Cycle Spain – Girona & Costa Brava
Join us in 2019 for 12 days of unforgettable road cycling in Spain. Our trip focuses on the road cycling hotbed of Girona, in Catalonia, Spain. Home to approximately 100 professional cyclists, its surrounding roads offer everything necessary for the perfect road cycling experience, from the hills and back-roads that lead towards the majestic Pyrenees to its north and the glorious Costa Brava coastline 40km to its east. Combined with its favorable Mediterranean climate and cycle friendly locals, it’s very easy to see why so many cyclists thrive in this area of Spain.
Our trip includes participation in a week-long cycling festival in Girona. Highlights include an evening criterium through the medieval old city; timed hill-top climb of mountain Els Angels; and a beautiful 125km or 142km Gran Fondo via the areas best back roads. And of course, a Spanish festival would not be a Spanish festival without copious food and beverage opportunities – excessively abundant within Girona’s atmospheric medieval cobbled streets, Catalonia’s most vibrant nightlife bar and dining scene outside of Barcelona.
Day 1 – Sunday 9th June: Girona
Arrive independently in the beautiful historic city of Girona. Originally a Roman settlement, it is now northern Catalonia’s largest city and recognized as one of Europe’s best road cycling destinations. Here we stay for its week long Cycling Festival, our accommodation a boutique 4 star hotel situated in its most atmospheric and delightful historic centre.
Day 2 – Monday 10th June: Banyoles Loop Ride – 50 – 60km
Our first ride takes ‘Team Solo Bike’ on a beautiful loop over ‘easy’ rolling terrain. The route is a favoured ‘coffee ride’ within the local riding scene as it avoids difficult climbs. The midway point meets the beautiful natural lake of Banyoles (Estany de Banyoles) and its collection of waterside cafes. Without question a coffee here is compulsory!!
With its tiny countryside roads, tranquil villages, and outstanding views of nearby mountains it makes for the perfect introduction to cycling in Girona.
Day 3 – Tuesday 11th June: Els Angels Hill Climb – 40-50km
Today we participate in the now infamous uphill time trial to the Els Angels Monastery. The climb is 10.4km in length and more than rewards riders with its views up top. A highlight of the event is the pasta party held next to the monastery. Riders start in the way of the professionals on 30sec intervals and riding on closed road, making it a truly special, unique and thrilling experience.
Meals: B; L
Day 4 – Wednesday 12th June: Rocacorba Loop – 70-80km
Our ride today takes in one the areas most famous climbs – Rocacorba. The ride is a favorite of the pro’s who use it to test their fitness and climbing legs. A 13.8km climb, at an average gradient of 5.7%, it rises to almost 1000m. From its summit are outstanding views in all directions including the nearby Pyrenees, the iconic mountains of Spain and France.
Day 5 – Thursday 13th June: The Nocturn – 60min Closed Circuit Ride + ‘Easy’ morning Ride – 40-50km
The highlight of today is the Nocturn, a unique evening crit right in the centre of Girona’s medieval streets, cobbles and all!!
Prior to this you will have the opportunity of joining other riders participating in the weeklong festival on an easy, relaxed morning countryside ride.
The Nocturn circuit is 1.5km and participants have 60min to produce their fastest 5 laps that includes a timed cobbled climb. Tactical, exhilarating, and incredibly unique, it provides another special riding experience perfectly capped off with a late-night Spanish style BBQ and beer with awards to fastest times of the night.
Meals: B; D
Day 6 – Friday 14th June: Santa Pellaia Loop Ride – 60-70km
Today’s riding excursion offers another outstanding loop ride from Girona. The road captures more beautiful countryside on tranquil tiny roads. The ride includes another wonderful climb of the area, Santa Pellaia. The climb is 6km long and stays at a consistent and comfortable gradient, never getting too steep, important as our next days ride is the longest of the week – Gran Fondo Girona.
In the evening there will be pre-Gran Fondo activities, including event dinner and some special cycling
and cultural events and opportunities to be enjoyed.
Meals: B; D
Day 7 – Saturday 15th June: Gran Fondo Girona – 125km or 142km
The final day of the festival climaxes with the Gran Fondo Girona. A mass participation ride with awards to fastest riders of the day, it showcases the best of the areas stunning roads. The route offers a choice of 125km (sportive) or 142km (full course) that includes the challenging Rocacorba climb.
The event finishes with a big Spanish style pasta party and special award ceremony.
Meals: B; L
Day 8 – Sunday 16th June: Costa Brava – 40 – 50km
We depart Girona by bike for our next place of stay on the famous Costa Brava, we stay here for 4
Meals: B; D
Day 9 – Monday 17th June: Baix Emporda – 50-60km
Our ride today explores the area of the Baix Emporda. Positioned literally between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, the views from 2 wheels could hardly be more inspiring. We pass through the many villages and towns dotted throughout the area, in particular the lovely old town of Torroella de Montgri and its lively Spanish market day.
Meals: B; D
Day 10 – Tuesday 18th June: Costa Brava – Tossa de Mar Loop – 90-100km
Another day of riding that combines a great combination of mountains and stunning coastline. Todays loop ventures south from our place of stay on the Costa Brava, making our way to the lovely beach of Tossa de Mar. The journey features the magnificent climb of St Grau, a winding climb of 6km high above the romantic Costa Brava.
Meals: B; D
Day 11 – Wednesday 19th June: Medieval Villages – 50-60km
Today’s ride takes us inland, discovering some of Catalonia’s most beautiful medieval villages. Leaving behind the hilly roads of the Costa Brava, the terrain becomes flatter as we move from village to beautiful village. A highlight is Pertallada, with its medieval castle and city walls, interesting galleries and shops and places to drink and eat. Another day riding in paradise…
Meals: B; D
Day 12 – Thursday 20th June: End of Trip
Morning group transfer to Girona station
Marnaton Open Water Swim – Begur
June 8 & 9th, 2019
Are you an open water swimmer as well as a cyclist? There will be the opportunity to take part in an organised Open Water event prior to the start of the cycle tour. Kerri (Solo Bike) will be participating and would welcome some fellow Aussies to join her against the Spaniards! Below are the details:
Saturday June 8th, 2019 – 4 x 1km Relay
Join us on the Costa Brava and participate in an organised swim event that takes place over two days.
Day 1 (Saturday) you can participate in a 4 x 1km relay. The relay takes place around 6pm and involves a 1km loop in relay format – route and details here
Sunday 9th June, 2019 – Option 3km or 7km swim
If you are a strong swimmer you might like to participate in the 3km or 7km swim. The 7km swim will start around 9am and the 3km 10.30am – 3km route here and 7km route here. Following the swim we will head to Girona for the start of the Cycle trip.