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Classic Catalan Cycling

from $2,349.00

This 8-night holiday explores the wonderfully undiscovered Catalan countryside, a region of pine-fringed valleys dotted with historic castles, hilltop fortresses, ancient wine villages and beautiful countryside. It’s wonderfully quiet cycling too, where you can discover unspoiled Catalunya.

  • Reviews 4 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
All about the Classic Catalan Cycling.

Rich with mediaeval villages, historic castles and churches, Catalunya is contrasted with an impressive rocky coastline, dotted with pretty fishing villages, crystal-clear waters and beautiful golden sandy beaches. Steeped in culture and history, Catalunya’s traditions date back over thousands of years.
This holiday is packed with stunning scenery and a wealth of fascinating historical and cultural discoveries that date back to Greek and Roman times. Your holiday starts and ends in the pretty seafront town of Calella de Palafrugell. From here, you’ll head north, via Begur, to Torroella de Montgri and its hilltop C13 castle with panoramic views across the Emporda plain. You’ll continue via the coast and Empuries, where you can visit the Greek and Roman ruins, on to Figueres, the famous birthplace of Salvador Dali. Heading west, we follow undulating roads through deep green meadows and cork forests to the city of Girona with its impressive architecture and great dining choices. Your final stretch takes you along an old narrow gauge railway line, now a Via Verde, which heads down to the coast. Continue on past Platja d’Aro and Calonge to Calella de Palafrugell.
The hotels on this holiday are as varied as the scenery, and include the Hotel Garbi, overlooking the fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell; the contemporary Hotel Moli del Mig; a converted C15 mill in Torroella de Montgri and two chic town hotels one which has a small pool.

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.
  • 8 nights accommodation, hotel-to-hotel
  • All breakfasts and 2 evening meals
  • Headwater wine service
  • GPS route navigation
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Standard transfers at the start/end of the trip (at designated place and time)
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Artists’ villages, beautiful sandy beaches, craggy coves and rocky bays
  • An abundance of nature: giant bamboo, cork oaks, olives and vines
  • Rich in cultural history: ruined castles, hilltop fortresses, cathedrals and battlefields
  • Lovely contrasting hotels including a converted mill in a large gardens
  • Spectacular coastal views across to the Illes Medes
  1. Day 1 Day 1 Arrive in Calella de Palafrugell

    Arrive in Calella and head to the local ’blue flag’ beaches or relax by the hotel pool before dinner. We provide plenty of recommendations in Calella for dinner. (Staying at Hotel Garbi, Breakfast only)

  2. Day 2 Day 2 Calella de Palafrugell to Torroella de Montgri 34km/21.5mi

    Today’s ’warm-up’ ride takes you inland through Palafrugell, then on to Begur with its hilltop mediaeval castle remains and its colonial Cuban-influenced villas, built by locals who emigrated to Cuba and returned once they had made their fortunes. Visit the fabulous sweep of beach at Platja de Pals then continue on to Torroella de Montgri for two nights. (Staying at Hotel Moli del Mig, Half Board)

  3. Day 3 Day 3 At Torroella de Montgri

    Cycle into Torroella and explore the mediaeval centre and walls, originally the Royal Port for the Kings of Aragon, before the River Ter silted up and the port was moved to nearby L’Estartit. You could cycle here for some great beaches or walk up to the C13 fortress, Montgri Castle, set on the top of the Montgri Massif, overlooking the town and the Emporda plain beyond. (Staying at Hotel Moli del Mig, Half Board)

  4. Day 4 Day 4 Torroella de Montgri to Figueres 49km/31mi

    Follow flat country lanes to the coast at L’Escala and explore the ancient Greek and Roman Empuries ruins. The town was founded in 575 BC by Greek colonists, later occupied by the Romans, then abandoned in the Middle Ages due to its exposed coastal position leaving it open to attack. Cycle on to Castello d’Empuries, with its 1,000-year-old church, Santa Maria de Castello, before continuing on to Figueres. (Staying at Hotel Pirineos, Breakfast only)

  5. Day 5 Day 5 At Figueres

    Explore Figueres today. Stroll along La Rambla and discover the old town’s mediaeval squares and arches. As the birthplace of Salvador Dali, the Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dali, designed by the artist himself, is a must-see. Also visit the C18 Sant Ferran Castle, a large military fortress (the largest monument in Catalunya), built with a pentagonal plan and sophisticated construction techniques for the time. (Staying at Hotel Pirineos, Breakfast only)

  6. Day 6 Day 6 Figueres to Girona 48km/30mi

    Heading further inland, we follow an undulating route through deep green meadows, cork forests and tiny charming hamlets. Then follow the Rivers Ter and Onyar into the region’s capital Girona. (Staying at Hotel Ciutat de Girona, Breakfast only)

  7. Day 7 Day 7 At Girona

    Explore this stunning city, dating back to pre-Roman times. Walk the city walls for a different perspective of the sights: discover the Placa de la Independencia, the impressive cathedral, the Jewish Quarter and the Onyar River’s picturesque bridges and painted houses. A regular fast train can take you to Barcelona for a day in the Catalan capital. Or cycle to Catalunya’s largest natural lake ’Estany de Banyoles’ the venue for 1992 Olympic rowing events. (Staying at Hotel Ciutat de Girona, Breakfast only)

  8. Day 8 Day 8 Girona to Calella de Palafrugell 61km/38mi

    Ride out of Girona on the Via Verde, an old narrow-gauge railway line that heads, mostly downhill, all the way to the coast. Continue around the coast past Platja d’Aro and Calonge to the seafront town of 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.

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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 Moli del Mig
The Moli del Mig is a beautiful combination of a converted mill from the 15th Century and a newly constructed modernist building with 19 rooms. The restaurant with its large windows offers great views across the 7HA of gardens and fields. There is also a garden terrace and pool with children’s pool.
Hotel Pirineos
The Hotel Pirineos, originally built in 1961 has been completely renovated in 2016. It has a great location in Figueres just a short walk from the Dali Museum. It has been always run by the Pelegri Family and is now run by Joan Pelegri, the son of the original owners. It’s 54 rooms are decorated in a modern airy fashion and feature all mod-cons. It’s on site restaurant offers superb Catalan food, due to its location it is also easy to choose one of the many bars and restaurants in Figueres.
Hotel Ciutat de Girona
The Hotel Ciutat de Girona is located in the historic centre and beating heart of Girona and is just a 10 minute walk from the train station. The hotel has been decorated with iconic images of Girona’s past, the historic pictures sit well with the modern decor of the hotel. The hotel has an indoor pool and an indoor cycling area. You are welcomed with a glass of the local moscatell. The restaurant of the hotel if you decide to eat there prides itself on serving food using local products all of which come from a 62.1 mile radius.
Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 2 evening meals included

Traditional Spanish food such as paellachorizo and albondigas (meatballs) can be found on just about every menu in Catalunya, but don’t forget to try the regional specialities too. Local cuisine features plenty of fish, including world-renowned anchovies from L’Escala, and botifarras (black pudding) from the mountains. A good starter might be Pan Catalán (pa amb tomàquet), this is lightly toasted bread, drizzled with olive oil and topped with tomatoes and garlic. Thanks to its geography, the region has developed “Sea and Mountain” – mar y muntana cuisine, combining chicken with lobster, or rabbit with prawns. Fruits are used as well, such as roasted chicken and figs, or pheasant and grapes.

Dishes are rich and hearty, however, it is not just a meat-based cuisine, there are plenty of vegetable options. Catalan dishes also rely heavily on sauces: Sofrito is an onion and tomato sauce, Picada is made from dried fruits, nuts and herbs, Sanfaina is a sauce of fried peppers, aubergines, onions and tomatoes and Romesco is made with tomatoes, peppers, nuts and garlic. Most menus are written in both Castilian and Catalan and sometimes in English too, but you may find a pocket dictionary useful in the more remote places.

Cycling Conditions

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/moderate)
Average daily distance on move on days: 48km (30.1 miles).
No. of days cycling: 4
Terrain and route: The suggested cycling mainly follows traffic-free routes, with a mixture of quiet roads and coastal paths.
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 accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace. 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.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe 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

This holiday is packed with stunning scenery and a wealth of fascinating historical and cultural discoveries that date back to Greek and Roman times. Your holiday starts and ends in the pretty seafront town of Calella de Palafrugell. From here, you’ll head north, via Begur, to Torroella de Montgri and its hilltop C13 castle with panoramic views across the Emporda plain. You’ll continue via the coast and Empuries, where you can visit the Greek and Roman ruins, on to Figueres, the famous birthplace of Salvador Dali. Heading west, we follow undulating roads through deep green meadows and cork forests to the city of Girona with its impressive architecture and great dining choices. Your final stretch takes you along an old narrow gauge railway line, now a Via Verde, which heads down to the coast. Continue on past Platja d’Aro and Calonge to Calella de Palafrugell.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 29/10/2018
5/5

Mr Fitzmaurice

We had a great time on our cycling holiday in Catalunya. We enjoyed the cycling and also enjoyed the sightseeing in Figueres and Girona. Not a lot to see in Figueres but the Salvador Dali museum is not to be missed. Not a lot of good restaurants in Figueres but we found the tapas bar El Asador was brilliant. Greg, our rep, was brilliant, nothing seemed to much trouble for him. We also liked the navigation app, it made route finding so much easier, even though we did have the printed notes as well.

We added 2 nights on to the end of the holiday in Calella de Palafrugell, and enjoyed some lovely coastal walks.

Reviewed On 13/09/2018
5/5

Mr May

This was our first self guided cycle trip and the first with Headwater. Cycling in groups with a leader, mini bus etc is becoming more demanding This cycle trip was enhanced immeasurably with the audio GPS navigation app, which meant not having to pour over maps or follow route directions at every turn. The route on this trip has been very well planned on beautifully quiet roads or tracks and passing through interesting villages and some lovely scenery. Initially, we thought the hybrid, flat bar bikes were too heavy but they proved to be ideal on the well-maintained tracks. There was only one stretch of approx 3 miles on a fairly busy road and that is when cycling into Girona but it's nothing to worry about. To our surprise, we found the average Spanish motorist pretty considerate and prepared to give cyclists a wide berth when overtaking or at junctions.

The hotels were very good with excellent service, quiet rooms, delicious breakfasts and safe parking for the bikes.

Greg, our rep, was spot on right from the start, giving reassuring advice on using the GPS app, what minor problems to be aware of and any adjustments the bikes.

It's a leisurely cycling holiday to be highly recommended. We have enjoyed cycling with groups for many years in lots of places throughout the world but self guided trips are much more leisurely and gives the rider the opportunity to appreciate the scenery, to stop whenever you wish, to explore some of the major sights and small villages etc.

Reviewed On 29/01/2018
5/5

Mr Cook

A wonderful way to see the real Costa Brava and get to know Catalunya as a region. The holiday was well constructed and well organised. The instructions are not fool proof but that is half the fun!

Reviewed On 25/04/2017
4/5

Mr Gough

We found this a very enjoyable April holiday, aided by lovely weather. We are only occasional cyclists, but we found the cycling quite manageable although a little challenging on the first day in the saddle. We were the first couple on this revised tour, and the first to use the route notes and did get lost occasionally. However, there were many cyclists around and someone always stopped and helped us get going again. Very friendly and helpful people. The hotels were generally good and well located. Figeures and Girona are very pleasant cities with plenty to do and see on the 'rest' days.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT

Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
September 24, 2019
Available
$2,449.00
N/A
September 26, 2019
Available
$2,449.00
N/A
September 28, 2019
Available
$2,449.00
N/A
September 30, 2019
Available
$2,449.00
N/A
October 2, 2019
Available
$2,349.00
N/A
October 4, 2019
Available
$2,349.00
N/A
October 6, 2019
Available
$2,349.00
N/A
October 8, 2019
Available
$2,349.00
N/A
October 10, 2019
Available
$2,349.00
N/A
October 12, 2019
Available
$2,349.00
N/A