From the Pyrenees to Terres de l’Ebre, following the Mediterranean coast, Catalonia offers cycling fans everything they need for a journey on two wheels: varied and accessible terrain, routes, a collection of services designed for road cycle tourism, and a mild climate all year round.
An exceptional Mediterranean environment, Catalonia is a land where everything is within reach. Yet, it plays host to a greatly diverse geography including mountain passes – in the Val d’Aran – and the large sandy beaches of the Costa Dorada. It’s a country offering tourists a rich natural and cultural heritage, as well as incredible and revered gastronomy, all of which perfectly complement a cycling adventure. Cuisine, art and history take cycle tourism and turn it into the complete experience. Throughout the journey, cyclists will encounter fantastically maintained roads, in addition to businesses and services designed to cater for their specific needs.
Roads with charm, history and tradition
From the Mediterranean coast to the peaks of the Pyrenees, a network of secondary roads spreads through the area, providing the perfect setting to enjoy cycling all year round. Peaceful and panoramic routes through regions full of mountains and farmland – as well as wine -, where we discover unique natural terrain, visit small villages and sample the local cuisine. In Girona, the Costa Brava blends into the mountains of Les Gavarres and the Pyrenees through charming routes beginning and ending in towns such as Lloret de Mar and Blanes.
From the Maresme coast – with Santa Susanna and Calella as your starting points – a green belt of land connects five natural parks throughout the surrounding areas of Barcelona, taking you to symbolic sites such as Montseny, Montnegre and Montserrat. In the south, the Tarragona coastline is the gateway to the country roads of Montsant, Serra de Prades, and Ports de Tortosa-Beseit from Cambrils or Mont-roig del Camp.
Family routes and the slower side of cycle tourism
If you feel like taking the family and enjoying the more relaxing side of cycle tourism, Catalonia has a wide range of routes that are suitable for everyone, including routes with few slopes, as well as cyclist and pedestrian only lanes separate from the traffic.In Girona, the Vías Verdes or ‘Greenways’ let you combine the Pyrenees with the Mediterranean coast on the Iron and Coal Route – between Ripoll and Sant Joan de les Abadesses – and the Carrilet Greenway – from Olot to Sant Feliu de Guíxols, passing through the city of Girona. In Tarragona, the Baix Ebre and Terra Alta Greenways connect the Els Ports massif to the mouth of the Ebro River, which is another treasured natural area ideally suited for the calmer side of cycle tourism.
On the plains of Lleida, the Pedals del Canal d’Urgell route will show you the region through the eyes of one of the most important works of hydraulic engineering in Catalan history. And in Girona, the Pirinexus offers a cross-border cycling route showing you the wonders of the landscape and regional cultural heritage.
Cycle tourism in the mountains
Catalonia has over 6000 kilometres of marked routes taking you to every corner of the country. There are long routes designed to be completed over several days. For example, the Volta a la Serra del Cadí and the Cistercian Route (in Tarragona).For intermediate and advanced mountain bikers, there are also various self-guided routes through Catalonia, such as Pedals de Foc, Pedals del Pedraforca, Pedals del Priorat, Pedals dels Ports, Tracks del Diable, Tracks dels Volcans and Tracks Costa Brava. On these routes you’ll also be able to hire an equipment transport service to move your things between different accommodations.
Header picture: ©Cycling Costa Brava. PTCBG