C13 Romanesque tower and stunning views. After lunch, meander through the pretty hamlets of Palau-Sator (where there has been a settlement since Roman times) and Fontanilles, before looping back to the coast and finishing with a gentle downhill ride to Platja de Pals. (Staying at Hotel Sa Punta, Half Board)

  3. Day 3 Day 3 At Platja de Pals

    We strongly recommend a visit to mediaeval Begur today, a fashionable hilltop town with C11 castle and outstanding views out over the coast. Alternatively follow the superb coastal walking path, stretch out on the fine golden sand of the beach, or simply unwind by the hotel’s semi- Olympic pool. (Staying at Hotel Sa Punta, Half Board)

  4. Day 4 Day 4 Platja de Pals to La Bisbal 30km/19mi

    Your day begins with a ride past rice fields to join the River Ter, before following the river to Torroella de Montgri with its wonderful views of the Illes Medes and distinctly mediaeval features; think narrow streets, colonnaded square, baronial mansions and a rather impressive C14 Gothic church. Leave here and head inland along quiet roads to the village of Gualta with its picturesque C16 bridge and the pretty hamlets of Fonolleres, Matajudaica and Casavells. Finally, ride on to La Bisbal, where you’ll stay in a unique C14 castle, once reputed to have been on Dali’s shopping list. (Staying at Hotel Castell d’Emporda, Half board)

  5. Day 5 Day 5 At La Bisbal

    Laze by the pool and enjoy the fabulous sun terrace with its superb bar area or follow our suggested cycling circuit which links the beautiful mediaeval villages of Corca, Monells (with a charming square and lovely choices for lunch), and La Bisbal, a lively market town famous for antiques and pottery. Here you can take time to explore the town’s historic centre which includes the C11 Episcopal palace and the once-thriving Jewish quarter. (Staying at Hotel Castell d’Emporda, Half board)

  6. Day 6 Day 6 La Bisbal to Palamos 37km/23.5mi

    This is a lovely gentle ride that stops first at the walled village of Ullastret. The vast archaeological site here contains the remains of one of the oldest Iberian villages in Spain. Move on via beautifully preserved Peratallada to the bustling market town of Palafrugell, a great spot for lunch. It’s then a gentle 5km ride to the seaside town of Palamos, where you’ll spend the next two nights in our *** sea-facing hotel with its lovely pool. (Staying at Hotel Trias, Breakfast only)

  7. Day 7 Day 7 At Palamos

    Once a C12 fishing village, Palamos is now a bustling family seaside resort centred around its colourful port, and has one of the best beaches on the Costa Brava. Here you can walk or cycle to Sant Antoni, explore the warren of mediaeval streets, or simply relax in the sun by the pool or down on the beach. (Staying at Hotel Trias, Breakfast only)

  8. Day 8 Day 8 Palamos to Calella de Palafrugell 21km/13.5mi

    Your route today is filled with things to see and do. Firstly, you’ll follow the coast along to the lovely bay at La Fosca, before moving on to the sheltered half-moon cove of Platja de Castell, crowned by the atmospheric ruins of an ancient settlement. Then head inland through the farming hamlets and rice fields of Santa Margarida and Ermedas, before ascending gently to the Sant Sebastia lighthouse with its fabulous views and restaurant for lunch. A final downhill stretch via Llafranc will then carry you back to Calella de Palafrugell. (Staying at Hotel Garbi, Breakfast only)

  9. Day 9 Day 9 Leave Calella de Palafrugell

    Please note that cycling helmets are a legal requirement in Spain. As we cannot provide these, we strongly recommend you bring your own. Please see our Planning you holiday page for full details.

Where you stay
Hotel Garbi
The Hotel Garbi is located on the hillside overlooking the fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell with its own extensive gardens, shaded by pines. The Hotel is family-run and has a warm welcoming atmosphere where its friendly staff will do their utmost to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible. The hotel also has a car park-for anyone who would like to drive to this hotel.
Hotel Sa Punta
The Hotel Sa Punta, just a five minute walk to the beach is set in beautiful grounds with a lovely terrace area for afternoon drinks. There is also a semi-olympic size swimming pool with spa pool. Rooms are spacious and modern with balcony or terrace. Evening meals are taken either in the hotel restaurant or on the terrace.
Hotel Castell d’Emporda
The Castell d’Emporda could not be in a better location, perched on a rocky outcrop with breathtaking views from its sun terrace. The building is a superbly restored 700-year-old castle, that is now owned by Albert and Margo, who are both very friendly and speak excellent English. Each of the hotel rooms has been individually decorated by furniture collected by the owners while they were on their travels around China, India and Morocco. All of the rooms have spectacular hill-top views, featuring air conditioning and heating, fully equipped bathroom, flat-screen TV, in-room CD/DVD player, telephone and mini bar.
Hotel Trias
Located on the seafront with stunning views over the bay of Palamos and just a few minutes’ walk from the town centre, the Hotel Trias dates from 1900 but has been renovated into a stylish and modern hotel. It is also within easy walking distance of both the beach and the harbour. The modern en suite rooms feature free WiFi, safety deposit boxes and air conditioning. Upgraded pool view or sea view rooms are available on request.
Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 4 dinners

Traditional Spanish food such as paella, chorizo and albondigas (meatballs) can be found on just about every menu in Catalunya, but there are plenty of tasty local specialties too. Local cuisine features plenty of fish, including world renowned anchovies from L’Escala, and botifarras (black pudding) from the mountains. A delicious starter is Pan Catalan, which is lightly toasted bread, drizzled with olive oil and topped with tomatoes and garlic. The geography of the area has developed regional cuisine mixing ‘surf and turf’; combinations such as chicken and lobster, or rabbit with prawns. Fruits also feature strongly with dishes combining chicken with figs, or pheasant and grapes. Dishes tend to be rich and hearty but there are also plenty of vegetable options for vegetarians. Catalan foods also feature sauces in many dishes, which are usually rich in flavor.

The region is also renowned for the production of Cava, around the town of San Sadurni de Noya. There is a herby, smoky, grassy flavor to some of these as a result of the grape varieties and climate. The region also produces some of Spain’s best wines. Though we do not cycle through San Sadurni de Noya, try the wine from this region if you spot it on a menu.

Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)
Average daily distance: 31km (19 miles).
No. of days cycling: 6 (including 2 optional rides)
Terrain and route: The suggested cycling mainly follows quiet tarmac roads with a few sections on dirt roads. The terrain is gentle throughout.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. The maps and route notes are provided in a link and can be downloaded to your phone via an app, RidewithGPS. A representative will be there to meet you, make sure the bikes are all set up and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 17/10/2019
4/5

Mr Stapleton

This trip was listed as one of the lowest activity levels and although the distances covered each day were relatively short the cycling was more hilly and difficult than we expected. The Spanish bicycle paths were often muddy rutted washboard tracks with large stones which made for slow going. In spite of that we enjoyed the Spanish contryside and beaches. The food was excellent at both the provided dinners and the restaurants we went to as long as you enjoy fish and seafood. Accommodations were good although it would have been nice to be closer to the beach at the Garbi and Sa Punta.

Reviewed On 29/11/2016
4/5

Mrs Ward

Overall a very enjoyable holiday in great locations with good accommodation. The local representives were helpful and cycles and equipment excellent.



Additional feedback.



* the route guides need to be revisited generally, but specifically in relation to routes through towns. (If you require more specific information, I don't mind speaking in more depth about this.



* The Garbi hotel is satisfactory as a transit hotel....an over night on the way in and out. But should NOT be used for additional add on days. The place is soulless and despite us upgrading it felt no better than some travel lodges we have stayed in. The hotel has great potential because of its location and basic facilities, but it has passed it's best.



* The El Castell hotel needs to be looked at carefully by you for the future. If it continues to develop its wedding reception business which it is doing from information I gleened during our stay then your guests are going to be side lined with regards to service if they find themselves there at the same time as a wedding. They currently do not have the facilities to cater for both.

On arrival after a long day cycling we were told that we could only be booked in for dinner at 9pm ....in the poolside bar. They made as good a job as possible with the space they had. But this is a 4 star hotel which didn't come cheap especially with an upgrade. The other issue with the hotel is that there was not one scap of written information in the room about any of the hotels facilities including opening and closing times. This caused a potential problem on the second day when upon returning from another days cycling we we advised that the earliest dinner booking was 8.30pm. We quickly changed with the intention of getting a snack from the poolside bar. This was at almost 3.30pm and we were advised that the bar did not provide food after 3.30. As it happens the chef was cleaning down and I think took pity on us and provided us with a snack.

Reviewed On 31/10/2016
3/5

Mrs Ould

Bikes were excellent as were the reps but the accommodation was poor.

Reviewed On 31/10/2016
5/5

Mrs Blease

Thoroughly enjoyed this holiday . Chose the harder/longer options every day and suggest a reasonable level of fitness required to do this. Probably would have chosen easier options some days or rest days in high season when weather warmer - mid October it was around 20C so great cycling/sightseeing weather. Enjoyed all the unspoiled medieval villages. Hotels all high quality but different in character. Will certainly try similar holidays with Headwater in the future.The reps Brian and Olivia were very personable and it was reassuring to know they would be available if required.

Reviewed On 14/09/2016
5/5

Mr O'Sullivan

excellent. very informative guides and route plans with excellent accommodation provided

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