Touring Catalonia By Bicycle: From The Volcanoes to the Costa Brava Bike Tour

By Darren Alff

Touring Catalonia bicycle tours

Touring Catalonia From the Volcanoes to the Costa Brava Bike Tour

Come to Catalonia and experience the sun, the sea, the people, the cuisine and the vibrant cities that make this small part of northeastern Spain so incredibly unique!

While participating in this one-of-a-kind bicycle touring adventure with local tour company, Touring Catalonia, you’ll stay in charming farmhouse villas and seaside hotels, dine like the locals do (with siestas during the afternoon and meals late at night) and feel the wind in your hair as you cycle along the scenic coastal towns of the Costa Brava – stopping along the way to eat delicious foods, take a swim in the sea or walk in the hot Mediterranean sand.

When you book the “From the Volcanoes to the Costa Brava” self-guided bicycle tour with Touring Catalonia, all of the details are taken care of for you. Just let the company know which week of the year you want to travel and the people at Touring Catalonia will do the rest for you. Your only responsibility is to show up in Girona, Spain for the start of the tour. After that, your accommodations, bicycle and scenic cycling routes are all taken care of for you. Just follow the step-by-step instructions laid out for you by the tour company… and enjoy your cycling excursion in beautiful Catalonia!

Bike Tour Information

  • Tour Company: Touring Catalonia
  • Tour Name: From the Volcanoes to the Costa Brava
  • Website: www.touringcatalonia.com
  • Tour Type: Self-Guided
  • Tour Length: 7 days / 6 nights
  • Starting/Ending Location: Girona, Spain
  • Total Cycling Distance: 234 km
  • Price: 625 EUR per person

Daily Overview of the Tour

In the summer of 2016, I had the pleasure of participating in the “From the Volcanoes to the Costa Brava” self-guided bike tour with Touring Catalonia. The booking process was a breeze and the entire week was an utter joy! The weather was great, the food was good, the people were friendly, and Catalonia left a lasting impression on my psyche.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is a day-by-day account of this unique Catalonian bicycle tour.

Day 1: Welcome To Catalonia

On the first day of the bike tour, your only task is to arrive in Girona, Spain for the start of the tour. Most people fly into Barcelona, Spain and then take the bus or train from there to nearby Girona. The train takes less than an hour-and-a-half and is a pleasant ride in-and-of-itself through the Catalonian countryside. Once in Girona, you’ll be met at the bus/train station by someone from Touring Catalonia and you and your belongings will be transported by van to the nearby town of Joanetes. Here, you’ll stay in a beautifully restored, multi-story farmhouse. You’ll be fed dinner and then you’ll have a little time to wander around the property before going to bed.

Day 2: Joanetes to Girona

The first day of the “From the Volcanoes to the Costa Brava” bike tour is a busy one. You’ll wake up in the tiny countryside town Joanetes and be treated to a delicious farmhouse-style breakfast. After that, you’ll return to your room and pack up your things. You’ll leave your luggage at the farmhouse and continue on your bicycle. Best of all, your bags will be transported to the next hotel for you, making it unnecessary for you to carry much of anything on your bicycle during the day. The ride out of Joanettes is a pleasant one. You start out on quiet country roads and then quickly move to a hard-packed dirt and gravel bike path, which will take you down a long, flat valley – all the way to Girona. In Girona, you’ll check into your hotel and, if you like, participate in a walking tour of the city (highly recommended). Afterward, you might consider joining a local cooking class at Tots a Taula where you can learn about the cuisine that makes Catalonia so unique (also very enjoyable).

Day 3: Girona to Sant Feliu de Guíxols

It’s a warm, sunny bike ride along dedicated bike paths on this particular day. Enjoy the ride as you cycle past farmland, across small bridges, and through shady tree-covered areas, before arriving at the beach in Sant Feliu de Guíxols. You’ll be staying at the Hostel del Sol, which is located on a hill just outside the city center – with amazing rooftop views of the city and the ocean in the distance. From the hotel, it’s just a short walk into town, where food and drinks can be had in the town’s many small restaurants. Be sure to take in the sand and sea on this particular day, as Sant Feliu de Guíxols is one of the most beautiful fishing villages on the entire bike tour.

Day 4: Sant Feliu de Guíxols to L’Estartit

This was, by far, my favorite day of the bike tour in Catalonia. The day begins with breakfast in your hotel, followed by a short bike ride through crowded coastal streets lined with restaurants and tourist shops. Heading north along the coast, you’ll eventually turn inland and find your way back to the bike path, where you will then cycle through the countryside. You’ll bike through small towns, past large plots of farmland, and through dense tree-covered tundra. Finally, you’ll arrive at the Hotel Medes II in L’Estartit where you can shower before taking a pleasant walk around town and searching for a local restaurant to dine in for the evening.

Day 5: L’Estartit to Roses

Day five of the Touring Catalonia bike tour is your last opportunity to soak in the beauty of Catalonia’s coastal seaside. Lucky for you, much of this day’s bike ride is along the waterfront, with bike paths and quiet country roads taking you almost the entire way to Roses. Along the way, be sure to stop and enjoy one or more of the local beaches. They’re easy to spot, after-all, with dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of individuals in brightly colored swimsuits laying in the sand or playing in the surf. At the end of your ride today, you’ll cycle through a high-end coastal community that feels more like Miami, Flordia than it does Roses, Spain. From there, it’s a short, but scenic bike ride up the coast and to your hotel for the night – Hotel Ramlamar.

Day 6: Roses to Figueres

Roses is a beautiful little city located on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Because today is the shortest day of the bike tour at only 28 scheduled kilometers, feel free to relax in Roses during the first part of the day. Then, jump on your bicycle and head inland toward the town of Figueres, where your cycling holiday in Spain will ultimately come to an end. Along the way, stop and explore the ancient villages of Castelló d’Empúries, Vilanova de La Muga and Perelada. Finally, arrive in Figueres and check into the Hotel Pirineos before showering, taking a walk around town and eating dinner at one of the many local street-side restaurants.

Day 7: Goodbye Catalonia

On the last day of the “From the Volcanoes to the Costa Brava” bike tour, you’ll eat breakfast in your hotel and then travel from there back to Barcelona (or Girona (or wherever you wish to go)) on the bus/train. There’s no need to return your bicycle or any of the rental gear. Just leave it all at the hotel in Figueres and someone from Touring Catalonia will come to retrieve it shortly after your departure.

My Official Bike Tour Summary

Touring Catalonia has done an excellent job of organizing this week-long bicycle tour in northeastern Spain. During the course of one short week, you get:

  • Transferred from the train/bus station in Girona to the start of the tour in Joanettes.
  • 6 nights in charming Catalonian hotels and farmhouse accommodations.
  • Luggage transport between each of the hotels.
  • Delicious, all-you-can-eat buffet breakfasts.
  • The rental of a hybrid bike, GPS and helmet (which is optional)
  • Short and easy self-guided bike rides organized by experienced local cyclists.
  • And the experience of a lifetime in beautiful Catalonia!

Yes! There are lots of things to like about this bike tour, but I think the three best parts of the tour are:

  • Soaking in the sun along the Costa Brava. The “From the Volcanoes to the Costa Brava” bike tour is the perfect cycling holiday for those wishing to get a little sun. The weather in this part of the world is warm during the summer months, but it’s rarely too warm. Prepare to fall in love with the Costa Brava beaches!
  • The amazing network of bike paths. Catalonia is covered in an incredible maze of bike paths. Paved bike paths, dirt bike paths, bike paths that take you across rivers on bridges, and bike paths that allow you to cycle right along the edge of the sea. While there are times  on this tour when you will need to cycle down quiet city streets, a great majority of this bike tour takes places on the many bike paths that cross Catalonia. And did I mention that the entire bike tour is either downhill or flat. There are only a few very small inclines over the course of the entire week – making this a cycling holiday that almost anyone can complete and enjoy.
  • Daily luggage transport. If you want to go bicycle touring, but don’t want to fuss with all the gear, clothing, and equipment that you see some self-supported bicycle tourists carrying, then you’ll love having your luggage transported from hotel to hotel on the “From the Volcanoes to the Costa Brava” bike tour. With the weight of your clothing, toiletries and other personal items no longer on your bicycle, you’re free to cycle each day in total comfort. And when you reach your hotel at the end of the day, your bags will be waiting for you!

If you want to make your time in Catalonia even more memorable, I highly recommend participating in one of the walking tours of Girona. Ask for Laura from Girona with Us. She is one of the best tour guides I’ve encountered anywhere in Europe. And while you’re at it, I highly recommend the optional cooking class in Girona offered by Xavier at Tots a Taula. These two experiences, in addition to the bike tour itself, really help to make this cycling holiday an experience that you will remember for years to come.

Overall, the “From the Volcanoes to the Costa Brava” bike tour is a cycling holiday that I highly recommended. The tour takes places in a beautiful and interesting part of the world. The people are friendly, the food is good, the beaches are out of this world, and this tour in particular is one of the most affordable self-guided bicycle tours you will find anywhere in Europe.

To learn more about this bike tour or any of the other wonderful cycling holidays organized by Touring Catalonia, be sure to visit their website at www.touringcatalonia.com

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