Headwater - Undiscovered Southern Catalunya Cycling

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Trip code: 
C08SC
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
8

Explore Southern Catalunya, favoured by Picasso, by bike on a mixture of riverside paths, via verde and quiet roads. This is 'real' Spain with lively towns and charming villages with a backdrop of coast or mountains.

Highlights

  • Discover the 'real' Spain on off-the beaten- track trails
  • Glorious Via Verde with wonderful mountain scenery
  • The impressive Ebro Delta; scenic riverside trails; ancient monuments
  • Follow in Picasso's footsteps in Horta de Sant Joan
  • Lovely mix of hotels including a 4-star hotel with sea views, a C10 castle and a charming Casa Rural

Key information

  • 8 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • 4 Days cycling
  • All buffet breakfasts and 6 evening meals
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • GPS route directions and maps 
  • RideWithGPS navigation app
  • High quality hybrid bikes 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All buffet breakfasts and 6 evening meals
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • GPS route directions and maps 
  • RideWithGPS navigation app
  • High quality hybrid bikes 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's not included

  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplements
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:

The suggested cycle routes are mostly flat and mainly follow rural and coastal trails.

Day by day breakdown
Day 234.0km/22.0miles
Day 451.0km/32.0miles
Day 640.0km/25.0miles
Day 838.0km/24.0miles

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

L'Ampolla
to
L'Ampolla
  • Day 1

    Arrive in L'Ampolla

    Arrive at your hotel which overlooks the harbour. You could eat at the hotel tonight or in one of the bustling town's great seafront restaurants. (Staying at theHotel Flamingo, Breakfast only)

  • Day 2

    L'Ampolla to Tortosa

    Today's route takes you inland, passing charming working villages and the C12 hermitage of Aldea before cycling through olive groves and citrus orchards to impressive Tortosa and your C10 castle for the next two nights. (Staying at the Parador de Tortosa, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    At Tortosa

    Today you can discover the ancient walls and monuments of Tortosa, a Templar city dating back 2000 years. Visit the Jewish quarter and take in the impressive Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria. Fancy going further afield? Tarragona can be reached by train - a jumble of cobbled streets with an impressive amphitheatre overlooking the sea. (Staying at the Parador de Tortosa, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Tortosa to Horta De Sant Joan

    Leaving Tortosa, you'll cycle alongside the River Ebro and through pine-scented forests, passing the quaint town of Xerta and its old railway station. Following the old railway line, which is now an impressive Via Verde for cyclists and walkers, you'll enjoy incredible views of mountains, green gorges and bubbling streams. After passing the old Benifallet railway station with its welcoming bar and cafe, the track climbs up to the Terra Alta region. You'll arrive at Horta de Sant Joan and the beautiful, rustic Hotel Les Capcades - your home for the next 2 nights. (Staying at the Hotel les Capcades, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    At Horta De Sant Joan

    You have lots of options today. Continue on the Via Verde and stop off at the pretty village of Arnes or continue the rather steep climb, past a pretty waterfall, to the Refuge of Mas de Damia in neighbouring Aragon; discover the beautiful convent of St Salvador, nestled at the foot of the imposing Santa Barbara mountain; or walk in the footsteps of Picasso who honed his craft in this charming town, spending much of his time in the nearby Els Ports mountain range. (Staying at the Hotel les Capcades, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Horta De Sant Joan to Miravet

    Today, you'll travel on the Via Verde to the town of Bot, from where you'll cycle along rural roads, passing curious rock formations, orange trees, olives and vineyards. Then it's on to El Pinell de Brai with its impressive Cathedral of Wine, before an exhilarating downhill run into Miravet, where you'll receive a warm welcome at your charming Casa Rural for the next 2 nights. (Staying at the Els Canteres Casa Rural, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    At Miravet

    The choice is yours today. Cycle along rural roads with peach-orchard views to visit the charming Mora d'Ebre; follow the GR99 walking path along the Ebro River or one of the many trails that lead you above the river; or visit the Templar castle which perches above the charming old town of Miravet, before relaxing with a drink at a riverside bar. History lovers can take advantage of a number of walking paths which criss-cross the site of the Battle of the Ebro - the longest and largest battle of the Spanish Civil War. (Staying at the Els Canteres Casa Rural, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Miravet to L'Ampolla

    Leaving Miravet behind, you cross the Ebro on a traditional boat bridge today, before passing the charming town of Rasquera. It's then a lovely long ride down to the coast, taking in wonderful views of mountains and olive trees. You'll ride through the town of El Perello - perhaps enjoy a dip in the sea at El Perello Mar - before rolling into L'Ampolla for your last night in the Hotel Flamingo. (Staying at the Hotel Flamingo, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Leave L'Ampolla

    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 buffet breakfasts and 6 evening meals

Traditional Spanish food such as paella (arroz in Catalan), 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.

Dishes are rich and hearty, however, it is not just a meat-based cuisine, and 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.

The most notable wine variety in the region is Terra Alta - the red is richand fruity whilst the white is fresh and dry with a slight floral lilt. You will also find Cava served everywhere despite being from further North.

Weather

In April, May and September expect temperatures to average between 17ºC and 22ºC with high chance of rain showers though it could also be simply partly cloudy and more temperate. Temperatures between June and August tend to be higher, with averages between 25ºC and 29ºC, and highs reaching up to 33ºC. Expect a combination of sun, showers and clouds all year round.

Is this trip for you?

EXCELLENT CHOICE FOR

Flora & fauna, art & history, couples, coastal routes, lake & river routes

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/moderate)
Average daily distance on move on days: 41km (26 miles). 
No. of days cycling: 4
Terrain: The suggested cycle routes are mostly flat and mainly follow rural and coastal trails.

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 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.

Your holiday begins on the beautiful seafront in the delta town of L'Ampolla, with its gorgeous little beaches and great selection of restaurants. You'll then pass peach and orange orchards, bursting with colour, as you head to Tortosa, a Templar city dating back over 2000 years. There's plenty of history and culture to absorb on this holiday - your next stop is the hilltop town of Horta de Sant Joan, one of the most picturesque towns in the Terra Alta region with its warren of mediaeval streets, artisan feel and spellbinding mountain backdrop. Be sure to visit the Picasso Museum, home to several of the artist's works which he painted when he lived in the town, greatly inspired by the imposing Santa Barbara and Els Ports mountains. After a tranquil cycle on the Via Verde you'll visit a series of lively local towns, including El Pinell de Brai, home to one of the most impressive wine cellars built by Cesar Martinell. Your last day takes you on a superb ride past vines and orange groves to the coast and the charming village of El Perello - end your holiday in style with a dip in the crystal-clear waters.

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

We've hand-picked a great variety of hotels for you. You'll enjoy two 4-star hotels - the Hotel Flamingo in L'Ampolla with its enviable seafront location and the Parador de Tortosa, situated within an impressive C10 castle. You'll then experience the family-run charm of the Hotel Les Capcades in mediaeval Horta de Sant Joan, with superb views of the Santa Barbara mountain and great food in a choice of two restaurants, while Miravet's Els Canterers is a quality Casa Rural set in the heart of the Catalan countryside.

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