Rich with mediaeval villages, historic castles and churches, Catalunya is contrasted with an impressive rocky coastline, dotted with pretty fishing villages, crystal-clear waters and beautiful golden sandy beaches. Steeped in culture and history, Catalunya's traditions date back over thousands of years.
This holiday is 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'll head north, via Begur, to Torroella de Montgri and its hilltop C13 castle with panoramic views across the Emporda plain. You'll continue via the coast and Empuries, where you can visit the Greek and Roman ruins, on to Figueres, the famous birthplace of Salvador Dali. Heading west, you can soak up the delightful squares, cobbled streets and mediaeval charm of Besalu before you pedal south, via the Olympic rowing lake at Banyoles, to the city of Girona with its impressive architecture and great dining choices. Your final stretch takes you along an old narrow gauge railway line, now a Via Verde, which heads down to the coast. Continue on past Platja d'Aro and Calonge to Calella de Palafrugell.
The hotels on this holiday are as varied as the scenery, and include the Hotel Garbi, overlooking the fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell; the contemporary Hotel Moli del Mig; a converted C15 mill in Torroella de Montgri and the Casa Marcial in mediaeval Besalu, with a Romanesque C12 chapel and the remains of a C10 wall next to the hotel garden.
Arrive in Calella and head to the local 'blue flag' beaches or relax by the hotel pool before dinner. We provide plenty of recommendations in Calella for dinner.
Today's 'warm-up' ride takes you inland through Palafrugell, then on to Begur with its hilltop mediaeval castle remains and its colonial Cuban-influenced villas, built by locals who emigrated to Cuba and returned once they had made their fortunes. Visit the fabulous sweep of beach at Platja de Pals then continue on to Torroella de Montgri for two nights.
Cycle into Torroella and explore the mediaeval centre and walls, originally the Royal Port for the Kings of Aragon, before the River Ter silted up and the port was moved to nearby L'Estartit. You could cycle here for some great beaches or walk up to the C13 fortress, Montgri Castle, set on the top of the Montgri Massif, overlooking the town and the Emporda plain beyond.
Follow flat country lanes to the coast at L'Escala and explore the ancient Greek and Roman Empuries ruins. The town was founded in 575 BC by Greek colonists, later occupied by the Romans, then abandoned in the Middle Ages due to its exposed coastal position leaving it open to attack. Cycle on to Castello d'Empuries, with its 1000-year-old church, Santa Maria de Castello, before continuing on to Figueres.
Explore Figueres today. Stroll along La Rambla and discover the old town's mediaeval squares and arches. As the birthplace of Salvador Dali, the Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dali, designed by the artist himself, is a must-see. Also visit the C18 Sant Ferran Castle, a large military fortress (the largest monument in Catalunya), built with a pentagonal plan and sophisticated construction techniques for the time.
Pedal further inland, heading west from Figueres, through rolling countryside and woodland to the delightful mediaeval town of Besalu, with its cobbled alleyways and C12 fortified wall.
Explore the delightful maze of arcaded streets, historical buildings and squares, where you could sit and watch the world go by as you enjoy a leisurely lunch in one of the cafes. Visit the church of Sant Pere, consecrated in C11, and take time to admire the town from the C12 Romanesque bridge over the Fluvia River.
Cycle south to Banyoles today, with the largest natural lake in Catalunya, used for the rowing events during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. It's also home to the infamous Darder Museum with its impressive collection of natural history exhibits. Enjoy lunch on the lakefront - there is a choice of restaurants to choose from or enjoy a picnic overlooking the lake's ornate boathouse.
Explore this stunning city, dating back to pre-Roman times. Walk the city walls for a different perspective of the sights: discover the Placa de la Independencia, the impressive cathedral, the Jewish Quarter and the Onyar River's picturesque bridges and painted houses.
Ride out of Girona on the Via Verde, an old narrow-gauge railway line that heads, mostly downhill, all the way to the coast. Continue around the coast past Platja d'Aro and Calonge to the seafront town of 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.
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.
The Hotel Garbi is located on the hillside overlooking the fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell with its own extensive gardens, shaded by pines.
|09/04/2017 - 31/10/2017||£12|
All prices shown above are valid from 19/05/2017. . Supplement prices are per person per night based on two sharing. Duplex rooms offer the same facilities as a standard room with the addition of a mezzanine level with sofa
|Dates||Double Room||Single Room|
|01/04/2017 - 10/06/2017||£58||£78|
|11/06/2017 - 11/09/2017||£86||£110|
|12/09/2017 - 31/10/2017||£58||£78|
All prices shown above are valid from 19/05/2017. Prices are per person per night including breakfast. Bike hire is not included in the above prices.
NEARBY: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.
|01/04/2017 - 31/10/2017||£14||£26|
All prices shown above are valid from 01/12/2016. All supplements per person per night (based on two sharing).
Superior room is a slightly larger room at 18m2 (standard room = 15m2)
Junior Suite is a larger room at 25m2 & has a king size bed & jacuzzi
Please contact us for extra night prices.
NEARBY:The Hotel Pirineos, originally built in 1961 has been completely renovated in 2016. It has a great location in Figueres just a short walk from the Dali Museum. It has been always run by the Pelegri Family and is now run by Joan Pelegri, the son of the original owners. It's 54 rooms are decorated in a modern airy fashion and feature all mod-cons. It's on site restaurant offers superb Catalan food, due to its location it is also easy to choose one of the many bars and restaurants in Figueres.
Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.
Please contact us for extra night prices.
Casa Marcial is a recently restored hotel situated in a tranquil location in the historic centre of Besalu. Its 12 rooms are situated in two buildings, one from C19 and one from the early C20. Its built in a neo-classical style and stands out for its facade. The newer house has been built using the remains of a mediaeval noblemen's house. The old exterior belies the modern boutique style bedrooms, the hotel has a small pool with great views of the nearby mountains and is a short walk to the town centre and its many restaurants.
|01/04/2017 - 31/10/2017||£28|
All prices shown above are valid from 28/12/2016. Supplements are per person per night based on 2 sharing. The Suite offers more space and a separate lounge area.
Please contact us for extra night prices.
The Hotel Ciutat de Girona is located in the historic centre and beating heart of Girona and is just a 10 minute walk form the train station. The hotel has been decorated with iconic images of Girona's past, the historic pictures sit well with the modern decor of the hotel. The hotel has an indoor pool and an indoor cycling area. You are welcomed with a glass of the local moscatell. The restaurant of the hotel if you decide to eat there prides itself on serving food using local products all of which come from a 62.1 mile radius.
Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.
Please contact us for extra night prices.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange connecting flights.
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.
This was out second cycling trip with Headwater the first being the Canal Du Midi in 2014 .They helped us select this holiday as we wanted to go for a little longer and to move to level 2 (as we had kept up cycling in the UK.)
Classic Catalan 10 days worked just right for us .Ok the days are a little longer and you get three long but very cycleable hills but the variety is wonderful. Also we were given excellent ride out options on the interim days.In fact we only had one non ... read morecycling day but if you ever visit El Castell d'Emporda you'll maybe understand why..
The route notes were so accurate we never used the maps and the road surfaces were so good it took us a couple of days to stop pothole spotting ( Heres hoping someone from Devon/Somerset/Dorset highways read this)
Overall a great holiday excellent hotels and routes and the Catalan pople are lovely sort of Spanish without the shouting!
Thank you Headwater and thank you Brian and Olivia our excellent hosts.
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!
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.
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 ... read moremake 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.
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
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.
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.
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
Well organised holiday. Trouble free. Excellent Hotels and food. Varied cycling coast and inland in foothills with mountain views.
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.
Everyday is an adventure with a luxury start and finish.
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 courty... read moreard. 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.
A way of combiningexercise with comfort and an opportunity to see a region of a country
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.
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.
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.
This holiday changed our perception of Spain. Catalonia is a beautiful area of varied scenery with wonderful food and hotels.
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 rea... read morelly enjoyable holiday despite losing some of our luggage & will be considering a similar trip next year Thanks Sean & Annie Hughes
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.
A super holiday hard work at times but well worth it , hotels and food excellent never to old from a seventy four year old
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.
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.
Think about biking in the heat as it can be hard work in the heat to go up the hills
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.
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.
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.
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... read more 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.
The route had been planned to give you excellent ctcling and Alans enthusiasm for the region and the routes made a challenging very rewarding.
Headwater came highly recommended and justifiably so we had a fantastic holiday. This region of Spain is stunning.
Had a fantastic time, cycling varied and very enjoyable
A great holiday in a lovely quiet part of Spain which lived up to all our expectations.
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.
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday. Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.
|Apr 2017||Tour only||Availability|
|9th Apr||US$1950||Check availability|
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|May 2017||Tour only||Availability|
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|Jul 2017||Tour only||Availability|
|2nd Jul||US$2290||Check availability|
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|12th Oct||US$1950||Check availability|
Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by Headwater appointed rep.
Every two days from 9th Apr 2017 to 12th Oct 2017, for 10 nights.
All continental breakfasts and 2 evening meals included
No departures between August 5 and August 23 inclusive.
Transfers included from Flaca train station at 15:47, and back to Flaca train station at 13:15.
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for Classic Catalan Cycling. 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 an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.
Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss your requirements in more detail.