Headwater - Classic Catalan Cycling

9 days
from
£1,229
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Trip code: 
C08CL
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
8

This 8-night holiday explores the wonderfully undiscovered Catalan countryside, a region of pine-fringed valleys dotted with historic castles, hilltop fortresses, ancient wine villages and beautiful countryside. 

Rich with mediaeval villages, historic castles and churches, Catalunya is contrasted with an impressive rocky coastline, dotted with pretty fishing villages, crystal-clear waters and beautiful golden sandy beaches. Steeped in culture and history, Catalunya's traditions date back over thousands of years. 

Highlights

  • Artists' villages, beautiful sandy beaches, craggy coves and rocky bays
  • An abundance of nature: giant bamboo, cork oaks, olives and vines
  • Rich in cultural history: ruined castles, hilltop fortresses, cathedrals and battlefields
  • Lovely contrasting hotels including a converted mill in a large gardens
  • Spectacular coastal views across to the Illes Medes

Key information

  • 8 Nights, Hotel-to-hotel
  • 4 Days cycling
  • Departs Every two days from 9 Apr '18 to 16 Oct '18
  • Headwater wine service 
  • GPS route navigation provided 
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's included

  • All accommodation 
  • All breakfasts and 2 evening meals 
  • Headwater wine service 
  • GPS route navigation 
  • High quality bikes 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa's & vaccinations
  • Single accommodation (available on request - compulsory supplement).
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.

4

Days of Cycling
Terrain:

We follow undulating roads through deep green meadows and cork forests , an old narrow gauge railway line, now a Via Verde, and coastal paths.

Day by day breakdown
Day 234.0km/22.0miles
Day 449.0km/31.0miles
Day 648.0km/30.0miles
Day 861.0km/38.0miles

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 Palafugell
to
Calella De Palafugell
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Calella De Palafrufell

    Arrive in Calella and head to the local 'blue flag' beaches or relax by the hotel pool before dinner. We provide plenty of recommendations in Calella for dinner. (Staying at Hotel Garbi)

  • Day 2

    Calella De Palafrugell to Torroella De Montgri

    Today's 'warm-up' ride takes you inland through Palafrugell, then on to Begur with its hilltop mediaeval castle remains and its colonial Cuban-influenced villas, built by locals who emigrated to Cuba and returned once they had made their fortunes. Visit the fabulous sweep of beach at Platja de Pals then continue on to Torroella de Montgri for two nights. (Staying at Hotel Moli del Mig)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    At Torroella De Montgri

    Cycle into Torroella and explore the mediaeval centre and walls, originally the Royal Port for the Kings of Aragon, before the River Ter silted up and the port was moved to nearby L'Estartit. You could cycle here for some great beaches or walk up to the C13 fortress, Montgri Castle, set on the top of the Montgri Massif, overlooking the town and the Emporda plain beyond. (Staying at Hotel Moli del Mig)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Toroella De Montgri to Figueres

    Follow flat country lanes to the coast at L'Escala and explore the ancient Greek and Roman Empuries ruins. The town was founded in 575 BC by Greek colonists, later occupied by the Romans, then abandoned in the Middle Ages due to its exposed coastal position leaving it open to attack. Cycle on to Castello d'Empuries, with its 1,000-year-old church, Santa Maria de Castello, before continuing on to Figueres. (Staying at Hotel Pirineos)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    At Figueres

    Explore Figueres today. Stroll along La Rambla and discover the old town's mediaeval squares and arches. As the birthplace of Salvador Dali, the Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dali, designed by the artist himself, is a must-see. Also visit the C18 Sant Ferran Castle, a large military fortress (the largest monument in Catalunya), built with a pentagonal plan and sophisticated construction techniques for the time. (Staying at Hotel Pirineos)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Figueres to Girona

    Heading further inland, we follow an undulating route through deep green meadows, cork forests and tiny charming hamlets. Then follow the Rivers Ter and Onyar into the region's capital Girona. (Staying at Hotel Ciutat de Girona)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    At Girona

    Explore this stunning city, dating back to pre-Roman times. Walk the city walls for a different perspective of the sights: discover the Placa de la Independencia, the impressive cathedral, the Jewish Quarter and the Onyar River's picturesque bridges and painted houses. A regular fast train can take you to Barcelona for a day in the Catalan capital. Or cycle to Catalunya's largest natural lake 'Estany de Banyoles' the venue for 1992 Olympic rowing events. (Staying at Hotel Ciutat de Girona)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Girona to Calella De Palafrugell

    Ride out of Girona on the Via Verde, an old narrow-gauge railway line that heads, mostly downhill, all the way to the coast. Continue around the coast past Platja d'Aro and Calonge to the seafront town of 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.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 2 evening meals included

Traditional Spanish food such as paella, chorizo and albondigas (meatballs) can be found on just about every menu in Catalunya, but don’t forget to try the regional specialities too. Local cuisine features plenty of fish, including world-renowned anchovies from L’Escala, and botifarras (black pudding) from the mountains. A good starter might be Pan Catalán (pa amb tomàquet), this is lightly toasted bread, drizzled with olive oil and topped with tomatoes and garlic. Thanks to its geography, the region has developed “Sea and Mountain” - mar y muntana cuisine, combining chicken with lobster, or rabbit with prawns. Fruits are used as well, such as roasted chicken and figs, or pheasant and grapes.

 Dishes are rich and hearty, however, it is not just a meat-based cuisine, there are plenty of vegetable options. Catalan dishes also rely heavily on sauces: Sofrito is an onion and tomato sauce, Picada is made from dried fruits, nuts and herbs, Sanfaina is a sauce of fried peppers, aubergines, onions and tomatoes and Romesco is made with tomatoes, peppers, nuts and garlic. Most menus are written in both Castilian and Catalan and sometimes in English too, but you may find a pocket dictionary useful in the more remote places.

 

Weather

The trips runs from April through to October (except 5-23 Aug) with the early and later part of the season experiencing cooler temperatures, highs averaging 18-20°C and lows averaging 11-15°C. In the height of July temperatures will reach highs of 28-30°C 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?

Cycling Conditions

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/moderate)
Average daily distance on move on days: 48km (30.1 miles). 
No. of days cycling: 4
Terrain and route: The suggested cycling mainly follows traffic-free routes, with a mixture of quiet roads and coastal paths.
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 accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace. 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. 

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe 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

This holiday is packed with stunning scenery and a wealth of fascinating historical and cultural discoveries that date back to Greek and Roman times. Your holiday starts and ends in the pretty seafront town of Calella de Palafrugell. From here, you'll head north, via Begur, to Torroella de Montgri and its hilltop C13 castle with panoramic views across the Emporda plain. You'll continue via the coast and Empuries, where you can visit the Greek and Roman ruins, on to Figueres, the famous birthplace of Salvador Dali. Heading west, we follow undulating roads through deep green meadows and cork forests to the city of Girona with its impressive architecture and great dining choices. Your final stretch takes you along an old narrow gauge railway line, now a Via Verde, which heads down to the coast. Continue on past Platja d'Aro and Calonge to Calella de Palafrugell. 

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.

Accommodation

Hotels

The hotels on this holiday are as varied as the scenery, and include the Hotel Garbi, overlooking the fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell; the contemporary Hotel Moli del Mig; a converted C15 mill in Torroella de Montgri and two chic town hotels one which has a small pool.

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]

Call us on 020 8772 3936