Barcelona and Catalonia Bike Tour
Six nights; six days of cycling on rail trail bike paths and lightly travelled paved roads, from the Pyrenees foothills to the beaches of Costa Brava.
“Loved cycling in the country and getting a real feel for Spain. Never felt at risk on the roads because of low traffic volumes. Loved the mix of hills and flats and the ability to go at our own pace. ” - John and Betty A.
Start: Ripoll train station, 13:00, day one. Frequent daily trains from Barcelona Sants Station to Ripoll take approximately 2hrs; Click here for the schedule. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Finish: Girona train station, noon, day seven. Trains from Girona to Barcelona take approximately ~55min; Click here for the schedule.
Ripoll to Sant Miguel de Pineda 48km
Your ride begins in the shadow of Ripoll’s impressive 9th century Benediction Monastery and follows the Ruta del Ferro I del Carbo (The Way of Iron and Coal) through the Ter River valley. After a gentle climb into the volcanic town of Olot you’ll stop for lunch before continuing on the Ruta del Carrilet Olot-Girona to just outside of the hamlet of Sant Miquel de Pineda where you’ll spend your first night. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfasts)
La Rectoria, Sant Miquel de Pineda
Sant Miquel de Pineda to Girona 43km
After a short stint on the wonderfully flat Ruta del Carrilet Olot-Girona, today’s route descends toward the picturesque provincial capital, Girona, via a quiet country road through the Rocacorba Mountains. Set on the confluence of four rivers this medieval city is packed with architectural delights and boasts a rich artistic community which we encourage you to explore. For tonight's independent dinner, why not try El Celler de Can Roca, previously ranked as the top restaurant in the world -- twice! BL
Hotel Llegendes de Girona Cathedral, Girona
Girona Loop Ride 53km
Today you'll ride one of the many routes around the city where you’ll quickly learn why Girona is such a hub for road riders both locally and internationally. Starting at your hotel, today’s route snakes through pastoral hills dotted with ancient fortified farmsteads. After a gentle climb and a thrilling descent you’ll follow Girona’s urban cycling network back to your inn. Enjoy a world-class dinner amidst the ancient stone buildings. BLD
Girona to Pals via Els Angels Pass 48km
Leaving the streets of Girona behind, today you climb the famous Els Angels Pass, a route frequented by professional cyclists as a cool-down climb after a long day in the mountains. After gaping at the views from the top of the pass the ride heads down through the many medieval villages of Baix Emporda, a historic region dotted with timeless towns, cobblestone streets and the Castle of Pubol, home and resting place of Gala Dali and a large collection of works by her late husband, Salvador. The ride ends in the crown-jewel of the region, Pals, a picturesque town perfect for a late evening stroll. BLD
Hotel Es Portal, Pals
Hike to Castell del Montgri 1.5hr + Cycle Baix Emporda Loop 26km
This morning's hike leads to the Castell del Montgri, a fortress ordered by the court of Barcelona to control the moves of the counts of Empuriés. Work commenced in 1294 but the fortress was never completed, leaving a historical edifice. The rocky uphill climb is well rewarded with spectacular views from every direction. Afterward, cycling will pick up where you left off yesterday, exploring the medieval beauty and tranquillity of the Baix Emporda. Today’s mainly flat and gentle route takes you through the fortified villages of Palau-Sator and Ullastret before visiting the ruins of the ancient Iberian city of Ullastret. BL
Sant Feliu de Guixols to Tossa De Mar 22km
Starting in coastal Sant Feliu de Guixols, today’s ride follows one of the most beautiful roads in all of Spain, and a section of the 2009 Tour-du-France, the 682 to Tossa De Mar, where you’ll spend your final night. BLD
Hotel Diana, Tossa De Mar
Return transfer to Girona (~1hr) – Farewells
Stay in Tossa de Mar and explore the surrounding coast, or join us for a coplimentary transfer to Girona, where high-speed trains depart several times daily for Barcelona, southern Spain and France. B
“Thanks for a great trip. ” - Tracy and Ken L.
Note about the route:
30-80km daily. Groomed bike paths and freshly paved coastal roads provide a moderately easy ride through a famous cycling region. Relaxed riders can skip the two climbs while more advanced cyclists have the option to tackle many famous routes around the cycling mecca of the city of Girona.
Catalonia, home to beautiful Barcelona and the sharp spires of the Pyrenees holds a lot to attract the everyday cyclist. Wedged between mountainous peaks, the beaches of Valencia and the border with France and Andorra, Catalonia is dotted with medieval villages, hidden coves and spellbinding coastal rides. Taking advantage of the Vias Verde network – converted narrow-gauge rail beds that take intrepid cyclists from the volcanic slopes of Garrotxa to the rocky shores of the Costa Brava – you can glide past centuries-old cathedrals and groves of ancient oaks from the solitude of a cycling path. Hitting the rugged coast you’ll find yourself among the landscapes and forms that inspired the surrealist works of the one and only Salvador Dali. Catalonia is known for its rich history, even richer cuisine and as training ground of some of the world‘s top cyclists.
Meet in Ripoll, high in Catalonia near the Pyrenees and easily accesible by train from Barcelona. Ripoll is home to a benedictine monastery with a colourful history. The Santa Maria de Ripoll monastery was built by Count William the Hairy in 879, and was the birthplace of famous troubadour Ponç de la Guàrdia. After descending to the sea through the cyclist friendly city of Girona, you will finish riding on the coast at Tossa del Mar. A final transfer will bring you back to Girona where your tour concludes and trains to Barcelona and other destinations are frequent.
Maps & Elevations
"We went to San Sebastian after and would recommend this... all about the food, and we hiked on the coast and ended up doing a portion of the Camino."
Reach Ripoll, the starting point for your trip, with the RENFE R3 train from Barcelona's Sants Station, located downtown. Find the schedule daily here.
Spend an extra day or week in Barcelona, where highlights include the fantastic architecture of Antoni Gaudi.
Visit and stay at the beautiful Parador de Cardona, a medieval castle-turned-hotel located just an hour north of Barcelona.
Take a short diversion to little Andorra, a tiny landlocked microstate, for some excellent hiking and the highest capital city in Europe, Andorra la Vella!
After finishing your trip in Girona Jump on a high-speed train and blast away to hundreds of European destinations within hours.
Stick around Girona after the May 29-June 5 tour and enjoy the Girona Bike Festival, a weeklong cycling extravaganza featuring an urban downhill course, a night-time road criterium and a 125km Gran Fondo.
Ripoll train station, 13:00, day one. Frequent daily trains from Barcelona Sants Station to Ripoll take approximately 2hrs; Click here for the schedule. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Girona train station, noon, day seven. Trains from Girona to Barcelona take approximately ~55min; Click here for the schedule.
US 2795 C 3295(per person, 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners, luggage handling, local English speaking guide and van support, maps and route notes).
US 2625 C 3095(per person, 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, luggage transfers, maps and route notes). * Contact us about savings when groups of four or more book self-guided tours!
US 590 C 695
US 225 C 265
US 335 C 395
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Custom or Private Tours
Want to go but on different dates?
Want to make a change to the itinerary?
We can adapt for you!
Here are some terms:
Bring your friends. We will run most of these trips for you whenever you want, at the advertised price for a group of four or more on a guided trip, or two if it's self-guided! We reserve the right to make changes if the original inns, etc. are already booked.
If you cannot find others, let us advertise the trip for you! Give us a commitment as far in advance as you can. As long as we have the minimum number of guests at the start, the price will be as advertised. The catch is that if it is just two of you and you want a guided trip, you must be willing to pay a 20% premium in the event that others do not join you. The bright side is that, once reserved, you can count on the trip, whether it remains private or becomes a larger group.
Ask for changes to the itinerary.
We are very flexible, and given enough time, can create a new itinerary to match your desires.