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Cycling Catalonia: Baix Empordá and Costa Brava  The Natural Adventure Company 22

Cycling Catalonia: Baix Empordá and Costa Brava

Overview

Explore Catalonia on an easy-going cycling tour from the azure Mediterranean Sea into the green Catalonian countryside, dotted with medieval villages. Pedalling across fields of sunflowers and wheat, pine forests and even rice fields, the route will get you back in time in a historical region constantly inhabited since ancient times. You will start each day with a hearty Catalan breakfast, and in the evenings you will choose among the many wonderful local restaurants serving a variety of traditional specialities made from regional produce, fish and seafood. Your experience will also be enriched by the three splendid rural accommodations, which will show you the locals’ authentic hospitality. This trip is suitable for both beginner and intermediate cyclists as the daily routes are not more than 40 km with almost no elevation gain, with plenty of options for pleasant breaks.

Highlights

  • Easy cycling through the beautiful Catalan countryside 
  • Medieval authentic villages along the way
  • Both inland and coastal routes with a surprising variety of landscapes to enjoy
  • Comfortable rural hotels situated in charming Catalan villages
  • A wide selection of restaurants for dining out

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Corçà

Arrival at your accommodation in the village of Corçà. You have a taxi transfer included from the station in Flaça to your first accommodation.

Day 2: Corçà Loop Ride | 17-32 km

Immerse yourself in the ambience of the Baix Empordà, or Lower Ampurdán, cycling through its picturesque landscapes. The round trip will take you through charming small gardens, Mediterranean woods, the medieval village centres of Monells and Madremanya, and the castle-museum in Pubol (optional) which Dalí dedicated to his wife, Gala.

  • Accommodation: Casa Matilda or similar
  • Cycling for the day: 17-31 km, ↑200 m ↓300 m

Day 3: Corçà to Peratallada | 24 km

A short climb through the woods will take you to a flat section, surrounded by Tuscany-like villages situated atop natural mounds. This vast and fertile agricultural region was worked long ago by the Iberians, who introduced the now characteristic cypress tree as a wind-barrier. In the evening, you’ll have the challenge of selecting one of Peratallada’s 13 inviting restaurants for dinner.

Day 4: Costa Brava Loop Ride | 40 km

Quiet country lanes lead you through Pals’ pretty regional capital, and on to Palafrugell, Llafranca and Calella de Palafrugell, one of the most beautiful fishing villages along this coast. Optional break to enjoy a very nice lunch at a restaurant on the beach. Other possibilities include a visit to the lovely botanical gardens in Cap Roig or venture south through the valley of Aubi.

Day 5: Ter River Delta Loop Ride | 40 km

Today you cycle between the sandy beaches of the Costa Brava and the delta’s green rice fields, passing an occasional windmill along the way. Or, should you prefer to relax, the village of Peratallada is a lovely spot for a rest day, with the chance to take a short stroll through the nearby Mediterranean woods.

Day 6: Peratallada to Sant Pere Pescador | 38 km

You head northwards into the region of Alt Empordà, through mixed forests, open rural landscapes and endless orchards. Optional stop to admire the ancient Greek and Roman ruins at the Empuries archaeological site. Then, take a break and stroll along Medieval lanes in Torroella de Montgrí. In the afternoon, arrival at your charming hotel in the village of Sant Pere.

  • Accommodation: Hotel el Molí or similar
  • Cycling for the day: 38 km, ↑200 m ↓220 m

Day 7: Figueres and Aiguamolls Natural Park | 37-53 km

On to Figueres, the village whose name is synonymous with that of Salvador Dalí. Visit the surrealist painter’s museum, take a pleasant stroll through the Rambla town and admire the beautiful Augustine monastery just outside the town. Then follow the Muga River to the medieval town of Castello d’Empuries. Later, you are welcomed by Aiguamolls de l’Emporda Natural Park’s refreshing greenery, whose wetlands are home to a significant seasonal waterbird colony.

  • Accommodation: Hotel el Molí or similar
  • Cycling for the day: 37 – 53 km, ↑125 m ↓225 m

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast, a taxi transfer (included) will take you to the train station in Figueres. An additional taxi transfer to the airport may also be booked.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation on this trip is in small family-owned hotels, all with en-suite rooms. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

Casa Matilda in Corça
The 15th century stone building that hosts this nice rural hotel, has been completely restored preserving the original charm of the traditional architecture and adding modern style and many details in each of the rooms.

Hotel El Cau del Papibou in Peratallada
A charming hotel, completely renovated, located in a 12th-century building. The decoration is unique, with modern and customised rooms that offer all the amenities a guest may want. 

Hotel el Molí in Sant Pere Pescador
This family-run hotel is located 1.5 km from the beach in Sant Pere Pescador. Surrounded by a pine forest, it offers an outdoor pool and tennis court, 20 km from Figueres.

Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

All breakfasts are included in the programme. When no restaurant location is available en route lunches, and snacks should either be bought from local shops or you can pre-order a packed lunch at your hotel. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your accommodation or from the restaurants in the town where you stay for overnight.

Difficulty & terrain

The daily distances are approximately 40 km, on nearly flat or gently rolling terrain (read more about difficulty grades). The trip is suitable for both beginner and intermediate cyclists in good physical shape. You can also rent an E-bike which makes the trip practically accessible to everybody. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime.

When to go

The tour is available from the beginning of April until the end of September. The weather is most pleasant in the spring and autumn months, July and August can be quite hot. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this tour are Girona (GRO) and Barcelona (BCN)

By train or bus
  • Arrival in Corçà: From the airports of Girona (GRO) and Barcelona (BCN) you can continue by train to the village of Flaça, where a taxi transfer (included in package price) will pick you and take you to your first accommodation (10 – 15 min drive).  
  • Departure from Sant Pere Pescador: At the end of your trip, you can take the train back to Girona or Barcelona from Figueras.
  • Optional transfers: A private taxi transfer can be booked from Girona to either Girona airport or Barcelona airport. Rates will depend on the number of passengers, your arrival time and the day of the week.

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 nights at charming family-owned accommodations, all with en-suite facilities
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Luggage transport on all cycling days when changing hotels
  • Transfer on day 1 from Flaça train station to the first accommodation
  • Transfer on day 8 from the last accommodation in Sant Pere Pescador to Figueres train station
  • Detailed maps and route descriptions in English (in digital format)
  • Routes in digital format (.gpx) for GPS or mobile devices
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Flights and airport transfers
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Additional transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Tourist city taxes
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, lunches and dinners, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • Single room supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights before, after or during the trip

Bike rental

We offer rental of hybrid bicycles with 21 gears, including helmet, repair kit, padlock, pump, front and rear luggage rack. E-bike rental is also available upon request.

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