Classic Catalan Cycling Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Spain
Programmes:
Cycling
Trip Code:
C08CL
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

9 Days Flight Inclusive
9 Days Land only
Ages: 8+

Trip Overview

Rich with medieval villages, historic castles and churches, Catalonia (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, Catalonia's traditions date back over thousands of years. 

At a Glance

  • 8 Nights, Hotel-to-hotel
  • 4 days cycling
  • GPS route directions and navigation app
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent

Trip 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

Is This Trip for You?

Cycling Conditions

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/moderate)
Average daily distance on cycling 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 local agent 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 agent 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 13th century 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. 

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local agent is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. Please note: the luggage transfers included in this tour are subject to a minimum of 2 people (in total) booked on the departure. A supplement (payable in advance) to cover these transfers and sole occupancy of a room will apply if only 1 person travelling on a departure date.

Adult min age:
18
Child min age:
8
Child max age:
17

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Calella De Palafugell
End City:
Calella De Palafugell

Land Only Itinerary

  • 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
    Distance covered: 34 km / 22 miles
  • Day 3

    At Torroella De Montgri

    Cycle into Torroella and explore the medieval 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 13th century 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
    Distance covered: 49 km / 31 miles
  • 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 18th century Sant Ferran Castle, a large military fortress (the largest monument in Catalonia), 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
    Distance covered: 48 km / 30 miles
  • 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 Catalonia'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
    Distance covered: 61 km / 38 miles
  • Day 9

    Leave Calella De Palafrugell

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

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 15th century mill in Torroella de Montgri and two chic town hotels one which has a small pool.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £396.00

Food & Transport

Eating & 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 & Seasonality

Weather Information

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.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Your trip normally starts at our hotel in Calella De Palafrugell on the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary.

Air-rail prices include our standard flights
British Airways Heathrow to Barcelona 09:35/12:45 then rail Barcelona Sants to Girona 15:40/16:15 then transfer to hotel 50 minutes. Return: Transfer to station 50 minutes then rail Girona to Barcelona Sants 12:56/13:34 British Airways Barcelona to Heathrow 18:15/19:35.

Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Calella De Palafrugell
Location end:
Calella De Palafrugell

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Waterproofs

Warm jumper/fleece

Suncream

Water bottle (1 litre) you will be able to refill each day at the accommodation.

Please note that cycling helmets are a legal requirement in Spain. As we cannot provide these, we strongly recommend you bring your own.

Local Bike Details

A quality local hire bike is included in the overall price of our cycling holidays. At the time of booking we will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.

Conditions 

1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.
2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.
3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment
4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

Bringing Your Own Bike

If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may, of course, bring it along. Please advise us at the time of booking and you will receive a discount on the price of the holiday, as specified above.  You will be responsible for any extra baggage charges, please speak to our Sales team for individual airline fees.

N.B This does not apply to trips within the UK, for which local bike hire is not included.

You will also be responsible for assembling and disassembling your bike as well as bringing along spare parts and any tools specific to it. It is also your responsibility to ensure your bike is roadworthy and suitable for the type of cycling to be undertaken. If in doubt, the model of local bike hire available should act as a guide and details of terrain, ascent and descent are available both in the itinerary and the ‘Is this trip for you’ sections. Our cycling team only carry the relevant spares for the hire fleet. Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure they have adequate cover for loss, damage or theft under their travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. If Exodus is confident that we have taken all reasonable care to ensure the safety of your bike, in the rare event of loss, damage or theft you will need to claim under your own insurance policy.

Extra Bike Bits

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.

For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries we travel to wearing a helmet is already a legal requirement.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

Recommended Cycling Clothing

Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.

GPS Route Navigation

Ride with GPS logo

We've teamed up with RideWithGPS to provide our carefully researched and checked itineraries in a convenient format, similar to a car satnav, with turn-by-turn instructions all along your route.

Before you travel we'll send you everything you need to download your route notes and the free RideWithGPS app. It's available for iPhone and Android and the routes can also be used on any regular GPS device such as the Garmin Edge bike computers or Forerunner fitness devices. 

 For more details and to watch the demonstration video, please visit our GPS Route Navigation page.

Reading List

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Barcelona and Catalonia

Homage to Catalonia: George Orwell 

 

Practical Information

Passport

Spain

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Spain

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Spain

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Spain's Timezone:
Europe/Madrid CET (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

Spain's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Money

Spain's Currency

The national currency of Spain is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (August 2021) of approximately 1.17 to the GBP, 0.85 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.62 to the AUD and 0.59 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, but we recommend taking some Euros cash with you in case you can't get to a bank at the start of the trip

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need money for six dinners, all lunches, snacks and drinks and entry for any sites you wish to visit. Depending on your choice of restaurant dinners will range in price, we suggest allowing approximately €15-35. Lunches can be inexpensive if you buy produce from local markets or shops and make up a picnic. However, if you stop at a café you can easily spend €15. We would recommend budgeting for €5-15 for lunches and allow an additional €10 a day for any extras.

Catalunya

Responsible Tourism

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… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.