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Cycling the Costa Brava: a wild ride through cuisine, culture and countryside

Posted 22 Aug 2017

The wild coast, Costa Brava, is a patchwork of perfection. Wine country gives way to dramatic mountains on one side and aquamarine sea on the other, with the best Spanish food and drink packed tightly between. Add in guaranteed sunshine, a cornucopia of delicious local produce and cultural highlights galore, and it won’t be long before you’ve fallen in love with this glorious coastline. Unsurprisingly, we think it's best explored on two wheels; here are the bits you won’t want to miss.

Dali Museum

The Culture

You begin the Catalonia tour in Figueres, birthplace of Salvador Dalí and the best place to appreciate the surrealist's greatest works. The Salvador Dalí Theatre-Museum is a quirky turreted building, somewhere between a seed-studded strawberry and a Moroccan palace, housing some of Dalí’s most notable works, like the Barcelona Mannequin. On summer nights between July and September you can view the enchanting collection by moonlight with a complimentary glass of Cava.

Stroll along the city walls when you dismount at Torroella de Montgrí for a true trip back in time. This quaint and quiet town, situated just 6km from the beach, is peppered with reminders of its past. If you choose to meander through the streets for an afternoon rather than head to the golden sands, you can admire the gothic architecture of Sant Genís church and the imposing 13th century Montgrí Castle.

The Cuisine

In Figueres, follow your nose to find bodegas galore. Jamón Ibérico, sweet and savoury tapas, seafood paella – your choices are endless and delicious. Bocam is a well-loved spot that prides itself on cooking local ingredients with a fusion flare, like its ingenious Iberian pork with kimchi mayonnaise. Or drop into the restaurant in Hotel Duran, once a frequent haunt of Dalí himself, to sample their exemplary Catalonian cuisine.

On day two you'll wend your way to Peralada, a medieval town in the heart of the wine region. Don’t miss the expertise of the Castillo Peralada; wine has been made here since the Middle Ages. This sprawling estate, which has both a wine spa and museum, has plenty of fine specimens to sample, like the Don Miguel Mateu or the Gran Claustro Special Reserve Cava.

Later in the trip, make a stop at Sa Torre in the pretty hamlet of Palau-Sator. This restaurant is loved for its lively atmosphere and fantastic meat dishes, cooked to taste by the chef who is also the village butcher.

Catalonian coastline

The Countryside and Coastline

The Costa Brava combines a glorious, rugged coastline with lush inland scenery, from rich wine-growing plains to the spectacle of the Albera mountains. On day two of the tour we recommend you follow a circular route from Peralada to Serra d’Altrera to take in spectacular views of both.

Cycle the coastal path to Palamós, your final destination on the Costa Brava tour, to spy stunning secluded coves. Stop at La Fosca, with its crystalline waters and low-key atmosphere, or pedal on to discover Platja de Castell, an unspoilt local favourite.

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