Classic Catalan Cycling

From $2205 per person

****# Based on 31 customer reviews
(C) Marlee |
  • 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 two nights in a C14 castle
  • Spectacular coastal views across to the Illes Medes

What's included?

  • 10 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Every two days from 8 Oct '16 to 16 Oct '16
  • All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals included
  • Managed locally by Headwater employed representative
  • Sustainability rating: 82%
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

Excellent for...

We are improving this holiday for 2017, new details and prices coming soon.

Classic Catalan Cycling

Steeped in culture due to its diverse and varied history, Catalunya's traditions and festivals date back over thousands of years. Rich in mediaeval villages, churches and historic castles, the area is contrasted with an impressive rocky coastline dotted with pretty fishing villages, crystal-clear waters and beautiful beaches.

This holiday encircles the broad Emporda plain, 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 head north along the coast with spectacular views across to the Illes Medes, part of a National Park that encompasses both land and sea, through lush wine-growing areas set against a stunning mountain backdrop until you reach the famous birthplace of Salvador Dali. Your final stretch takes you on through the Emporda plain, part of which is now a protected natural habitat, offering a fabulous variety of flora and fauna to discover.

The hotels on this holiday are as varied as the scenery, and include the family-run Hotel de la Font built into Peralada's castle walls, and the Hotel Garbi overlooking the fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell. The impressive Castell d'Emporda is a magnificently restored C14 castle and has spectacular views from the sun terrace and a wine bar in the cellar!

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Calella de Palafrugell

Arrive in Calella de Palafrugell. There's time for a dip in the pool before dinner in town - we give you plenty of suggestions.

Day 2 - Calella de Palafrugell to Torroella de Montgri 35km/22mi

Today you head up to the elegant mediaeval hilltop town of Begur where you'll be rewarded with superb views from its ruined C11 castle. It's then a fabulous downhill ride towards the beaches of Platja de Pals, before a final stretch through pine forests and past rice fields to Torroella de Montgri.

Day 3 - At Torroella de Montgri

Torroella was originally the Royal Port for the Kings of Aragon, and the town retains its mediaeval core and walls. It's well worth the walk up through the Montgri Massif to the C13 castle that overlooks the town. A popular cycle is to L'Estartit, where there are great beaches and superb snorkelling opportunities or, if you just want to relax, then your hotel boasts 7 hectares of gardens, and spa treatments are also on offer.

Day 4 - Torroella de Montgri to Peralada 48km/30mi

It's a longish day today, but you'll agree it's well worth it! Following flat country lanes, your route first hugs the coast around L'Escala, taking in the ancient Greek and Roman Empuries ruins, before heading through the Aiguamolls Nature Reserve. Lunch perhaps in Castello d'Empuries, with its 1000-year-old church, before continuing on to pretty Peralada where Antoni and Doris' delightful hotel is built into the mediaeval town walls.

Day 5 - At Peralada

The Museo el Castillo here houses one of the most important Catalan art collections in the world, including 80,000 books published since the C9. If you want to explore further afield, we provide cycling notes for a gentle circular route below a magical backdrop of vine-clad hills, full of historical interest, such as the 1000-year-old village of Garriguella, an C8 battlefield from the reign of Charlemagne, crumbling Rabos Church and ancient wine cellars, which are still open for visits, in Mollet.

Day 6 - Peralada to Avinyonet de Puigventos 36km/22.5mi

After an easy ride along the delightful River Muga, you start climbing gently uphill with stunning views through the lower hills of the Albera mountain range. It's then a lovely descent through a chain of pretty mediaeval hamlets before arriving at your charming hotel where you can relax with a swim before dinner.

Day 7 - At Avinyonet de Puigventos

You may just want to relax at the hotel today; the gardens and pool can be quite tempting. If you fancy venturing out, we provide notes for a 21km circular tour taking in the village of Llers, then Castell de Sant Ferran, the largest monument in Catalunya and ramparted fortress in C18 Europe. Finally, head into Figueres - art lovers will be thrilled by the amazing Dali Theatre-Museum which is dedicated to local born Salvador Dali and the Museum of the Emporda, housing one of the region's foremost art collections.

Day 8 - Avinyonet de Puigventos to La Bisbal 45km/28.5mi

Quiet country roads take you through a succession of small, peaceful villages and through rolling farmland, studded with tall cypress trees, before arriving at the Castell d'Emporda. Here you'll stay in Albert Dik's magnificently restored C14 Gothic castle and can dine on the fabulous sun terrace which affords stunning views right out across the Emporda plain.

Day 9 - At La Bisbal

Today we provide route notes for a wonderful cycle through six stunning mediaeval villages, returning via mediaeval La Bisbal, famous for its distinctive ceramics.

Day 10 - La Bisbal to Calella de Palafrugell 37km/23.5mi or 43km/27mi

Today's route begins with a lovely ride through the Gavarres Hills and on to the narrow streets of mediaeval Calonge. Visit its Gothic castle before heading on to the coast where the quiet resort of La Fosca makes a good beachfront lunch stop. You then loop back around the coast to Calella de Palafrugell for your final evening.

Day 11 - 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.

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

If you'd like to keep your bikes with you for any extra nights we can arrange this for you for just £25 per adult per day and £18 per child per day. Please contact us on 1-800-567-6286 for further details.

Hotel Garbi, Calella de Palafrugell   (3 Star)

Hotel Garbi, Calella de Palafrugell

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.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television

Hotel Moli del Mig, Torroella de Montgri   (4 star)

Pool at 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.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Hotel de la Font, Peralada   (2 Star)

Peralada has a castle, and the old castle walls form a part of this delightful hotel in Peralada. Run by Antoni and Doris Serra, the hotel has 12 rooms, and encloses an interior courtyard with a central fountain. The public rooms on the ground floor are oak panelled and filled with comfy sofas and rugs, each with views onto the garden.

Bedrooms upstairs are light and bright with modern bathrooms and art on the walls, each with shuttered windows onto the quiet street. It is a 5 minute stroll into the centre where you can find several restaurants for dinner.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning

Mas Falgarona, Avinyonet de Puigventós   (4 Star)

Hotel Mas Falgarona

Only 4km from Figueres, the elegant eleven room, Hotel Mas Falgarona is located in a beautiful rural location, within attractive gardens, ensuring a relaxing and tranquil stay for its visitors.

A warm Mediterranean welcome awaits from the friendly owners and their team, where nothing is too much trouble.

Relax by the inviting pool or take the trip to the fascinating town of Figueres during your stay.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Swimming pool

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Castell d’Emporda, La Bisbal   (4 Star)

Castell d’Emporda, La Bisbal

The Castell d'Emporda could not be in a better location, perched on a rocky outcrop with breath taking views from its sun terrace. The building is a superbly restored 700-year-old castle, that is now owned by Albert and Margo, who are both very friendly and speak excellent English.

Each of the hotel rooms has been individually decorated by furniture collected by the owners while they were on their travels around China, India and Morocco.

All of the 38 rooms have spectacular hill-top views, featuring Air conditioning and heating, Fully equipped bathroom, Flat-screen TV, In-room CD/DVD player, Telephone and Mini bar.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed

Travel options

Transfers included from Flaca train station at 15:47, and back to Flaca train station at 13:15.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Ms Forsythe on 01/10/2016

It was far too hot for cycling ( beginning sept) and the rough stony tracks were hard going although they kept us off the main roads. The countryside wasn't quite as beautiful as say Tuscany although after a long hot summer, everything was rather parched-looking. The hotels were very good and hospitality excellent and we enjoyed falling into some lovely pools after our rides!

Reviewed by MS Chapman on 16/08/2016

Overall a thoroughly enjoyable holiday. Our reps couldn't have been more helpful or obliging, with useful tips about the route, hotels, places to eat and useful suggestions about places of interest to visit. They were a lovely couple and made the holiday go very smoothly.

Reviewed by Mrs Valdes on 29/07/2016

Overall we enjoyed the holiday. The route was a lovely combination of countryside and seaside. On about half the cycle days, we went past the coast and there were some lovely places to go swimming (well worth buying a snorkel since there were loads of fish to see). Inland there were some lovely villages and quiet country lanes. There was one long climb (for us) but we were able to take it slowly and felt like an achievement when we got to the top. We went in early July and it was very hot so do make sure you drink enough. The reps (Brian and Olivia) were great. Some hotels were lovely, we particularly Iiked Mas Falgarona. Unfortunately we also had a very bad experience in El Castell d'Emporda. Very poor quality room and service (e.g. we waited 2.5 hours for food). This spoiled our overall view of the holiday.

Reviewed by Ms Stowe on 20/07/2016

we had a fantastic time - the locations of the hotels were good and we had a mix of sea and rustic villages- really well planned trip. Some of the cycling was hard in the heat so not for the fainthearted

Reviewed by Mr Bridge on 28/10/2015

Excellent mix of seaside and inland routes with fantastic hotels. A great introduction to the less commercial side of Spain. Brilliant weather in late September made it perfect.

Reviewed by Mrs Peden on 17/10/2015

The holiday overall was most enjoyable, well organised, the cycling routes were at a good level and the documentation of the routes both on paper and on GPX excellent and the countryside lovely. There are some excellent wineries en route in the Emporda region.

Reviewed by Mrs Capper on 13/09/2015

An excellent holiday. Lovely area of Spain. Reps Katie and Jim are excellent and provide excellent information and advice (and are always willing to go the extra mile to make the holiday as enjoyable as possible). The bikes ar excellent and route information and maps are easy to follow. We did not use GPS but never got lost , even when meandering through villages

Reviewed by Mr MacDonald on 21/06/2015

Well organised holiday. Trouble free. Excellent Hotels and food. Varied cycling coast and inland in foothills with mountain views.

Reviewed by Mrs Clark on 24/05/2015

Very enjoyable, Choice of hotels excellent in good locations. We had a Garmin on our cycle ride in Portugal. Unfortunately on this holiday I was not able to download the routes on every day because of Wifi difficulties. Garmin instructions so much better and safer than written instructions, and increase enjoyment of ride.

Reviewed by Mr May on 19/10/2014

Everyday is an adventure with a luxury start and finish.

Reviewed by Mrs Huddart on 07/10/2014

This is a lovely holiday. Catalonia is very well provided for cycling with lots of traffic free routes or roads with very little traffic.One of the easier two bike holidays we have done (perhaps we did all the hard ones first!). Beautiful countryside and plenty to see do, and contrasting landscapes (coast, hills, river delta) My one (slight) criticism would be that on the days where there is least to do in the area the hotel (de la font) is not a place to laze around at, only a very small courtyard. A little more information about what was accessible via public transport from Peralada, and/or a couple more rest day routes would have been good. Hotels were all good although we did not stay at the Moli del Mig as they were overbooked. Best dinner - Mas Pau, best breakfast - Castell d'Emporda, best hotel Castell d'Emporda. One tip...if you are travelling via air/rail and arrive a lot earlier than 1520 at Passeig de Gracia station get an earlier train to Flaca and wait in the cafe there for pick up....we could have spent over two hours in the Spanish equivalent of Tottenham Court Road station if we hadn't done this. Trains to Flaca are about every 30 minutes.

Reviewed by Mr Blain on 23/09/2014

A way of combiningexercise with comfort and an opportunity to see a region of a country

Reviewed by Ms Caughey on 08/09/2014

Catalonia is a fantastic location for cycling. Routes were excellent, though occasionally challenging - you should expect a full day of cycling every day (with a couple of breaks). All hotels bar one were top notch.

Reviewed by Mrs Brown on 22/08/2014

This was the second Headwater holiday that I've taken and it gave me all that I wanted and more. The hotels were all really good and some offered way more that I expected. The entire holiday was a fantastic experience, very well organised and thought out and the cycle routes had clearly been given a great deal of thought. We felt very safe, very well fed, very welcome throughout, and this includes the locals, and had a thoroughly enjoyable time from start to finish. Thank you for coming up trumps again and I certainly will look at future holiday options.

Reviewed by Mis Evans on 27/07/2014

This was an excellent holiday for us with our 12yr old son - a great mix of exercise, culture, wonderful scenery, good food, wine and decent weather. Well organised, very acceptable accommodation, clear route guidance. At times the cycling was challenging, but this was in part due to the heat - strongly advise wearing cycling kit, especially padded shorts. An occasional road with some traffic, but mostly quiet country roads and tracks and we always felt safe. The locals were very welcoming and once away from the coast we encountered very few tourists. Thoroughly recommended.

Reviewed by Mis Aplin on 21/07/2014

This holiday changed our perception of Spain. Catalonia is a beautiful area of varied scenery with wonderful food and hotels.

Reviewed by Mr Hughes on 07/07/2014

A well organised & supported holiday Cycling routes are well thought out & realistic The guides are beautifully written with succinct local notes. All the accommodation was comfortable & clean with some place outstanding The locals were all kind & helpful everywhere we went The roads chosen were not busy and great care was obviously taken to utilise the quieter & often more scenic routes The transfer support was reliable with the luggage waiting in your room at each new hotel We had a really enjoyable holiday despite losing some of our luggage & will be considering a similar trip next year Thanks Sean & Annie Hughes

Reviewed by Ms Yates on 17/06/2014

This was our third Headwater holiday and for us, the package balances good organisation with the freedom to discover little visited areas of the country while enjoying a good standard of accommodation and food.

Reviewed by Mr Howard on 02/10/2013

A super holiday hard work at times but well worth it , hotels and food excellent never to old from a seventy four year old

Reviewed by Mrs Paine on 01/10/2013

A well put together 10 day holiday with lots of variation. Interesting cycling which was demanding on a couple of occasions, really good accommodation and excellent local reps with lots of knowledge.

Reviewed by Mrs Bonham on 23/09/2013

My husband, and our 23 and 20 year old off spring thoroughly enjoyed our first Headwater holiday. It was very well organised and the routes were well mapped. Alan our rep was helpful and on hand for assistance if required. I haven't ridden a bike for many years and my legs were challenged at times by day ten. I'd definitely recommend the holiday to others. The scenery was stunning and the food was out of this world both in the hotels and local restaurants.

Reviewed by Mrs Allen on 14/08/2013

Think about biking in the heat as it can be hard work in the heat to go up the hills

Reviewed by Mr Hughes on 23/07/2013

This was a very enjoyable holiday, it exceeded our expectations. All hotels were of a decent and sometimes exceptional standard. The route maps and advice provided by the rep- Alan -were very comprehensive and the suggestions for the rest days were also enjoyable with alternatives to cycling if required. We would have no hesitation in recommending this type of holiday to other cyclists and intend to do something similar in a different area next year.

Reviewed by Ms Apsey on 26/06/2013

Often very windy places but also sunny too. The rides usually undulate with the odd steeper climb here and there but even if they are a bit of a challenge at times but remember there are two sides to every hill and the end result whatever your day has been like is often a superb hotel in an outstanding or unique setting.

Reviewed by Mrs Dietz on 24/06/2013

This was our best cycling holiday. The routes were varied: through woodland, rice fields, open country, along the coast, to a nature reserve, through medieval villages. All the hotels were good, but our favourites were the Moli de Mig and Mas Pau. The bikes, although not light, were suited to the terrain, as some of the tracks were rutted, and the front suspension protected wrists from jarring. We enjoyed hearing cuckoos (4 times) and seeing bee-eaters and hoopoes.

Reviewed by Dr Miller on 03/11/2012

Note on Hotel Ratings: I did not stay at Castell D'Emporda, as they were booked with a private function. I was placed into Mas de Torrent, and my "all excellent" ratings are for that property. Mas de Torrent was perhaps the best hotel I stayed at in the ten hotels I used while I was in Europe. It was superb, and I would happily pay a surcharge to stay there if I was to cycle through Catalonia again. Moli de Mig was a bit of a letdown. The service was friendly, but they did not really try to solve issues that I had with the room; I complained that my room had no functioning internet, and they responded by saying internet was working fine at the front desk, so the issue was with my computer, which it was not. More importantly, my half-board only covered my ordering from the set menu, which was very limited (Apple Menu) and the same both nights. The rooms and property are lovely, but I would have mixed feelings about staying there again. Hotel de la Font is a modest hotel with smallish rooms and baths. However, it is absolutely off the scale for charm. The owners were delightful hosts, in the true sense of the word. The made me feel like a welcome guest, and their efforts more than made up for the physical limitations of the property itself. I used the Hotel Alga as the last hotel of the trip, as Hotel Garbi was already closed for the season. This hotel was not up to the standard of the others on the trip. Cleanliness and service were only fair, and the restaurant was appallingly bad for dinner. Breakfast was better, but still below average. The headwater reps at Calella were superb. Alan's route notes were meticulous, reasonably easy to follow and pointed out possible side excursions for more energetic riders. Alan and Linda's enthusiasm for the region was manifest. They went considerably out of their way to help me when I left my AC adapter plug behind at the first hotel. I was very pleased with the bicycle that Headwater provided. It was in excellent working condition. The panniers were also in like-new condition, and were a really valuable item of equipment to have. The tour of Catalonia was a great experience. The roads chosen were quiet, the small towns were charming and the ones away from the coast were completely unspoiled by mass tourism. The countryside was quite pretty, with rolling hills, vineyards and olive groves. It was not especially challenging riding. I averaged around 40 km per day, but that was with a few side excursions.

Reviewed by Mr Harrison on 30/10/2012

The route had been planned to give you excellent ctcling and Alans enthusiasm for the region and the routes made a challenging very rewarding.

Reviewed by Mr Stables on 17/10/2012

Headwater came highly recommended and justifiably so we had a fantastic holiday. This region of Spain is stunning.

Reviewed by Mrs Baillie-Smith on 11/07/2012

Had a fantastic time, cycling varied and very enjoyable

Reviewed by Mrs Godsall on 30/06/2012

A great holiday in a lovely quiet part of Spain which lived up to all our expectations.

Reviewed by Mr Sedgwick on 05/05/2012

Overall a thoroughly enjoyable holiday.Headwater, as usual,provided good quality hotels in scenic locations. However, the Hostel de la Font and the Hotel Mas Pau were the stars for us.

Departure dates & prices

April 2016 departuresTour only 
Apr 9$2205
Apr 11$2205
Apr 13$2205
Apr 15$2205
Apr 17$2205
Apr 19$2205
Apr 21$2205
Apr 23$2205
Apr 25$2205
Apr 27$2205
Apr 29$2205
May 2016 departuresTour only 
May 1$2309
May 3$2309
May 5$2309
May 7$2309
May 9$2309
May 11$2309
May 13$2309
May 15$2309
May 17$2309
May 19$2309
May 21$2309
May 23$2565
May 25$2565
May 27$2565
May 29$2565
May 31$2565
June 2016 departuresTour only 
Jun 2$2565
Jun 4$2565
Jun 6$2565
Jun 8$2565
Jun 10$2565
Jun 12$2565
Jun 14$2565
Jun 16$2565
Jun 18$2565
Jun 20$2565
Jun 22$2565
Jun 24$2565
Jun 26$2565
Jun 28$2565
Jun 30$2565
July 2016 departuresTour only 
Jul 2$2598
Jul 4$2598
Jul 6$2598
Jul 8$2598
Jul 10$2598
Jul 12$2598
Jul 14$2598
Jul 16$2598
Jul 18$2598
Jul 20$2598
Jul 22$2598
Jul 24$2598
Jul 26$2598
Jul 28$2598
Jul 30$2598
August 2016 departuresTour only 
Aug 1$2598
Aug 3$2598
Aug 25$2598
Aug 27$2598
Aug 29$2598
Aug 31$2598
September 2016 departuresTour only 
Sep 2$2598
Sep 4$2598
Sep 6$2598
Sep 8$2598
Sep 10$2598
Sep 12$2565
Sep 14$2565
Sep 16$2565
Sep 18$2565
Sep 20$2565
Sep 22$2309
Sep 24$2309
Sep 26$2309
Sep 28$2309
Sep 30$2309
October 2016 departuresTour only 
Oct 2$2205
Oct 4$2205
Oct 6$2205
Oct 8$2205
Oct 10$2205
Oct 12$2205
Oct 14$2205
Oct 16$2205

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided cycling, hotel-to-hotel. Managed locally by Headwater employed rep.


Every two days from 8 Oct '16 to 16 Oct '16, for 11 days (10 nights). This holiday departs every 2 days, however non-standard arrivals and altered itineraries may be possible - please call for prices.


All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals included.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Flaca train station at 15:47, and back to Flaca train station at 13:15.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

We'd like to keep you informed of our latest news and special offers. Please tick here if you'd rather not receive our free e-newsletter.
We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.


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