GIRONA & COSTA BRAVA
Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Beginning in the city of Girona this tour loosely follows the Costa Brava, heading north towards the border with France. You will visit beautiful cove beaches, historic Medieval villages, and impressive ancient ruins. And you will cycle through Natural Parks, the Cap de Creus peninsula and the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains.
You will also stay in high quality hotels in the most charming towns, including Begur, Empuries and Cadaqués, and you will find out why they so inspired a generation of great Spanish artists, including Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso.
If you choose to do the longer road rides you will also have the opportunity to tackle some of the best climbs in the region, including Rocacorba, Els Angels and St Pere de Rodes. Below you can find a detailed itinerary, and click on the tabs to see more highlights, as well as all the practical information about the holiday.
You may also be interested in our guided version of this tour.
Day 1 - Girona
Since then it has been strategically important as the first major settlement across the Pyrenees. Both Charlemagne and Napoleon made capturing the city a key part of their plans to invade Spain. The city walls, imposing cathedral and the winding streets of the old town are all vivid reminders of this impressive past.
Girona is also one of the major centres of cycling in Europe. It has long been the choice of residence amongst professional riders thanks to the mild climate and varied terrain close to the city. The Girona region offers something for cyclists of all levels and disciplines, making it a very flexible region to tour.
The variety of routes around Girona make it a very popular cycling destination
Day 2 - Girona & Begur
The gravel and shorter road routes also tackle some climbs in the Gavarres Natural Reserve, while the longer road route includes the iconic climb to Rocacorba.
In Begur you stay for two nights in a charming hotel, housed in a converted 17th century convent. It's a great setting in which to relax, and is also within walking distance of the cove beach at Sa Riera.
Hybrid Route: 56km / 400m Elevation
(35 miles / 1,300ft Elevation)
Gravel Route 65km / 900m
(40 miles / 3,000ft)
Road Routes: 52km - 108km / 700m - 1,600m
(32 - 67 miles / 2,300ft - 5,200ft)
Pleasant rolling roads lead to the Costa Brava
Day 3 - Pals & Costa Brava
Another highlight of the ride is the town of Pals - which includes one of the best preserved Medieval centers in all of Spain. The beautiful narrow streets can be explored by bike or on foot, and it makes for a very memorable coffee or lunch stop.
The longer routes also include enjoyable climbs around the Coll de la Ganga.
Hybrid Route: 42km / 550m
(26 miles / 1800ft)
Gravel Route 77km / 1,200m
(48 miles / 3,900ft)
Road Routes: 46km - 86km / 600m - 1,200m
(29 - 53 miles / 2,000ft - 3,900ft)
One of the Cove Beaches of Begur
Day 4 - Historic Catalonia
The shorter rides today are largely flat, and follow quiet lanes through scenic countryside. The longer routes have some additional climbing, including the ascent of Els Angels.
The day finishes in the town of L'Escala, just a short distance from the beach. It is also close to the ruins of the ancient Greco-Roman city of Empuries. Founded over 2,500 years, Empuries was once the most important city in Northern Spain.
It only began to decline after Barcelona was founded as a Roman colony under the Emperor Augustus. Today you can see the ruins of both the Greek and Roman sites, which were built alongside each other. You can easily compare the different architectural styles of the two ancient super-powers!
Hybrid Route: 44km / 200m
(27 miles / 650ft)
Gravel Route 86km / 800m
(53 miles / 2,600ft)
Road Routes: 53km - 90km / 380m - 1,100m
(33 - 56 miles / 1,250ft - 3,600ft)
Day 5 - Aiguamolls & Cap de Creus Peninsula
Before reaching the Cap de Creus you will ride through the Aiguamolls Natural Park, a popular spot with birdwatchers, and you will also visit the delightful town of Castello d'Empuries.
The shorter routes head through Roses, where you can visit the ancient citadel. The longer road route climbs to the hilltop monastery of St Pere de Rodes, while the gravel route follows a stunning hilly trail around the southern edge of the peninsula.
The day ends in the town of Cadaqués. A former home of Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, it isn't hard to see why the beautiful buildings and dramatic coastline captured the imagination of some of Spain's greatest artists.
Hybrid Route: 52km / 500m
(32 miles / 1,650ft)
Gravel Route 67km / 850m
(42 miles / 2,800ft)
Road Routes: 58km - 70km / 500m - 1,100m
(36 - 44 miles / 1,650ft - 3,600ft)
The Cap de Creus peninsula has beautiful scenery for riding
Day 6 - Cadaqués
The gravel route tours the peninsula, following fun trails with great coastal views throughout the ride. The longer road route heads further north along the Costa Brava, tackling a series of climbs along the coast, all the way to the border with France.
Hybrid Route: 24km / 400m
(15 miles / 1,300ft)
Gravel Route 65km / 1,200m
(40 miles / 3,900ft)
Road Routes: 25km - 75km / 400m - 1,350m
(16 - 47 miles / 1,300ft - 4,400ft)
There is a lot to see in Cadaqués, both on and off the bike
Day 7 - Figueres
The longer routes head into the foothills of the Pyrenees, with impressive mountain peaks looming in the distance.
On arriving in Figueres you can extend the route to the large hilltop castle - which is claimed to be the largest intact fortress in Europe. It was built in the 18th century to try to help to defend Spain against French aggression, but was unable to prevent the invasion by Napoleon around fifty years after its construction.
Figueres is also home to the Dalí theatre and museum, which holds the largest collection of the artist's works. This is a must visit for fans of surrealism or simply art in general.
Hybrid Route: 39km / 400m
(24 miles / 1,350ft)
Gravel Route 73km / 1,100m
(45 miles / 3,600ft)
Road Routes: 51km - 108km / 850m - 1,700m
(32 - 67 miles / 2,800ft - 5,600ft)
Dalí Museum, Figueres
Day 8 - Departure / Extensions
Popular extensions include Barcelona, the Costa Brava and the Pyrenees mountains.
If you prefer not to extend your stay, we will transfer you to Girona airport or train station in time for your onward journey.
To find out more information about this holiday; including practical information, prices, dates and more tour highlights; return to the top of the page and click on the various tabs.
There are several great options to extend your holiday
You can swim in the cove beaches of the Costa Brava and enjoy the finest Catalan and Spanish cuisine. This holiday really allows you to immerse yourself in the history and culture of this fascinating region.
These are just a few of the many highlights of the tour. Check out more in the photo album below:
- ✔ 7 Nights Accommodation (see the Hotels section for more details)
- ✔ Continental breakfast each day
- ✔ Bicycle Hire (Hybrid, road, gravel bike or e-bike)
- ✔ Transfers to and from the arrival and departure points (see below for details)
- ✔ Luggage transferred between hotels
- ✔ GPS routes and mobile app to easily follow the routes
- ✔ Detailed information pack
- ❌ Flights
- ❌ Tour Extensions
- ❌ Travel Insurance
The e-bikes for this tour are e-mountain bikes, to provide extra comfort.
More details about our road and hybrid bikes can be found on our bicycles page. We provide these or similar models. Our gravel bikes are all full carbon with 42c tyres and generous gearing.
Difficulty Level & Roads
The longer road route and gravel route are challenging in difficulty. They are 70-110km in length and actively seek out hills and more technical terrain. They are designed as more sporty routes.
We hate cycling alongside traffic, and so avoid it wherever possible. Having said that, drivers in Catalonia are very courteous towards cyclists, so it isn't a problem on the short sections where you will meet the odd car, for example entering or leaving some of the towns.
Find out more about our tour difficulty levels.
Arrival and Departure
The holiday ends in Figueres. From here we transfer you to Girona airport or Figueres train station. From Figueres you can easily take the train into Barcelona and also into Perpignan in France; from there fast trains leave to Avignon, Lyon, Paris and other destinations.
Please contact us if you would like any advice or more information regarding getting to and from the region.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please browse through some of the frequently asked questions about this cycling tour. If you have any further questions, or would like any more information, please contact us and we will answer by email.
What is your policy regarding Covid travel restrictions?
*Updated Covid Policy 2022*
In response to the Covid Pandemic we have made some temporary alterations to our standard terms and conditions.
Reservations made in 2021 and 2022 (for holidays taking place in 2022) can be postponed for any time in the following year, without penalty, if you are unable to travel as a result of travel restrictions or other uncertainty. Notification of the postponement must be made at least ten days before the start of the tour.
Before the balance of the invoice has been paid, the deposit of €150 is also refundable in full for reservations made in 2021 or 2022, if holidays are cancelled because of Covid related travel restrictions.
For reservations not made in 2021, the normal terms and conditions regarding cancellation apply.
What are the main differences between the routes?
There are four route options each day. The easiest is the hybrid option, which generally has the shortest distances and the least climbing. These routes mostly follow paved roads, but take good quality (and not technical) gravel roads to avoid
certain climbs or busier stretches of road. These routes are designed for a more leisurely kind of tour, where you stop frequently to explore the villages and other interesting sites.
The gravel routes are longer and more challenging. They are on a combination of paved roads and trails, but, unlike the hybrid routes, they actively follow the off-road option wherever there is a choice. Most of the rides include over 40km of gravel trails, including some climbing, and so offer a more sporty kind of tour.
The shorter road routes are similar to the hybrid routes, but are entirely on paved roads. They have a bit more climbing than the hybrid route and are generally a bit longer, but they are still designed for leisure riders who like to take their time and explore places en-route.
Finally, the longer road routes are challenging and for riders looking for a more sporty tour. They tackle at least one significant climb each day and can be quite challenging due to their longer distances.
You can mix and match the routes throughout the holiday. On a road bike you can choose between the two road options each day. While on gravel, hybrid or e-bikes, you can choose between all four rides each day, depending on how you feel!
Is it possible to change the itinerary?
Absolutely! The itinerary is flexible. If, for example, you would rather stay for more or fewer nights, or stay in a different town, we would be happy to change it for you.
Similarly, we can provide different routes if you would prefer to do longer or shorter rides than the ones in the itinerary.
What is the weather like?
The Girona region is mostly dry and sunny throughout the year, with little rain. This tour is most enjoyable in Spring (March - June) and Autumn or Fall (September to November), when the temperatures tend to be very pleasant for cycling.
It is also possible to go in July and August if you are used to cycling in warmer temperatures (it can be above 30°C (85°F). Please bear in mind though that this is the main season for other holidaymakers. The roads and towns are busier and the hotels are more expensive, so we recommend avoiding the height of summer if you have the choice.
It is also possible to go on this holiday in winter. Day time temperatures in January average around 14°C (56°F), so it isn't T-shirt weather, but it can be quite pleasant for cycling.
Can I extend the tour?
Yes, we would be happy to arrange any tour extensions for you. The most popular option is to spend extra nights in
But we can also help you to extend the trip if you wish to spend more time on the Costa Brava, or to visit anywhere else in Spain or France.
Do you run this as a guided tour?
Yes, for groups of six or more people, we can run this as a private guided tour.
You may also be interested in our Guided Girona & Costa Brava holiday, which is similar to this one, but is more of a leisurely tour with most meals included.
What is your cancellation policy?
The full cancellation policy can be found in our terms and conditions.
Why book with us?
We are a small and independent company who are locally based, which offers several advantages:
- We have a lot personal experience of all of our tours, which have been refined over many years. We believe we are genuine experts in the regions where we run tours, and we are also close at hand to offer support and a personalized service.
- We are flexible and can tailor our itineraries to suit your requirements.
- We have low overheads. We don't spend money on advertising and don't use third party agents. We only sell our tours through this website.
By cutting out the middle man, you can be sure that more of what you pay is being spent on the important things: like hotels, equipment and other services.
- We are a registered and fully bonded tour operator in accordance with EU regulations.
Hotel Nord 1901
El Convent Begur
Molí de l'Escala
The hotel is beautifully decorated in traditional white and blue style and has comfortable rooms and a nice garden and swimming pool area.
|Starting Date||Price (per person)¹||Single Supplement||Bike Hire|
|All Other Dates||€1,470 EUR||€640 EUR||Included|
|1st July - 31st August||€1,740 EUR||€720 EUR||Included|
¹Price is based on two people sharing a double or twin room. If you would prefer to stay in a single room, the single supplement is applicable.
To reserve a place on the tour, click the button above and complete the reservation form. We will then get back to you within 24 hours to confirm the reservation, and to arrange for payment of the deposit.
For more details on the booking process, please check out our Reservations page.