Catalonia (Catalunya) is a semi-autonomous area of Spain; steeped in culture, its traditions and festivals date back over thousands of years. Rich in medieval villages, highlights include prosperous Peratallada, peach-coloured Pals and fashionable Begur. The rocky coastline is dotted with pretty fishing villages, crystal clear waters and beautiful beaches which are perfect to explore.
This holiday is full of contrasts and variety and explores one of the most beautiful corners of Catalonia. It's gentle cycling too, occasionally off-road, through olive groves, peach orchards and pine forests, and along pretty coastal paths. The landscape is gently rolling for the most part, making this an easy cycle and a relaxing holiday. The changing seasons bring white blossom in spring, sunflower yellow in summer and warm gold at harvest time. Fabulous coastal views, beautiful beaches and aquamarine waters make this an inspirational area.
You stay in a variety of hotels, all with pools, which have been hand-picked for their charm and character. The family-run Hotel Garbi in the traditional fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell, is set on the hillside overlooking the sea. The stylish Hotel Sa Punta in Platja de Pals is set in attractive gardens and is within walking distance of the beach or you can cycle to nearby Begur. Two nights of the holiday are spent at the Hotel Castell d'Emporda, a magnificently restored 14th century castle perched proudly on its outcrop, just outside La Bisbal. The breathtaking views over the plain from its sun terrace are not to be missed.
Read more about this holiday in Oh hello Spain.
You arrive at your hotel where all Headwater guests are accommodated in rooms with a private balcony and sea view. It's less than 5 minutes' walk to the centre of town where you have so many restaurants to choose from, we've left evening meals up to you.
You stay at the Hotel Garbi (breakfast included)
Your route today passes through the pine forests behind Calella before heading off to peach-coloured Pals, a lovely medieval town with Romanesque church affording stunning views. After lunch, head on through the pretty hamlets of Palau-Sator (where there has been a settlement since Roman times) and Fontanilles, before looping back towards the coast and a gentle downhill ride to Platja de Pals.
You stay at the Hotel Sa Punta (breakfast and evening meal)
We strongly recommend a visit to medieval Begur, a fashionable hilltop town with 11th century castle and outstanding views over the coast. Alternatively, relax on the beach, follow the superb coastal walking path or simply chill out by the hotel's semi-Olympic pool.
You stay at the Hotel Sa Punta (breakfast and evening meal)
You'll begin today cycling past rice fields before following the River Ter to Torroella de Montgri with wonderful views of the Illes Medes. Visit this lovely medieval town with its Roman defensive wall before heading inland along wonderfully quiet roads through the village of Gualta (picturesque 16th century bridge) and pretty hamlets of Fonolleres, Matajudaica and Casavells to La Bisbal. Here you'll stay in a uniquely converted 14th century Gothic castle - once reputed to have been on Dali's shopping list but now owned by Dutchman Albert Diks.
You stay at the Hotel Castell d'Emporda (breakfast and evening meal)
Laze by the pool (there's a fabulous sun terrace and bar area) or follow our suggested cycling circuit linking the pretty medieval villages of Corca, Monells (pretty square and lovely choices for lunch) and La Bisbal, a lively market town famous for antiques and pottery. Take time to explore the old quarter including the Carrer del Call, formerly a Jewish ghetto, whose intricate arches are still intact today.
You stay at the Hotel Castell d'Emporda (breakfast and evening meal)
Today offers lovely gentle cycling, stopping first at the walled village of Ullastret. The vast archaeological site here contains the remains of one of the oldest Iberian villages in Spain. Continue your journey through beautifully preserved Peratallada to the bustling market town of Palafrugell. Then back to Calella de Palafrugell for a final swim in the pool.
You stay at the Hotel Garbi (breakfast included)
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 your 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. If you'd like to keep your bikes with you for any extra nights we can arrange this for you for just £ per adult per day and £ per child per day.
The Hotel Garbi is located on the hillside overlooking the fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell with its own extensive gardens, shaded by pines.
Room upgrades: Duplex Superior Room.
Duplex Superior rooms offer the same facilities as a standard room with the addition of a mezzanine level with sofa
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
NEARBY:The Hotel Sa Punta, just a five minute walk to the beach is set in beautiful grounds with a lovely terrace area for afternoon drinks. There is also a semi-olympic size swimming pool with spa pool.
Room upgrades: Superior Room or Suite.
Superior rooms are larger in size and have a pool view. Suites are larger still with a sitting area and large terraces and sea views.
NEARBY:The Castell d'Emporda could not be in a better location, perched on a rocky outcrop with breathtaking 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.
Room upgrades: Castle Room, Garden Suite or Suite Pere Margarit.
Castle rooms: housed in the original castle building making for a romantic stay. Garden suites: larger than the standard garden rooms (53 sq. metres) and have a separate sitting area. Both the bedroom and the bathroom have balconies! Suite Pere Margarit: (80 sq. metres) was originally the master bedchamber of the medieval castle.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.
The Hotel Ciutat de Girona is located in the historic centre and beating heart of Girona and is just a 10 minute walk from 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.
NEARBY:Located in the centre of Barcelona, the Gallery Hotel has 25 years of experience to take care of you during your stay. The rooms are bright and have lots of home comforts included. The hotel also boasts a roof top pool and garden terrace.
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 an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
Great location. Easy quiet cycling excellent food plenty of interesting places to visit
A mixture of excellent (hotels) and fair (cycling). The cycling was only spoilt by really rough tracks, demanding too much concentration on the riding hence missing the surrounding landscape and features.
The hotels were in general well located. We particularly liked Sa Punta and the food here was very good. The cycling tracks were mainly gravel or sandy and a bit rutted and could be quite tricky in places and one had to keep one's eye on the track rather than the scenery but that may be because we are not used to cycling off road. The route takes you through some lovely old towns and villages the highlight of which was probably Pals. Despite our initial reluctance, we were pleased that we used the GPS route guide as it would have been difficult without it to navigate the tracks. The area is spectacular and we would definitely consider re-visiting Catalan.
Lovely cycling through varied terrain; but be prepared for a good few sharp climbs. The hotels were well appointed and the food was generally delicious. Although the location and development of the Castell D' Emporda was unique, for us the better hotel was the Sa Punta where we spent two lovely relaxed evenings.
Lovely to see a bit of Spain away from the main tourist areas.
Two of the hotels were very good with sensational food and good service
The cycling was through some scenic and interesting areas
An excellent introduction into cycling holidays that we will be certain to repeat.
Excellent holiday. Varied scenery, good bikes, lovely hotels. Each ride was like a mini adventure. We loved it.
A great tour around a wonderful area wth everything from beaches to early churches and ancient ruins.
Nothing compares to an active holiday, exploring local culture at your own pace!
I felt safe travelling totally alone and venturing out on my bicycle by myself, secure in the knowledge that assistance would be readily available if required. Happily this was not needed but it made a huge difference to my piece of mind. I hope that Headwater can extend its leisurely options to include other trips. The travel notes routinely described inclines as 'gentle'. Some of these gentle inclines were about as much as I could manage. I now wouldn't attempt any cycling trips in the catalogue beyond 'leisurely'. The hotels were delightful, El Castell d'Emporda being top of my list.
This was our first holiday with Headwater which did not disappoint. The scenery was beautiful, with the contrasting coastal and inland areas. We particularly enjoyed visiting all the medieval villages along the routes, especially Pals and Peratallada, although finding places to stop for refreshments in the smaller villages was sometimes rather hit and miss. The weather was lovely and warm, ideal for cycling, and the route notes were good for the most part. However, some of the forest tracks were a bit harder to cycle along. As regards accommodation, Hotel Sa Punta deserves special mention for its excellent service, superb facilities and the most delicious food of the holiday. Our reps Olivia and Brian gave us great service too. We have been on cycling holidays with other companies before and they provide a small front pannier on the bikes, so perhaps Headwater could consider doing this also.
Was exactly what it said on the can! - it fulfilled our expectations.
We had a fantastic week cycling in Catalunya, food, wine and people were great.
We have two teenage sons and this was the perfect family holiday for everyone. Combining the activity of cycling and rest days at beautiful hotels and locations, taking in the wonderful medieval villages of Catalunya, farm lands, bays and beeches. It was the perfect way to explore more of the region.
Excellent holiday, cycling is the perfect way to explore. We enjoyed it all - some freedom, some things sorted out
Our first cycling holiday and it will definitely not be our last!! Cycling through Catalunya was a real treat, beautiful peaceful countryside, wildflowers were so colourful, medieval villages to explore,lots of restaurants choice for coffee or lunch and then to end the day great hotels and delicious food. What's not to like?Highly recommended.
Accurate description of contrasting scenery and cycling. Very quiet roads and plenty of flowers and birds to see.
A beautiful area with quiet lanes and roads. Lovely villages, small towns and views. Super coastal locations, fantastic varied scenery and marvellous bird life and wild flowers. A fantastic holiday!
Cycling, location, accommodation and especially food were of a very high standard. Local reps were very attentive, and the postcard we received from them before the holiday with their phone number was a nice touch. We travelled from a 'non-standard' airport, and arranging this and transfers through Headwater was more difficult than we expected.
We had an excellent time. Lovely scenery and weather and excellent food. I would definitely recommend doing this either early or late in the season as it was much cooler and less busy. Very few cars on the road and no traffic.
Felt a great sense of achievement after each cycle day. Our 2 boys- age 11 and 13 enjoyed themselves and there was not a single moan of ''are we there yet?!'
An interesting coastal and inland holiday on quite roads and tracks. Visiting in October the coastal locations and hilltop towns and villages are quiet, but the weather was good and ideal for cycling. having enjoyed many Headwater cycling holidays in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy, we may well be interested in following-up an e-bike option in the future.
Peaceful cycling along quiet country road, interesting villages and lovely scenery.
This holiday certainly shows the contrasts that Catalonia has to offer.
A wonderful, unspoilt region. We had no idea that the Costa Brava was so wooded and had so many places of historical interest. Going just out of season, the beaches were quiet and devoid of sunbeds! The number of cycle tracks - albeit somewhat roughly surfaced in places - puts the UK to shame.
We had a wonderful holiday enjoying the contrasts of Catalunya, from the sea at the Costa Brava to the rice fields and woodlands inland. The reps Jim and Katie gave us a terrific service, from the introductory postcard sent to us prior to leaving, and the provision of satnav files to make navigation so easy. The hotels Hotel Sa Punta and the magnificent El Castell d'Emporda both exceeded our expectations, and to stay in the tower of an ancient castle was the highlight of our holiday. We have had three Headwater holidays now and will definitely be back for more.
Overall we had a great time. A few hiccups - BA losing a suitcase! not Headwaters fault (found it eventually) and on the return journey arriving at Barcelona airport to be told they only had two seats - we are a family of four! Eventually found us two more seats but made for a very stressful journey. We did not check in late and online checkin was not an option for us. It was VERY hot 35 degrees. A bit too hot to be honest and we probably would not do this holiday again in August! Go when it is a bit cooler. The area is fabulous and we would go back. The hotels are generally very good. We did have an issue at Garbi. Our first night the aircon was not working properly in our room but we got on with it. On our last night the aircon in the boys' room was not working at all and it was 29 degrees! The suggested remedies as the hotel was full was to a) live with it then b) sleep with the window open and they would provide insect repellent! We rejected both these options and in the end moved the two boys in with us for the night. The staff provided camp beds. We managed but not overly happy having paid for two double rooms. We did mention it to the reps in the morning but as it was our last night there was nothing to be done.
Contrasts of Catalunya is a great route which takes in coast and countryside. We were two non-cyclists and found the routes achievable and well-planned, with thought given to where you could stop and explore different villages. Cycling was partly on quiet roads and partly on tracks - the routes through the rice fields and alongside apple orchards were particularly enjoyable, while some of the sandy tracks through pine forests were a bit harder going. The bikes were well-maintained and comfortable. Highlights on the route were medieval Pals and Begur, while the Sa Punta Hotel stood out for its fantastic service, excellent swimming pool and the best food we had all week. Service from the reps was also great, and they provided helpful map files and instructions on how to use these on a smartphone as well as practical tips. Highly recommendable!
Our reps were superb. Jim took particular care to ensure the bikes were fitted to each individual and this meant each of our party was comfortable throughout the holiday. He had specially removed the bottle holder from the ladies bikes so they would not catch their legs when getting on and off. This attention to detail was much appreciated. He had gone to great lengths to produce a gps version of all the trails and this was invaluable and worked without any problems. I had brought a smart phone holder and battery charger so had a days full battery life. While this would have been sufficient without the notes, the two worked in tandem well and should become a standard on all your cycling holidays.
The bikes would benefit from a small front pannier particularly for the ladies to keep a small water bottle in and a handbag.
Our reps kept in email contact to check our progress and made very helpful recommendations on places to eat and visit on the trip. They put their knowledge to good use so we had an excellent holiday.
Excellent equipment, good hotels and lovely route
Excellent apart from Hotel Meson Castilla is in the middle of the University area and can be very noisy until early hours of the morning
A lovely blend of activity and relaxation, plenty to see and do in the Catalonian region, congenial fellow travellers and good back up system for emergencies.
Brilliant family adventure: Cycling through beautiful scenery from beaches, through paddy fields, rolling countryside and little medieval villages and complemented by a range of hotels-2 with gastronomic cuisine and the third giving the opportunity to enjoy eating out in the small seaside town of Calella.
We had a great holiday. The children thoroughly enjoyed the cycling, the scenery was beautiful, plenty of medieval villages to stop end explore and the hotels en route were great. We were extremely lucky with the weather - hot and sunny every day, so that we could enjoy the hotel pools at the end of each day. A brilliant family holiday.
Well planned cycling routes with excellent instructions. 2 out of the 3 hotels were excellent. Alan & Linda were extremely helpful throughout the holiday & largely responsible for it running so smoothly.
The local rep provided the MOST EXCELLENT route notes we have ever experienced. The routes allowed us a great taste of both inland and coastal scenery. There are some built up areas on this holiday and we had no difficulty getting through. He also led us most interesting routes through the little towns so we felt we had seen a great deal. He had obviously ridden the rides himself recently as there was no confusion at all over road work issues etc which we have found before.The routes for the 'rest 'days were fantastic although more challenging than the other days! But well worth the effort. He also provided us with the best maintained bikes we have ever experienced - so thank you enormously for that. 2 of the 3 hotels were just wonderful- quite a treat-and of a luxurious nature.
Probably more challenging that you might expect, but in a very positive way, and well worth the effort. The views and experiences are unbeatable. Not sure if we could do a car-reliant holiday again!
The holiday was enjoyable, the Castell d'Emporda was fantastic, and had the holiday been 30% cheaper we would have thought it good value for money. I've been on many cycling holidays (this was the first with my wife and son) and it's the first where there has not been support throughout the day. I know the reps were available by phone, but it would clearly have taken an hour or more to get help from them if a problem had arisen and at this price, that's not good enough. Next time I would simply book the hotels for myself, hire bikes and then organise a taxi to take the bags from place to place - you did not provide sufficient additional value to justify the cost. Cycling routes are also easy to find - with so many GPS users uploading data to the web I would have little problem in organising routes for myself. This was a premium price but what we got was a bike (in good condition to be fair), and a map, and then left alone for a week. My wife had a bad insect bike which became very inflamed and sore and required anti-biotics (it has still not fully subsided a week later) - we had to sort this out for ourselves in Barcelona - our guides expressed polite interest but offered no real suggestions about local medical help. This compares poorly with my experience on cycling holidays in France and the US where anyone with even a slight medical issue was promptly driven to the nearest clinic or pharmacy, helped with the language and sorted out very quickly.
Thank you for your feedback Mr Moorhead, we were pleased to read that your holiday was enjoyable.
However, we are sorry to see that some aspects did not appear to meet with your expectations. The type of holiday that you had booked is classed as a self-guided cycling holiday. Therefore, we do not provide support vehicles. This type of holiday is geared towards the more independent customers who like to travel at their own pace, starting and finishing at various times throughout the day. Therefore, it would not be practical to have a support vehicle on the route. We do however provide a 24/7 rep service which is available if needed in case of emergency or should you have any questions or queries along the way as well as a brief at the start and de brief at the end of the holiday.
We were sorry to read that Mrs Moorhead was bitten and required medical treatment, as you comment our reps was aware of the bite, but not necessarily the severity. Had they been made aware of this they would have offered assistance as required.
Despite these issues I am glad that you had an enjoyable holiday.
Thank you once again for your feedback.
I am a Headwater Holidays fan! This is about the 16th cycling holiday I have been on with your company and it is my second trip to Catalunya. Last time, about 5 years age, I took the cycling hol in Catalunya and the guide was Robin! say no more he was useless. Alan is a real gem. Look after him. As I am getting older now and so are my two cycling friends we look for the flat cycling routes and each time you bring out a new one we seem to book it. So do keep adding new routes. I am sorry that you no longer go to Majorca. Many years ago we did the cycling around the centre of the island and was going to book the one centre hotel this year but you have removed it. I guess it was not popular. I think its so important to keep the standard of the hotels and food at a high level. Its such a big part of the holiday for us. After a day cycling the destination is always exciting and good accommodation is a must. I am a single person and mostly travel with my married friends so always have to pay a single supplement which does increase the cost rather.( This trip I went with my daughter and we shared a room so no supplement, a real bonus) If I get a double room for the cost this is fine but on occasions I am in the attic in a single room; not so good. Keep up the good standard and as long as I am able to cycle I will be booking!
The route guidence was too detailed and involved too many off road tracks. It would have been better if the route had stuck to metaled roads even at the expence of more traffic and greater mileage. Having to stop every few yards to read the notes was tedious and spoilt pleasure of the ride.
A very enjoyable holiday staying in excellent hotels.
We had a wonderful holiday. We last traveled with Headwater in 1994 and 1997, and there is no doubt that the standards of the hotels, route notes, and bikes have improved immensely. Alan was a hugely experienced rep who provided route notes of a superb standard. 2 out of the 3 hotels were truly excellent, and while the other was one of the weirder I've ever stayed in, it was perfectly serviceable, and the fact that it was B&B only was a good decision.
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.
This 6 night self-guided cycling holiday includes:
Hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of and hotels
All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals
Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
GPS route directions and maps
Headwater navigation app
High quality bikes
Standard transfers at the start/end of the trip (if booking inclusive flights)
Luggage transfers between hotels
How to book:
|22nd Jun 2021||US$2149||Tour only: US$2149||Check availability|
|24th Jun 2021||US$2149||Tour only: US$2149||Check availability|
|26th Jun 2021||US$2149||Tour only: US$2149||Check availability|
|28th Jun 2021||US$2149||Tour only: US$2149||Check availability|
|30th Jun 2021||US$2149||Tour only: US$2149||Check availability|
|2nd Jul 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|4th Jul 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|6th Jul 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|8th Jul 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|10th Jul 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|12th Jul 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|14th Jul 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|16th Jul 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|18th Jul 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|20th Jul 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|22nd Jul 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|24th Jul 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|26th Jul 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|28th Jul 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|30th Jul 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|1st Aug 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|3rd Aug 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|25th Aug 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|27th Aug 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|29th Aug 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|31st Aug 2021||US$2279||Tour only: US$2279||Check availability|
|2nd Sep 2021||US$2199||Tour only: US$2199||Check availability|
|4th Sep 2021||US$2199||Tour only: US$2199||Check availability|
|6th Sep 2021||US$2199||Tour only: US$2199||Check availability|
|8th Sep 2021||US$2199||Tour only: US$2199||Check availability|
|10th Sep 2021||US$2199||Tour only: US$2199||Check availability|
|12th Sep 2021||US$2199||Tour only: US$2199||Check availability|
|14th Sep 2021||US$2199||Tour only: US$2199||Check availability|
|16th Sep 2021||US$2199||Tour only: US$2199||Check availability|
|18th Sep 2021||US$2199||Tour only: US$2199||Check availability|
|20th Sep 2021||US$2199||Tour only: US$2199||Check availability|
|22nd Sep 2021||US$2199||Tour only: US$2199||Check availability|
|24th Sep 2021||US$2199||Tour only: US$2199||Check availability|
|26th Sep 2021||US$2199||Tour only: US$2199||Check availability|
|28th Sep 2021||US$2199||Tour only: US$2199||Check availability|
|30th Sep 2021||US$2199||Tour only: US$2199||Check availability|
|2nd Oct 2021||US$1999||Tour only: US$1999||Check availability|
Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.
Every two days from 22nd Jun 2021 to 2nd Oct 2021, for 6 nights. All dates are subject to availability, please contact us to check.
All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals
It is possible to hire electric bikes for this holiday at a supplement of £50 per person. As these are available on a first come first served basis, we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment.
It is possible to hire tandem bikes for this holiday at a supplement of £50 per bike. As these are available on a first come first served basis, we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment.
No departures between August 5 and August 23 inclusive. This holiday can also be reduced to a 4 night version just deduct £250 per adult.
Transfers can be arranged at a supplement from Flaca train station at 17:10 (17:56 Saturdays) and back to Flaca train station at 11:15.