GIRONA GRAVEL ADVENTURE
Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
The holiday takes you on routes with great variety. You will ride alongside dramatic coastal scenery, through volcanic natural parks and over iconic cycling climbs in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains. You ride on a variety of surfaces, with plenty of gravel roads and trails each day.
You will also explore the beautiful Catalonia region, visiting historic towns and villages such as Cadaqués, Besalú, Pals and L'Escala. You pass Roman ruins, Medieval bridges, picturesque vineyards and much more on this unique adventure. The tour also stays in high quality hotels, located in picturesque historic centers, or next to the charming beaches of the Costa Brava.
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.
Girona has a well preserved historic center
Day 2 - Els Angels - L'Escala
The remainder of the route is largely rolling, following gravel trails between Medieval villages, orchards and rice fields. Highlights include historic Pals and Peratallada, as well as the trail alongside the River Ter.
The day ends in the coastal town of L'Escala, which is knwon for its excellent beaches and Roman ruins. It also has a charming old town where you can taste the local delicacy - freshly prepared anchovies.
78km / 1,000m Elevation
(48 miles / 3,300 ft Elevation)
96km / 1,150m Elevation (60 miles / 3,800 ft Elevation)
Pleasant rolling trails lead to the Costa Brava
Day 3 - Cap de Creus Peninsula
In Roses you can visit the ancient citadel, before following a spectacular coastal trail around the Cap de Creus as far as 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.
After taking on refreshments in Cadaqués, there is just one more climb and descent to our destination - the town of Port de la Selva on the north of the Cap de Creus. Here you stay next to the town's fine beach and can relax in the hotel's spa facilities.
76km / 1,050m Elevation
(47 miles / 3,400 ft Elevation)
93km / 1,500m Elevation (60 miles / 5,000 ft Elevation)
Cap de Creus Peninsula
Day 4 - Emporda Vineyards & Besalú
On the route there is the option to take a detour to visit the Roman mounument to Pompey the Great, situated on the border between France and Spain, before continuing west on gravel roads and quiet lanes.
The longer route tackles an additional beautiful gravel climb to the Coll de Riu, while the shorter route takes the more direct path to the town of Besalú, where you will stay for two nights.
Besalú is a beautiful historic town, most famous for its vast 12th century bridge across the River Fluvia. The old town is a lot of fun to explore, with narrow winding streets and impressive squares making for a nice ambience.
77km / 1,400m Elevation
(47 miles / 4,600 ft Elevation)
104km / 2,150m Elevation (64 miles / 7,300 ft Elevation)
Vineyards of the Emporda region
Day 5 - Garrotxa Volcanoes
The town of Olot has a pretty historic center and is a nice place to stop for lunch or a coffee stop, before continuing along rolling trails and country lanes back to Besalú. This is one of our favourite rides, with beautiful and incredibly peaceful scenery.
There is also the option to include the famous road climb to Mare de Deu del Mont, which offers fantastic views of the surrounding region from the summit.
56km / 1,200m Elevation
(35 miles / 4,000 ft Elevation)
72km / 1,200m Elevation
(45 miles / 4,100 ft Elevation)
76km / 1,550m Elevation (47 miles / 5,200 ft Elevation)
Day 6 - Rocacorba & Girona
From here you ride towards the Ter River valley and follow a very enjoyable route alongside the river, taking you back into Girona. The longer route has one sting in the tail, with one final climb and descent into the city, passing the castle of Sant Miquel.
In Girona you can head along to one of the main squares that are dotted around the old town and enjoy a well deserved caña or copa to mark the end of the trip!
56km / 600m Elevation
(35 miles / 2,000 ft Elevation)
79km / 1,300m Elevation
(49 miles / 4,400 ft Elevation)
100km / 2,100m Elevation (64 miles / 7,000 ft Elevation)
Picturesque trails on the way to Rocacorba
Day 7 - 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:
- ✔ 6 Nights Accommodation (see the Hotels section for more details)
- ✔ Continental breakfast each day
- ✔ 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
- ✔ / ❌ Bicycle Hire is optional extra (We have Gravel bikes and 29" mountain bikes available for €150 EUR - see below)
Both gravel and mountain bikes are suitable for all of the routes, and so it is best to choose whichever you are most comfortable riding.
Gravel bikes for this tour are Kona Libre or similar models. These have a full carbon frame, hydraulic disc brakes and 45mm tyres, and are set up for comfort on long rides across varied terrain.
Mountain bikes are available if you would prefer a little more comfort and don't mind going slightly more slowly! We offer Kona Kahuna (or similar models). These have lightweight aluminium frames, 29" wheels, 2.3" wide tyres and a full Shimano Deore groupset. They are optimized for climbing, but also cover less technical sections quite rapidly.
For more information about the exact bike we can provide for this tour, please submit an Inquiry and let us know your size and the dates you would like to travel.
Difficulty Level & Surfaces
The road surfaces are mixed throughout the tour. Around 60% of the riding is on gravel or hard pack roads and trails. The rest is on quiet country lanes, cycle paths and even short sections of single track.
Most of the riding is generally not very technical, and you should be able to ride almost everything on a gravel bike. There are some short sections which are slightly more technical, but if you feel uncomfortable on these, they are short enough that you can easily walk them. Keep in mind this is an adventure tour and so there are short sections where you may have to walk across river crossings, or over a steep part of the trail, so it is important to bring cycling shoes that you can walk in for short distances.
If you would prefer to ride easier and completely non-technical gravel routes, then you may prefer our Girona & Costa Brava cycling holiday, which offers more gentle hybrid routes.
Find out more about our tour difficulty levels.
Arrival and Departure
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.
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.
How is this different from your other tour in the Girona region?
The main difference between this and our other
Girona & Costa Brava holiday, is that
this one is more challenging.
The routes are longer, more mountainous and with more off-road sections. This is more of an adventure style tour, designed for riders who love gravel biking and want to head into the Natural Parks and throughout the foothills of the Catalan Pyrenees. If you prefer to ride only on roads and completely non-technical gravel trails, and you like to explore villages and towns more than natural scenery, then our Girona & Costa Brava tour may be a better choice.
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
RV Nieves Mar
Hotel Spa Cap de Creus
|Starting Date||Price (per person)¹||Single Supplement||Bike Hire|
|All Other Dates||€1,210 EUR||€440 EUR||€150 EUR|
|1st July - 31st August||€1,330 EUR||€480 EUR||€150 EUR|
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.