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From: 415 €
Duration: 8 days
Easy cycling tour on nearly flat or gently rolling terrain, from the peaceful green countryside to the blue Mediterranean Sea. Pedal back through history among Medieval villages. Enjoy the shade of pine forests. Cycle through fields of sunflowers, wheat and rice on your way out to the beach. Discover an ancient land settled by Iberians in pre-Roman times and once besieged by pirate attacks. Observe thousands of water birds in the protected wetlands of Aiguamolls. Visit the surprising Dalí Museum in Figueres. Overnight stay at three rural guesthouses, historical stone buildings converted into charming accommodations. Rooms for families are available.
Arrival at your accommodation in La Pera. A taxi transfer from the airport or train station can be arranged.
Challenge: Travel to the Ampurdán.
Villages along the way: La Pera
Immerse yourself in the ambience of the Baix Empordà, or Lower Ampurdán, cycling through traditional and picturesque landscapes. Small vegetable gardens, Mediterranean woods, the Medieval village centres of Monells and Madremanya, and an interesting optional visit to the castle-museum in Pubol which Dalí dedicated to his wife, Gala.
Challenge: 18km or 31km, 200m or 300m in ascent.
Villages along the way: Monells, Madremanya, Pubol
A short climb through the woods, then on to flat terrain surrounded by Tuscany-like hilltop villages. You traverse a vast and fertile agricultural region worked long ago by the Iberians, who introduced the use of the now-characteristic cypress tree as a wind-panel. This evening, you'll have the challenge of selecting one of Peratallada's 13 inviting restaurants for dinner.
Villages along the way: La Pera, Peratallada
Quiet country lanes lead you through the pretty regional capital of Pals, and on to Palafrugell, Llafranca and Calella de Palafrugell, one of the most beautiful fishing villages along this coast. Optional break to enjoy a very nice lunch at a restaurant on the beach. Other possibilities include a visit to the lovely botanical gardens in Cap Roig or an adventure through the valley of Aubi. In any case, it's a day to fill the senses!
Challenge: 50km or 30km, 350m or 150m in ascent.
Villages along the way: Pals, Palafrugell, Llafranca, Calella
Cycle placidly between the sandy beaches of the Costa Brava and the green rice fields of the Ter river delta, passing an occasional windmill along the way. But, you may prefer to relax and visit the lovely village of Peratallada or take a short stroll through the nearby Mediterranean woods.
Challenge: 30km, 150m in ascent. Or rest day.
Villages along the way: Valle del Río Ter
Northwards into the region of Alt Empordà (the Upper Ampurdán), cycling through mixed forests, open rural landscape and endless orchards. There's an optional stop to admire the Greek and Roman ruins at the archaeological site of Empuries, then you take a break to stroll along the Medieval lanes of Torroella de Montgri. In the afternoon you arrive at a charming country house, your accommodation with its own private swimming pool. At dinner time, the chance to delight in your hosts' outstanding regional cooking.
Challenge: 49km and 220m total ascent.
Villages along the way: Empuries, Torroella de Montgri
On to Figueres, the village whose name is synonymous with that of Salvador Dalí. Visit the surrealist painter's museum, take a pleasant stroll along the town Rambla and admire the beautiful Augustine monastery just outside town. Then follow the Muga River to the medieval town of Castello d'Empuries. Later you are welcomed by the refreshing greenery of Aiguamolls de l'Emporda Natural Park, whose wetlands are home to a significant seasonal waterbird colony.
Challenge: 51km or 45km. 125m or 100m to ascend.
Villages along the way: Figueres, Castello d'Empuries
Your arrangement ends today after breakfast. Transport to Flaça train station included. An optional taxi transfer to the airport may also be booked.
Challenge: Departure from the Ampurdán.
Start: La Pera
Finish: Sant Pere Pescador
Trip availability: Mid-February to late December. Note: summer can be rather hot and humid (highs of 35º C). There is also more traffic on inland roads, especially in August.