Headwater - Catalan Coastal Self-Guided Cycling

9 days
from
£1,579
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Trip code: 
C08CN
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Cycling
Min group size:
1
Min age:
8

Gentle cycling on breathtaking coastal paths and through beautiful Spanish countryside offering fantastic views

Explore this quiet corner of Catalunya and experience a diverse range of scenery and culture that offers something quite different to the rest of the Spanish Mediterranean. Follow a coastline that has inspired creativity in the likes of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Salvador Dali. The cycling is varied, with gentle routes winding through olive groves and peach orchards contrasting with beautiful coastal paths overlooking the azure Mediterranean sea.

You'll stay in a variety of charming and characterful hotels, all with pools.

Highlights

  • Golden sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters and traditional fishing villages
  • Gentle cycling on breathtaking coastal paths and through beautiful Spanish countryside offering fantastic views
  • Mediaeval villages with fascinating castles, interesting churches and quaint cobbled streets
  • Excellent hotels, all with superb pool facilities, including a C14 castle and others in perfect seaside resorts

Key information

  • 8 nights hotels, all rooms en suite
  • 6 days cycling (including 2 optional rides)
  • 70% tarmac, 30% dirt tracks and coastal paths
  • Gentle terrain throughout
  • GPS route navigation provided
  • Self-guided holiday. Min age 8 yrs

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 4 dinners
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • 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:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 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.

6 (2 optional rides)

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Leisurely: 10-13km/6-8miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 70% tarmac, 30% dirt tracks

Day by day breakdown
Day 233.0km/21.0miles
Day 320.0km/12.0miles
Day 430.0km/19.0miles
Day 525.0km/15.5miles
Day 637.0km/23.5miles
Day 821.0km/13.5miles

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

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Calella de Palafrugell

    Arrive at the Hotel Garbi where you'll enjoy a sea view room with private balcony. With such a rich variety of restaurants on offer, just 5 minutes' walk away in the centre of town, you're free to explore the local cuisine for yourself this evening. Staying at Hotel Garbi.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 2

    Calella de Palafrugell to Platja de Pals

    Today's ride takes you through the pine forest behind Calella, before leading on to the mediaeval village of Pals with its C11-C13 Romanesque tower and stunning views. After lunch, meander through the pretty hamlets of Palau-Sator (where there has been a settlement since Roman times) and Fontanilles, before looping back to the coast and finishing with a gentle downhill ride to Platja de Pals. Staying at Hotel Sa Punta.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    At Platja de Pals (free day or optional ride)

    We strongly recommend a visit to mediaeval Begur, a fashionable hilltop town with C11 castle and outstanding views over the coast. Alternatively, relax on the beach, follow the superb coastal walking path or simply chill out by the hotel's semi-Olympic pool. Staying at Hotel Sa Punta.

     

     

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Platja de Pals to La Bisbal

    Your day begins with a ride past rice fields to join the River Ter, before following the river to Torroella de Montgri with its wonderful views of the Illes Medes and distinctly mediaeval features; think narrow streets, colonnaded square, baronial mansions and a rather impressive C14 Gothic church. Leave here and head inland along quiet roads to the village of Gualta with its picturesque C16 bridge and the pretty hamlets of Fonolleres, Matajudaica and Casavells. Finally, ride on to La Bisbal, where you'll stay in a unique C14 castle, once reputed to have been on Dali's shopping list. Staying at Hotel Castell d'Emporda.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    At La Bisbal (free day or optional ride)

    Laze by the pool (there's a fabulous sun terrace and bar area) or follow our suggested cycling circuit linking the pretty mediaeval villages of Corca, Monells (pretty square and lovely choices for lunch) and La Bisbal, a lively market town famous for antiques and pottery. Take time to explore the old quarter including the Carrer del Call, formerly a Jewish ghetto, whose intricate arches are still intact today. Staying at Hotel Castell d'Emporda.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    La Bisbal to Palamos

    This is a lovely gentle ride that stops first at the walled village of Ullastret. The vast archaeological site here contains the remains of one of the oldest Iberian villages in Spain. Move on via beautifully preserved Peratallada to the bustling market town of Palafrugell, a great spot for lunch. It's then a gentle 5km ride to the seaside town of Palamos, where you'll spend the next two nights in our *** sea-facing hotel with its lovely pool. Staying at Hotel Trias.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    At Palamos

    Once a C12 fishing village, Palamos is now a bustling family seaside resort centred around its colourful port, and has one of the best beaches on the Costa Brava. Here you can walk or cycle to Sant Antoni, explore the warren of mediaeval streets, or simply relax in the sun by the pool or down on the beach. Staying at Hotel Trias.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Palanos to Calella de Palafrugell

    Your route today is filled with things to see and do. Firstly, you'll follow the coast along to the lovely bay at La Fosca, before moving on to the sheltered half-moon cove of Platja de Castell, crowned by the atmospheric ruins of an ancient settlement. Then head inland through the farming hamlets and rice fields of Santa Margarida and Ermedas, before ascending gently to the Sant Sebastia lighthouse with its fabulous views and restaurant for lunch. A final downhill stretch via Llafranc will then carry you back to Calella de Palafrugell. Staying at Hotel Garbi.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    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

Spain

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Spain

There are no specific health risks.

Weather

The trips runs from April through to November (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?

Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)
Average daily distance: 31km (19 miles).
No. of days cycling: 6 (including 2 optional rides)
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.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 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.

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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]

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Call us on 020 8772 3936