Headwater - Contrasts of Catalunya Self-Guided Cycling - Short Break

Loading...
Leisurely
Learn more
Trip code: 
C04CN
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Activity:
Self-Guided Cycling
Min age:
8

Packed with contrast and variety, this easy 4 night cycling tour takes in the unspoilt Catalan coast, passing through olive groves, peach orchards and stunningly beautiful, pretty coloured villages. All the hotels have pools and 1 night is spent in a luxury 14th century castle.

Catalunya is a semi-autonomous area of Spain; steeped in culture, its traditions and festivals date back over thousands of years. Rich in medieval villages, highlights include prosperous Peratallada, peach-coloured Pals and fashionable Begur. The rocky coastline is dotted with pretty fishing villages, crystal clear waters and beautiful beaches which are perfect to explore.

Highlights

  • Quiet country roads - perfect for first-timers or nervous cyclists
  • Wide sandy beaches, beautiful bays, traditional fishing ports, sun-drenched villages off the tourist trail
  • Excellent hotels, all with pools, including 14th century luxury castle
  • Lovely sea breeze, perfect cycling conditions - never too hot, even in high season
  • Pretty medieval villages to explore en route and on your rest days

Key information

  • 4 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • 3 days cycling
  • All breakfasts and 2 evening meals
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • GPS route directions and maps 
  • RideWithGPS navigation app
  • High quality hybrid bikes 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 
  • Countries visited: Spain

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 2 evening meals
  • All accommodation
  • All luggage transfers
  • Route notes and maps
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - Compulsory supplement)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request)
Call for general departures:
+356 21423994
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

3

Days of Cycling
Terrain:

Low altitude; 70% tarmac, 30% dirt tracks

Day by day breakdown
Day 233.0km/21.0miles
Day 330.0km/19.0miles
Day 433.0km/21.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

Calella de Palafrugell
to
Calella de Palafrugell
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Calella de Palafrugell

    You arrive at your hotel where all Headwater guests are accommodated in rooms with a private balcony and sea view. It's less than 5 minutes' walk to the centre of town where you have so many restaurants to choose from, we've left evening meals up to you. (Staying at Hotel Garbi, Breakfast only)

  • Day 2

    Calella De Palafrugell to Platja De Pals

    Your route today passes through the pine forests behind Calella before heading off to peach-coloured Pals, a lovely medieval town with Romanesque church affording stunning views. After lunch, head on through the pretty hamlets of Palau-Sator (where there has been a settlement since Roman times) and Fontanilles, before looping back towards the coast and a gentle downhill ride to Platja de Pals. (Staying at Hotel Sa Punta, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Platja De Pals to La Bisbal

    You'll begin today cycling past rice fields before following the River Ter to Torroella de Montgri with wonderful views of the Illes Medes. Visit this lovely medieval town with its Roman defensive wall before heading inland along wonderfully quiet roads through the village of Gualta (picturesque 16th century bridge) and pretty hamlets of Fonolleres, Matajudaica and Casavells to La Bisbal. Here you'll stay in a uniquely converted 14th century Gothic castle - once reputed to have been on Dali's shopping list but now owned by Dutchman Albert Diks. (Staying at the Hotel Castell d'Emporda, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    La Bisbal to Calella De Palafrugell

    Today offers lovely gentle cycling, stopping first at the walled village of Ullastret. The vast archaeological site here contains the remains of one of the oldest Iberian villages in Spain. Continue your journey through beautifully preserved Peratallada to the bustling market town of Palafrugell. Then back to Calella de Palafrugell for a final swim in the pool.(Staying at Hotel Garbi, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Leave Calella De Palafrugell

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Spain

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and two evening meals included.

Traditional Spanish food such as paella, chorizo and albondigas (meatballs) can be found on just about every menu in Catalunya, but there are plenty of tasty local specialities too. Local cuisine features plenty of fish, including world renowned anchovies from L'Escala, and botifarras (black pudding) from the mountains. A delicious starter is Pan Catalan, which is lightly toasted bread, drizzled with olive oil and topped with tomatoes and garlic. The geography of the area has developed regional cuisine mixing 'surf and turf'; combinations such as chicken and lobster, or rabbit with prawns. Fruits also feature strongly with dishes combining chicken with figs, or pheasant and grapes. Dishes tend to be rich and hearty but there are also plenty of vegetable options for vegetarians. Catalan foods also feature sauces in many dishes, which are usually rich in flavour.

The region is also renowned for the production of Cava, around the town of San Sadurni de Noya. There is a herby, smoky, grassy flavour to some of these as a result of the grape varieties and climate. The region also produces some of Spain's best wines. Though we do not cycle through San Sadurni de Noya, try the wine from this region if you spot it on a menu.

Weather

The trips runs from April through to October (except 5-23 Aug) with the early and later part of the season experiencing cooler temperature, highs averaging 18-20 degrees celcius and lows averaging 11-15 degrees Celcius. In the height of July temperatures will reach highs of 28-30 degrees so it is important to be prepared for this. There is always a chance of rain throughout the year, so it is always best to be prepared.

Is this trip for you?

Average daily distance: 32km ( 20 miles). 
No. of days cycling: 3
Terrain and route: The suggested cycling mainly follows quiet tarmac roads with a few sections on dirt roads. The terrain is gentle throughout.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. The maps and route notes are provided in a link and can be downloaded to your phone via an app, RidewithGPS. A representative will be there to meet you, make sure the bikes are all set up and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes. 

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Families
Self-guided cycling holidays are a perfect option for families as they offer the freedom for you to take your holiday at your own pace. You can stop as and when you want and need, at the cafes and restaurants that suit your family and the sites that interest you. Our local partner is able to offer child seats up to 4yrs and bikes from 8, these are all subject to availability, therefore we ask that you inquire about these on booking. As a guide, we have suggested that 8 yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you. The daily distances are all published in the trip notes along with a description of each days cycling so you have a good idea of what to expect. However, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts. The principle idea is that these holidays can be as flexible as you like, with logistical support but no group or leader to dictate the daily activities.


This holiday is full of contrasts and variety and explores one of the most beautiful corners of Catalunya. It's gentle cycling too, occasionally off-road, through olive groves, peach orchards and pine forests, and along pretty coastal paths. The landscape is gently rolling for the most part, making this an easy cycle and a relaxing holiday. The changing seasons bring white blossom in spring, sunflower yellow in summer and warm gold at harvest time. Fabulous coastal views, beautiful beaches and aquamarine waters make this an inspirational area.

Call for general departures:
+356 21423994
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

You stay in a variety of hotels, all with pools, which have been hand-picked for their charm and character. The family-run Hotel Garbi in the traditional fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell, is set on the hillside overlooking the sea. The stylish Hotel Sa Punta in Platja de Pals is set in attractive gardens and is within walking distance of the beach or you can cycle to nearby Begur. One night of the holiday is spent at the Hotel Castell d'Emporda, a magnificently restored 14th century castle perched proudly on its outcrop, just outside La Bisbal. The breathtaking views over the plain from its sun terrace are not to be missed.

Call for general departures:
+356 21423994
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]