02 Dec 2020
CYCLE TOURISM. Costa Brava and the Girona Pyrenees, the most desired cycle tourism destination in southern Europe.
ITS EXCEPTIONAL CYCLING COMMUNITY HAS GIVEN IT A STRONGLY COSMOPOLITAN CHARACTER WITHOUT LOSING ITS AUTHENTICITY.
Catalonia is a privileged Mediterranean destination and a territory of affordable dimensions, but with a varied geography. The country offers the visitor a rich natural and cultural heritage and an excellent and renowned gastronomic offer that complements the cycling adventure. Cuisine, art and history enrich cycle tourism to make it a total experience.
From a bicycle life looks different. Everything takes on a suitable rhythm to become part of a moving landscape. On the Costa Brava and in the Girona-Pyrenees, there are many kilometres of routes and roads ideal for cycling in safety which, for lovers of cycling, make you taste each stretch of territory as if it were being created anew with each pedal stroke, whether on a road bike, a mountain bike or a gravel bike.
The varied network of secondary roads, tracks and paths lead the user through very diverse landscapes. So much so, that in one trip you can join Mediterranean coves, medieval villages between volcanoes, and high mountain passes in the Pyrenees.
Its pleasant temperatures all year round, the variety and beauty of the landscapes and the existence of peaks and classic routes which should be travelled at least once in a lifetime. From the famous Hincapie Loop in the Gavarres massif, Vallter 2,000, the 2,150-metre high Catalan cycle route, Rocaborba and Banyoles or the coastal road from Lloret-Tossa de Mar to Sant Feliu de Guíxols, the Costa Brava and the Girona Pyrenees are a destination to be reckoned with for lovers of cycle tourism.
Many things have happened since Johnny Weltz, the former of the Fagor cycling professional team and later technical director of the US Postal team, chose the Costa Brava and the Girona Pyrenees as the venue for his training sessions in 1986. Weltz was one of the pioneers, but the turning point came with the landing in Girona of the team of the famous – for better and for worse – Lance Armstrong. The truth is that since then, and by leaps and bounds, this region has developed great potential as a sports destination, offering 100% cycling services and experiences, with which a personalised cycling trip can be planned with highly specialised services. From high-end bike rental, including electric bikes, to accommodation that is very sensitive to the needs of cyclists, with a specific bike garage, laundry for technical clothing, physiotherapists or even personalised nutrition. The truth is that few places have this level of specialisation which generates complete satisfaction for visitors and users.
This growing specialisation as a cycling destination may be explained by the fact that Girona’s residents have lived (and still live) with many cycling professionals who have chosen the area as the perfect training destination. The result is a unique atmosphere for cycling enthusiasts where you can also meet some “pro” or other. Many professional teams from all over the world have chosen the Costa Brava-Pyrenees of Girona as the venue for their training camps, from Rory Sutherland to Robert Gesink and Dan Martin, among many others.
It is also no coincidence that Girona’s legendary cycle cafés are linked to professional cyclists, such as Christian Meyer’s La Fábrica, the Federal Café of the aforementioned Sutherland or Robert Gesink’s Hors Catégorie. That cyclists and cafés have declared their eternal love is easy to understand. A good coffee, apart from the pleasure for the senses at the moment of drinking it, provides that spark that is sometimes needed to ride at a happy pace, or to link a few mountain tops. To be able to drink this coffee accompanied by a freshly baked homemade cake, surrounded by a community and cycling atmosphere between cosmopolitan and locally authentic. Girona is currently one of the cities with the highest ratio of cafés to cyclists per inhabitant.
It doesn’t matter whether you are an enthusiastic cyclist or an initiate. The Costa Brava-Pyrenees tourist destination of Girona has all the keys to planning future cycling breaks throughout its territory and is suitable for all levels.
By downloading from the official Costa Brava account at wikiloc you can obtain the GPS tracks of the main road and mountain bike routes. A visit to the specialized local agencies will give you complete and detailed information about the cycling trips for the 2021 season, as they are the real experts in the area and provide perfect advice.
World mountain bike champion José A. Hermida inspires us on a journey from the mountain to the sea. A gravel bike adventure from the Pyrenees to the Costa Brava, riding along tracks, mountain passes, emblematic roads and the Via Verde (greenways) in Girona. A perfect plan for the summer.
The greenways include more than 150 kilometres of perfectly signposted routes along old railway lines, without technical difficulties and ideal for travelling with the family. The Carrilet route, which links Ripoll and Olot with Sant Feliu de Guíxols, is one of the most popular sections, very feasible to cover in 2 or 3 days.
350 kilometres make up one of the most beautiful cycle routes for cycling. A real paradise due to its landscape, heritage and gastronomic diversity, the Pirinexus is a circular transferritorial cycle route that links the territories located on both sides of the Pyrenees in their most eastern part. Half of the routes run along greenways and the rest along rural paths and roads with very low traffic intensity. Here, too, the gravel bike will be the best ally to enjoy some exceptional kilometres.
CATALONIA HAS A WIDE OFFER TO ENJOY IT BY BIKE.
Gastronomy, culture, history and art enrich cycle tourism to make it a total experience. During the journey, the cyclist will enjoy roads in good condition and establishments and other services prepared to meet their needs which, depending on the current situation of restrictions, can be enjoyed in the same environment or taken for the journey to the destination. In Catalonia, road cycling is a shared experience.
Cycle tourism is a physical activity that takes place in the middle of nature and is increasingly popular in Catalonia. Cycle tourism in Catalonia is the perfect way to combine physical exercise with the discovery and knowledge of this land, while at the same time, cycling allows you to contemplate and admire the beauty of its landscapes. The existence of different types of itineraries makes cycling tourism accessible to everyone and makes it an ideal activity to do with family or friends.
In Catalonia, the practice of road cycling and off-road cycling has grown considerably. Since 1980, the number of well-equipped users who are willing to cycle in the natural environment, away from the busiest roads, has increased. The desire for knowledge, respect for nature and leisure have been the foundations which have generated a new tourist activity which has grown constantly in recent years.