From Ripoll train station it is a short walk to the start hotel. In the evening (around 1930hrs) a local representative will deliver hire bikes to your hotel and provide a short briefing.
Before you depart Ripoll there is time to visit the monastery, the most important Romanesque site in Catalunya - dating back to the days of Wilfred the Hairy, founder of the Catalan nation. Continue by bike by joining the Bici Carril to Olot. The Carril de Carbon is part of a former railway line originally used for the extraction of coal found in the region. Mountains up to 2000 metres give a nice setting along the way. We pass through Sant Joan de Abadesses, another important site from early mediaeval days, where you can stop briefly for a visit to the 9th century monastery with its delightful alabaster windows. In the early afternoon you arrive in Olot, the capital of the Garrotxa region, probably one of the few places in the world that was built in between some volcanoes.
Either take a circular route or simply take a day to relax in Olot. The circular route takes you into the extinct, wooded volcanoes of Garrotxa to see the Croscat Volcano and Santa Pau, one of the best of Catalunya's mediaeval villages. If you want to ride a little further you can venture into the Bas valley, south west of Olot, a serene area with rural charm and picturesque villages, and then return to the hotel.
Back onto the 'bici carril' where we follow the well-graded former railway tracks through the mountains, almost exclusively downhill until we reach Girona. The capital of the province, the walled town of Girona is another jewel of mediaeval splendour, perched on a hill above the river. The narrow mediaeval streets are fascinating, the magnificent Cathedral is a must and the Arabic baths, Jewish quarter and museums will certainly fill your time. A walk on the top of the medieval city walls offers superb views across the whole town and it's surroundings.
In the morning it's back in the saddle for the last day of riding along the Bici Carril, from Girona to Sant Feliu de Guixols. The Bici Carril takes us towards the coast, passing through changing scenery where pine forests start dominating. Once we hit the Mediterranean coast there should be enough time for relaxing by the beach and enjoying a swim in the sea.
Today is free to have a day on the beach if you want to relax and enjoy the spectacular coastline, there are many beaches to choose from sandy to rocky. Alternatively, you can enjoy a stunning circular ride along the coast to Tossa del Mar. The road winds its way around the hills, revealing many beautiful beaches and secluded bays. When you reach Tossa del Mar you can visit the Mediaeval Castle and wander through the cobbled narrow streets of the old town. Whatever, you choose to do during the day we recommend taking a stroll into the old town centre of San Feliu in the evening, there is a lovely promenade by the sea and the town has kept much of its charm.
You leave the (hired) bikes in the Hotel and catch a public bus (with your luggage) to Barcelona (1½ hours - fare to be paid locally). After checking into the hotel in Barcelona you have the rest of the day to discover this incredible city. Besides Vienna the Catalan capital has probably the richest selection of Art Nouveau buildings in Europe. Together with the fantastic Gothic architecture from the golden mediaeval age in the 13th/14th century this makes Barcelona an unforgettable experience. Amongst the 'not to be missed' are Antonio Gaudí's Sagrada Familia, his Casa Mila and Park Güell, Las Ramblas, the Cathedral, the Picasso Museum and the Barrio Gütico. The sheer number of highlights may be overwhelming for just one day. So why not enjoy the buzz of this marvellous city by having a long 'café con leche' in one of the hundreds of terrace cafés.