Girona has been Europe’s cycling mecca since the first pro teams began to arrive back in the early 1990s. In recent years – riders and pros alike, have discovered the abundance of incredible gravel riding opportunities around Girona. You would struggle to find another region of its size in the world with such varied and unique selection of Gravel rides to choose from.
Heading north east from Girona, you enter into the Emporda region, famous for its chequered history marked by Greek and Roman invaders, lush ancient vineyards, fairytale medieval villages and the beguiling beauty of the Cap De Creus coastline, immortalised by Catalonia’s famous son – Salvador Dali. To the north west, the landscape couldn’t be more contrasting, as you traverse dirt tracks through the imposing wild magic of the Garroxta Volcanic region and the Vall de Llémena. Here, sometimes feels like you have been transported into the Alps – with the epic mountain backdrops, the sound of cow bells as the dairy cows graze among lush pastures and the shepherds leading their skinny flock through the rocky hills.
To the south east – the views can only be described as quintessentially Mediterranean. Terracotta coloured trails through pine scented forests, lead you to the wild rugged charm of the Costa Brava coastline & its crystal clear turquoise sea. Stopping here for a midway cortado at a bar overlooking a rocky cove is a must. For some the temptation to cool off in the crystal waters is too much to resist! Don’t worry – we’ll bring your towels. Once again the landscape transforms radically when we head south and south west into the beautiful natural thermal spa area of la Selva and Les Guilleries. Known for its charming spa towns and ‘balnarios’ where 37C sulphuric water can be seen (and smelled) bubbling up from the fertile ground.
It would be amiss not to mention the wonderful food and equally spectacular wines of Catalonia. With this all inclusive experience, we would like to take you to sample some of the exceptional food & drink in our favourite authentic Girona restaurants. Allow us to take you to small family run restaurants to indulge in the typical Catalan favourites like – Fideua, (noodle paella) Embotits, (cured meats) Bolets, (Catalan wild mushrooms) Escalivada, (smoky grilled vegetables) Botifarra,(BBQ mountain sausage) Esqueixada, (salt cod & tomato salad) or simple fresh seafood plucked from the Mediterranean sea!
In recent years Catalonia has also seen its wines win international acclaim, not only the more famous D.O regions like Penedes and Priorat but also smaller wineries in Emporda, Costers del Segre and Monsant are recognised among some of the best wines in Spain
But inevitably – the primary take-away from these trips is the genuine camaraderie with fellow riders. Once you’ve been through these shared experiences – you truly establish a special bond with your cycling compadres. We personally believe the highlights are the post ride evenings, sitting around the dinner table, enjoying great local Catalan food & wine and replaying the day’s events with a healthy dose of chatter and humour… there is inevitably always lots of laughter.
Allow us take care of everything – so you can relish these stunning rides, eating beautiful fresh local Catalan food and sharing this unique experience with your fellow riders.
The recipe is very simple – riding through idyllic landscapes with like minded friends, quality ride support & attention, and a generous sampling of the best local food and wine…… what more does anyone need?