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May 3, 2019

Cycle Girona and Catalunya with BikePlusTours

Written By Carolyn Maessen

Join us for a beautiful week of cycling in Northern Spain. Girona is the training base of dozens of top level pros and we know their secrets! We’ll ride the quiet roads that they use for training and the tough climbs to test the legs. We’ll ride along the rugged Mediterranean coast as well as deep into the Catalan Pyrenees mountains. It’s not just the riding that is spectacular. We’ll pass and stay in medieval towns with impressive settings and architecture. Halfway through the tour we’ll have a rest day in Girona to recover and spend some time sightseeing. For those looking for a somewhat easier trip, we offer shorter rides on some of the toughest days. Non-riding partners are welcome to join and suggested itineraries are included on each day.

As with all BikePlusTour packages company owners Carolyn and Pieter are on the trip with you guiding, supporting and imparting their knowledge built up over the past 16 years of running bike trips in Europe. We include group transfers to and from the airport, comfortable hotels including breakfasts and dinners, staff in support vehicles and on bikes and a whole lot of fun!  

Saturday September 21st: Arrival at Barcelona airport from an overnight flight where Carolyn and Pieter, the owners of BikePlusTours will be waiting to greet you. They will introduce you to the rest of the group (maximum of 12 guests) and get you onto the group transfer to Besalu (1.5 hrs) and check into our hotel. In the afternoon you can put your bike together (if you need assistance with that Carolyn and Pieter will be available to help you). You are welcome to go for a test ride before dinner.

If you want to bring along your non riding partner or friend they are most welcome to join us and we will have a separate programme of activities to keep them busy while you are out riding your bike. The non riding program can be flexed to meet your needs so if you want to be super active we can do that or if you prefer a more relaxed approach we can do that too, after all this is a vacation!

Sunday September 22nd: Vulcanos Loop (distance: 68 or 76 mi, vertical: 6,000 or 7,600 ft)

Today is a loop from the hotel in Besalu and we’ll ride out of town past ancient towns like Castellfolit, which is built on the edge of a cliff. The route includes the extinct vulcanos of the Garrotxa region, the quaint town of St Pau and the Banyoles lake. At the end of the ride there is an optional first category climb: the Mare de Deu del Mont. The view from the top stretches all the way from the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean Sea on a clear day.

For those not riding we have some great options including a guided historic tour of Besalu (2 hrs) including a visit of the unique Jewish baths, a visit to The Salvador Dali Museum in the neighboring town of Figueres, the Castell de Sant Ferran fortress from the 1750s in Figueres or hiking in the Garotxa Vulcanos National Park. The non riding program can be flexed to include as little or as much as you want to do.

Dinner and breakfast are included and will be either in the hotel or a restaurant a short walk from the hotel with the group.

Monday September 23rd: Besalu to Girona (59 or 72 mi / 4,100 or 6,500 ft)

Today we ride from our hotel in Besalu on mostly rolling terrain on our way to Girona which we will call home for the next three nights. There is an optional first category climb of Roccacorba, the ultimate test climb for the pros based in Girona for those who want to stretch their legs.

For the non riders today’s options include visiting the Costa Brava beaches, a  day trip to Barcelona (1 hour each way by train or car), visit the historic museum, take in a   Catalan food cooking class, a guided city tour including the cathedral, walk of the city walls and ‘Games of Thrones’ shooting locations, hike to Castell Sant Miquel on a hill above the city with views to the sea and the Pyrenees (2.5 hrs return) or wine tasting tour of the Emporda wine region.

Dinner and breakfast are included and will be either in the hotel or a restaurant a short walk from the hotel with the group.

Tuesday September 24th: Costa Brava (84 mi / 7,500 ft)

We’ll ride the spectacular cliffside road along the Costa Brava (‘Wild Coast’). Return via the rural roads around Madremanya and the Alto Els Angels climb, another of the pros’ favorites.

For the non riders we would suggest one of the following activities: visiting the Costa Brava beaches, a  day trip to Barcelona (1 hour each way by train or car), visit the historic museum, take in a Catalan food cooking class, a guided city tour including the cathedral, walk of the city walls and ‘Games of Thrones’ shooting locations, hike to Castell Sant Miquel on a hill above the city with views to the sea and the Pyrenees (2.5 hrs return) or wine tasting tour of the Emporda wine region.

Dinner and breakfast are included and will be either in the hotel or a restaurant a short walk from the hotel with the group.

Wednesday September 25th: Rest Day

Today you can explore the beautiful old town of Girona which has a beautiful old city where you can visit the cathedral, the former Jewish quarter, Independence Square or take it all in from a bar stool in one of the many cafes and bars dotted through the city.

Another option is to take the train (1 hr) to visit Barcelona for the day.

Dinner and breakfast are included and will be either in the hotel or a restaurant a short walk from the hotel with the group.

Thursday September 26th: Girona to Ripoll (69 mi / 7,500 ft)

It’s mostly uphill into the rugged Catalonian countryside to the ancient town of Ripoll, our base for the next two nights. The old town has impressive architecture including a medieval monastery.

For the non riders today you will transfer to Ripoll by car (1.5 hrs) with a visit to the historic city of Vic on the way. You will be free to explore the town and the beautifully restored medieval monastery of Ripoll.

Dinner and breakfast are included and will be either in the hotel or a restaurant a short walk from the hotel with the group.

Friday September 27th: Coll de la Creueta (56 or 74 mi / 6,400 or 8,600 ft)

We’re heading into The Pyrenees today toward the highest point of our tour: the Coll de la Creueta at just over 6,000ft is a first category climb which is often used in pro races like the Vuelta a Espana and the Volta a Catalunya. The longer route also includes La Molina, another famous first category climb.

For those not riding today you can take the cog railway to stunning Vall de Nuria high in the Pyrenees mountains where you can do a guided hike. On the way you can also visit the historic town of Ribes de Freser.

Dinner and breakfast are included and will be either in the hotel or a restaurant a short walk from the hotel with the group.

Saturday September 28th: Ripoll to Besalu (53 mi / 4,200 ft)

Back to our starting point via a paved bike path through the valley and some very remote mountain roads. In the afternoon you’ll have time to pack your bike (assistance available) and enjoy the town. At night we’ll have a celebratory dinner to finish off the tour.

For those not riding today we have a visit to the towns of Olot and Castellfolit on the way back to our starting town Besalu. There will be another opportunity for a hike in the Garotxa Vulcanos National Park or a guided tour of Besalu to round off your trip.

Dinner and breakfast are included and will be either in the hotel or a restaurant a short walk from the hotel with the group.

Sunday September 29th: Flight home. A private bus will take us to Barcelona airport early in the morning for the flight home.

We have tried to keep our prices reasonable and affordable whilst providing outstanding service and we hope that you feel we offer value for money on our cycling tours. We are very proud to have clients who were on our very first trip in 2002 who are still traveling with us today, so we must be doing something right! On every trip the following things are included:

* Group private bus transfer from/to the destination airport for you, your luggage and bike

* Support vehicles, experienced bi-lingual guides and Carolyn and Pieter on every trip

* Hotel accommodation on the basis of a shared twin/double room (single rooms available with a surcharge)

* All breakfasts and dinners

* Water, soft drinks, fruit, bars and homemade treats made by Carolyn all available during the rides

* Laminated stage sheets with ride details and altitude profiles

* GPS files for all the rides including longer and shorter options

* 16+ years of experience from Carolyn and Pieter for cycling vacations

* Lots of spectacular scenery and and the opportunity to have an unforgettable cycling vacation!

$3495 regular price. $3145 for The Top Travel Club Members. A saving of $350!

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About Author

Carolyn Maessen

Carolyn Maessen

BikePlusTours specializes in cycling tours for the cyclist who wants to challenge themselves on the great cycling roads of Europe, Colorado or Colombia. We provide unique cycling routes where we strive to have a highlight every day in addition to the challenging but achievable rides. We appreciate that people are giving us their precious vacation days and we want them to come away from a BikePlusTour cycling vacation unable to decide what was the best day because they were all so good. The cycling routes coupled with personal, attentive service from owners Carolyn and Pieter and their experienced staff, excellent tried and tested hotels and support exactly where cyclists need it are all part of what BikePlusTours excels at.

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