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It all started several years ago when I stumbled across a New York Times Travel article entitled Finding Nirvana on Two Wheels. (Who among us wouldn’t want to read an article with that title?) This article captured my desire to visit and ride in a part of the world that hadn’t even been on my radar: Girona Spain. It wasn’t really the fact that many pro cyclists (like Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Freddie Rodriguez and many more) trained in this area, but it was the outstanding natural features and rich cultural history that called to me. So I went to explore the Province of Girona and ride among the stunning mountains, along the rugged Mediterranean coast, and through dozens of small 12th and 13th century towns dripping with history. It was one of my most memorable tours, and over the last three years I’ve led about 150 cyclists to this remarkable cycling mecca.
This 11-day tour is “semi-fixed base”. On the first day we will gather in Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Catalonia, known for its art and architecture. Our hotel will be in the center of town, which is just an easy transfer from the Barcelona International airport (BCN). (On previous tours many participants had added extra days before the start of the tour to explore this amazing city.)
On our second day we’ll board a chartered bus that will take us slightly further north to the heart of our cycling region, which is nearly equidistant from the foothills of French Pyrenees and the Mediterranean coast. Upon arrival at our hotel, you will either assemble your own bike, or get your rental bike fitted. We'll also have time for a short "shake-down" ride before dinner.
We will stay for 6 nights in a beautiful old stone mansion in Serinya that has been fully restored into a modern sports hotel designed specifically for cyclists. This countryside location is away from busy streets and noise, and serves as an excellent jumping off point for our cycling days. There are 14 different loop routes to choose from, with distances varying from 25 to 65 miles and climbing between 1,800 and 5,400 feet.
From this “home base” in Serinya we will be able to access all of the best cycling routes and most interesting sites. There are historic monasteries, churches, castles, ancient bath houses and bridges from the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries throughout the region. You’ll be able to visit Salvador Dalí's homeland, his Theater and Museum in Figueres, and his house, the Casa Museu Dalí, in Port Lligat, near Cadaqués. On several of our routes you’ll enjoy cycling around Lake Banyoles, which is a natural lake located in a tectonic depression, and was the venue for the rowing events in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. We will also be offering a “remote start” feature where we will transport you and your bike to Costa Brava (which translates as the “rugged” or “wild coast”) where you’ll be able to cycle a beautiful stretch of the Mediterranean with its small bays, pocket beaches and charming seaside villages with cafes featuring delicious fresh seafood.
On day 8 we will move from our country location to the city of Girona where we will stay for 3 more nights. You’ll be enchanted by this location which features historic cathedrals, ancient fortifications, and the remnants of the Jewish community that flourished here in the 12th and 13th centuries. Interwoven in the old town with its narrow cobblestone streets you’ll now find modern shops, cafes, restaurants and museums. Of course we’ll also offer several amazing loop rides from this location.
The cost of this tour is $2,400 and includes:
10 nights lodging in very good accommodations (double occupancy)
Charter bus transportation from Barcelona to Serinya
Transportation to remote start locations
All breakfasts and 5 group dinners
GPS files and cue sheets for all routes
High quality rental bikes are available at an extra charge
The philosophy of bike tours with our company is to provide cyclists with excellent routes on good roads, nice accommodations, and ample opportunity to explore interesting sites. While we always provide emergency support, we expect cyclists to complete the ride that they choose each day. We do not lead you on daily routes, but provide you with all the tools you need to find your way and give you the freedom to ride at your own pace and explore to your heart’s content.
The best time for cycling in Girona is late spring or early fall. The weather is still warm and mild, and we miss most of the busier tourist traffic.