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Cycling in Catalonia truly is a Softies dream cycling adventure, not only for the diverse landscape of soaring mountains, lush countryside and miles of beautiful coastline but also for the many delicious local foods and wines you’ll try along the way. Our tailor-made self-guided tours offer unforgettable cycling in Catalonia that you can take at your own pace to absorb everything the region has to offer and its breathtaking beauty.
With its year-round good climate and an amazing network of gentle cycle trails, Catalonia is a prime destination for lovers of leisurely cycling. Therefore, in this blog, you’ll be given a taster of some of our cycling routes and what to expect on your journey through Catalonia.
The Vies Verdes, or Greenway trails, are a vital part of cycle tourism in Catalonia. A network of railway lines were carved out of the landscape to create a widespread national railway system. However, the project was abandoned leaving miles of unused railway tracks all over the country. Now, these old railway lines have been converted into luxury walking and cycling trails which cut steadily through untouched, natural landscapes. 133 Vies Verdes have been recorded across Spain, 12 of which meander through Catalonia, covering a breadth of 190.3km. Given their gentle gradients, the Vies Verdes have given Spain an amazing cycling infrastructure accessible to riders of all abilities and ages including those with reduced mobility. On your cycling holidays with us in Catalonia, you will find yourself following these beautiful cycling tracks through magnificent stretches of pristine countryside.
Starting north, our tours take you skirting around the majestic Pyrenees Mountain range which provides a surreal backdrop for your cycling holiday, making every second a picture-perfect moment. Your journey on two wheels will begin on the Vie Verde called El Carrilet, which takes you through striking valleys and red pine forests until you reach the beautiful countryside settlement of Sant Joan de les Abadesses. At the foot of the mountains, this ancient town is the perfect place to stop for a tapas or two and maybe a café before pedalling onwards. Make sure to cross the old Roman bridge, an important landmark which distinguishes this small emerald village.
Following El Carrilet, you will cruise down to the stunning Garrotxa National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage site is full of breathtaking cliffs, ancient volcanic terrain and quaint medieval buildings hidden amongst the verdant green forest. Within this beautiful scenic landscape is the charming city of Olot, known worldwide and a fascinating place to visit for its four inactive volcanoes scattered around the city centre. Olot is a great spot to grab a patata d’olot (an Olot Potato), grown in the fertile volcanic soil, this gorgeously crisp roasted potato filled with minced meat is the perfect snack to keep you energised. The cycle path will then take you onto your accommodation, La Rectoria Hotel in Sant Miquel Pineda. This friendly B&B will guarantee you a comfortable night's sleep after a long day of cycling in Catalonia.
Before heading to Girona, you’ll take a lovely circular cycle route around La Valle d’En Bas, known to be called “Catalan Switzerland” for its enchanting towns, vibrant rivers and rugged landscape.
The narrow-gauge railway trail which takes you from Olot to Girona is in excellent condition with new bridges, railings and clear signposting. As it descends smoothly through the valleys of the Fluvià, Brugent and Ter rivers you’ll pass 12 gorgeous countryside towns and the glistening pasturelands of Salt before reaching one of the most beautiful cities in the whole of Spain, Girona. With glowing buildings, webs of cobbled lanes and shimmering waters, Girona demands to be seen. On arrival, treat yourself to the delicious and unique Catalan cuisine that puts Girona on the food map. With exquisite wines produced in local vineyards and the highest quality of gastronomic products, the cuisine in Girona is undoubtedly one of the highlights of cycling in Catalonia.
As you cycle down to the coast, you’ll cross the Selva Depression, a jigsaw of croplands and rich forests. The route then passes by Les Gavarres, a Mediterranean forest that stretches down to the sea. This area of dense woodland is known for producing cork which has been harvested from the trees for centuries using traditional methods to create wine stoppers. As you can imagine, this place is particularly important for local wine producers, especially those which manufacture the flagship wine of the region, Cava. Continuing south on El Carrilet you will reach your final destination, the Costa Brava, with many stunning coastal towns to discover as well as a broad stretch of relaxing shoreline. Some of our tours end in the attractive fishing town of Palámos where you can find a lively atmosphere with excellent fish restaurants lining the old port and a large sandy beach. You will also have the choice to ride to some quieter neighbouring towns such as Calella de Palafrugell and Llafranc. These delightful seaside locations are great places to catch a rest with a slow-moving ambience and peaceful beaches. Whilst riding along the coast you’ll see dazzling white coves chipped out of the hillside contrast against the deep turquoise sea and smell the calming fragrance of Aleppo pines in the air – the perfect way to end your time cycling in Catalonia.
To find our more about our cycling tours in Catalonia, gives us a call on 020 7471 7760, or alternatively, view our Catalonia cycling holidays here.
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