Spain : Catalonia

Classic Catalan Cycling

Trip code: C08CL 4.9 (10 reviews)

Self-guided cycling

8 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2
Moderate

13.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

Optional
e-bike hire

SUMMARY

  • 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 a converted mill in a large gardens
  • Spectacular coastal views across to the Illes Medes

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 8 nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts and 2 evening meals
  • Bike fitting and briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Headwater navigation app
  • Bike hire included
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

TRIP DESCRIPTION

Rich with medieval villages, historic castles and churches, Catalonia (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, Catalonia'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 13th century 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, we follow undulating roads through deep green meadows and cork forests 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 15th century mill in Torroella de Montgri and two chic town hotels one which has a small pool.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Calella de Palafrugell

Arrive in Calella and head to the local 'blue flag' beaches or relax by the hotel pool before dinner. Enjoy your dinner at the hotel or there are plenty of beachfront restaurants where you can enjoy a good view along with your dinner just a short walk away from the hotel.

You stay at Hotel Garbi.

hotel details

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Hotel Garbi, Calella de Palafrugell

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Bank
Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV


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.

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.

Day 2: Calella de Palafrugell to Torroella de Montgri (34km/21.1mi)

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.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Moli del Mig.

hotel details



Hotel Moli del Mig, Torroella de Montgri

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


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.

Room upgrades: Superior, Superior with balcony, Junior Suite or Junior Suite with balcony.
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

Day 3: At Torroella de Montgri

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 13th century fortress, Montgri Castle, set on the top of the Montgri Massif, overlooking the town and the Emporda plain beyond.

You stay at Hotel Moli del Mig.

hotel details



Hotel Moli del Mig, Torroella de Montgri

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


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.

Room upgrades: Superior, Superior with balcony, Junior Suite or Junior Suite with balcony.
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

Day 4: Torroella de Montgri to Figueres (49km/30.4mi)

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 1,000-year-old church, Santa Maria de Castello, before continuing on to Figueres.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Pirineos.

hotel details



Hotel Pirineos, Figueres

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Market
Bank
Cash machine
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


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.

Day 5: At 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 18th century Sant Ferran Castle, a large military fortress (the largest monument in Catalonia), built with a pentagonal plan and sophisticated construction techniques for the time.

You stay at Hotel Pirineos.

hotel details



Hotel Pirineos, Figueres

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Market
Bank
Cash machine
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


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.

Day 6: Figueres to Girona (48km/29.8mi)

Heading further inland, we follow an undulating route through deep green meadows, cork forests and tiny charming hamlets. Then follow the Rivers Ter and Onyar into the region's capital Girona.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Ciutat de Girona.

hotel details



Hotel Ciutat de Girona, Girona

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Market
Bank
Cash machine
Mastercard
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


The Hotel Ciutat de Girona is located in the historic centre and the beating heart of Girona and is just a 10 minute walk from the train station. The majestic Girona cathedral with the widest nave in the world is only 2 minutes walk from the hotel. 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 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.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 7: At Girona

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. A regular fast train can take you to Barcelona for a day in the Catalan capital. Or cycle to Catalonia's largest natural lake 'Estany de Banyoles' the venue for 1992 Olympic rowing events.

You stay at Hotel Ciutat de Girona.

hotel details



Hotel Ciutat de Girona, Girona

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Market
Bank
Cash machine
Mastercard
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


The Hotel Ciutat de Girona is located in the historic centre and the beating heart of Girona and is just a 10 minute walk from the train station. The majestic Girona cathedral with the widest nave in the world is only 2 minutes walk from the hotel. 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 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.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 8: Girona to Calella de Palafrugell (61km/37.9mi)

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.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Garbi.

hotel details



Hotel Garbi, Calella de Palafrugell

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Bank
Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV


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.

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.

Day 9: 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 your holiday page for full details.

Extending your holiday

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra hotel nights we recommend: Gallery Hotel, Barcelona; Hotel Ciutat de Girona, Girona.

hotel details



Gallery Hotel , Barcelona

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


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.



Hotel Ciutat de Girona, Girona

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Market
Bank
Cash machine
Mastercard
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


The Hotel Ciutat de Girona is located in the historic centre and the beating heart of Girona and is just a 10 minute walk from the train station. The majestic Girona cathedral with the widest nave in the world is only 2 minutes walk from the hotel. 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 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.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE DATE

Show prices including flights and onward rail?  

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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £225.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £225.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Flights from Heathrow to Barcelona with British Airways, then onward rail to the region.
  • Other flights, including regional departures
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Business/club/first class fares
  • Electric bikes
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels
TRAVEL DETAILS

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air-rail prices include our standard flights, onward rail and station transfers
Out: British Airways Heathrow to Barcelona then rail Barcelona Sants to Girona followed by rail Girona to Flaca payable locally then transfer to hotel 30 minutes Return: Transfer to station 30 minutes then rail Flaca to Girona payable locally and Girona to Barcelona Sants then British Airways Barcelona to Heathrow

Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open until 10pm today) or email sales@headwater.com

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.

REVIEWS

I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants a gentle cycling exploration of the beauty of Catalunia

Michael Owen Jeffreys, 1 Jun 2024

 

We had a fabulous time cycling in Catalonia. Cycling was not too challenging and mostly on tracks and cycle paths. There were a few short sections on bigger roads but the drivers were courteous and allowed us plenty of room. All destinations were interesting and hotels of a high standard, all serving delicious breakfasts. We cycled past stunning coastline, acres of apple orchards, rice fields full of egrets and through historic, almost deserted, villages. Highlights were evenings in picturesque Calella de Palafrugell, everything about the city of Girona and the fabulous 40+ kilometres down hill from Girona to the coast on the Via Verde. Mark and Shelley were friendly, efficient and gave us lots of local insider information on our drive from the station to Calella.

SHENTON, 6 Jun 2023

 

This holiday gave us the unique opportunity to explore the Catalan countryside while cycling on gravel paths and country roads combined with rest days exploring Girona and the wonderful Dali museum. We chose to use E bikes and were very glad we did as it gave us the opportunity to go 'off piste' to visit small fishing ports without the worry of having to cycle back up a long hill on a hot afternoon. The most impressive aspect of cycling in this part of Catalonia is how worry free it is. There are cycle paths everywhere and we found the local drivers to be very considerate to cyclists. The cycle into Girona, for example, was a joy as the route followed leafy paths alongside a river for much of the way leading straight to the heart of this beautiful city and our hotel. The navigation app was brilliant; that little reassuring voice in your ear saving endless minute of debate about the 'right way'.

Mrs Coleman, 2 Sep 2022

 

One of the best trips we’ve ever done.

Ms Heald, 22 Sep 2019

 

Great holiday- we wished we’d opted to stay 2 nights at Calella de Palafrugell as it was a lovely spot with beautiful clear water for swimming. Our guide, Greig, was brilliant - particularly when we had a day of storms and ran around transferring everyone and their bikes to their destination as if it were no trouble at all. The area is beautiful with fascinating old villages and towns - Girona a real highlight

Ms Richards, 18 Sep 2019

 

We had a great time on our cycling holiday in Catalunya. We enjoyed the cycling and also enjoyed the sightseeing in Figueres and Girona. Not a lot to see in Figueres but the Salvador Dali museum is not to be missed. Not a lot of good restaurants in Figueres but we found the tapas bar El Asador was brilliant. Greg, our rep, was brilliant, nothing seemed to much trouble for him. We also liked the navigation app, it made route finding so much easier, even though we did have the printed notes as well.

We added 2 nights on to the end of the holiday in Calella de Palafrugell, and enjoyed some lovely coastal walks.

Mr Fitzmaurice, 28 Sep 2018

 

This was our first self guided cycle trip and the first with Headwater. Cycling in groups with a leader, mini bus etc is becoming more demanding This cycle trip was enhanced immeasurably with the audio GPS navigation app, which meant not having to pour over maps or follow route directions at every turn. The route on this trip has been very well planned on beautifully quiet roads or tracks and passing through interesting villages and some lovely scenery. Initially, we thought the hybrid, flat bar bikes were too heavy but they proved to be ideal on the well-maintained tracks. There was only one stretch of approx 3 miles on a fairly busy road and that is when cycling into Girona but it's nothing to worry about. To our surprise, we found the average Spanish motorist pretty considerate and prepared to give cyclists a wide berth when overtaking or at junctions.

The hotels were very good with excellent service, quiet rooms, delicious breakfasts and safe parking for the bikes.

Greg, our rep, was spot on right from the start, giving reassuring advice on using the GPS app, what minor problems to be aware of and any adjustments the bikes.

It's a leisurely cycling holiday to be highly recommended. We have enjoyed cycling with groups for many years in lots of places throughout the world but self guided trips are much more leisurely and gives the rider the opportunity to appreciate the scenery, to stop whenever you wish, to explore some of the major sights and small villages etc.

Mr May, 31 Aug 2018

 

A wonderful way to see the real Costa Brava and get to know Catalunya as a region. The holiday was well constructed and well organised. The instructions are not fool proof but that is half the fun!

Mr Cook, 30 Sep 2017

 

The addition of a fully functional cycling app completely transformed my overall enjoyment of the cycling. So much easier to download map and receive voice activated instructions, also phone holder supplied. Inclusion of trip meter complimented use of app. HW - please include these on all your holidays if possible. Our second time in this region, the hotels are of good standard, clean and very helpful staff. We added additional days at hotel Garbi to enjoy the local area **A visit to the Calau tapas bar is a must in Calella be there for 7:30 ish and you should get a table (July), after 8:30 you may have to wait for an hour +. Only other recommendation for food is La Tasca in Girona. The bus tour in Girona is a bit of a waste of money with minimal information via head phones and spent most of the 2 km trip waiting at pick up and drop off points on the circuit. If you have time a cycle to Pals it is well worth the effort (about 25km round trip) we used the app for the first days cycling towards Begur for directions and turned off to Pals * the road into Pals has cycle lanes. Overall, very enjoyable cycling and in our opinion the first days cycling was the most strenuous after that the rest is reasonably easy for the grade.

Mr Thompson, 2 Jul 2017

 

We found this a very enjoyable April holiday, aided by lovely weather. We are only occasional cyclists, but we found the cycling quite manageable although a little challenging on the first day in the saddle. We were the first couple on this revised tour, and the first to use the route notes and did get lost occasionally. However, there were many cyclists around and someone always stopped and helped us get going again. Very friendly and helpful people. The hotels were generally good and well located. Figeures and Girona are very pleasant cities with plenty to do and see on the 'rest' days.

Mr Gough, 11 Apr 2017

 


Self-guided cycling

8 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2
Moderate

13.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

Optional
e-bike hire

8 nights from £1549

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199

 

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