Leisure cycling in Catalonia: From la Garrotxa, near the Pyrenees, to the Costa Brava and the Mediterranean Sea, with a chance to visit the fascinating medieval city of Girona on the way. We will cycle along the “carrilet” cycle path and quiet minor roads down to the coast to then explore the coast of Costa Brava and the flat fertile land of the Amporda with its many medieval towns.
We start cycling in the natural Park area of La Garrotxa, famous for its volcanic origin. The hills we see around us are old volcanoes with craters on top. We will follow the “Carrilet” cycle path, a disused railway line with no traffic. The train like was inaugurated in 1911 and after some bad years around the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s it survived until 1969 when it was definitely closed.
We start at a height of 450 m above sea level and climb gently the first 12 km up to the highest point at 620 m above sea level. From this point we have a long gently descent to the town of Girona through lovely countryside ending at a height of 70 m above sea level.
Our hotel is a lovely house surrounded by forest just outside town and we will have dinner in the family restaurant (la Deu) that is only a few hundred meters from the hotel.
After our first day cycling we will spend this days exploring the charming medieval town of Girona. In the morning we will have a guided visit to the main monuments in this historical town visiting the old quarters with its magnificent cathedral, its Jewish quarters and the Arab baths.
The Cathedral is located at the heart of the Força Vella. Built between the 11th and 18th centuries, it includes a series of walls and spaces in different styles, from Romanesque (the cloister and Charlemagne tower) to the baroque façade and steps. Its most singular feature is its large Gothic nave (15th-16th centuries) which, at a width of 23 metres, is the widest of its kind in the world.
Our hotel is well located near the center so we can walk everywhere and enjoy the many terraces, cafes and restaurants that are around.
An easy cycle through lovely countryside following the “Carrilet” cycle path to get to the beautiful Costa Brava coast. This stretch of old railway was founded in 1892 and was used for passengers but also to transport cork from the trees in the forests to be used for wine bottles. In 1969 it closed.
The cycling path has no traffic and it is in good condition we will go from 70 m to 0 meters above see level with hardly any climb.
Once we get the Mediterranean sea in Sant Feliu de Guixols we will take a private transfer (about 30 km. 40 minutes) to Calella de Palafrugell further North. A quiet and delightful costal village where we will stay 2 night.
Our hotel is only 200 m from the sea so we shall have a chance to walk by the sea and even have a swim.
We will cycle a circular route south of Llafranc to Palamós and back. The first half of our route will be via the market town of Palafrugell with its lovely main square and narrow streets and its market full of local products.
We will continue our ride to Palamos using a disused railway track to arrive at the lovely fishing village of Palamos famous for the seafood and specially the local Prawns. On our way we will stop at the Beach of the Castell of Palamos that is next to an old Iberian settlement that stands in a little peninsula and was populated from the VI century BC till the I century AC.
Finally, we will make our way to the hills to visit the winery ofCeller Can Sais where we will be able to understand the natural and organic production process and try 5 of the wines produced in this winery. After a 1,5 hours visit we will head back to our hotel to enjoy the swimming pool, the beaches or if anyone wants to go up to the Castles of Cap Roig and visit the botanical gardens.
Today we will leave the sea and we will cycle inland to the lovely medieval town of Peratallada. On our way we will visit the medieval hilltop towns of Begur and Pals. This day we will cycle through open farmland and fields of sunflowers, passing through the beautiful walled medieval villages of Begur and Pals. The town of Pals if famous for the paella rise dishes since nearby rise is grown locally.
After lunch we will continue cycling to our hotel in Torroella de Montgri.
We will enjoy our last day cycling though beautiful countryside from Torroella de Montgri to the picturesque lake of Bañolas. In our way we will visit the Castle - Museum Gala Dali in Pubol. We will discover the medieval building in which Gala infuses Salvador Dalí's creativity right down to the finest details.
Then we will carry on through lovely countryside inland to reach the town of Bañolas with a very nice lake. From this point we will take a short transfer to the medival town of Besalu with its impressive bridge.
We will enjoy our last night at a boutique hotel in this very special town full of history.